Feminine Fridays

On Feminine Fridays: On a desire for a world with no page 3.

If you’re one of my international readers (I know I have some) then that title is going to mean very little to you, but allow me to explain, and hopefully you’ll see the reason that this is a good re-entry into the Feminine Friday series.

For those who are unaware, in the UK we live with the shameful reality of the fact that many of our national tabloid newspapers, read by millions of people on a daily basis, and readily available to all and sundry, publish photos of topless women on the third page of their paper. These ‘page 3 girls’ or ‘glamour models’ (as they are so oddly known) appear every day, naked breasts on display, on the third page of a number of national papers, including the mostly widely-read, The Sun, and somehow everyone just goes along with it.

Well, not any more. Lucy-Ann Holmes has started a wonderful petition to persuade Dominic Mohan (Editor of The Sun) to get rid of the current page 3 situation in his paper. You can read her wonderful post about why she started the campaign here.

I’d like to ask you to consider signing the petition.

I don’t often sign petitions myself, because I think they’re important and so I’m only willing to sign under two conditions: firstly, I agree with the cause, and secondly, I think it will make a difference. I think that the second one is possible, and I’m convinced by the first. Perhaps you’re not, but let me see if I can persuade you with some of the reasons that I have for signing on the dotted line:

  • Women are not sexual objects. According to government statistics (which will almost certainly be less than real, due to probable high numbers of unreported crimes) around 400,000 women are sexual assaulted and 80,000 women are raped every year in the UK. That is an absolutely horrific statistic, and anything that encourages an environment where women are seen as objects to be acted upon, rather than willing partners, is deeply damaging. The fact that that could be coming from a national ‘family’ paper is appalling.
  • Little girls shouldn’t have to grow up in this kind of a society. I have three nieces – wonderful, bright, talented, sparkling, lovely girls. They live a privileged existence compared to the majority of other girls their age around the world because they get to go to school, because they have clothes and food and a roof over their heads, because when they grow up they can go to university, or get a job that they love, or travel the world, or stay at home, or marry someone they love, (or any of a combination of the above) because they won’t have to get married at 13, or sell themselves into prostitution at 14 to feed themselves or their family. My nieces are growing up in a First World country where they can be anything that they want to be, and yet The Sun says that they should want to be nothing more than a vacant, smiling, naked girl – an object to be leered at. They are more than that, and I want there to be more than that for them.
  • Boobs are not news. The Sun purports to be a newspaper. I would take issue with that on occasion, but mostly whether the stories they cover are worth reading is a matter of opinion. However, there is no way that they can claim that the naked breasts of the latest teen beauty to grace their pages is ‘news’. So, either they stop printing the naked pictures and call themselves a newspaper, or they keep the pictures, but re-name themselves as pornography. Simple.
  • Sex is supposed to be better than this. I don’t want a world without page 3 because I am a prude, or because I think sex is dirty, or bad, or shameful. I think sex was designed by a good and wonderful God as a good and wonderful gift for people to enjoy. Page 3 is not good or wonderful. It is millions of men leering at a strange (and young) girl’s breasts as they have a tea break, or make the morning commute.  The Page 3 girls aren’t nameless or faceless, but they may as well be. Sex as God designed it is for the love and pleasure of both partners. Page 3 is about meaningless, selfish gratification. Page 3 takes something beautiful and makes it ugly, and I don’t want anything to do with that.

Those are some of my reasons for signing the petition. If you have any other reasons to add I’d love to hear them, or if you disagree then I’d love to hear why, but mostly I’d just love it if you’d go and sign the petition. You can find it here.

In summary: petitioning.

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