The Page 3 debate continues - and I'm not done yet

If The Sun wants to be outraged at people disrespecting their Page 3 girls, it would be a good idea for them to have a word with some fans

Share

I’m going to write an article about The Sun newspaper.

I’m going to try to keep it upbeat.

I’m also going to try to refrain from banging my head upon my keypad whilst whimpering the word, ‘help.’

Wish me luck.

It’s all been going off a bit of late. Rupert Murdoch tweeted that he’s thinking of dropping the Page 3 topless pictures.

Responding to a Twitter user who described Page 3 as "so last century", Murdoch tweeted:

"page three so last century! You maybe right, don't know but considering. Perhaps halfway house with glamorous fashionistas."

Things have been busy for us at No More Page 3. I’ve even been on Mexican telly. Global. Blimey.

And then The Sun decided to drop Page 3 last Friday. It dropped Page 3 and instead showed a huge picture of Reeva Steenkamp in a bikini, on the front cover. She had been killed in horrific circumstances less than 24 hours before. Personally, when I saw the cover, it made me feel sick, a tight retching feeling in the throat, and the realisation that ‘yes, even in death, a woman is just tits and arse and newspaper sales’. It was tweeted to us repeatedly throughout the day, the responses ranging from rage, to the sad ‘I actually don’t know what to say.’ A petition was set up appealing to The Sun for an apology to her family.

Marina Hyde wrote an article about this. She’d been employed by The Sun. She knew how it worked.

"I remember a man from the circulation department giving a presentation to editorial staff on how to maximise sales. ..and if you wanted to ensure the regular, bread-and-butter circulation boosts on which the paper relied, a female celebrity in a bikini was what was needed."

I read the article and thought it was a brilliant. I felt that Marina was experiencing the frustrated passion and outrage that myself and so many other people were feeling that day - it was shared over 8,000 times on Facebook alone. She used this anger and her characteristic sarcasm to write an extremely powerful article.

But then I saw that managing editor of The Sun, Richard Caseby, had written a response to this article.

And now I need that deep breath and the zen pill, and to repeat the mantra ‘keep it upbeat, Lucy.’

He was demanding an apology from The Guardian because Marina Hyde apparently called Page 3 girls ‘downmarket scrubbers’. Now, I, and everyone else I knew who read the article, recognised that she was blatantly employing irony, something she’s widely known for, when she used those words. There was only one complaint made about the article, and it was from, you guessed it, the managing editor of The Sun. Marina Hyde was mocking Murdoch and his ‘glamourous fashionistas’ comment by saying that what he wanted ‘a better class of tit.’ Roy Greenslade put it well:

"Entirely missing the point that Hyde was mocking Murdoch's class condescension, Caseby denounced her for it."

So, The Sun is outraged that The Guardian disrespected Page 3 girls.

God, I really want to do some head banging. Because if The Sun wants to be outraged at people disrespecting their Page 3 girls, it would be a good idea for them to have a word with some Page 3 supporters. I’ve been working on the No More Page 3 campaign for six months now, and I have been shocked at the lack of respect these women receive from the pro Page 3-ers.

One of the lowest moments of the campaign for me was reading this.

"If some dumb slut wants to make money by degrading herself, who cares? It’s not The Sun’s fault that so many low self-esteem women have to get topless to deal with the fact their uncle touched them up as a child…"

That one made me cry, so did the teenager who told me, "if a woman wants to do that and voluntarily risk sexual assault, it’s up to her."

Former Page 3 girl Alex Sim-Wise is not a fan of the campaign, but she writes brilliantly and is very open about the experience of glamour modelling. ‘You’d get a message from a fan and they’d be like "Oh, you’re amazing, I want to wank over you." But if you turn around and say anything negative, they’ll be like, "You’re a bitch, you’re a whore, you only got what you have because you got your tits out."

The lack of respect that some people have for the models has been one of the most surprising and saddening parts of the campaign for me.

Last week a petition to keep Page 3 appeared, possibly because there was no Page 3 girl for one day. When I looked at it I saw someone had put 'wanking material' as a reason for signing. Then I noticed the name of a convicted sex offender under another comment.

Oh, I really wanted to keep this upbeat. But it’s difficult sometimes trying to be chipper, when you really believe that the largest female image in the paper shouldn’t be of a young woman in her pants. 

So, I think I’ll save my little rant about the way News International disrespects the Page 3 models, their readers and the gobsmacking argument they keep peddling out about class for now. And my big rant about how The Sun is in an incredible position to do something amazing here, by changing things for women in this country, and presenting them in an equal, non-objectified way.

That would just be too much ranting in one article.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Read Next
'Our media are suffering a new experience: not fear of being called anti-Semitic'  

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk
David Cameron (pictured) can't steal back my party's vote that easily, says Nigel Farage  

Cameron’s benefits pledge is designed to lure back Ukip voters. He’ll have to try harder

Nigel Farage
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices