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

Part Time Primary Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Part Time Primary TeacherOur...

Science Technician

£7 - £8 per hour: Randstad Education Cheshire: The Job:School Science Technici...

School Administrator

£50 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Long term SIMS School Administr...

Nursery assistants required across Cambridgeshire

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Nursery assistants re...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Ballots arrive to be counted at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre during the Scottish referendum in Aberdeen  

Scottish referendum: The pain that was inflicted on family and friends by David Cameron’s narrow politics

Andrea Calderwood
 

Scottish referendum: The people of my country have brought a catastrophe upon themselves by voting No

Simon Brooke
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week