Viv Groskop: Page 3 is a fossil from a bygone era

Mohan says it's a 'matter of taste'. Come on, love, what are you complaining about?

Share
Related Topics

It's maybe the most imaginative defence of Page 3 in history. Appearing at the Leveson Inquiry this week, for the second time, Dominic Mohan, the editor of The Sun, argued that Page 3 "promotes natural beauty" and is beneficial because the women are "good role models" because they're "healthy." This truly is creative genius. It is the most entertaining argument in favour of Page 3 ever. Mohan is suggesting that he is doing the world a favour and, if anything, the world should jolly well be more grateful. Hey! What is wrong with you people that you don't realise the service we're performing here?

Women, in particular, it is implied, should have a bit more appreciation for The Sun's sterling efforts. Come on, ladies, what are you complaining about? We're just celebrating how great you look with your clothes off! And look how healthy our specimens are! They're not anorexic like in all your fashion magazines! They're what a real woman should look like! Phwooar! (Does anyone still say "Phwooar!"? I hope so.)

Mohan goes on to say that Page 3 is "a matter of taste" and "worth looking at in the context of the wider range of women's issues that we cover". Just when you thought he couldn't get any more imaginative, there's another laughable idea here. Page 3, it turns out, comes under the remit of "stuff to do with women". Come on, love, we've included one of your lot in the mix, haven't we? Look, there's a picture of one of you!

It's easy to mock Mohan's comments. But they're also a fascinating insight into a dying world. Page 3 should have been dumped 20 years ago. The only reason it has limped on is because Rebekah Brooks wanted to make a statement about not being soft as a woman editor.

Personally, I always found the captions more insulting than the pictures. Some clever dick gets to make up a quote which basically pokes fun of the supposedly-empowered-because-soon-she-will-be-as-rich-as-that-Jordan topless model.

That tradition is still going. In yesterday's Sun, Danni, 25, from Coventry was quoting Winston Churchill's philosophical statement on the animal kingdom: "Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals." How apt.

Nowadays, whether you love it or hate it, Page 3 just looks dated. There's something almost nostalgic about the fact that The Sun is still wheeling out these desperate not-even-logical-anyway arguments in defence of the indefensible. A newspaper should contain news. Not breasts.

In any case, The Sun's problem is no longer feminism. It's the 30p cover price. Why pay when you can come by naked ladies for free online? (Wording intentional.)

In the YouTube age of "Two Girls, One Cup" – warning: please don't Google it – Page 3 has only one place left to go. Tits up.

React Now

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

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This publishing company based i...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Rohingya migrants in a boat adrift in the Andaman Sea last week  

Burma will regret shutting its eyes to the fate of the Rohingya boat people

Peter Popham
New BBC series Britain's Hardest Grafter seems to be tapping into the 'poverty porn' trend started by C4's Benefits Street  

'Benefits Street' meets 'The Hunger Games' is a new low for the BBC

Alice Jones
Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor