Page 3's demise should be celebrated, but it doesn't mean that we're not still stuck in the past

Now The Sun has dragged itself into the 21st Century, we need to use our momentum to bring change elsewhere

Caroline Lucas
Tuesday 20 January 2015 17:50 GMT
The author protests Page 3 during a Commons debate
The author protests Page 3 during a Commons debate

Today is a good day.

Campaigners against page three have led an inspirational movement and shown that, with the right public and political pressure, reform happens.

And credit also where else it’s due. He may have lagged behind, but it’s good to see Mr Murdoch catching up with the rest of the 21st century, having acknowledged the page was getting a touch "old fashioned".

However, as David Baddiel quipped on Twitter today:

“Vey well done @NoMorePage3. Looking forward to @NoMoreWomenOnlyShownOnThatPageInBikinisorLingerie. #MightBeBitLongForCampaignTitle”

So long as The Sun reserves its right to print the odd topless shot, and reserve its infamous page for girls clad in bikinis, the conversation isn’t over.

Gender discrimination stalks women throughout their lives; at school, in the media and our workplaces (where we're still battling for equal pay). Women have been belittled and served up as sex objects throughout the media for many years. It’s time to turn that page.

Some people dubbed this a campaign for censorship. It’s not. It’s about what is appropriate, and where. These are images which would be restricted from broadcast media before the 9pm watershed — yet have appeared for decades in national newspapers, without age-restrictions, displayed at a child’s eye level. The bottom line is this: newspapers should be about news.

A great many people deem it all a bit of harmless fun. Is it really, though? Both UN and Government reports repeatedly link the portrayal of women as sexual objects with attitudes underpinning violence and discrimination against women and girls. It’s time to remove our blinkers.

So yes, today’s a good day. This is an important step forward, a victory for progressive values — and it’s right to celebrate.

But it isn’t the end of the story.

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