I believe that Page 3 should be removed from The Sun or alternatively, that The Sun is treated as a top-shelf magazine. The Sun is without question a newspaper of world-class journalism; I don’t question this. My issue is with Page 3.
Page 3 was born of a different generation and now a new generation has bravely started a campaign against the feature. @NoMorePage3 which was founded by Lucy-Anne Holmes, has been campaigning hard since 2012 and has collected over 195,000 signatories on change.org to date. In addition, a number of people and organisations have supported the cause including Girlguiding UK, Unison, The Scottish Parliament and Mumsnet.
To compete with The Sun in the 1970s The Mirror (among other red-tops) used to feature topless girls, before removing the feature in the 1980s because it was considered demeaning. In fact, it was only until 2003 that models in The Sun had to be at least 18 years old! Page 3 was born of a different generation, for the simple purpose of selling newspapers through shock tactics. When Page 3 first launched it gained impressive circulation levels by, oddly enough, being banned from public places.
In No More Page 3’s own words:
When we show a passive, naked available woman in a family newspaper, what are we teaching young boys about how to respect women? What are we teaching little girls about where their value lies?
As a business The Sun has the right to continue Page 3 and the models have already made their choice. However, with two million copies of The Sun being sold each day it’s of no surprise that this newspaper is found on-shelf or disregarded in public places, often in the presence of children. Just in the same way that pornography is restricted, I believe restrictions should exist for The Sun newspaper carrying Page 3. Soft porn is not news and to say that Page 3 is just boobs misses the point entirely. It is reinforcing the sexualisation of women in public, especially as the rest of the journalism in The Sun is seeking to (mostly) be of service to the public.
I believe a serious debate is needed about the role of Page 3 in today’s society. Questioning the purpose behind the feature and if The Sun should be classed as a soft porn publication for as long as the feature exists. It’s interesting to note that when The Sun gave away 22,000,000 free copies of the paper last week, Page 3 was excluded. Perhaps Sun Editor, David Dinsmore, understands Page 3 may have become slightly controversial over the last couple of years?
I appreciate that in the world there are bigger things to worry about and my belief on this subject is not popular with most industry peers, especially those who enjoy PR coverage in The Sun. I’m standing up for change though.
I love boobs. I enjoy reading The Sun. I do not enjoy or agree with Page 3.