Why ban page 3?

(583 Posts)
jackburton Tue 12-Feb-13 20:44:18

Hi, this is my first post, please be gentle smile . I'm looking for some thoughtful discussion on page 3 and the objectification of women, my wife suggested posting here. Any recommendations for good articles or feedback would be great.

My main issue with a lot of the traditional discussion on this issue is that there seems to be an implicit assumption of passivity and conformity in women that I can't really relate to as a man (or feel is present in many of the women in my life). I don't particularly worry about my son seeing body building or gay lifestyle magazines or other fetishised representations of men because I see them as part of a range of different types of lifestyle that he could adopt. I would think it quite alien that the occasional image of men in this way would significantly affect me (or him). In contrast, advertising and lifestyle magazines aimed at women seem to impose a very disturbing level of conformity and one that I feel would not be acceptable to most men. Frankly a lot of female targeted products seem to objectify (in the sense of judging purely by appearance) and be misogynist (in the sense of appearing to gain pleasure from and dwelling on the humiliation of women, particularly if their superficial appearance is non-conformist). In contrast most pornographic products aimed at men include a great diversity of female personality types, some are passive but many are not, Jordan being a classic example. They aren't treated as objects in the sense that their desire is critical to their appeal, sex dolls are relatively undesirable. While there is certainly some pornography and lifestyle discussions that appear to encourage pleasure in the suffering of women I feel this is in the minority with most magazines presenting their female models as stars who are the centre of attention and whose happiness and desire is an important part of their appeal.

My initial feelings about the campaign against page 3 is that these images are being judged assuming they were present in the kind of magazine targeted at women i.e. they are a conforming image and that they would lead to humiliation of those that didn't conform. I think the majority of male culture is not oppressive in that way. Personally I find mainstream female culture to be much more of a problem for women's liberation than these products. What am I missing?

johanna55 Sun 10-Nov-13 21:39:50

I asked my sisters what they thought of page 3, their reply was they forgot it existed. I then asked if they thought it should be banned and they replied they didn't care and there are bigger things to worry about

gedhession Sun 10-Nov-13 16:15:55

Did anybody see the Daily Politics today? Did you see that feature on Page 3 where they went to Bedford (where Lacey Banghard, the CBB contestant, happens to come from) to ask for peoples opinions. Most people seem to be marginally in favour and even the women had a broad range of opinions. Andrew Neil then spoke to Harriet Harman but I was too bored to take any notice.

FloraFox Sun 15-Sep-13 16:51:28

Ged what you have described is not a parliamentary democracy. Politicians set out their political views and principles and sometimes details of some policies and they are elected to make laws that reflect those political views. We don't have referenda on every law. That would be ridiculous but it would be less ridiculous and more representative that your notion that you should somehow consider the opinions of "a person who gambles" on a law about gambling? Which one? All of them? Any even then, no. The viewpoint of the person who gambles is not more valuable or worth considering than the views of everyone else in society and does not override political analysis.

The development of government consultations is relatively recent in the UK but their scope, process and purpose are still quite limited. Government and parliament are responsible for drawing conclusions from consultations and making their decisions. They don't have to listen to every tom, dick and harry who shows up any time to talk about any old thing.

CaptChaos Sun 15-Sep-13 16:39:43

ged because I'm not the one suggesting that it's all wonderful and they have fabulous lives... that was you, so prove it.

You make assertion after assertion and then when someone calls you on it, you either ignore them (as you have with almost every single question you've been asked) or dissemble and suggest that you never said it. For someone who hasn't looked at it for years and doesn't look at lads mags, you do seem to be incredibly invested in their continuance.

Sad about Leslie Grantham and all, but as he NEVER TOOK HIS CLOTHES OFF ON PAGE 3, I fail to see the relevance.

This isn't a blog, btw, it's a forum. This is the Feminist section of that forum.

Not sure why I'm responding to you again, so, as I said before, I'm out.

I'd just like to thank you though for helping to absolutely crystallise for me why page 3 should be banned.

While the intelligent posts made by women, who's opinions I value, have served to enlighten me as to the intellectual reasons behind it, the 'toddler-tantrum-stamping-feet' attitude of some posters towards men not being able to ogle semi-naked young women in a daily newspaper has shown me exactly how much male privilege is involved in keeping page 3 there.

gedhession Sun 15-Sep-13 16:19:37

Well Flora , in our society our politicians are democratically elected. If they are going to create a law to affects what somebody can and cannot do surely they must take all opinions into consideration first? If you wanted gambling banned should the opinions of a person who gambles be considered? Maybe politics in even the best democracies can't work like that.
Capt , why don't you try to find the answer to your question? People do all sorts of things, yes, do Page 3, become actors, pop stars , sports star. That doesn't determine how their lives pan out. The popular press is full of people who were once popular and famous but now have to endure personal and financial hardships. The other week I saw that Leslie Grantham, villan of Eastenders, is now broke.
Some of these ex-Page 3 girls actually post pics from their modelling days on their Facebook pages, so I guess they look back on those days with fondness. Others would not talk about those days at all.
I must confess I haven't looked at Page 3 for about 10 years and NEVER read Lads' Mags. I belong to forum that dwells upon the glamour models of the past.
I came to this blog to challenge to idea of objectification. I'm starting to feel that I've said enough.

FloraFox Sun 15-Sep-13 15:21:19

Why should Clare Short be criticised for refusing to see some random campaign group? What novel information or viewpoint does this group have that is essential to be heard by Clare Short? Do you apply the same standard to all politicians on all issues?

So you are now saying Page 3 is bad but the real problem is the campaign?

<awaits arrival of Ged's target "friend">

CaptChaos Sun 15-Sep-13 15:05:36

No More Page 3 does not lack focus ged your rambling posts lack it, but the campaign doesn't.

Apart from glamour models from the 80's that you stalk on Facebook do you have ANY facts, figures, evidence of any kind that having your picture on Page 3 of the Sun has in any way enriched the women's lives in the years after the letters and z list celebrity? Not a radio programme, which is anecdotal, but evidence.

The issue of whether you believe Clare Short to be unpleasant or heading for sainthood is, as emc rightly said, irrelevant at best and a red herring derail at worst.

What was acceptable during the 80's is not always acceptable in the 21st century. It was perfectly legal for a man to rape his wife in the 80's, it isn't now. It was an accepted part of The Sun that they would have a picture of a young girl with her breasts out on page 3 during the 80's, along with hacking phones, underhanded journalistic behaviour and various other things, the only one of those things that still continues is that Page 3 still exists.

The more charitable side of me wonders if this is because The Sun feels it needs to provide morning titillation to it's male, heterosexual readers as some kind of public service, the more realistic side of me realises that it continues because objectifying women of all ages, but young girls in particular, is so ingrained into our society that it's less of an effort to actually fill that space with what passes for news in The Sun, than it is to pay a young woman a few quid to take her t-shirt off and come up with some ridiculous paragraph to 'explain' why she's there.

emcwill74 Sun 15-Sep-13 14:38:14

It's good to hear that you don't support the vile way Short was treated. However, if you have no evidence that she used that term about page 3 girls then I'm afraid I object to your using the phrase, albeit facetiously, on the grounds that you find her objectionable enough that she might have done so! It is, as Beachcomber says, mysogynistic, and, as I have said, symptomatic of what is wrong with page 3. I regret the choice the models have made to appear on page 3, and perhaps some (note I say 'SOME') of them have made that choice through being failed by education and hence finding it a rewarding career path in a world with limited options, but that does not mean I think them brainless, and the word 'bimbo' is deeply insulting.

It's interesting you say the campaign lacks focus. What would you suggest? (And I ask sincerely, not facetiously!) I suspect that none of the campaigners think glamour modelling is OK, but accept that women have a free choice to do that. What the No More Page 3 campaign is asking for is not that glamour modelling is outlawed (of course many feminists would prefer that), but simply that it is reserved for top shelf publications etc, rather than normalised in a daily paper. I don't see that as a lack of focus, such as a pragmatic and more realistic approach.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 15-Sep-13 14:24:21

I'd send Object a message of support too, ged.

Just to ask - you are aware you're on a feminist board are you?

gedhession Sun 15-Sep-13 14:09:22

Well emcwill74 , I guess you've summed up my attitude of Clare Short , an unpleasant politician refusing to engage , rather well. She also once encountered the then editor of Penthouse, Isabel Koproski. I don't believe Clare Short ever said "brainless bimbos" but, who knows, she seems capable of such arrogance and contempt. That said, I do not give countenance to the way she was treated in Parliament. Remember , she tried to ban Page 3 against the backdrop of a general concern about sex and violence in the media. I bet those MPs who laughed at her were quite happy to pontificate about sex and violence on the TV and "video nasties". Hypocricy? I never liked politicians. Sabrina , I know I sound like I live in the 80s but what No More Page 3 is arguing is more or less what Clare Short was saying during the 80s. Clare Short even gave Object.com a message of support. The only problem I have with No More Page 3 is it lacks focus. Page 3 is bad but glamour modelling isn't? What's this all about? I got that feeling listening to that soundfile is posted.

emcwill74 Sun 15-Sep-13 13:14:04

<nods head emphatically>

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 15-Sep-13 13:00:24

I agree emc. Clare Short would be one of the women being given rape threats/death threats/twitter abuse nowadays - for just having the damn nerve to campaign for women's rights.

emcwill74 Sun 15-Sep-13 12:19:25

BTW - I have tried googling to find if Short actually used the term 'brainless bimbos', as you imply, and have drawn a blank. Perhaps you can set me right to explain your comment.

emcwill74 Sun 15-Sep-13 12:18:09

To be brutally honest Ged, having not met Short, we are probably both viewing her through the prism of our views on the wider topic under discussion. You see her an unpleasant politician refusing to engage; whereas having read what she has written about that time, I see her as a genuinely compassionate woman trying to make life better for women generally, and consequently being bullied, intimidated and ridiculed by male politicians and the tabloid press. Neither of these views is actually very meaningful to the issue at hand!

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 15-Sep-13 11:48:24

I do think it's very telling when someone uses a term like 'brainless bimbos' and then claims he was being facetious. In what way is your character assassination of Clare Short relevant to the current No More Page 3? I think you're still living in the 80's grin

gedhession Sun 15-Sep-13 11:17:59

I was being facetious about Clare Short. I found the article where she refused to speak to Feminist Against Censorship. She does come across as a person who considers some people as not good enough for her to talk to. Like Caroline Lucas, she could have invited them to Parliament and spoke to them there. I do have Facebook friends who were Page 3 girls during the 1980s. One of them , Jenny Blyth, I recall seeing in a documentary about Page 3 and I recall her enjoying all the letters she got from admirers. I have mentioned this to her a few times myself. I have mentioned this blog to her but as yet she has not replied to my post.

Beachcomber Sun 15-Sep-13 09:13:05

BuffytheReasonableFeminist thanks for the article on objectification theory. Had bookmarked it and am now taking the time to read it - looks really interesting. Thanks!

emcwill74 Sun 15-Sep-13 08:54:01

Capt asked you for experiences of 'girls' who were doing page 3 10+ years ago though, obviously current models aren't going to be negative about it or they wouldn't be doing it! Even recent glamour model Alex Wise (who doesn't support the campaign) has nothing good to say of her experiences of glamour modelling.

So when you used the term 'brainless bimbos' facetiously, was this because you think this is what we think of page 3 girls? Only we don't. Careful Ged, Lib will be after you for making 'massive assumptions' about what other people are thinking.

Beachcomber Sun 15-Sep-13 08:48:15

The term 'brainless bimbo' is horribly misogynistic - why use it all?

gedhession Sun 15-Sep-13 08:41:53

I have found those two sound files of the radio discussions of that glamour model , Laura Lacole, that I keep quoting . She is actually with Sarah Anderson of No More Page 3.

soundcloud.com/laura-lacole/lbbcradioulster-eveningextra-lauralacole

soundcloud.com/laura-lacole/bbc-stephen-nolan-show-remove

I used the term "brainless bimbo" facetiously. Laura doesn't sound like a brainless bimbo. What do you make of her?

CaptChaos Sat 14-Sep-13 18:04:30

ged 'brainless bimbos'?

There's a great chunk of privilege showing there, you might want to sit down and have a think about that. I very much get the impression, ged, that the only reason you have come onto this thread is to put the point across that you would be sad if you couldn't get your morning rocks off to a semi-naked 'brainless bimbo' (your words, NOT mine, or any other feminist's). This you have done admirably, we have all completely taken that point on board.

As you're so certain that the girls who are pictured on page 3 are happy to be objectified, perhaps you could show me where your proof comes from. For example, from women who were pictured 10, 15, 20, 25 years ago, how they feel about it now, whether it has enriched their lives in any way? We have heard that it doesn't financially enrich them, so in what way does it make their lives demonstrably better?

emcwill74 Sat 14-Sep-13 17:56:15

It's endlessly revealing that very often those opposing campaigns like the NMP3 one, demonstrate the problems caused by a society that objectifies women in the way Page 3 does. Again and again anti-page 3 campaigners are told they are ugly or jealous - insults that go straight to their appearance, because the message of page 3 is that appearance, and whether this is appreciated by men, is the most important thing about a women. Where do men get told they only hold an opinion because they are ugly?

Similarly, people assume that glamour models are brainless bimbos because it dichotomises women as clever but ugly or pretty but brainless. News in Briefs did this par excellence.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 14-Sep-13 17:37:20

No feminist would ever call page 3 models 'brainless bimbos' - as Lucy Holmes points out, the reasons for entering glamour modelling are complex and varied.

I think you're showing your subconscious feelings a bit there, ged wink

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 14-Sep-13 17:33:51

Lucy Holmes is running the current campaign - she's not a politician.

emcwill74 Sat 14-Sep-13 17:31:59

Who are you quoting with 'brainless bimbos'? Not me! And clearly sending a busload of them was meant to intimidate and silence. At the time Short lived with her aged mother who found the experience frightening. I have no idea what actually happened but do you think the models all stood there quietly, one of them knocking politely on Short's door asking if she might have a word? Or were they send with reporters and cameras in full blaze of a publicity stunt? I too would find that intrusive and intimidating! This is how we operate democratic discourse in this country is it?!

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