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Why can't we just ban page three?

(327 Posts)
Dragontamer Tue 07-Feb-12 20:04:17

Brilliant points raised by Clare Short in The Independent. To summarise:
You would think that the relentless sexism in the media would come up against 'media ethics'. However, Lord Leveson says that this topic goes beyond his remit. It is not ok to have lewd pictures of women on the office wall or before the watershed, why then are these images allowed in a widely circulated, national newspaper?

Having just had a daughter, I am anxious about what messages she will receive from this type of constant negative bombardment about women's bodies.

When Short has attempted to challenge this she has been bombarded by the snide remarks about her own body and criticised as being 'jealous'.

So, could this be a new campaign for mumsnet? Let me know your thoughts...

JohnnyB123 Tue 13-Oct-15 16:43:34

Here's another resurrection as we're again approaching Halloween. I love the fact that the presenter of the debate in this clip expected Germaine Greer to agree with Harriet Harman - but she didn't!

GoldieMumbles Sun 10-Nov-13 19:00:39

Oooh, a Zombie thread. A quick resurrection is in order as we're just past Hallowe'en. I've ploughed through all of this thread and I've read again and again that there is no male equivalent to Page 3.

Actually that's wrong. I worked in a newsagent as a summer job in the early 1990s. I'd have been about 15 or so, I suppose. Maybe a little older. I distinctly remember at that time that The Sun also had a daily 'Page 7 Fella'. I haven't picked a copy up in 20 years so had no idea that there no longer is one. But it doesn't surprise me. We just don't go in for that sort of thing in the same way as men. So I guess it was tried and it failed.

As for my opinion? It didn't bother me then. It doesn't bother me now. I did used to blush when a certain handsome chap used to buy his copy of Mayfair, though.

foodmoneywirk Thu 22-Aug-13 20:44:58


emcwill74 Mon 24-Dec-12 22:58:17

It would be wrong to suggest there are no 'sexually seductive' images of men and I doubt anybody has. However, how often does the Daily Mail relentlessly focus on men's weight? Or are men in tabloid articles introduced as 'pretty blonde' or 'curvaceous brunette'? How often is a man told that the political opinion he holds is because he is fat/ugly/gay/jealous/insecure? To suggest we object to page 3 because we want men and women to stop fancying each other is pathetic. What I am sick to death of is my gender, one-sidedly, being presented as an object for men to wank over in a publication that is sold next to newspapers. And then this somehow used as proof, if I object, that I am jealous minger. Those people who look at women in the street to decide if they fancy them still will, but at least it isn't being drilled into the masses' brains that the admiration of random strange men is our primary objective and we welcome vocal judgement on our tits/face/size whenever those men feel the urge. Your reply suggests you haven't read a word of my earlier post, so again: read the Everyday Sexism blog and see the culture that page 3 feeds in to.

mrnobody808 Mon 24-Dec-12 18:19:09

I have known woman, in my 40 years, who enjoy looking at the naked female and male form, in anything from classical art work to Page 3 to hardcore pornography. I also known women who have absolutely no issues about posting photographs of themselves on social media wearing their bikinis or in front of a mirror with a new dress that enhances their bodies, and i have also known women too whom Page 3 is a complete irrelevance and has zero impact on their life. To imagine for one minute that all women and feminist think the same way as the women and feminist who would have Page 3 banned, is wrong and misrepresents the views of many.

It is also wrong to suggest that there is no sexually seductive imagery of men featured in newspapers, magazines, TV show, and adverts. One which springs to mind immediately is the image of Daniel Craig walking out the ocean with his swimming trunk on, in an image taken from one of his Bond movies.

Whether we like it or not, sex is part of what it is to be a human being. Men look at women, women look at men. Its a natural part of life. It doesn't matter if you are a glamour model, police officer, a secretary in an office, a politician, a mechanic or even just a person walking down the street. People will look at you and in their mind, make a decision as to whether they find you attractive or not and that is not sexism. That is just being a normal human being and banning Page 3 won't change that, one little bit.

emcwill74 Sat 22-Dec-12 16:07:03

It isn't OK because (as has been said again and again and again, as you must know since you resurrected another page 3 thread to ask why we were still 'banging on' [!] and that you had said it all before - yet still feel the need to come here and say it all again, apparently) page 3 is part of a culture that presents women as visual entertainment for men. The page 3 girl appears in a publication that shows men representing the government, clothed; playing professional sport, clothed; generally going around doing newsworthy things, clothed; meanwhile the largest pic of a woman in the paper (even after one won a gold medal at the Olympics) is one with her tits out for the lads and words put in her mouth to suggest she's a brainless bimbo. Meanwhile in daily life women are routinely judged on their looks in a way men never are. Read the Everyday Sexism blog or look at @EverydaySexism on twitter if you want to see what this culture looks like from a woman's point of view.

But of course you won't, or will insist there is no link.

Meanwhile you are no doubt reading this thinking I'm a fat, ugly, hairy, lesbian minger who can't get a real man, hates sex, and is jealous of pretty women's bigger tits.

And THAT is why it is wrong.

Frans1980 Sat 22-Dec-12 15:25:00

So why isn't it ok? Because you find it morally wrong? And that's reason to ban something?

emcwill74 Sat 22-Dec-12 12:19:32

A pic of a woman BFing is not porn and if the Sun wanted to put that on page 3 I for one would have no problem with it. Can't see that happening somehow.

It's been repeated ad nauseum that objection is based on sexism not prudery but you can't be bothered to see that and so take the usual line of attack. It's lazy and just an attempt to shut people up in order to keep a status quo that many people are deeply unhappy about. And if most people don't care then they wouldn't miss it.

As for the bigger problems to worry about: again, it has been said over and over that it is perfectly possible to care about lots of things. But easiest for you to trot out trite, meaningless, lazy clichés.

Finally even if page 3 doesn't cause rape that doesn't make it ok. Lots of things might not cause rape but are not ok. Racism may not cause rape but we don't devote a page of a daily newspaper to promoting it.

Frans1980 Sat 22-Dec-12 04:37:43

"Why is it that a man can take his shirt off and no one bats an eyelid, but when a woman takes her top off, she is immediately labelled as intellectually and morally retarded and requires a third party to protect her?"

Exactly. IMO prudishness isn't the way forward for society. For example countries in mainland Europe are more open and less prudish- they have topless beaches, sex shops and brothels all over the place yet they don't have the same problem with teenage pregnancy as the UK does and their rape stats aren't any higher.

The USA is even more prudish than the UK (they would never allow uncensored bare boobs in a newspaper) and they don't exactly have low rape stats to boast about.

Frans1980 Sat 22-Dec-12 04:33:21

whoops those were comments from the first page I was replying to and not the most recent comments.

Frans1980 Sat 22-Dec-12 04:32:22

"The argument that the majority want it is just bull puckey in my very humble opinion."

IMHO the majority of the population don't "want it" the majority of the population don't care and have bigger problems to worry about.

"Exposing children to porn is recognised as a form of child abuse."

What about public breastfeeding should that be banned too if female nipples are so bad?

reTardis Wed 19-Dec-12 15:29:48

Blatant sexism.

emcwill74 Fri 14-Dec-12 15:32:09

To take your first point, the main point of difference, fairly obviously I would have thought, is that women have external genitalia on their chest, men do not. Whether that makes any objective sense is a slightly separate debate but suffice to say if I decided to walk down the street with my nips out it wouldn't be seen as acceptable, I'm not sure it's even totally legal? Even if you say you would have no issue with women walking about topless and not bat an eyelid you only have to listen to people who tell you how disgusting it is seeing women BFing in public to accept that there IS a difference in perception!

That aside, the other difference is that society contains a certain amount of structural sexism, which is dictated by and supports male privilege. Men have not had to fight to have their own bank accounts when married, to work outside the home, to be able to vote, to be taken seriously as just 'people'. Women meanwhile, are still represented daily in a national newspaper as the sum of their bodies, as a bit of harmless fun for male titillation, whilst a sub ed puts words in their mouths that they didn't say to back up the day's editorial stance. (We don't want to know what you actually think love, just get your tits out and smile to cheer the men of the country up.) Whilst page 3 may not be totally responsible in itself for rape and DV and women being sexually and verbally harassed, it contributes to a culture that presents women as sexual objects who want nothing more than to be admired by men. When the model on page 3 stands there smiling asking for men's approval of her tits (are they nice enough for you sir?) it's hardly surprising that the man shouting 'nice tits' at the woman over the road thinks he's handing out a nice compliment. So what if I shouted 'nice pecs' at some bloke I see over the road? Would that be the same? Of course not!

As to the victim thing: I think you have misunderstood the problem that people like me have with this culture. I don't take issue because I am worried for the poor models. Admittedly I don't like the fact that they are having the piss taken out of them in News in Briefs, but I totally accept they have chosen to do that. However, what does get me is that by extension the Sun is having a massive piss-take about the whole of the female population. I haven't chosen to model for page 3 and I don't want to be reduced to a pair of tits for men's entertainment, with the 2 scenarios that if I get them out I'm thick and if I don't I'm fat and ugly and prudish.

Finally, your comparison between Miss World and Mr Universe is not like with like. Miss World is/was (does it still exist??!!) a 'beauty' competition; Mr Universe is a body building sport event. I'm not remotely into body building so won't pretend to know anything about it but when those men take their clothes off to reveal their bodies it's not like some male models being voted on who is best looking - they have engineered a very specific physique using weights in combination with diet to, as you say, achieve muscle mass. Given women practise body building too (is it actually called that, I have no idea!) I assume there must be a comparable competition. But that is not Miss World. There is no male equivalent to that, just as there isn't with page 3. Because we have male privilege and structural sexism.

And for the record, I don't think a woman taking her top off makes her intellectually retarded, but the Sun would have you believe that. Why else make a joke out of attributing some words about Cicero or the large hadron collider to her? I don't think it makes her 'morally retarded' particularly either, but I still regret her choice to do so for reasons I've already stated.

Gigabot9k Sat 08-Dec-12 10:03:28

Why is it that a man can take his shirt off and no one bats an eyelid, but when a woman takes her top off, she is immediately labelled as intellectually and morally retarded and requires a third party to protect her?

I would find it deeply offensive if I chose to do Page 3 and then someone claimed I was somehow incapable of being responsible for my own decision.

I understand the whole argument about sexualisation of the female body, but that sexualisation only persists because women allow it to be seen as such.

For example. Miss World shows beautiful women who train and work hard to achieve their look but are dismissed as victims. Men on the other hand, can work equally hard to achieve muscle mass in Mr Universe, and they are applauded for their hard work.

Why the double standards?

How can women ever hope to be treated as equals if other women routinely treat them as victims or children?

StephanieDA Tue 27-Nov-12 09:56:45

Check out this petition, share on Facebook and Twitter and let's give ourselves a voice!!/NoMorePage3

I also wrote a blog as a mother, you can find it here:

Frans1980 Mon 26-Nov-12 01:58:20

Anyway Nick Clegg at least doesn't support the "let's ban" campaign.

Frans1980 Mon 26-Nov-12 01:57:32

"A flaccid penis isn't banned but I can't see those anywhere in the Sun."

We don't see genitilia of either sex- penises or vaginas. What's your point?

Leithlurker Sat 24-Nov-12 19:27:43

Notgood: Bans are very rarely the single route to achieving anything. Why would those who would ban it not do other actions like organising a "boycotte the same as was put in place against south Africa and isreal?

Hardwood Thu 22-Nov-12 18:59:56

Well said, mrnobody808 - I've posted in a similar vain (page 13 currently 22/11/12)

NotGoodNotBad Thu 22-Nov-12 18:48:24

"you cannot deny OTHER people's rights, which doesn't just include those directly connected with the infrastructure supporting page 3 itself, but all those people who do choose to buy and enjoy looking at the girls."

Sigh. I'm starting to lose the will to live.

Hardwood Thu 22-Nov-12 18:45:04

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

PosieParker Mon 23-Jul-12 21:22:17

ES it's not taken seriously at's still here. People think it's harmless fun, especially in comparison to other media,

Slainte Mon 23-Jul-12 21:21:22

It was only recently I realised that page 3 still existed. I couldnt believe it, I thought it would've been banned decades ago!

EclecticShock Mon 23-Jul-12 21:17:04

If it wasn't taken seriously, there wouldn't be so many posts. I take banning things very seriously from a feminist and wider human rights perspective

PosieParker Mon 23-Jul-12 21:16:05

As a country we're so messed up regarding breasts, I bet the same twits that purchase the Sun moan about women 'whipping them out for their baby."

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