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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?

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Sun 24-Feb-13 22:35:58

<passes kim wine>

Doesmybumlookbiginthiss Sun 24-Feb-13 22:37:26

Right...goodnight all...thanks for the debate...I enjoyed it! :-)

kim147 Sun 24-Feb-13 22:38:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Sun 24-Feb-13 22:40:51


AmandaPayne Sun 24-Feb-13 22:41:39


FloraFox Sun 24-Feb-13 22:47:42

It wasn't a debate. You were just spouting nonsense then changing your position when called on.

gedhession Tue 20-Aug-13 23:01:08

I recall well the time Samantha Fox was immensely popular. In fact I do recall many Page 3 girls, Linda Lusardi, Maria Whittaker, Jo Guest, Katie Price, Melinda Messenger and Keeley Hazell being very popular as Page 3 girls and go on to become popular media personalities. I find it interesting that Clare Short tried to ban Page 3 at the time Samantha Fox was at the height of her popularity. Of course, just because something is popular is not a defense to some...

libertarianj Tue 20-Aug-13 23:15:05

So who was your favourite page 3 girl then ged? seeing as you like bumping these old page 3 threads.

Portofino Tue 20-Aug-13 23:33:24

Katie Proce and her life "looks attainable to many girls. I wonder what other, vaguely credible, role models exist for working class girls?" What happened to getting an education and getting a Job? I might have wanted to be Madonna in 1983, but I never foresaw me, 25 years on.

Boosterseat Wed 21-Aug-13 09:03:30

There are lots of bizarre things that are "popular" at the moment, slut shaming, DV, EA etc shall i go on?

Of course, if its happening regularly and its "popular" then of course it should be defended.

<rolls eyes>

gedhession Fri 23-Aug-13 23:40:01

Of course, I was a huge fan of Samantha Fox and thinking back to the 1980s recall how popular she was. You could not open ANY newspaper or magazine without seeing her and she was on all the TV chat shows. The media also implied her popularity with children, as her appearances in Smash Hits and J17 suggested. If you have an issue with me slamming Page 3 threads that's fine but I can't help but notice that Mumsnet has a proliferation of these threads and I feel obliged to give my view.

NiceTabard Sat 24-Aug-13 00:01:43

Sam Fox started on page 3 aged 16. That in and of itself is just grim, for 16 year old girls everywhere including Sam.

According to Wiki, her page 3 career started after her mum sent photos of her in her underwear to a competition:

"Carole Fox photographed her 16-year-old daughter Samantha in lingerie, submitting several pictures to The Sunday People newspaper's Girl of the Year amateur modelling contest. She came in second and the photographs drew her to the attention of the Sun newspaper where her first topless shots were run."


She was managed by her father, who she sued later on as he was embezzling her money.

Wiki: "Fox's father Patrick, a former carpenter, managed her career until 1991, when Fox hired accountants to trace over £1 million that she believed he had embezzled from her accounts. She then sued her father, who by then had divorced and remarried, and in May 1995 she was awarded a £363,000 court settlement. Patrick Fox died in 2000, at which time he and Fox had not spoken for almost a decade."

AFAIK, Sam became a born again Christian and is in a long-term relationship with another woman.

So. A heart-warming story all around.

I hope Sam is happy now, as reading that it's clear as fuck that things were wrong for her earlier on.

But hey, as long as she's worth wanking over, what does anything else matter?


SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 24-Aug-13 00:11:42

I remember Sam Fox reviewing the singles in Smash Hits when I was about 15 (I'm now in my 40's).

There was a mini furore then about this then - setting her up as an idol for teenage girls etc - but I do remember her being everywhere at the time. I'm sure she enjoyed her fame - but it's painfully clear that she was exploited by both her parents and the Sun.

TheDoctrineOfPositivityYes Sat 24-Aug-13 00:20:15

Such a proliferation that you bumped a thread from six months ago?

Rightyho, ged.

gedhession Sat 24-Aug-13 00:45:58

Well Doctrine, I was googling following the "modesty covers" for Lads' Mags debate on BBC TV and I came across these threads. I see that some of them are inactive and I have not touched them. The ones that are active still seem worth making a contribution to. Sam Fox did start Page 3 at 16 but back then you were just considered a model doing a job , it was as simple as that, you were doing legal employment. Many of the things that happened to Samantha consequently have also happened to other popular celebrities such as pop stars and sports stars. In fact I did regard Page 3 girls as rather like being pop stars or TV stars, just young women doing something popular in a popular newspaper and becoming popular in the process.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 24-Aug-13 01:08:07

Didn't it have the zombie sign (which I really love btw) if not it must have been days from getting one - it's from February?

Dervel Sat 24-Aug-13 03:30:49

I dunno. I am sure I could muster up a cogent defence for page 3 if I could be bothered, but to perfectly honest if it makes enough women uncomfortable by its mere existence why not just remove it? Are we as men really losing something that is that essential?

I think it is an important issue to raise about women's magazines fixation on certain definitions of beauty, but not strictly relevant to this issue, as if both are wrong choosing to focus on one doesn't give the other one a free pass. Besides as a man my opinion is not as relevant re: women's magazines, but I can choose not to buy page 3 papers and part of the problem.

libertarianj Sat 24-Aug-13 04:59:43

but to perfectly honest if it makes enough women uncomfortable by its mere existence why not just remove it?

That's the thing, i don't believe the majority of women are uncomfortable with it, well certainly not enough to be be bothered to sign that petition.
I personally don't even buy the sun or am really bothered about looking at page 3 girls in a newspaper, but it's the principal of banning something because a few people are offended by it, is where i have a problem. If We start to take that approach with everything, then all kinds of things will get banned and we end up a repressed society.

on a lighter note did anyone see the Daily Mail today (actual paper) - as David Cameron was topless on page 3! I only bought it for the Lego.
I think i'll have to write to Lego and complain that i don't think it's appropriate to be giving out free Lego with a paper that's not family friendly. Therefore they should revert back to the Sun as it's the lesser of two evils and 20p cheaper smile

Dervel Sat 24-Aug-13 13:11:29

Well I don't think you should confuse people who don't really care with those who do. I can see the point as someone raised up thread about being sat next to someone in a public place, and being made to feel awkward when there is a chap next to them ogling a half naked woman in his tabloid.

I do see your point about banning things, but can't we look at things on a case by case basis and make sensible common sense decisions rather than never examine things at all? The issue as I see it is that I as a man have precious little in the world that I may come across that makes me feel uncomfortable, but then again society is arranged for us men.

If getting rid of page 3, makes a number of women that little bit more comfortable is small step in the right direction, and honestly is the loss of page 3 really that big of a loss to mankind?

gedhession Sat 24-Aug-13 15:06:02

I think it is worth considering that even if Page 3 disappeared would people change and men in particular. I recall a documentary with this US soldier from the first Gulf War and when he captured these Iraqi conscripts he found their pockets full of pictures of nude women. I find it hard to believe that some men will never stop admiring images of women and that there are women who are obliging to that need. I'm sure there are plenty of men who look at pictures of popular and sucessful female celebrities with the intentions of fulfilling some sort of desire.

TheDoctrineOfPositivityYes Sat 24-Aug-13 15:52:16

The argument against page 3 is the appropriateness of the images being in a national newspaper that's readily available to any age group and is openly read.

I'm sure we've all nipped to the bathroom naked or whatever, yet that would never be shown in, say, Eastenders before the watershed, because it wouldn't be the right place for it. Same thing for a paper - "woman has tits" not actually being news.

Nothing to do with "men will always fancy women" or whatever.

gedhession Sat 24-Aug-13 18:41:23

Well Doctrine, I can only give my subjective opinion on that. I recall that Samantha Fox made no secret of the fact that she received letters from young teens and reckoned the average age of her fans was 14! This would have been the age that I was a fan of hers. I also think that we show to much concern about children being exposed to sexual imagery considering that children do in fact have actual sexual experiences.

YouMakeMeWannaLaLa Sat 24-Aug-13 19:58:29


NiceTabard Sat 24-Aug-13 22:50:31

hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm

FloraFox Sat 24-Aug-13 23:59:27

What the fuck?

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