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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?

jackburton Tue 12-Feb-13 23:04:58

I think Jordan is an assertive and rich woman who I could not imagine tolerating being treated without respect. To that extent I think she is a role model and one that would be a credible male role model if the sexes were reversed.

ashesgirl Tue 12-Feb-13 23:07:07

So what about Nuts, Loaded, Zoo, Page 3? Unilad, the hundreds of facebook pages devoted to 'hotties'? How can you say you don't see it in male entertainment?

ashesgirl Tue 12-Feb-13 23:07:46

It's everywhere and anywhere, it's in all media.

AmandaPayne Tue 12-Feb-13 23:12:16

You are still talking in the language of freedom to adopt lifestyles one wishes. You are analysing this as how you would feel as a man in that situation. But you are just putting yourself in that position as a man, with all the cultural, structural advantages you have had your whole life. You aren't getting, at all, how it feels as a woman who has lived in a particular society, which tells you a million times by the age of 13 who you should be and how you should look.

"Differences which enhance the difference between male and female (no hair)." I am sorry, but that bollocks. You only think it enhances those differences because the cultural norm is for women to remove all that hair. If women weren't conditioned to groom a particular way, there would be no real difference in body hair around genitals and armpits. Legs, some difference but not enormous. Men would have beards. And isn't it funny how the burden falls on the 'other' to keep up all that grooming?

You really don't see how every industry judges women on their appearance? How the BAFTA were full of women shivering in dresses, and men all in nice warm matching suits. How the front covers gleefully analysed how the women dressed, and whether they passed or failed.

I think that the 'isn't advertising awful' argument is a bit of a red herring too. It's like saying why didn't black people stop complaining about segregation on buses until they had ridded the country of divided education. Bad, in different and similar ways.

FastidiaBlueberry Tue 12-Feb-13 23:13:54


I think my little girl deserves better role models than just rich and assertive. That's not enough to be a role model IMO. Also I'm very uncomfortable with the idea that people like Jordan are good enough role models for working class girls, but let's be honest, no-one would dream of saying she's a good role model for a posh girl. Working class girls deserve decent role models too.

jackburton Tue 12-Feb-13 23:14:31

"So what about Nuts, Loaded, Zoo, Page 3? Unilad"

I see them as primarily providing images of women designed to arouse men. Unlike female magazines which basically have a hot-or-not section in every issue, most of these publications are only focusing on 'hot' they aren't there to be judged, just desired. There are some more misogynist magazines, I am aware that Maxim can be on occasion, where women may be judged unfavourably but my impression from the others was just pure lust. I would have found it quite disturbing to have images that I wasn't expected to find appealing in such a magazine. If there is ranking it is more like a ranking of sportsmen (or body builders). All are expected to be desirable and even to some extent imply that all women are sexually desirable.

AmandaPayne Tue 12-Feb-13 23:14:48

Right, so where is the equivalent male role model to Jordan? I am sure she demands respect, but she has made her money in nude modelling. Where is the man whose fame rests solely on his body - not his sporting prowess and his appearance. Not his singing talent and happening to have a good body. Just giving the appearance of being sexually available all the time.

That is so, absolutely, totally, not a role model for my daughter.

jackburton Tue 12-Feb-13 23:17:50

"You really don't see how every industry judges women on their appearance? How the BAFTA were full of women shivering in dresses, and men all in nice warm matching suits. How the front covers gleefully analysed how the women dressed, and whether they passed or failed."

I didn't mean to give that impression. I do see that and I am disgusted by it, but I don't feel that this culture is particularly due to male domination. I think the dresses are for the female viewers, men generally don't talk about them unless they are extremely pornographic.

AmandaPayne Tue 12-Feb-13 23:18:19

I honestly can't believe a person can read those magaziens and see them in those terms.

What about, from a quick glance at the home page of Nuts, "Assess my breasts 12,000 breasts, get assessing". No heads or bodies by the look of it. Just breasts.

Ranking of sportsmen? I think, if you really want to get this, you need to try and stop finding male equivalents of everything.

AmandaPayne Tue 12-Feb-13 23:20:10

Ah, the BAFTA stuff is 'for women'. Oh gosh, I am sure you mean well, but you are falling into every 'male privilege stereotype' going. Honestly, do some reading. You seem a nice guy and I'm sure you'd find it interesting. We're always happy to chat.

AmandaPayne Tue 12-Feb-13 23:20:21

Off to bed now.

FastidiaBlueberry Tue 12-Feb-13 23:20:52

Do you have a daughter jackburton?

If so, do you promote Jordan as a role model to her? Am very curious about that.

"I know that this can be common in the press but I don't feel it so strongly within male entertainment."

What d'you mean by male entertainment?

Nuts, Zoo, Playboy etc.?

Or mainstream publications like the Sun, the Times etc.? (Because if you look at the journalists, editors, directors, owners, they are mostly male. And IIRC they have more male readers than females - the Mail and The Telegraph used to have the highest female readership at about 50%, but newspapers are still overwhelmingly dominated by male readers.)

jackburton Tue 12-Feb-13 23:21:57

"Right, so where is the equivalent male role model to Jordan?"

I agree that this exact position doesn't exist, although it may do within the gay community. The barrier I think is the lack of women who are interested in buying pornographic material and thus the inability to get rich by being an object of lust. The closest I can imagine is a body building actor who can't act, like Steven Seagal or Dolph Lundgren.

jackburton Tue 12-Feb-13 23:23:48

Thanks Amanda, good talking to you.

FastidiaBlueberry Tue 12-Feb-13 23:24:01

jb why do you think our culture has developed in such a way that when you look at pictures of men and women together on the red carpet, they look as if they're in different climates, one half being half naked and the other half fully dressed?

I'm off to bed now but would also recommend a bit of reading. Kat Banyard, the Equality Illusion, is excellent "feminism for beginners" stuff (better than Caitlin Moran) and has a chapter about objectification in it.

AmandaPayne Tue 12-Feb-13 23:24:58

You were saying that you thought Jordan would be a credible role model if the sexes were reversed. I was pointing out that the sexes can't be reversed. There is no such equivalent. There is no such equivalent because of the patriarchal structure of society (not as limited as 'women don't buy porn). You can't separate one from the other and claim she'd be a role model if you reversed the sexes without reversing everything. In which case, erm, she wouldn't be a good role model.

ashesgirl Tue 12-Feb-13 23:25:03

Read about patriarchy, seriously. Because this is what produces a system where women's appearance is made ultra-important.

Is it any wonder that women become focused on this when appearance is such a valuable commodity in our society?

So rather than simply saying this is about women judging eachother, you need to look at the reasons and the system that bring this into play.

AmandaPayne Tue 12-Feb-13 23:25:30

Sorry, really off now. Night all. Yes, Kat Banyard also good.

jackburton Tue 12-Feb-13 23:26:42

"If so, do you promote Jordan as a role model to her? Am very curious about that."

That is a good point. I don't have a daughter but if I did I wouldn't promote her as a role model. But I also wouldn't promote Dolph Lundgren or Steven Seagal as a role model for my son either. I would promote role models that match my own values, rather selfishly, so they would be relateable to me and would have qualities I admired in myself.

kim147 Tue 12-Feb-13 23:27:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jackburton Tue 12-Feb-13 23:31:37

Thanks for all your comments this has been very enjoyable and very interesting. Off to bed myself. Will look into your references more. I'm very interested in learning more about the underlying causes of the emphasis on appearance, I hadn't thought of it as women maximising a valuable commodity because all others were taken.

Darkesteyes Wed 13-Feb-13 00:57:44

Unlike female magazines which basically have a hot-or-not section in every issue, most of these publications are only focusing on 'hot' they aren't there to be judged, just desired.

Um no they dont. Pick up a copy of Psychologies or Red sometime.
Not all mags aimed at females are like Heat or Grazia.

Darkesteyes Wed 13-Feb-13 01:00:56

And because of the pornification of our culture even older men are expressing disgust at pubic hair.
This actors reaction towards this writer was sickening IMO.

sashh Wed 13-Feb-13 08:16:11

For me page 3 is about making it normal for a man to look at my breasts and think he has a right to. To think that I don't mind. That I actually might enjoy it.

It's then about him believing he has a right to touch them, in a public place such as a bus or train.

The first time I was groped I was about 11 or 12. I was in school uniform.

I had blond hair and large breasts. I was still a child. But page 3 identified me as being sexually available.

Have you ever been groped? Probably not.

I didn't choose my hair colouring or my genetic make up but I have been judged on it every day of my life.

Rhiannon86 Wed 13-Feb-13 09:08:30

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