But What Is The News Without Pictures of Boobs?
Every time someone is like, “The United States sucks,” I think, well, be that as it may, other places suck too. Like England. Have you never heard of Page 3 girls? I thought everyone had, but apparently, they have not. At any rate: for the last 40 years, a British newspaper called The Sun (Rupert Murdoch owned, natch) has run a photo of a topless woman on Page 3. Yes, it’s tabloid, but it’s still sort of, like, you know, a newspaper.
But now, this beautiful tradition of misogyny seems to perhaps be on its last legs. The Economist reports:
People have always complained that Page 3 demeans and objectifies women. But the impetus for a rethink now is new. A year ago Lucy-Anne Holmes, an actor and writer, began an online campaign, No More Page 3, and a petition that has since attracted 114,000 signatures. Her success is salutary. Death threats made recently against female MPs and journalists highlighted the use that deranged misogynists make of Twitter and Facebook; Ms Holmes’s efforts demonstrate how valuable the internet has been for feminists, too. Suddenly women and girls no longer feel like the only person in the office or classroom who cares.
Of course, men who think looking at photos of women’s breasts while they have their tea every morning is their God-given right are not going to give this up without a fight.
But meanwhile fans of Page 3 are marshalling their arguments, as familiar as the new activism is nimble. One is that critics’ real concern is not sex but class: that the underlying anxiety is not for the women on the page but the (largely) working-class men who ogle them. The snooty prosecutor at the obscenity trial of “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” — who asked if the jury would want their servants to read the book — sometimes gets a look in. This defence is itself a form of snobbery — as if Sun readers would not cope without a daily dose of nipples, or are irredeemably sexist.
Yes, working class men need to look at breasts. Otherwise they might notice how little we pay them! We shall see how this plays out. In the meantime, Ireland’s Sun already got rid of their Page 3, apparently amidst little resistance. And there’s also this to consider:
Besides the issue of whether Page 3 should be scrapped (it should, but voluntarily), there is the question why, in this age of wall-to-wall filth, readers might remain attached to it.
Yeah. Naked women are everywhere. Do you really still need them in your newspaper?