Sunday, 25 August 2013

Let's say bye bye to boobs

Is the most important thing you can say about a woman really the size of her breasts?

This is the message that the Sun newspaper sends everyday when the biggest image of a woman on its pages is a girl posing in her pants on its notorious Page 3.

No More Page 3

This week I want to write in support No More Page 3, a campaign asking the Sun to stop running this feature.

The campaign was started nearly a year ago, by writer and actor Lucy Holmes. She asks the Sun to drop page 3 because:
  • It's misogynistic - suggesting a woman's main job is to remove her clothes so men can look at her
  • It conditions readers to view women as sex objects - as 1 in 4 women have been sexually assaulted, this is a bad idea
  • It suggests breasts are there purely for the titillation of men
  • Showing only C or D cups on very young women implies that other breasts are ugly
  • It tells women to base their worth on how sexually attractive they are to a man
Here is a video in which she explains these reasons, with some personal anecdotes.

Page 3 and me

I hadn't been sure about where I stood on the No More Page campaign. But I've changed my mind about lots of things recently (see last week's Lessons in Life post), and now I want to support it.

I thought 'live and let live' - we're all sexual beings and it's natural that we find the body parts that emphasise our sexual difference attractive. But publishing pictures of topless women and ogling these pictures, falls in the same camp as obviously ogling women in the street. It's open objectification of women. If your partner does this when you're with him, you shouldn't put up with it - it's disrespectful and unnecessary.
I previously intellectualised these kinds of behaviour as:
  • (Heterosexual) men find women attractive because they are women
  • It's therefore normal to find women other than their wives/girlfriends attractive
  • In an honest relationship, it's OK to be open about this
I don't actually think this is acceptable. There's nothing wrong with finding other people attractive, and if you're free and single, there's nothing wrong with quietly checking someone out. But blatant ogling, particularly when you're with your partner, is deeply disrespectful.

Similarly, I thought maybe that images of scantily clad lovelies in the media were harmless, if the women were happy to do it and the men happy to look at it. But if you agree that it is misogynistic, encourages women to be seen as sex objects and tells them to base their self worth on how attractive men find them, then it's not harmless. It's actually very, very harmful.

Woman as sex objects

I don't want the daughter I'm about to bring into the world to grow up thinking the best thing she can do with her life is to be skinny with a good pair of boobs. It's nice to feel attractive, but there are a lot more important things in life.

Maybe I'm wrong, but the men who enjoy ogling the daily page 3 girl would probably not be comfortable if they opened the paper one day to find their sister, daughter or wife's nipples looking back at them.

Really, it's all about seeing women as sex objects, and we're not, we're people. The massive growth in equal opportunities for women in the past few decades means that it is now widely accepted that women's place is not just the kitchen and the bedroom. The continued existence of Page 3 is a throwback that suggests we should go back there.

If you want to do something in support of the No More Page 3 Campaign, you can sign this petition to Sun editor David Dinsmore - Take the Bare Boobs out of the Sun.

No comments:

Post a Comment