I will NOT be backing the campaign to ban page 3 girls from The Sun, any time soon. There are numerous reasons why, which I will attempt to explain.
Firstly, I think women have beautiful bodies and that we should not be ashamed of them. I’m not buying into all this objectification nonsense. There are men who objectify women, there are women who objectify men. There are also women who objectify women and men who objectify men. This is not down to page 3, this is down to attitudes, values and personalities. Neither is it always serious, people who objectify sexuality, aren’t heartless and void of emotion.
Me for example… I am a happily married woman. I don’t read the Sun specifically. I do The Sun holidays. I will have a gander at page 3 whilst I’m flicking through the paper. I am neither fantasising about the lady on there, nor am I berating myself for not having the same body as her. I have been known to objectify men. Did you see my tweets about drooling over Charlie Clapham (Actor who plays Freddie in Hollyoaks)? Yes, I would like to do naughty things to that gorgeous man! You know that rule married women have… about bumping into a particular celeb and being given a “free pass”… well I’ve decided Charlie Clapham is mine! Clearly I know nothing about this man, as we only see his characters persona on television, but wow… he has a nice body!
In fact, I’m all for creating a page 4 in The Sun and sticking a half-naked man on there. That would be very nice. Women objectify men, just as much as men objectify us. Does it bother me? No. My husband does it all the time. You should see the texts he sends me! Cameron Diaz is his “free pass” by the way.
The very same women who campaign against page three, are the kind of women who find terms like “yummy mummy” and “MILF” derogatory. I personally am thrilled if someone considers me a MILF. It’s like when I get asked ID to go into a nightclub. I’m 27 – it’s hugely flattering.
And before you page three ban supporters start on me… I’m not shallow. I have very deep emotions, I write poetry, I campaign for IMPORTANT issues, I’m hugely considerate and always put others before myself. But life doesn’t have to be 100% serious 24/7. We are allowed to appreciate the good looks of the human body. We live in the free world.
If you remove the aesthetically pleasing lady from page 3, what’s next on your agenda? Banning lads mags? Banning nudist camps? Banning topless sunbathing (I’m an advocate of topless sun bathing by the way – it’s great for improving body confidence)? Banning breastfeeding in public? Hey we’ve gone full circle here – haven’t we all been campaigning to allow breastfeeding in public for years? (I’m also an advocate of breastfeeding in public places). I have no issue with breasts being on display, in any context. I can’t say I’m one of those who gets them out when intoxicated – I’ve never done that, as I’m not what you’d call voluptuous. If I was… I’d be on page 3!
Whilst on the subject… I am soon to be posing for a naked calendar for charity – I hope people won’t be campaigning against that!
What’s going to happen to all these curious young lads who can’t see nudity in magazines? They are simply going to satisfy their curiosity with our daughters… and THAT would NOT be a good thing!
So talking of daughters… what will I tell them when they see page 3 in The Sun… well… nothing really. Why make a big deal out of it? Obviously, they are being brought up to respect their bodies and to keep their private parts private. But what they do as fully grown adults, is out of parental control. My dad used to buy The Sun when I was little. I’d have a giggle at page 3 on my way home from the newsagents, and then hand it over. I think things like this only become an issue, when you make a big deal out of it – by doing something like banning it!
What can I say? I’m comfortable with nudity. I am not offended by it. I do not believe all humans who see it, become sexually objectifying morons. But neither am I offended by those who do make us products of objectification.
Is page 3 the cause of domestic abuse or sexual assault? No! Come on, don’t be ridiculous. Stop looking to blame someone other than the perpetrator. You have to be a messed up criminal to take part in these acts – you don’t just look at a picture of someone’s breasts and then become a hardened criminal. In my opinion, it’s more likely that these sorts of crimes will rise, if people aren’t exposed to this kind of media on a regular basis. The naked body will become a taboo subject.
I’ve read some great posts lately, which align similarly with my views. Like one in the Huffington post by Neil Wallis, who points out that in comparison with the number of women who actively choose to buy the Sun newspaper, the people campaigning against page 3, are very few. To quote a very prominent point he makes in his article, there are far worse issues people should be campaigning against…
“Why aren’t those petition signatories putting their energy into campaigning against, say, female genital mutilation? White slavery? Sexual stereotyping in the workplace? Forced marriages? Under-age sex and pregnancy? TxtSexploitation in schools? The list is endless – in my view, all these are far more important… but silence”.
How about the article in Lincoln University’s newspaper, who quite rightly points out that celeb gossip mags are doing far more harm to women, that pictures in The Sun.
“while we’re talking about bans – what about women’s weekly gossip mags, that criticise and tear down female celebrities for putting on weight or having a bad skin day?”
There’s a fascinating article by Martin Robbins in the New Statesman (far more controversial than this post, for those of you looking for a rant). I had to quote this one-liner from him, as it made me smile…
“Put more boobs on Page 3, and add some cocks too.”
And how about a post from one of our own (a blogger). Brilliant writer Markus (also known as Silly Daddy) also supports the notion that celeb mags and womens mags sexualise and degrade women far more than page 3 of The Sun.
“There are so many publications, tv shows, celebrities, and so on and so forth who tell not just women what to think, how to feel, how to dress, what to eat and what not to eat.”
Markus also quite rightly points out, the importance of how we educate our children on nudity, women’s rights and variations in peoples career choices. A lot falls on how we explain these things to our children, rather than what images we show them or hide from them.
So there we go… I’ve said my piece. Why I’m not supporting the ban of page 3 and why this does not in any way, reflect my parenting skills. Just simply my outlook on life and the human form.
If you are now steaming and ranting, because you disagree with every word I’ve written – go and join Mumsnet. I’m not interested in you blowing your steam off in my comments panel. There are plenty of places for you to do that. You are not about to change my opinion. I’ve heard it all before. However, if you also want to show the other side of the coin – where buying The Sun doesn’t make us all criminals… feel free to add your two cents below.
Why am I not welcoming opposing comments? I’m aware that this topic is a controversial debate. There are numerous outlets where people are backing the ban. I want to provide somewhere where people can safely tell the other side of the story, without fear of interrogation or ridicule.