In June I wrote a post explaining why I was optimistic about the future of the representation of women in the media. I am still optimistic, but last week was a tough week for women.
The No More Page Three campaign continues to gather pace. Every day more and more people add their voice to the campaign by signing the petition urging The Sun’s editor David Dinsmore to remove the sexist and degrading feature from his publication. Last time I counted it was around 118,000. This is impressive.
A summer of successes
MPs and Councillors are steadily adding their names to the letter of support for the campaign. The campaign enjoys support from some most notable organisations including: The National Union of Teachers, UK Girl Guiding, The National Association of Head Teachers, The Association of Teachers and Lecturers, Unison, The British Youth Council, Rape Crisis, Women’s Aid and the End Violence Against Women Coalition. The list goes on.
The campaign, which celebrated its first birthday over the summer, is truly finding its way into the mainstream, and you don’t have to look far to seea celebrity, a comedian, a festival goer, a runner, or the lead singer of a band proudly sporting a No More Page Three t-shirt.
In amongst, and arguably, as a result of these very many successes – The Sun in Ireland dropping the feature must be counted as one of the biggest so far – are some troubling and retaliatory developments.
Upping the ante
Last week The Sun published a partially nude photo of Helen Flanagan on their front cover, inviting readers to turn to page three for the full uncensored view. Later in the week they compared their Swedish page three model to a swede (of the root vegetable variety)- drawing the obvious conclusion that they would much prefer to bed the Swede – who has a pert bottom and bulbous breasts, rather than a swede, which is skinny on top and round on the bottom. Errmmm Seriously. This is all kinds of offensive, no?
The Sun is upping the ante, so we, as supporters of the No More Page Three Campaign must too.
Some practical suggestions from the No More Page Three Campaign:
1) Write to retailers who stock The Sun to ask whether they are happy to sell discriminatory soft porn publications.
2) Write to David Cameron and your own MP expressing your concern over the increasingly sexist representation of women in The Sun. The campaign has provided an excellent template.
4) Indulge in some pesky direct action, like slipping one of these flyers into a copy of The Sun near you…