The end of Page 3 may actually hinder gender equality
Rupert Murdoch has bid farewell to the era of scantily clad girls and topless glamour models. The page that’s fuelled so much controversy, providing the daily source of excitement for builders, plumbers and electricians across the nation, and giving some very frustrated married men a moment of joy, albeit for a minute or two, a page so against the ethos of British modesty yet so entrenched in British tradition, has died.
The 44-year-old feature has ceased to exist since Friday, with Rosie Huntington-Whitley and Hollyoaks actresses taking pride of place in the glamour girls’ stead. Champions of feminism, modernism, anti-sexism, and whatever-ism there may be, have celebrated this end of an era.
The feminist group No More Page 3 state on their website that the Sun was objectifying women and encouraging their dehumanisation by not celebrating their many achievements – No More Page 3 don’t seem to count boobs as achievements.
While I do not personally care for naked breasts in magazines or newspapers, can the Sun be accused of dehumanising women? Absolutely not. The Sun are employing women to appear in their Page 3 feature, a feat that I can only imagine must be rather well regarded in the glamour modelling industry.
These women are paid and paid well, they are treated fairly and what is asked for them is that they be photographed in the buff, something that I imagine barely makes them blush. In this day and age, you’ve got more risk of being objectified and dehumanised by a BBC TV presenter, especially if you’re underage, than by willingly taking your clothes off.
Dehumanised? Empowerment is a term I would be more inclined to associate with these women. What they do may seem seedy and demeaning to many but to them it’s the norm. They have chosen this life, if they were to tire of it, they could simply stop, get a “normal” job and “become human” again.
If they are indeed being dehumanised and objectified, it is their choice, their decision; more importantly, they are the ones being gawped at. What is the risk to our society? Men will know that women have breasts? That is a shock I am unsure I will be able to survive.
Labour MP Stella Creasy believed Page 3 “was basically saying to all of us that what mattered, frankly, were our breasts not our brains”. What the right honourable Creasy hadn’t realised was that not all are blessed with brains that will lead them to prosperous careers, much less to parliament. Some, more unfortunate, are content with their breadwinning bodies. Where is the harm in that? After all, we certainly cannot rely on MP Creasy for a nude selfie, someone’s got to do the dirty work.
Moreover, with Page 3 gone, how will second and third division footballers find their wives now? Thankfully, the Page 3 girls are now digitalised and can be accessed from the Sun’s website.
Topless models and former Page 3 girls across the country have condemned the Sun’s decision and criticised No More Page 3 for meddling in their business affairs. Former glamour model Nicola McLean said: “I thought we were fighting for women to be able to do what they wanted to do. But now we have no choice to do Page 3 because they’ve taken that choice away from us.”
Agreeing with McLean, Laura Lacole, a topless model, commented: “This is a blow to an entire industry that affects women… It is taking away a right of women to express their sexuality.”
It seems Page 3 girls will continue to be a source of lustful admiration via the internet for the immediate future. Page 3’s demise is official but not irreversible and as the Sun is known more for its boobs rather than its news, the girls may be back in due time.