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Back to Page 3 boobs, so what?

It was a good thing that The Sun removed topless women from its page 3. Boobs aren’t news and they don’t belong in a so-called “family newspaper” for ogling purposes. The idea is as ridiculously out-of-date as pinching a good looking stranger on the bottom while winking and saying, “hey foxy lady”. No. You just don’t do it. It’s lecherous and quease-inducing and anyone who attempts to defend it will just end up embarrassing themselves. It seemed, for a happy couple of days, that David Dinsmore and Rupert Murdoch had finally pooled their social-insight to figure this out.

Yes, on Tuesday we had the much celebrated news that The Sun’s page 3 will now be a nipple free zone. But not actually boob free. No, those will still be there but from now on they will have a flimsy bra on to match the flimsy panties. And Page 3 Girls will still be there for no purpose other than to ogle.

I felt like someone over at The Sun had been kinda clever in that smug, self-congratulatory way that some people have to navigate situations which has them seeming to do “the right thing”. Sexy gals in bras and knickers instead of sexy gals just in knickers… a step in the right direction? Or a tactical move designed to take the wind out of the sails of the eternally positive and robust No More Page 3 (NMP3) campaigners?

Personally, I didn’t see how adding a bra to the situation had achieved what all the  campaigners – myself included – were hoping for. I can’t speak for others, but I don’t think I’m alone in saying I don’t mind nipples. In fact I don’t mind nudity of any body part in principal. What I mind is the objectification of women in a way that creeps into public spaces and family environments, in a way that normalises misogyny.

Misogyny isn’t ok. We want to normalise environments in which young people aren’t inappropriately sexualised: young women should be able to sit on a train without having the bloke next to them ogling Page 3. We want to normalise the recognition and celebration of women based on their achievements, and not judge them on their tittie phwoar-factor.

Yes, easy access to pornography is likely to shape the sexual identity of the upcoming generation. That’s hard to stop. But the end of mainstream soft-porn, presented as part of the regular news, is long overdue.

Some clueless fool commented on the NMP3 Facebook page that “all (us) feminists want to get (our) boobs out to breastfeed whenever and wherever (we) want but can’t stand seeing boobs on Page 3. It pretty much summed up the whole missing-the-point that seems to go on around this issue. It’s not breasts/nipples that bother us – not at all!! – it’s being constantly sexualised, constantly evaluated and commented on for the way we look, and the way that translates into inequality in almost every environment. In a world where that didn’t happen, half naked women would not be featured in mainstream media purely for titillation (I know!) and no one would imagine a woman nursing her baby was a desperate ploy for sexual attention from a third party.

So today we hear that page 3 is back in it’s original nudie format. So what? The bra-and-pants combo was no less objectifying than the bra-off-tits-out look.

I wholeheartedly applaud everyone involved in the No More Page 3 campaign. You guys are my heroes and the heroes of countless other individuals and esteemed organisations like Girlguiding UK, Mumsnet, The British Youth Council, Unison union and Breast Cancer UK to name just a few. You are powerful, proactive people who have inspired a new generation of feminists and generated a magnificent amount of interest and energy around this important conversation.

No one is saying that about Dinsmore or Murdoch. No, they are still a pair of dinosaurs who are failing to evolve, probably imagining themselves somehow champions in some pitiful battle to prove that soft porn does indeed belong in the mainstream news. It’s simply not a battle they can win.

Originally published on diamondsanddaisychains.com

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