Lynne Featherstone

MP for Hornsey and Wood Green

my blog
Lynne's Parliament and Haringey Diary, established 2003

Page 3 of the Sun

When asked if I supported the campaign ‘No more Page 3′ during an interview with the Independent on Sunday – I said yes!

It isn’t top of my list of things to do – but it is part of the whole issue surrounding the coarsening of women’s representation in the public space – and it is anything but harmless.

Page 3 has the effect of enforcing the notion that women are little other than sex objects. For me, a semi naked woman in a ‘family friendly’ daily newspaper for the direct purpose of the titillation of men is an outdated idea that has no place in a modern world or in a country that prides itself on the strides made in the last 40 years towards equality between the sexes.

How are we to convince our daughters that they are equal members of society when they see women portrayed in this way, not in men’s magazines but on the 3rd page of a daily newspaper? In my view, photos such as these suggest that the value of a woman is in direct relation to her pleasant appearance, which is an extremely sad message to send to women. I for one want our children to know that they are worth more than what is skin deep.

What people do in private interests me not at all (so long as it is legal) but I do want to protect the public space. It saddens me that this issue is often not taken seriously and derision is frequently the go to response to voices opposing Page 3 – but this will not alter my position on this issue.

 

Mon 1 October 2012
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Comments

  1. MiGHOW says:

    Tit for Tat

    Society at large STILL does treat men like that, and a very many men have been subjected to divorce theft, paternity fraud and false rape allegations ranging from simple insinuation and character assasination to downright lying and falsification of evidence! And that does not count the men who are victims of being ejected from their families and homes by false accusations of domestic violence!

  2. ChrisB says:

    “…let’s not try and think it is for politicians or governments to tell people what they stick in newspapers. That is deeply illiberal.” : Nick Clegg

    Tat – what shocked you? My parenting or the idea that I’m incensed by the idea of state censorship? Either way – I think you’re too easily shocked, and that is the point of this discussion.

    >it is not Lynn who thinks that “The Sun” is a “family friendly”
    >newspaper. It is the publication itself that tries to advocate
    >that ludicrous concept!

    Really? Show proof. As I understand it the Sun doesn’t call itself a family friendly newspaper; Lynne has done that on this page!

    > it would be a signifcant step in the right direction in sending out
    >the message that EVERYONE matters…

    Apart from anyone that wants to look at the naked human form, anyone that takes their clothes off for a living, nudity as a whole – EVERYONE matters as long as they agree with ME? Seems pretty harsh, especially from a Lib Dem; I’m glad Nick robustly opposed Lynne on this.

    I understand that living in a liberal society is hard Tat, there are many things I don’t like about it, but it’s this tolerance that makes our society special. When prescriptivist authoritarians rise up it’s the job of every UK citizen to remember what we’ve fought for and to protect it, even if we don’t like it ourselves. I loathe Page 3, however I’d be more worried about my kid actually reading the content of the paper. It’s not my place to tell people what they can and can’t look at – that’s why we have Lynne and Nadine Dorries!

    Whilst The Sun continues as a caricature of a real newspaper it’s easy to explain it to kids; if you remove the obvious offending items it’ll no longer be so simple, and people might actually start to regard The Sun as a family paper. Banning things is often the worst way to deal with them, there are many other strategies. I thought Lynne had a clue about equality, but it’s pieces like this that expose her true position on these issues – she’s an authoritarian feminist and according to her nothing will change her mind. I find that more than a little scary, sexist and illiberal. When did prohibition work? Abortion? Alcohol or drugs? Race? The Cold War? Fix up and get a real position on these issues instead of flirting with far-right fantasies of social control.

  3. [...] (Lynne Featherstone’s blog makes clear her position. Lynne emphasised her views at the weekend on this very organ in comments under Stephen Tall’s article. Respected press commentator, Roy Greenslade has noted the important distinction between calling for a ban and making a request.) [...]

  4. MiGHOW says:

    Lynne,

    I’d love to hear your review of 50 shades of grey, the best selling book of all time in the UK.

    I’m sure you can give us some insight on the popularity of this book in terms of equality, egalitarian relationships and the objectification of women and men.

  5. Steve says:

    ChrisB who said anything about banning page 3? So you are aware – No More Page 3 are not calling to ban it.

    Family paper……The Sun gives away free Lego (with adverts for the promo shown during children’s TV), football stickers, reduced price tickets for One Direction concerts etc. Perhaps stop enticing children to the paper?

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