The No More Page 3 campaign is here to boycott The Sun, as a political protest, until David Dinsmore voluntarily chooses to remove the soft pornography from its third page. Quite honestly, why does the picture of a topless woman even need to be in a newspaper? It isn’t news. It doesn’t add any newsworthy value. It simply promotes the idea, that in the widest-circulated newspaper in the UK, women are there to be looked at as passive objects.
As a Students’ Union, we should not be promoting these views of women. We are a university made up of 52% women, and these 52% are capable of appearing in a newspaper for more than their looks. This isn’t to say that if a woman at this university chooses to go into glamour modeling for any length of time they should be denied the right to do so – but there are so many more appropriate (and better-paid) outlets for glamour modeling than a daily newspaper! We are here to represent and empower our members to make change, and by selling a publication that takes such a dismissive attitude to women is not consistent with these ideas.
Currently, 29 Students’ Unions across the country have joined the national campaign to boycott The Sun, with Midlands neighbours Nottingham becoming one of the most recent universities to join the campaign. While one SU may not be enough to make a significant impact, the more we can get joining the campaign the more voice we have to champion equality. Joining them is an action we can take to make a difference and strengthen this voice other SUs have built up, and hopefully even bring an end to the objectification of women in national newspapers once and for all.
I don’t like it; I don’t buy it; but that doesn’t mean it’s not still there. Page 3 is there when I go for a coffee and someone’s left the paper open in the library cafe, Page 3 is there when I catch a train home for the weekend and the man in front is reading it, Page 3 is even there when I’m walking to work at 6.30 in the morning, bleary eyed and half-asleep, and someone’s abandoned The Sun on the pavement. There is literally no way to avoid it, and while it’s still readily available in our SU and elsewhere, women will still be able to view and be disempowered by these images. Society might have accepted this as normal and ‘traditional’, but it doesn’t need to be this way. It shouldn’t be normal for women to be represented in a paper by a pair of breasts while men are out doing important things and making change to the world. Women are doing these things too!
While women are underrepresented in every way, shape and form across all types of media, we cannot sit back and accept that the largest photo of a woman in any newspaper at any given moment is one of her in her pants. We have a responsibility to actively make a difference on the way women are viewed in national media and by staying quiet and hoping it goes away this won’t happen. This might only be a small issue to some, one that ‘doesn’t warrant spending time on’, but to us, this is one small change that could change our culture for the better.
by Rachel Holland
You can sign the petition to boycott The Sun in University retail outlets here.
To read Katrina King’s opposing argument, click here.