Published on October 23, 2013 | by Ellen Thomas

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‘Boobs are not news’ campaign hits universities

Display of newspapers featuring The Sun and Daily Star

The Sun and Daily Star were removed from sale at number of universities as a part of ‘No more page 3’ campaign. [© Aylin Elci]

Essex University became the latest institution to ban the sale of The Sun and the Daily Star from its campus shop last week.

The tabloid papers were removed in response to the increasing popularity of a ‘no more page three’ campaign.

Lucy-Anne Holmes started the campaign last summer when she “couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that the largest female image in The Sun was of a young woman showing her breasts for men, even though Jessica Ennis had just won her gold Olympic medal.”

Holmes then went on to write a series of letters to The Sun editor Dominic Mohan calling on him to cut the traditional page three girl from the paper, saying that “boobs are not news” and calling it “misogynistic to have bare breasts in a family newspaper”.

Her campaign quickly gathered pace with over 15,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter, and an online petition which was signed by more than 50 government MPs calling for the page three feature to be dropped.

Many UK universities, including LSE, UCL, Manchester Met, Manchester, Durham, Sheffield, Newcastle, and Cambridge, are among the institutions that have banned both newspapers from their campus shops.

Representation

Essex University enforced its ban after a majority vote at a union council meeting last year.

Chantel Le Carpentier, Essex Union’s Vice-President for Welfare said: “Newspapers should show a balanced representation of society, but what we are seeing is men being represented in the business, politics and sport sections, and women represented on the third page, half naked.”

She added that the union would stop selling The Sun and Daily Star until “they stop devaluing women”.

Most students are in support of the decision. However Alice, a law student at Essex and part-time contact advisor for The Sun, felt the ban was unnecessary.

She said: “While I understand that some women perceive The Sun to be sexist, to me it just seems to be more like light-hearted fun and it has never intended to be intentionally offensive to women or misogynistic.

“Page three girls have been a part of our media for so long now that it would be a shame to stamp out a long running British tradition.”

 

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