Writers' Blog

Published on November 6th, 2013 | by Danil Boparai

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The page 3 dilemma

ALN features writer, Danil Boparai [Emanuele Giovagnoli]

We all know by now that there is a clear division regarding Page 3.

You either consider it as the terrible public face of porn, objectifying women as mere sexual objects, which anyone with 70p in their pocket can purchase.

Or you view it as the wonderful 40-year-old British institution, whisking Jenni, 19, from Basildon, to a life of glamour and fame, all for the simple price of baring a nipple or two.

It’s been a tough year for the regular feature; it has come under fire from the likes of the British Youth Council, who stated that Page 3 “mocks and disrespects women”. The ‘No More Page 3’ petition has gathered over 100,000 signatures since the start of the summer and is growing.

Even Labour leader Ed Miliband had a strong opinion as he blasted the white van man’s favourite, calling it “a total anachronism” that doesn’t have a place in the modern world.

Something Page 3 offers to us all is one of the more interesting political conundrums in today’s media, as it causes opposites to attract. How can liberals and modern feminists justify wanting to censor just the bits of newspapers they don’t like, whatever happened to free speech?

Is the irony just lost on me that a right-leaning paper like The Sun can place women out of the kitchen, so long as they are poolside and free of oppressive bras? At least it supports their anti-veil agenda.

Even our Prime Minister can’t bring himself to ban the booby pages, despite his war on online pornography.

“We have to always ask the question where should we regulate and where shouldn’t we regulate, and I think on this one I think it is probably better to leave it to the consumer,” said David Cameron, refraining from upsetting his pal Rupert Murdoch, of course.

According to the former Editor of The Sun Dominic Mohan in the recent Leveson Enquiry, Page 3 represents ‘youth and freshness’. In actual fact, to most of us it represents sexism and inequality, but perhaps more importantly to Murdoch and co, Page 3 represents sales and money.

And ultimately, that’s all that really matters.

 

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