It is a shocking indictment of our society that images of semi-naked women are printed in a mainstream paper and that it is considered as perfectly normal. No person should be objectified in this manner, we should not grow up in a world where images of women are used as little more than sex objects. To put it as succinctly as the campaign itself does ‘Boobs Aren’t News’
Except of course I don’t think the Sun’s editors think Boobs are news either. I also am not convinced the editors are defending free-speech (not that these young women are ever allowed to have a voice) with their continued support of boobs on page 3. There is, to my mind, a much more sinister reason why the Sun maintains Page 3, and it says much more about the culture of the Sun and it’s role in society than simply dismissing the paper as misogynistic ever does. (though if mud sticks….)
I am more and more convinced there is one reason alone that the Sun is so determined to maintain page 3. It is to do with what the paper is actually for – the character assassination of celebrities and public figures. If you pick up any copy of the Sun (please don’t buy it, just borrow one or look at it in the newsagent) you can quickly make one observation. The ‘real’ headline, the thing or the person the editors want you to talk about is not, where most other papers put it, on the front page, but on page 2. If there is a politician the Sun wants to take down, their story will be on page 2. If there is a celeb they want to promote that article will be on page 2. The big letters on the front are just a red herring. The ‘news’ as the Sun sees it will always be on page 2.
Because of page 3.
The first thing most male readers of the Sun do when they buy a copy is, intentionally or not, they check out the boobs on page 3. (Let’s not get into the fact that the young women pictured are often younger than these men’s daughters and the implications of THAT).
This I know because I was once an adolescent boy.
The thing is, here in Britain our brains are conditioned to read left to right, whether they know it or not, as the reader feasts their eyes on the mammary glands of 18 year old Mabel from Stevenage their brains have taken in the story on page 2 and started to inwardly digest the view the Sun wants you to take.
The boobs in the Sun are of much more value to the paper’s own agenda than simply being about naked women. The boobs in the Sun serve a purpose to the papers editors and bosses that is of much more importance to the paper’s real agenda, and they say much more about the sort of paper The Sun actually is. Sadly I think this fact alone will be why, even with all the bad press for The Sun the campaign is creating, that the editors will always see the boobs of more value than public opinion against page 3.
I want my daughters to grow up in a world where women are not objectified in this way, I continue to support the fabulous #NoMorePage3 campaign, and I urge you to support it too. But let’s also be realistic about why The Sun is so attached to it’s boobs.