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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Letter to the Plymouth Herald Newspaper October 2013 -

As the subject of Page 3 has come again here's a copy of the letter I sent to the Herald last year.

I’m afraid I remain very unconvinced by Courtnie’s defence of her ‘career’ as a page 3 topless model. Courtnie argues that many of the women who are against page 3 don’t buy the Sun, and asks why a minority has ‘so much power’. Firstly I’m not so sure they do as we have been trying to get rid of page 3 for many, many years! 

The reason why so many women and thankfully more and more men want to see it banned is because strong evidence shows there is a link between media representations of partially naked/naked women and a growing disrespect for all women. We still have a massive problem with women experiencing horrific levels of sexual and domestic abuse and violence and presenting images of women in these titillating poses demeans women and breeds an underlying culture of disrespect. 

Many people who want page 3 banned are also looking at this from the perspective of our young people, both boys and girls. Exactly what messages are we giving out to them about respecting their own bodies and that of their peers when our daily newspapers carry this kind of image? What sort of role model is this? Do parents really believe that a career in this business is something to aspire too? Would you want your daughter doing this? I wouldn’t. It cuts no ice with those who despise the Sun’s page 3 models that they are ‘natural’. So what! Courtnie please answer this ‘If you were able to earn the same money that you earn as a model , in any other professional, would you still take your clothes off for money? 

Courtnie mentions her qualifications and it’s brilliant to see that she has had a good education. In reality it is only a tiny few in the sex industry who earn high salaries. Many more women experience fear and intimidation and turn to this kind of work out of desperation because they feel they have no choice. The education Courtnie is sorely missing is gender equality education – this isn’t unusual as there is a complete lack of it in most schools. I would like to see the University offering this gender equality education and then have the debate about banning page 3, I think you would get a very well informed debate once the audience were properly informed. 

If the Sun continues to refuse to lose the Page 3 images I suggest in the name of equality we introduce a page 4 which includes a semi naked man. The images need to be exactly in the same vein, titillating and with these ridiculous supposedly sexy poses. Of course it would be difficult to achieve equality because a man topless isn’t the same but we could have plenty of scanty, bulging pants. Very quickly we would see that when equal treatment of the sexes if applied page 3 is ludicrous and totally unacceptable in a daily newspaper in the 21st Century.

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