Friday, 28 September 2012

NO MORE PAGE 3: Interview with Lucy Holmes

We all know what the biggest tabloids in the World are like. They post things that aren't true, twist other people's opinions and make the news more 'interesting' than it really is.

But there is something that some newspapers do that many years ago would have been extremely morally wrong, and that is having Page 3 without any writing. Pictures of naked ladies are now a regular occurrence and can be easily exposed to a child's view just by having a newspaper on the breakfast table.

Feminism's voice is growing stronger every single day, and with the power of the internet there are now many things that can be done to stop these pictures from being put where everyone can see them. Today, I have an interview with the leader of a campaign called 'No More Page 3', Lucy Holmes, who is going to tell us where your opinion can be heard about this subject if you feel as strongly as she does.

Hello Lucy! Thank you for answering my questions today.
"Hi, you are welcome! Thanks so much for showing interest in the campaign!"

1. Can you tell us what your campaign is about?

We are campaigning to the editor of The Sun newspaper, Dominic Mohan.  We are asking him very nicely to stop showing topless pictures of young women in Britain’s largest read paper and stop conditioning young people to view women as sex objects.  We are quite simply saying no more page 3!

2. Why do you feel so passionate about it?

I do feel very passionately about it.  I started the campaign during the Olympics.  The Olympics was a great time in Britain, it was a particularly great time for women. I bought a copy of The Sun after Jessica Ennis won her gold medal. I was reading the paper on a train, so proud of her and all of team GB. There were no breasts on Page 3 and I thought The Sun must have omitted Page 3 for the Olympics, possibly out of editorial space, perhaps as a mark of respect as Britain was entertaining so many other cultures at the time.  Anyway I got to page 13 and there she was; a beautiful young woman wearing just her pants. It made me feel incredibly sad. Hers was the largest female image in that issue, much bigger than any of the images of Jessica Ennis. This has been the case for over 40 years. I found I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that this large image of a young woman as a sexual object for a man was being repeated in a family newspaper day in day out. I would wake in the night thinking about why it was there and what this was saying about and to women.

3. Which newspapers/magazines would you say are the worst for publishing this type of thing?

Well we are appealing to the editor of The Sun newspaper as this is the widest read newspaper in the UK.  We are aware these pictures are published in other papers, and when the Sun takes the pictures out we would love them to follow suit. 

4. What is your goal? What do you intend to do with the campaign?

Our goal is simple.  To see Mr Mohan remove the pictures from the paper.  We have an online petition which we want to reach a million signatures.  So far we have mostly been doing this throw the amazing world of social media.  Twitter and facebook have enabled us to reach a large group of people quickly and spread the campaigns key messages.  We have been very lucky to have people like you who are helping spread the word through blogs and articles in online magazines.  We also have some other exciting things up oursleves such as from a song, to comedy, to a polite invitation for people to avoid The Sun’s major advertisers for a week from 29th Oct to 4th Nov, Tesco, Argos, Sainsbury’s, Morrison, DFS, and Asda.

5. Can you tell the readers why they should sign the petition?

Oh there is so many reasons!  As one of our petition signatures says, ‘Boobs aren’t news’. No, so why are they in the newspaper? Well, they are in the newspaper because in 1970 a group of men, in a male managed media, in a male run country decided to put them there. Possibly they didn’t think how women would feel about being represented like this, or it didn’t occur to them that women read newspapers. The thought process must have been ‘men like boobs, let’s put them in.’ It is quite incredible now that this happened really. But it did. And even more incredibly it still does.
The page 3 girl image is there for no other reason than the sexual gratification of men. She’s a sex object. But when figures range from 300,000 women being sexually assaulted and 60,000 raped each year (Home Office) to 1 in 4, who have been sexually assaulted, which I was told, is it wise to be repeatedly perpetuating a notion that women are sexual objects?.
Also what saddens me also is how complicated these images and this ‘women as a sexual object culture’ have on young people. The Sun is our most widely read newspaper. Men across the land buy it, it lays on breakfast tables, it sits in living rooms for the TV guide, it’s found on trains and buses. Our sons and daughters see it. For the sons, they learn that it’s ‘normal’ to say ‘cor, look at the tits on that’ (THAT!)  and for the daughters, they see this as something to aim for or something that they fall short of. I have nothing against these beautiful glamour models. Nor do I believe that people will stop buying the Sun if these images are removed. But I firmly believe that these images shouldn’t be in a ‘news’paper, and to quote another of our signatures, that ‘Page 3 is the biggest thing normalizing sexual objectification in our country.’ Now, you might not agree with me, but I hope you agree that it’s time we looked at this decision that was made in 1970, a far more sexist era, and whether it should still stand today. All I am asking is that women be treated, and represented, with respect. Like men are.

That's it! If you want to sign the petition, then follow this link at and get involved.

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