What does Page 3 say about women in the media?

The Sun, Page 3, journalism, debate, women, Hannah Parry, Kettle Mag
Written by HannahWrites

So it seems that Rupert Murdoch played one of the biggest jokes on the general public in a very long time, although some found it funnier than others. The Page 3 debate has been running for a considerable amount of time now, with feminist groups campaigning for the end of it’s seemingly misogynistic exploitation of women.

However, it’s not just the men of the Great British public that are calling for the topless treat to remain in the newspaper, with crie of tradition and harmless fun being the central counter-argument. 

There has always been an age-old debate between various feminist groups about the issue of the topless women that frame our Page 3. Some claim that it is a misogynistic sexualisation of women that creates an imbedded disrespect throughout the generations and maintains a view that women are only useful in terms of sex. 

However, with upcoming campaigns such as ‘free the nipple’ some feminists have taken to social media to say that groups campaigning for the eradication of the topless models are doing nothing but restricting women and their bodies. They also reinforce how the women that appear on Page 3 are not only celebrating the female form but also working independently and earning their own money – which has been campaigned for throughout the years by feminists.

Varied reply

While this age old debate has continued through fast paced social media websites, the responses have been incredibly mixed, with a considerable amount of verbal abuse aimed at feminism and women in general, with a large number of derogatory and sexist comments encompassing the entirety of British women. In general the response varied from anger to happiness, however in typical style, social media’s responses from those who wanted to keep Page 3 managed to highlight the reasons why women should embrace feminism.

The derogatory, demeaning and just plainly ridiculous comments about feminism and the women of the general public attacked women’s weight, attractiveness and age and ironically managed to highlight that you can only be taken serious as a woman if you are young, beautiful and slim. 

No ‘Sun set’ on Page 3

However, the outbreak of anger and relief were short lived as the very next day, after we’d been fooled into believing Page 3 was finally gone, The infamous Page 3 was back and bare breasted as ever.

While the great British public rejoiced, the revival of Page 3 highlighted a worrying and disappointing ideal. It promotes the ignorance of the media concerning women and the way in which they desire to be represented. It’s a public declaration that a very powerful man can indeed represent women however he wants to and not have to answer to anyone.

It’s reaffirmation that women in today’s media are unfortunately still being taken seriously based only upon looks and attractiveness rather than merit, mind and opinion. Rupert Murdoch openly expressed his satirical apologies to anyone who reported upon the end of Page 3, highlighting that he thought the entirety of the campaigns that ran against him were just that, a mockery. 

Whether or not you agree or disagree with Page 3, whether you believe in it’s tradition or you believe in it’s dangers, there is no doubt that women’s position in today’s media still has a long way to go until it carries the same weight as men’s. As it stands, it becomes seemingly more obvious that women within the media are still unfortunately very much under the control of the male hand. 

What do you think about Page 3? Have your say in the comments section below.