No More Page 3
Here in the sofeminine office, we've been getting very excited about a new campaign, 'No More Page 3'.
No More Page 3
It's asking the editor of The Sun - very nicely, and very politely - to stop printing pictures of half naked women on page 3 of this family paper.
You can sign the petition here.
It all started when, during the Olympics, the founder, actress and author Lucy Holmes, picked up a copy of The Sun and found on Page 3, not a half naked girl, but stories about the amazing Olympic athletes, like Jessica Ennis.
Great, she thought, they've chosen the Olympics over a Page 3 girl.
But when she skipped a few pages along, she found the Page 3 girl had just been moved back and the photo of a half naked girl was bigger than any pictures of the athletes. She was not impressed.
"I couldn't stop thinking about Page 3," says Lucy. "So I decided to start the campaign. I thought if I was so passionate about this, I couldn't be the only one, and it looks like I was right."
What's wrong with Page 3?
Well, Lucy reckons that the image of women as a sexual object teaches boys that it's normal to oggle at a lady's tits and it teaches girls that this is what they should aim for, and only makes them feel bad when they inevitably fall short of the mark.
We agree with Lucy and are big supporters of the 'No More Page 3' campaign. We know that men will look at porn from time to time, but porn has a time and place.
We don't think that glamour shots of women should be printed in the most widely read newspaper in the UK, meaning that they end up in our sitting rooms and at the breakfast table, shaping the thoughts and beliefs of young people around the country.
Why is it so important?
It's so important because young men and women are growing up believing that women are not much more than sex objects. Lucy says that when 300,000 women are sexually assaulted every year, 60,000 women are raped and 1 in 4 women are sexually assaulted, printing images of women as sexual objects in a national paper is, you guessed it, a bad idea!
"It's all about context," says Lucy. "Page 3 started in the seventies. Women had only had the vote for 50 years, it was a very male run society. We've come so far since then, so why do we still have Page 3?"
Lucy is no prude, but she wants young girls to take away this message: "Women are more than how they look with their top off. So much more."
She wants girls to know that they shouldn't be validated by how men look at them. "You don't need someone else to give you self-worth," she adds.
Will they win?
Lucy is confident that they will. Why? "Dominic Mohan (editor of The Sun) has three children - he knows the argument against Page 3. Larry Lamb, the editor who introduced Page 3, who has now passed away, said he wished he hadn't introduced it. It's time for Dominic Mohan to be a hero."
Lucy says she's amazed by the men who say they want to keep Page 3, because as soon as you ask if they'd want their daughter doing it, it's a different story. "They think it's ok as long as it's someone else's daughter," she says.
Plus, in March a German paper removed their equivalent of Page 3, which is a pretty good sign.
What's is 'No More Page 3' doing?
Lucy has started a petition which has nearly 35,000 signatures so far (it's only been going a few months!) - but she needs your help, she's aiming for one million!
She's also written to The Sun's editor Dominic Mohan.
Lucy is doing a series of videos, in the first one she talks about how Page 3 made her feel about her breasts as she grew up (clue: it made her feel pretty rubbish because they didn't look like a Page 3 model's).
'No More Page 3' are also asking advertisers to withdraw their advertising from The Sun for the last week of October, that should really get Dominic's attention!
Lucy has had lots of celebs and big names giving their support, as well as two ex-page 3 girls - and she's going to need it.
A brave MP - Clare Short - tried to do this back in 1986, and then again in 2004. The Sun did a spread of Page 3 girls with her face on top, and called her 'fat' and 'jealous'.
'No More Page 3' has had support from Jennifer Saunders, Chris Addison, Caitlin Moran and author Terrence Blacker among others.
The poet Sabrina Mahfouz has even written a brilliant poem about the campaign, you can watch her reading it here.
Why people have signed the petition
If you like, you can say why you've signed the petition when you sign it, this is what people have been saying.
It makes me angry, and I'm a guy. I can't imagine how it must make women feel.
Because explaining Page 3 to my young daughters it too depressing to contemplate.
Women are not sex objects! Page 3 always makes me feel kind of awkward, kind of like a pervert.
Because boobs on Page 3 make tits of us all.
I have three little brothers and a beautiful little sister and I want them to grow up in a society where the mainstream objectification of women in a national newspaper is a bizarre and outdated notion.
Because finally, finally, finally I have realised my worth does not come from how I look and whether men find me sexually attractive or not.
It would be nice to live in a post-pubescent society!
What can you do?
Lucy wants people to spread the word as much as possible, she's asking people to blog, make youtube clips, and, mainly, the petition.
As Lucy says: "This isn't my campaign, this is everyone's campaign, make it your own."