The World Does Not Need Page 3
Feminism is the No More Page 3 campaign, says Zack Fox
Whenever I tell people I’m a feminist, one of two things will (usually) happen.
Either I’ll get a look/snort of derision along the lines of ‘dude, what the fuck?’, or I’ll get a shrug of general acceptance, maybe garnished with a perfunctory ‘so like…what does that mean?’
The more I see of that latter result, the happier I’ll be. Feminism isn’t something to be ignored or ridiculed, it’s something to be accepted as necessary and – until attitudes sufficiently change – the norm. Feminism works when it’s ordinary, not when it’s disparaged as a ‘dirty word.’
For reasons that are obvious to the point of comical: the world needs feminism.
The world does not need Page 3.
The organisers of the inspirational No More Page 3 campaign set up a demonstration in our own Market Square last weekend, continuing their noble work to ensure that the Page 3 debate doesn’t simply dwindle and die as The Sun editor David Dinsmore doubtlessly hopes it will.
Feminism is the No More Page 3 campaign: a conscious effort to tear down archaic boundaries, to improve the world for the better. Dinsmore may belittle the effort by saying that ‘there are much bigger issues in the world’ than Page 3, but by that logic we should all stand still, twiddle our thumbs and do nothing until the likes of world hunger, poverty, warfare and pollution are history.
And besides, he’s still wrong.
Page 3 represents a big big issue. These people who dismiss the problem out of hand on the basis that it’s ‘only a bit of fun’ or that it’s ‘tradition’ need to remember that we are the culture we create; we create and shape culture and are in turn created and shaped by it.
Right now, culture dictates that women are objects primed only for consumption. Page 3 perpetuates this myth, while feminism through the instrument of the No More Page 3 campaign refutes that which seems so obviously wrong to people with eyes open enough to see it.
The health and emotional development of a whole generation of young girls (and boys, though in different ways) is being threatened all so Dinsmore can tell us what Charlene, 19, from Plymouth thinks about the news while wearing a thong and a necklace. All so he can stubbornly stick to a tradition that is moronically outdated.
It was tradition to flog misbehaving children once upon a time, or to send them down mineshafts, until the nation realized ‘hey, y’know what, this might actually be, like, bad for them.’
The Sun primes itself as a family newspaper, so why is soft-core pornography even remotely acceptable? Probably because the sexualisation of women, despite the apparent developments in gender equality, is still seen as just dandy.
‘Sex sells’ – that old adage – is a pathetic excuse for the leering cultural view of the female figure. But an excuse it is. And the damage to younger generations, to cultural perceptions of gender and sex, is just necessary sacrifice for the proliferation of arcane beliefs on commerce and women.
Should Page 3 be removed? Unquestionably yes. It does far too much damage, in ways we as a society are still struggling to entirely understand, to render any argument along the lines of ‘tradition’ majestically redundant. The world does not need Page 3.
Will Page 3 be removed? Well…that’s just the question. It’s one hell of task, nauseatingly daunting, against both an institution and a mentality that will never simply back down. Nearly 125,000 people and counting have added their voice to the cause, and even if the Page 3 regime itself isn’t eventually brought down, the influence of No More Page 3 is undeniable, remarkable and sobering.