The Page Three Debate: Who Knows Breast?

Page 3. One heated debate. 2 sides of an argument. Let the breast player win.

The No More Page Three campaign has hit Warwick and pressure is growing to ban the sale of The Sun on campus.

So far, 26 universities have banned the selling of the Sun in its local shops – now it’s Warwick’s turn to experience the wrath of Women’s Officer Louisa Ackermann and the WASS efforts to ban The Sun from Costcutter.

Most of us quickly turned the page as children, just in case our parents caught us looking at it, yet it has been in existence for 43 years and the debate on whether it should be kept or not has reached boiling point.

The petition has already reached more than 800 signatures and recent campaigns in the Piazza have included students holding ‘No More Page Three’ placards.

As with breasts, there are two sides to this heated debate. The Tab sought out some of the most heated opinions:

Students holding such placards have been a regular sight in the last week.

Students holding such placards have been a regular sight in the last week.


But who knows Breast?

Does she know Breast? Or is she making a tit out of herself?

The Tab interviewed the founder and leading figure of the petition, Louise Ackermann, Warwick SU Women’s officer about the motive of the petition and about her views on Page Three.

“In the twenty-first century, it is absurd that the largest image of a woman in the UK’s biggest selling newspaper is one standing there passively for the sexual gratification of men.

It is absurd that people like Rupert Murdoch can profit handsomely off young women’s breasts in a ‘family newspaper’, but I can’t be topless in the summer without facing a public indecency charge. Page 3 adds absolutely nothing journalistically to The Sun, it just reaffirms institutionalised sexist attitudes to women.

Page 3 also perpetuates the ‘othering’ of non-white ethnic groups, having featured only 5 non-white models in 43 years of its existence.

Like the 26 universities who have already boycotted The Sun, Warwick should be striving for progress, not giving a platform to such degrading and damaging perceptions.”

A well formed and symmetrical point of view…wasn’t that the breast pun ever. So BRAce yourself for the other point of the view that lends itself to such a petition.

An International Business student (who preferred to remain anonymous) rebutted Louisa’s argument, claiming he doesn’t understand why “such a big deal” is being raised over a couple of nude women on page 3.

He said: “If a couple of consenting women wish to bare their breasts then I do not understand what the problem is. There are so many more critical problems afflicting this country at the moment that the hype over a few women expressing themselves is a bit ridiculous.”

Barrie Wright (no, not the not Soul singer that dominated the 70’s), a Chemistry Student at Warwick, was in a recent Facebook dispute on Warwick Freshers page:

“The petition is at one end with a position of ‘no one should have easy access to this material’. The opposite end of the spectrum would be ‘everyone should be forced to look at this material’. Giving everyone the freedom to choose whether they want to see this material is neither of those positions, it is a neutral stance.

Also you say that they are ‘simply doing what is right’ – again that depends on your values. In my values, organised religion is a force for bad in the world but I’m not making petitions and handing out fliers suggesting the chaplaincy be leveled to the ground”, Barrie claimed in response to another student.

Lorayn Brown refuted furiously: “Barrie, nowhere have I suggested this material should be removed from the face of the earth. I have absolutely no issue with the distribution of sexual photographs.

I do, however, take umbrage with sexually objectifying images being irresponsibly distributed purely for sales of said publication. In that respect I am not telling anyone they should not be able to view porn in any of its many forms.

I am simply suggesting this is not the place for it, and nor the context if we wish to end or minimise the sexist culture in which we live. But thanks very much for bringing this to debate, we reached 700 signatures just minutes ago, with numerous supporters being freshers whose attention was grabbed due to this discussion. We appreciate your help.”

What do you think? 

Should their courage in taking on such a huge corporation such as the Sun be commended?

Or should we question how effective a campaign will be when taking on the UK’s largest newspaper and one of the highest selling newspapers at the University?

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