Why We Need No More Page 3

Our Women’s Officer offers her thoughts as to why we need to make a stand against The Sun’s most controversial page.


If you’ve been around Warwick campus this term, you may have become aware that a campaign has been launched urging our campus Costcutter to stop selling The Sun newspaper until The Page 3 feature is removed.

When we first wrote to them, their immediate response was that we were a tiny minority of students, and we didn’t represent the general student feeling. We’ve been trying to prove them wrong with a petition, which is currently almost 900 signatures strong, as well as holding a demo outside the shop itself inviting students to put their face to the message, and hold up one of our lovely No More Page 3 signs.

But who knows Breast?

Campaigning outside Costcutter

Now, we are not a university known for our apathy. Nor are we one who don’t know how to use consumer power to influence our retailers. Just last year the Animal Ethics Society successfully petitioned Costcutter to remove the sale of eggs from caged hens, which I completely support and applaud. It’s just that I’d like to think our university values women at least as much as they value chickens. 24 other universities, and 4 Oxford colleges have all voted in favour of boycotting The Sun because of the sexist and racist overtones of Page 3. It’s just getting a bit embarrassing that Warwick is still refusing to take a stand.

We’re not against breasts, or sex, or even topless modelling – but our campaign is all about context. Sexualised nudity is out of context in a newspaper, and the promotion of misogynist press is out of context in a progressive university which professes to value equality. It is insulting that in 2013, the largest image of a woman in the UK’s biggest selling newspaper is one who is there, bare-breasted, to sexually titilate men – while the men in the pages around her are shown running the country, playing sports and doing all manner of things which don’t depend on them being pretty, young and nude.

page-3-girl

‘News in Briefs’ may be a lovely play on words, but certainly not a lovely way to depict British women’s place in society.

The ‘if you don’t like it, don’t buy it’ argument doesn’t hold up too well – whether we like it or not, the messages of the press influence our culture, and Page 3 feeds into a sexist culture where women are primarily valued for their appearances… women who are young, thin, white and large-breasted that is, anyway. We can’t opt out of culture. But hopefully, we can start to change it.