The Sun’s Page 3 flip-flops on baring boobs, but its feminist opposers come out ahead.
Though No More Page 3 supporters believed they’d finally put a dent in The Sun's notorious daily images of topless women, it seems that they’ve been trolled by the tabloid. Unfortunately for The Sun, the stunt has brought even more attention to the No More Page 3 campaign.
Opponents of the newspaper’s 44 year practice of plastering Page 3 with images of topless women rejoiced when on Tuesday The Guardian reported that an order to cover up the models had come from up high in New York. Owner Rupert Murdoch, who is based in New York, made a series of comments last year calling the practice "old fashioned. " After covering up its Page 3 models for a couple of days, today the tabloid resumed its topless photos.
Since the paper’s topless women once again hit the streets this morning, Lucy-Ann Holmes’ No More Page 3 Change.org petion asking Sun editor David Dinsmore to "stop showing topless pictures of young women in Britain's most widely read newspaper" and "stop conditioning your readers to view women as sex objects" has exploded, gaining more than 12,000 new signatures, bringing the total number of supporters to 229,737 (and counting).
It was two years ago now that Holmes wrote a letter to Dinsmore, asking him to ditch the sexist practice of placing images of passive, bare-breasted women among its news articles featuring fully clothed men closing deals, leading countries, and scoring goals. Dinsmore never responded, so the writer and actor focused her energy on creating a petition and building a campaign. Since then the No More Page 3 team and its influence has swelled, bringing life back into a feminist fight that is anything but new.
The models of Page 3 are simply doing their jobs, sure, but up until 2003 they were as young as 16. As the No Page 3 activists often point out, the largest image of a women in The Sun is often a nameless, topless woman in the daily feature. To pretend that a practice like No Page 3 doesn't reinforce gender inequality, rape culture, and street harassment towards women is naive, and this new wave of campaigners is certainly not the first to bring it up. So what's taking The Sun (and the other Brit papers that also feature similarly scantily-clad models) so long to make some progress? Who knows, but while they spend their time trolling campaigners like Holmes and her ilk, the movement against them and the culture of oppression towards women that they support is gaining steam. And that is a victory.