This is our truth, tell us yours
The Sun headline this morning has made quite a lot of people quite rightly angry, and as I sat down to write I realized I had said everything I needed to over a year ago, and so in the finest tradition of journalism, am reheating an old article. True then, true now. Of course the usual feminists suspects will be silent, because if it doesn’t involve sex, it apparently doesn’t oppress women.
In which I get a few things of my chest, because there is nothing wrong with the sight of naked breasts no matter what Closer or rad fems may think. There is something wrong with calling The Scum a newspaper though.
If you were on twitter at one o’clock today you may have seen, very briefly #nomorepage3 trending. The campaign is nothing new, Clare Short was getting headlines, and misogynistic abuse for it 25 years ago, I may have disagreed with her, but I disagreed more with the attitude that her looks were relevant and her sexuality open to question.
Now page three is tacky, and if you are sexually titillated by it you really do need to get out more, but campaigning against it goes against the principles of freedom for which this blog stands. People on the twitter timeline claim that it “objectified” women. Of course they are the very ones who objectify the models, believing their legitimate choice of work degrades them, you can see the thought processes, the belief that no decent woman would choose to show her body for money. It is the same anti porn /anti sex work argument trotted out by the usual suspects.
There was another woman in today’s news with her breasts exposed. Kate Windsor (nee Middleton). I will not link to the pics, I would not like to have my holiday photos splashed over the internet, and offer her the same courtesy. I have seen them though, they are clearly taken with a long lens, and thus an invasion of her privacy. The right of people to do what they want in private is one that needs to be protected, be they millionaire or pauper, future queen or masochist. (You never know Kate may even be both, the important fact is she has the right to be both and keep that private.)
When it comes to objectification Mrs Windsor is on the receiving end of it daily. Not only about her looks, but as a baby making machine. Her role is to look pretty and produce an heir. Yes, she is well paid for adopting that role, and I am not expecting any sympathy for her, but feminists might look at how she is treated and what that says about modern society instead of launching another headline seeking campaign against page 3. Of course those patronising attitudes I mentioned earlier come into play, those who want to save women from themselves believe glamour models need saving like Victorian moralists and their obsession with fallen women. Mrs Windsor isn’t working class, or making different life choices, so she does not attract their pity.
There is, in my opinion another even more important issue at stake here. If you look at the petition from Lucy Holmes you will see it starts with one of the most breathtakingly astounding false comparisons I have ever read.
George Alagiah doesn’t say, ‘And now let’s look at Courtney, 21, from Warrington’s bare breasts,’ in the middle of the 6 O’ Clock News, does he, Dominic?
Philip and Holly don’t flash up pictures of Danni, 19, from Plymouth, in just her pants and a necklace, on This Morning, do they, Dominic?
That’s right, two days after the Hillsborough report came out Lucy Holmes and her supporters believe the Sun is a legitimate source of news. That it somehow is comparable to The 6 o’clock news* One wonders if the last 23 years have passed them by, or if this headline has never been brought to their attention? Perhaps that only concerned working class men, and so is outside the remit of their views, so how about this one, which surely includes enough oppressed minority bashing to be offensive?
This is where I start to get angry and wonder about the feminist movement and whether outside of a few internet enclaves any real change will be achieved. There are many reasons not to buy the Sun, I never have nor do I subscribe to Sky, it is a moral choice that goes back further than Hillsborough to the miners strike, Orgreave, and Murdoch’s treatment of the unions over Wapping. Right now the families of the 96 are crying out for justice, senior policemen continue to blame the fans, and some people believe that page three is the worst thing about the foul repellant rag?
* For our overseas readers television news in the Uk attempts to be balanced, we have no equivalent of fox news. Whilst our newspapers are very partisan the TV tends to be non political, whatever the Mail might claim.