Amongst the motions passed at the Liberal Democrat's 2011 conference is a call to restrict sexualised images in newspapers.
A plan by former MP Evan Harris aims to tackle the projection of women as sex objects to children and adolescents by restricting sexualised images in newspapers and general circulation magazines to the same rules that apply to pre-watershed
The Sun reports that Evan Harris held up photos of page 3 girls during a debate in Birmingham, and argued they - and the Sun newspaper - should only be on the top shelf at newsagents. He said:
OK, these images can be available for adults if they want to access them, but they should have to reach up to a higher shelf than what is at the general view for young people.
Offsite Comment: Taking the liberal out of the Lib Dems
The Liberal Democrats persist in calling themselves Liberals , while at the same time announcing a range of policies that could deal a bodyblow to individual freedom. From plans to introduce parenting classes, to proposals to ban Page 3
girls and give the state powers to put investigative journalists behind bars, a rebranding as the Illiberal Democrats must surely be in the pipeline.
Harriet Harman has had a whinge against Page 3 girls, telling Sky Newsthat tabloid pictures of topless females are not the right thing for women in the 21st century .
Labour's deputy leader said:
I'm not saying that we should ban it. ..BUT.. .I think that women in the 21st century who are going out to work, who are bringing up their children, who are playing a full role in public life, I think that the idea that women are sex
objects to be posing in their knickers to be leered at by men in a national newspaper - I don't think that that's the right thing for women in the 21st century.
Perhaps the 21st century will one day become known as the Miserable Century. When for one reason or another, all pleasures in life were frowned upon. And when everything ended up banned, nobody could make any money, and the western world went
down the pan.
Platform 51 is a women's group that was once the YWCA. They write:
Platform 51 poll reveals significant support for ban
A new poll, commissioned by women's charity, Platform 51, reveals that over two fifths of women in the UK would support a ban on the use of topless images in daily newspapers.
Almost double the proportion of women (42%) would support a move to ban topless models as oppose it (24%)
Amongst men and women, younger people aged 18-24 (41%) and Londoners (43%) would be most supportive of a ban
Commenting on these latest figures, Rebecca Gill, Platform 51's Director of Policy, Communications and Campaign, said:
Today's figures reveal that many more women are in favour of a ban on Page 3 than against it. Everyday we help girls and women across the country to build up their confidence and self-esteem and we see how they are affected by such photos, both
in how they feel about themselves and how men see them.
These figures are particularly timely with Dominic Mohan being recalled in front of the Leveson inquiry on this issue. We hope that the inquiry will listen to women's views.
Surely readers have the right to know the full results of the poll including the views of men, older people, and those outside London. The results selected have obviously been cherry picked, and one assumes that the full results simply do not
support Platform 51's views.
And then Rebecca Gill, CEO of Platform 51, cheekily uses these bollox half survey results to sort of call on Leveson to ban page 3. See
huffingtonpost.co.uk by Rebecca Gill:
On Monday Dominic Mohan was recalled to the Leveson inquiry where he defended Page 3 as a British institution . Unfortunately he missed the all important word was'- it was a British institution - and not a particularly good one at
Platform 51 commissioned a nationally representative poll over the weekend which showed that almost twice as many women would support a ban on topless pictures of female models appearing in daily newspapers as would oppose it. In a country
where many people feel uneasy with the word 'ban , these results are certainly striking.
These serious objections to Page 3 are perhaps well rehearsed. But what our polling shows is that many people, far from viewing institutions like Page 3 as harmless fun, in fact see Page 3 as an outdated institution which is,
frankly, a bit embarrassing and needs to be consigned to the dustbin of history.
I wonder if Leveson appreciates the irony of being asked to make recommendations based on the very sort of unethical bollox that he is supposed to be sorting out.
Lynne Featherstone, the international development minister, said she would sign a petition to ban Page 3 because it had a deleterious effect on women.
The petition, set up by Lucy Holmes and entitled Take the bare boobs out of The Sun , had more than 30,000 signatures last night.
Admitting she would be called mean and sour-faced by some people, Featherstone said:
There is a real argument about what is OK in the public space. If you are on the Tube you may find Page 3 is facing you and your young daughter and you may not want that to be a role model for her.
There is an army on the other side hurtling abuse. It's not simply about equal pay. It's about the constant drip, drip of women being sexualised in the public space [which] has a great bearing on attitudes and domestic violence.
When you know that one in four women experience domestic violence in their life, two women are killed each week by their partner or husband, there is a very long way to go. While a lot of blokes say 'You are mean, sour-faced, whatever -- it's
harmless', actually it's not harmless at all.
Nutters opposed to the Sun's topless Page 3 have targeted supermarkets across Britain as they stepped up their campaign for an advertising boycott of the tabloid.
Members of the campaign group No More Page 3 claimed Page 3 was a sexist relic of an unhealthy 1970s culture that was at odds with the family values promoted by supermarkets. Founder Lucy-Anne Holmes said:
Supermarkets are selling family values and yet they are advertising with a newspaper that encourages people to see women not as a human but as an object. We are calling for them to stop advertising with the Sun and send out a really positive
message that they value their female customers.
No More Page 3 has written to four supermarkets, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Asda, asking for a meeting to discuss the issue of advertising in the paper. Tesco and Morrisons said that they would meet campaigners, Sainsbury's and Asda have
Local groups, organised via Facebook, have petitioned shoppers outside stores in about five different locations. While
The campaign has attracted 51,000 signatures of support on a change.org petition.
In the past week the group confronted Lego with a spoof figure of a topless girl after the toy company ran a joint promotion with the Sun.
Update: Authoritarian Feminists
7th November 2012. From Dan
Regarding the anti page 3 campaign. It seems now the Conservative Left and authoritarian feminists have adopted the tactics of Right wing moralists, harassing advertisers in order to stop them sponsoring things they object to.
The middle class Conservative feminists and middle class Right wing puritans have found common ground in their censorious crusade to ban anything to do with sex and have found common ground in the tactics they adopt in an attempt to achieve this.
Also left wing newspapers like The Guardian have adopted a Daily Mail outlook towards the sex industry but cover it up with faux concern over the objectification of women.
Women from the No More Page 3 campaign have staged a 1970s inspired flash mob outside The Sun headquarters in an attempt to get the tabloid to remove images of topless women from its Page 3.
The protesters danced and sang in front of the Wapping office block to the 1970s tune Y.M.C.A --- using their own lyrics and choreography.
Page 3 puts porn on the bottom shelf.
It's not 1970 anymore, there's no place for this sexism today.
We're here to say we want No More Page 3!
Saturday's demonstration was organised by the No More Page 3 campaign, which was kicked off by writer and actress Lucy Holmes during last summer's London Olympics. The campaign has grown into a full-time operation staffed by a team of 12
The issue of the Sun's Page 3 has been debated in the Welsh Assembly.
Labour member Rebecca Evans bizarrely claimed during the debate that The Sun is one of the only places left where soft pornography is accepted. She said that she supports the anti Page 3 campaign and called upon the Sun newspaper to drop
the feature and emphasised that half naked women just aren't news.
Labour member Joyce Watson said that being opposed to page three is a no-brainer . She added that women are seen as desirable or maternal and still judged by appearances instead of achievements.
Plaid Cymru member Lindsay Whittle asked menacingly : is page three suitable for families to see in their own homes?
However Janet Finch-Saunders of the Conservative party said that there must be a demand for page three as it still exists and some women feel proud to show their bodies.
Apparently responding to PC protest, The Sun's new editor, David Dinsmore, has asked a group of female executives to reinvent Page 3 to supposedly make it more relevant to the 21st century.
Jules Stenson, the ex-features editor of the News of the World, tweeted: I am told The Sun is planning to 'reinvent' Page 3. No love for it among bosses, but it is a sales fix they cannot live without.
The changes will mean, says one former News International executive, more celeb pictures, more up-market shoots and less nipples . It is thought the changes are the idea of Dinsmore, who took over as editor last month, rather than an
instruction from Rupert Murdoch.
Lisa Clarke of No More Page 3 said the changes were proof that they were being listened to. She said Dinsmore had been engaging with the group, which by last night had secured more than 108,000 signatures:
We have some fantastic ideas ... about putting female athletes, artists, people who represent women as we actually are, rather than just standing there in our pants for the entertainment of men. There is a huge moral shift in the zeitgeist and
we are very happy to talk to these executives about making Page 3 a more female-positive space.
Daily Mail Dave delivered a speech promising to censor more or less anything on the internet but has drawn the line at banning sexy pictures in newspapers.
Cameron said he would never support a ban on topless images on page 3 of the Sun newspaper. Pressed to explain the distinction between his censorial position on online pornographic images and his laissez-faire stance on topless images in
newspapers, he said that it was up to consumers whether or not they wanted to buy the Sun [or Daily Mail].
Asked by Woman's Hour presenter Jane Garvey whether he was worried that his daughters could be confronted by Page 3, he said:
This is an area where we should leave it to consumers to decide, rather than to regulators ... As politicians we have to decide where is the right place for regulation, where is the right place for legislation, where is the right place for
consumers to decide.
The founder of the No More Page 3 campaign, Lucy Holmes, said she thought Cameron's willingness to acknowledge the dangers of online pornography while ignoring the parallel dangers of topless images on page 3 of Britain's best-read newspaper was
David Cameron must see that these pictures are damaging for women. Is he afraid of upsetting the Sun?
The Sun has dropped topless Page 3 pictures in Ireland because of supposed cultural differences between that country and Britain. The editor of the paper's Irish edition, Paul Clarkson, is quoted in the Irish Times as saying :
Page 3 is a hugely popular pillar of the Sun in the UK...
In the Irish Sun we strive to share the qualities that make the newspaper great in print and digital, but we also strive to cater for our own readers' needs and reflect the cultural differences in Ireland.
Roy Greenslade of the Guardian notes that this is a remarkable decision given that the paper has been running pictures of topless women for many years without apparently being aware of the cultural differences .
Male and female readers of the Sun strongly support Page 3 topless models, according to the chief executive of the paper's publisher News UK.
Mike Darcey said that ultimately any decision on the future of the Page 3 models is up to the Sun's editor, David Dinsmore, but that he believed customers are very happy with the Sun's editorial offering.
Darcey said that focus groups with those readers showed that both male and female Sun readers are happy to continue to see Page 3 in the UK's best selling daily.
There are around 12 million people a week who read the Sun and they are very happy with the package that is the Sun. And so they continue to buy it. We ask them, we have focus groups with them, ask what they think and they very strongly continue
to support that. That's true across male readers, female readers. And in the end this is a product people can choose to buy or not to buy.
The Royal College of Nursing has issued a statement in support of a ban on the Sun's topless Page 3 glamour feature saying:
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) supports the No More Page three campaign because we believe that the humiliation and exploitation of women is something that should not be acceptable.
Gender stereotyping and the sexualisation of women can have detrimental effects on the safety of women in our society. The RCN promotes a working environment where our members and staff can work with dignity and not be placed in compromising
situations that cause offence, humiliation, embarrassment or distress.
All nursing staff should be seen as respected professionals with no sexualised stereotypes attached.
University of Lincoln students have voted to allow The Sun to remain on sale on campus following a referendum of the student body.
A motion had been proposed following objections to the newspaper's regular page 3 feature. Proposers claimed that the topless model shots printed by the tabloid were objectifying women and undermining equality. Others argued that it was a woman's
choice to take part in glamour modelling.
Several other British universities have banned the red-top from campus shops, including Leeds, Birmingham City, Bradford, Essex, Kingston, Manchester and East Anglia.
A total of 1,310 students cast their vote and 52% supported the sale of The Sun at the University of Lincoln.
The Co-op has refused to bow to demands from anti-Page 3 campaigners to withdraw advertising from the Sun newspaper and to banish its sales to the top shelf.
The No More Page 3 campaign had targeted local Coop regional meetings and had won votes to censor the Sun in three southern regions.
The board of Co-operative Food told campaigners that it entirely respects the views of those campaigning to have 'Page 3 ' type images dropped from the Sun and the Star , but said:
We are mindful, in consideration of these motions, of the need to balance the following: our commercial need to market effectively to our customers; our commitment to create a family-friendly shopping environment and the problems associated with
using corporate influence via sales, promotions or advertising to seek to influence editorial decisions.
With over 18 million customers using the Co-operative every week and a significant proportion of our target audience, including members, reading the Sun it is vital that our media choices continue to reach this large audience cost effectively.
Removing advertising from the Sun based on what the paper chooses to publish runs the risk of being seen as trying to directly influence editorial decisions and sets a precedent for all publications and media channels in the future.
There is a need to balance, in a free society, press freedom alongside newspapers ' responsibility to deliver accurate, fair and appropriate content.
For these reason we do not use advertising to influence editorial decisions and currently have no plans to change this policy.
The Co-op sells half a million copies of the Sun each week.
Supermarket Tesco will no longer show the front covers of tabloid newspapers to avoid children seeing sexualised pictures of young women .
After months of lobbying by campaign groups No More Page 3 and Child Eyes, the largest supermarket chain in the UK said it would change the design of its news cube stands so newspapers will not be displayed vertically.
Tesco will now only show the names and logos of newspapers on the sides of the display stands. Customers will now have to walk right up to the display in order to see what's on the front of the newspapers. The policy will affect how all tabloid
papers are displayed, from the red tops to mid-market titles like The Daily Mail and The Express.
Representatives from No More Page 3 and Child Eyes, which campaigns against sexual imagery met with Tesco at its head office in September to convey their ideas for censorship.
Tracey Clements, customer experience and insight director for Tesco, said:
We are first and foremost a family retailer and it's important we do everything we can to promote the right environment in store. We've asked our customers what they think about the issue and we have spoken to campaigners. The change we're
making will strike the right balance for everyone.
It seems that the word 'balance' has now adopted the new meaning of censorship being imposed and/or rights being taken away.
Waitrose followed has followed Tesco's lead in censoring newspaper covers, saying it had been working on it for some time and would be changing their newspaper fixtures to display covers out of children's eyelines.
Offsite Comment: Modern Mary Whitehouses Want to Censor Newspapers, Magazines, Clothes and even Mugs
25th November 2014.
Right wing US commentators have fun watching Tesco censoring newspaper covers:
Sometimes, the world looks like a bleak place: the Middle East is still rocked by bloody violence, endangering thousands of innocent lives; millions around the world are still dying from poverty and preventable diseases. And yet, No More Page 3
(NMP3) campaigners are still convinced that the real crisis facing humanity today is the influence of boobs on working-class men.
David Dinsmore, the editor of the Sun, has been named as 2014's sexist of the year after a poll run by the feminist campaigning coalition, End Violence Against Women (EVAW). He will be sent a No More Page 3 t-shirt as a prize for what EVAW
calls its prestigious annual award.
It calls Dinsmore a worthy winner because he has:
Dug his heels in over the daily circulation of pornography in a freely available bottom shelf newspaper despite a powerful national campaign led by young women against Page 3.
The runner-up in the poll is Rockstar Games for its Grand Theft Auto 5 game, in which players are able to murder a woman in prostitution.
Honourable mentions go to Ukip's leader Nigel Farage for being a breast-feeding supporter.