Even If It Features 'Glamorous Fashionistas', Page 3 Will Always Be About The Tits

The point of Page 3 will still be about going “cor, look at that!” at some tits. Except now, the tits will be draped in some very lovely fabric probably designed by some bloke somewhere.
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The point of Page 3 will still be about going “cor, look at that!” at some tits. Except now, the tits will be draped in some very lovely fabric probably designed by some bloke somewhere.

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Along with V-Day, pancaklentines day, horse meat crispy pancakes and the parting papal business, Twitter is abuzz with the news that Rupert Murdoch MIGHT be considering doing away with Page 3.

“Page three so last century! You maybe right, don't know but considering.” he tweeted this week “Perhaps halfway house with glamorous fashionistas.”

No more Page 3! The shock of it. What will happen to all of us wimmins and our attention-hungry tatas when they’re no longer splashed across a national newspaper every day?

And wait, what’s this? Glamorous fashionista? In 140 characters or less Mr M has shattered my lifelong dream of appearing on Page 3 of the Sun. I will never be considered. I am so much not a fashionista that my style was once described by a friend as “like you climbed in your wardrobe, shut the door, and rolled around”. And they meant it as a COMPLIMENT.

I've been behind the No More Page 3 campaign from the outset; since before it became a formalised movement and was just a feeling of rancour which lived within the bosom of us women (and obviously many men too). I attended a meeting with Object at the end of last year to discuss the Stop Page 3 Campaign and strategies to push it forward. I am very much ON BOARD.

However, like Hadley Freeman in her brilliant recent article on this very point, I don't think that Page 3 is the worst example of sexism in the media; although it is very much representative of a particularly poisonous viewpoint and attitude towards women. The Rosetta Stone of objectification, if you will.

The problem with Page 3 isn't with the boobs themselves. We love boobs, boobs are magnificent things. Mine have got bigger recently to my perpetual delight and wonder, and I keep accosting my poor boyfriend and saying “Look! LOOK! Look at them JIGGLE!” whilst bouncing them up and down, and he sighs and says “not now darling, I am up to my eyeballs in Proust” (HAHA! Good joke, right you guys?).

It is excellent to have boobs – but I also think, and talk and have opinions. I am attached to my boobs, but they aren't me.

Page 3 detaches us from our bodies, it is a cheeky glimpse of flesh and nothing more. One of the quite rubbish arguments used to justify keeping news-tits on Page 3 is that it's because it's a “British institution”, like gravy, bad dentistry and moaning about the weather.

What people really mean by this isn't actually that it's an institution, but that it's been going on for so long that we've all just got a bit used to it, like bad dentistry and the weather.

This was thrown into relief for me a couple of years ago. I lived abroad, in a country where their particular version of the wolf whistle is a hiss. At first I found it first disconcerting and rather threatening, and as time went on more and more infuriating. Because I wasn't used to it I found it even more aggressive than the wolf-whistle, which I had become de-sensitised to.

Once I stopped feeling threatened by the hissing, I started to feel angry - incredibly angry - and then I started to rage against it. Openly, and vocally, I really began to get furious about this treatment. I took to shouting at the perpetrators in the streets “WHY ARE YOU MAKING THAT NOISE AT ME? I AM NOT A CAT!!!” (a retort which I never really understood, but it seemed fit for purpose at the time and adequately expressed my rage).

The people making the noise would rapidly shut up. They were confused and embarrassed, usually on my behalf rather than on their own, and they would shuffle away from me awkwardly. An object isn't expected to respond to its objectifiers. It is simply intended to be an object.

However, I've never, ever tried this in the UK. I have just scuttled past the wolf-whistles and the “alright darlings!”, blushing and hoping I don't trip up and draw more attention to myself, and I think probably that's because it's how things are, and that's just what we do.

We need to reclaim our boobs, as part of us, a whole thinking, talking, and intelligent human body. We are not just the sum of our tits, we are people. If you take away this from someone, and make them just an object, you'll start thinking of them and treating them like objects.

Yesterday was One Billion Rising, a day when people around the world stood up to protest about violence against women. According to the group one in three women experiences violence in her lifetime. Just think about that a second – every time I come back to it I found it astounding. One in three of US.

Violence against women is huge, it is global, it is endemic – we need to reclaim the rights to our bodies in every sphere, and while on the scale of things a titillating picture in a newspaper can seem like not a big deal – like getting whistled at in the street – it is a piece in the whole puzzle.

But Rupert Murdoch's replacing Page 3 with Glamorous Fashionistas, so that's great, right?  

Erm, no. Lets face it -  replacing the nudey-news-tits with some fashionista-news-tits isn't really a “half-way house” to anything at all, except possibly a full-page spread of a lady dressed in a duffle coat, snood and ski gloves and looking very cosy indeed.

And to be honest, I'm not quite sure what he means by fashionista. Is he going to ask fashion students to discuss their outfit, their career choice and what led to choose a career in the fashion industry? But then why stop it there? Why not ask policewomen to discuss their jobs, along with judges, sportswomen, Chief Execs? And why not just ask them to do it wearing whatever the heck they want and just standing LIKE A NORMAL HUMAN BEING?

Something (female intuition?) tells me this isn’t what Murdoch intends. The point of Page 3 will still be about going “cor, look at that!” at some tits. Except now, the tits will be draped in some very lovely fabric probably designed by some bloke somewhere (ALERT - FASHION EXPERT).

They'll be very well-dressed tits but the point will still be “Look at this beautiful lady, NO DON'T ASK HER OPINION ON ANYTHING, JUST LOOK AT HER!!”. It will still be an aggressive hiss, or wolf-whistle, in print.

Ask Kirsty her opinion or just stare at her tits - whatever - on Twitter @kirkycheep