Murdoch’s ‘The Sun’ Drops Topless ‘Page 3′ Girls After 44 Years

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

#NoMorePage3: The Sun axes topless models.

Rupert Murdoch’s British tabloid newspaper has ceased publishing topless “Page 3″ models after 44 years, an apparent response to changing attitudes and a feminist-led campaign to end the controversial feature in The Sun.Instead of naked breasts on Page 3 today The Sun has tastefully chosen paparazzi photos of Hollyoaks actors Jennifer Metcalfe and Gemma Merna frolicking in bikinis on a beach in Dubai.The UK’s top selling newspaper has stopped printing ‘Page 3’ topless models after a run of 44 years, delighting critics of the “sexist” images and angering both fans of the feature, and those who see it as an issue of freedom. The U.K.’s top-selling newspaper has carried bare-breasted British glamor models on its third page on weekdays since 1970, alongside an often implausible quote referencing a topical story.

Apart from the cover, the most prominent picture of a woman in the paper still focuses solely on their appearance but, hey, at least the nipples are covered, right? The Sun stopped printing pictures of the bare-chested models this week after what was reportedly an order “from high up, from New York,” in a thinly veiled reference to Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul who owns the paper. The Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper began showing “Page 3 Girls” as a way to court blue-collar workers, but its days have seemed numbered since Murdoch tweeted in September that the page was old-fashioned. But replacing topless women with women in bras only illustrates that the Sun doesn’t understand what’s wrong with its general approach to women and why so many people object to it.

A “No More Page 3” campaign has won support on social media in recent years, garnering almost 220,000 signatures in favor of scrapping the controversial images. It was the inherent sexism at The Sun that said to women you are only really important and newsworthy when you take your clothes off and allow us to ogle your bits. The âNo More Page 3â Facebook site, a campaign started by writer Lucy-Anne Holmes to “Take the Bare Boobs Out of The Sun,” was filled with congratulatory messages today and notes on TV appearances to discuss the move. “It wasn’t about Page 3 being offensive but about the impact on our society of judging men and women by different standards,” Stella Creasy, a lawmaker for Walthamstow in London, said in a BBC Radio 4 interview today. “It was saying to all of us that what mattered was our breasts not our brains.” Page 3 first drew opposition in the 1980s, when lawmaker Clare Short introduced a bill in Parliament to kill the feature. Each day I stumble across articles about impressive talented women that reduced them to nothing more than their physical appearance, weight or clothing. Your opinions please.” Many of his readership appeared to disagree, and the decision to ban Page 3 from the physical pages has sent many readers into a spin, with “feminists” bearing the brunt of their anger.

There are reports that the decision could be reversed if there is a noticeable fall in sales, but the publisher, News UK, have said even in the face of staunch criticism the feature was still popular with its readership. Still, Banks said the end of the topless version of the Page 3 girl is only a partial victory, given the continuing display of barely dressed women on the page and the topless pictures on Page3.com.

For NoMorePage3 campaigners, it was always about context – placed prominently in the newspaper, the images sent the message that the news about women was their breasts, and that they were passive decorations there to titillate man. No More Page 3 campaigner Angela Towers told The Independent: “It’s an historic moment, but the devil will be in the detail, and there’s still a lot to be done.” The shift to images of women in underwear doesn’t send a drastically different message, and it’s disappointing the Sun couldn’t have chosen to start celebrating women’s many and diverse achievements, but it nonetheless represents the fall of an emblem that was representative of wider sexist norms. It’s not as though the paper’s suddenly running extracts from Intercourse or Pornography: Men Possessing Women by my hero Andrea Dworkin or a long, clothed interview with bell hooks or Roxane Gay.

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