The death and resurrection of Page 3

Boobs. Could you imagine a newspaper without them? I, for one, wouldn’t dare touch any outlet of journalism, whether credible or tabloid, without making sure I can open the cover and be greeted by a charming young woman who’s forgotten her clothes. Thank Murdoch that 2.2 million readers of The Sun every day seem to agree, parting with their well-earned pennies for a trashy rag with a side dish of sexism and blatant objectification of women.

Oh wait, I like my newspapers to possess a vague comprehension of not only the culture that they are attempting to comment on but also to not eschew important news stories in order to demean half the world’s population. The fact that this country’s largest newspaper still deems it acceptable or even remotely relevant in its role as a pusher of journalism, no matter how horrendously crude, to thrust an antiquated and sexist valuation of the female of the species onto its readers that implies they’re only newsworthy when they’ve got their breasts out, regardless of what their readership may ‘say’ or how the ‘kind’ of people who kick up a stink about such degradation – “comfy shoe wearing… no bra wearing… man haters” if you ask page 3 ‘star’ turned Twitter user Rhian Sugden – is repugnant.

You could make the argument that the young women of this nation would have absolutely nothing to aspire to without the reliable career path of get boobs out, have dodge photographer capture the moment, get in paper. Like former Apprentice candidate Luisa Zissman, who pursued a baking business partnership with Lord Sugar on the show before realising that there was more money in getting your boobs out and prancing around the Big Brother house, you could argue that “the extreme feminists won” when the girls who appeared wearing underwear, though still without the dignity. For all of 3 days.

Not even half a week after the media, led by the Sun’s Murdoch-helmed upmarket (in other words, clothes-wearing and dignified) stablemate The Times, jumped on a page 3 appearance by mildly-covered model/Sun-esque joke of an actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to claim that the red-topped rag had finally covered up after 44 years, editor David Dinsmore and company mocked them with a ‘clarifications and corrections’ section – of course adorned with the winking Nicole, 22, from Bournemouth undoubtedly catching a chill in the nip – and apologised to the journalists who’d flooded them with publicity. This feminist victory wasn’t as real as it seemed.

And, as such, the status quo is restored after what The Sun termed ‘a mammary lapse’. No, not a pair of old male rock stars getting naked to sell their ‘stripped’ acoustic album, but the newspaper that shovels enough copies to be this nation’s own (well, if you ignore the vociferous hatred they garnered from the citizens of Liverpool after the Hillsborough disaster) finding humour in their daily misogynist objectification column. It’s like a child giggling at the female anatomy every day for 44 years and, despite the objections of the rational members of society and the blatant disregard for sheer human decency, crying wolf and getting back up to flog the dead horse.

Then again, perhaps this is meant to help those of us who hadn’t already picked up the message realise that The Sun is, and always has been, an utter joke. At least I can be sure that The Broadie will never sink to such trashy, crass and degrading echelons.

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Author: Xavier Voigt-Hill

I write words.

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