Friday, 2 November 2012

The continued Page 3 debate

Page 3 defender Peta Todd, Charity worker, former model
I'm probably about to draw a lot of flak from this but....

I agree with Nick on the subject of Page 3 and the sun. Liberals can, and cannot tell newspapers what to print as long as they are not infringing on other people's liberty by phone hacking or over intrusive journalism and unfortunately Page 3 is not one of those things.

I will, however quickly remind you all that I do think that some sort of age limit is needed on topless material as it is in movies. That would be the only way to remove this feature.

Page 3 is one brick in an entire ediface of similiar things.

The blunt fact of the matter is Sex sells. Women in various states of undress can be seen selling all sorts of things from Cars, deoderant, movies, Soap operas and even security hardware and it is that which captures the male mind. Afterall human beings are still just animals with the same base desires and wants and one of those is sex and clever marketing and advertising execs are happy to draw on that when they hit the market.

Do you think that teenage boys would buy lynx deoderant if the adverts were:

Lynx Africa - Smells great and you will too?

No! They see the army of scantily clad women throwing themselves at some average looking guy and their mind links the product to the ability to get women. I can tell you - it doesn't work!

Television programmes also use attractive and or scantily clad women to get people interested. Take Big Brother for example, not only did the casting teams deliberately try to cause conflict by selecting people who would grate on each other but also a bevy of young attractive people as well. There is no way it was a coincidence that Orlaith McAllister a former runner up in Miss Northern Island, Imogen Thomas a former Miss Wales and her runner up Rachel Rice were all selected at random.
Even Hollyoaks was accused of having far too many goodlooking buxom blonde actresses in it to attract some more male viewers - a problem rectified by a plot device using a Serial killer who only attacked attractive blonde girls!

Using women as sex objects in movies has gone on for decades! I hate to admit it but even Star Wars Episode IV Carrie Fisher was told not to wear a bra under her white Senatorial robes so there was more *cough* movement as she ran around. Sharon Stone said she felt pressured to do the revealing chair scene in Basic instinct and Kirsten Dunst once made reference to the famous Spiderman kiss in the rain scene where her shirt went translucent as Something for the geeks. It has taken decades for Bond girls to be more than just eye candy, in fact Golden eye was the first one with a strong female lead (arguably A view to a kill with Grace Jones) and even in some of the follow ups like Tomorrow Never dies Terri Hatcher's character is a throw back to the old days of Oh James!

I'm not saying it is something that we should accept, far from it. In the last century we have come along way in Women's rights and equal treatment, (not far enough) and with portrayals as more than a sex object. To be honest a good proportion of men (well the right kind) already know that about women because we were brought up that way by our parents.

Modern attitudes to Women can only really be changed by education from parents and indeed schools. It is a root problem that is only contributed not perpetuated by Page 3.

As to the argument that "Torso of the week" is just harmless fun - I'm sorry but it is fairly similar (and there are those who'd say the same about Page 3). The current Moonpig advert or the intermations in the Malteser advert - yes, even the classic Diet Coke advert...
I'm not saying it's right it wrong but meet me half way and admit there is a strong similarity and motivation. Why else would there be "Hunky Fireman" calendars next to the Girlie calendars?

At the end of the day the girls are willing to pose topless, they are not forced like a seedy Axis Comfort woman. Those who wish to look at semi-naked women over breakfast are free to do so as are we who don't are free not to read it.

The crux of it for me, as a liberal is the "not causing offence to others" part which obviously means not reading such material in public and exposing minors to sexually explicit images. Many would argue that "Fifty shades" is bad but it is printed text rather than imagery. I, personally think that a similar age rating on magazines should exist in the same way as movies. Who am I to tell someone what they can and cannot read in public?

My final thoughts are that this petition is only targeting the Sun not The Star or Sunday Sport.
Also, most kids have access to the Internet on their mobiles and even with the Vodafone filter you can still summon up pornographic imagery.

It is a minefield topic but I don't see any point in regulating printed material as to what can and can't be printed- tis very Mary Whithouse. The cultural attitude to women will not be changed by the removal of Page 3 and it is down to education.

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