Listening to a news report that The Sun appears to have dropped topless pics on Page 3 my joy was tempered slightly by the reporter's closing sentiment. Rather than credit the #NoMorePage3 campaign for the change in policy, he said 'changing public attitudes' were the reason and even ended with 'sexism is so 1970s'.
Is it? Are, we're done with sexism then? Wow, that's REALLY great news, to be honest if I was doing that news report, I'd have led with that.
No more sexism, that's chuffing marvellous, although I suspect what the reporter was actually saying is, yes there's no more page 3, and it was all our idea. Feminists don't go thinking you're clever, you have achieved nothing, so there's no point trying to change anything else.
This isn't the first time that 'changing public attitudes' has been credited with social advancement instead of the work of campaigners. Take votes for women for example. That all happened because of 'changing public attitudes' after World War One (thanks WW1, *thumbs up, winks*) and practically nothing to do with the suffrage movement. In fact, if anything they held it back. If society hadn't had to waste time force-feeding suffragettes in prison, the idea of giving women the vote probably would have occurred to the ruling elite much sooner.
A quick glance round the news sites this morning shows there's a charming assumption that the work is done, and a bit of irritation at anyone who says 'no more topless women is great, but replacing them with women in lingerie isn't loads better'. The comments sections are hilarious in their 'FFS what NOW?????' outrage.
Maybe there were some people who thought the whole Rosa Parks thing was actually about seating arrangements on public transport. 'Let the lady sit down, and we'll say no more about it.' Nobody seriously thinks that the civil rights movement in America had nothing to do with achieving greater racial equality, and it's equally delusional to think that the patriarchy is going to shift its arse without all us feminists coughing loudly in its general direction.
I understand that the reporter was trying to be funny and light-hearted with his 'sexism is so 1970s' crack at the end (God forbid we actually take this stuff seriously), but perhaps it would have a more rounded piece if he'd looked at what the modern equivalent to page 3 is because page 3 is not about a bit of cheeky porn, it's about keeping women in their place. I'm sorry to kill the joke and all, but a few lovely ladies had to endure daily rape threats and abuse to achieve this so they'll be pleased to know that it's got nothing to do with them.
It would seem that it takes about 30 years of relentless campaigning and the victimisation and abuse of those who spearhead change before rights are won with a churlish 'we were going to do it anyway'. I however, am very grateful for the people who are making these changes happen and would like to say thanks to Lucy-Anne Holmes and everyone associated with #NoMorePage3. Well done.