I have never seen so much confusion surrounding a campaign than 'No More Page 3' (NMP3). Yes, I am young and not world weary, but as a supporter of the cause I have certainly grown weary of the misconceptions and the false assumptions about what the organisers are saying. So I propose to tell you exactly what the campaign is NOT...
I realised, looking at those appalling bingo balls, that this was a budget solely designed for the people who still populate Tory membership associations, manning their fundraising tombolas and passing around the tea and biscuits at meetings...
This month The Sun newspaper started a new campaign that attempted to set Page 3 up as a supporter of breast cancer charities. This involved a front page featuring a topless model, with a commentary of how to check breasts for potentially cancerous lumps and suggestions of what to name your breasts.
Yes, Page Three should go. It is outdated, it is pointless and it has no place in newspapers. It is demeaning, not just for the women on the page, but for the men, women, boys and girls who have to see it. It should go. But banning the publication and taking away basic human rights to a free press for one bad page isn't the way forward.
Dear Mr. Dinsmore, Am I being naïve to suppose that you will read this letter or that it will matter at all to you? Probably. Considering that 135,708 people have signed a petition asking you to do away with the daily degradation in your newspaper that is Page 3 and still you have not responded, I very much doubt that this one letter will make you change your mind. But I'm going to try.
At the 360 Social media conference last week, David Dinsmore, Editor of the Sun, found himself once again obliged to defend Page 3, a position he seems to find himself in every time he goes out these days. He must be getting very tired of it.
It's not an oversight or an accident that the PCC fails to spell out to the public which newspapers attract the most complaints and which papers breach the code most often. Look at this table of complaints about UK national daily and Sunday newspapers for 2013, compiled by Hacked Off from the PCC Monthly Complaint Summaries, and you will soon get an idea of who benefits if the public doesn't see these figures...
I shift uncomfortably away from him, he appears to be aroused. From my vantage point alongside I can see the image of the girl better than I can see this guy's face but, I would guess that he is perhaps 40 years older than the girl in the picture. She looks like a fresh faced teenager, she could be his daughter. She could be his grand-daughter.
Recently the No More Page 3 team noticed that @rustyrockets had been responding to our supporters, saying he was behind us and expressing how he wanted a T-shirt. Did this surprise me? No. If anything I'm surprised it took him as long as it did!
And the photographers, their cameras, and, now that I think about it, the morons who came up with the idea in the first place. That would certainly be one of the most satisfying, and constructive, uses of the flood waters that have deluged the country in the past weeks.
Writer and actor Lucy-Anne Holmes started the campaign in the wake of Jessica Ennis' incredible gold win at the 2012 Olympics, an amazing feat by anyone's standards and a rare opportunity for a woman to be recognized for sporting success in a world where newspaper sports pages are dominated by the boys.
I'm not anti-boobs. I quite like my boobs. If you want to sunbathe topless, go ahead. I think that women should be free to breastfeed in public. But there is a time and a place for boobs, and a national "family" newspaper is not it. Boobs are not news. Over half the population have them. They should not be the basis of the value women are given in the media.
It should be noted that SU's have only 'banned' The Sun to the extent that their shops will no longer stock the newspaper. The world will not cave-in because a minuscule number of people have to find a local off-licence for their daily fix instead. But it is part of a wider trend: 2013 has seen a wave of trivial, but worrying, censorship encroach on student-life.
Page 3 may be liberating for the models themselves, but the messages it sends out are oppressive: attractive women are thin, white, feminine and young, and women themselves are simply sexual objects. For that reason I fail to see why this feature should remain in the UK's biggest-selling newspaper where soft pornography should not even be present, unless the feature is altered to become representative of all - and I mean all - women and a male version is created.
2013 has been an amazing year for the No More Page 3 campaign, support is snowballing and to reflect the diversity of those in support of the campaign...
When I asked my little brother if he thought Page 3 should be removed from The Sun, I was shocked and saddened by his uncompromising response of, "Well no, there are two sides to it; you have to respect that it's what men want". I was shocked that he knew full well the content of Page 3, and I was saddened that this misogynistic attitude was already deeply embedded.