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A Letter to David Cameron about Leveson and Press Regulation

04/04/2013 15:56 BST | Updated 03/06/2013 10:12 BST

Dear Mr Cameron

I'm a bit worried. This goes back a bit actually, sorry it's quite a long story but here goes:

Right, well. You remember the Leveson enquiry (gosh I know, seems like forever ago!) well I wrote to Leveson because I've been really worried for 42 years about Page 3. And these days there's even more stuff like that in the papers isn't there! So actually it was good to get the chance to tell someone in a position to listen.

So then we got the Leveson Report. And he did mention the the Page 3 thing didn't he? 'Endemic sexism' he said, and the 'tendency to sexualise and demean women.' And it was ok - I mean not quite as strong as it could have been to be fair, given that when Object and all the others presented the offending material to the enquiry it had to be censored! Hilarious! Stuff that's placed in a 'family' newspaper!! You couldn't make it up.

So overall, I felt Leveson could have been a teeny bit stronger. But hey it was something.

The report was featured in the Times, by the way, with NO MENTION of the sexism bit at all! I wrote to them asking why they'd ignored an issue affecting over half the population and they ignored me. Quite funny really.

That was a digression though. Next, the Press Code Review was set up, and the public were invited to submit their views, so naturally I wrote to them and exercised my duty as a citizen of a democracy (cheers for that) because I don't like all this sexism, I think it's like racism, only about gender instead.

The Code Review Secretary was nice and friendly, and thanked me for my comments! I said I thought the Press Code of Practice needed to be tightened up under the 'Discrimination' part which is a bit woolly.

And then you made that cross-party agreement thing on March 18th, and I read through the draft report, and you know, I could find no mention of the Code Review, or the Code of Practice or anything. I read it through TWICE even though it was very long!

And I read through your statement about it and couldn't see any reference there either.

So I wrote to the nice Code Review Secretary again and asked him what was going on and he said this:

'The current Code Review remains subject to the April 17 deadline, which means no decision will be taken before then. The Parliamentary legislation to which you refer could change that, but the situation is still not clear'.

So now I feel a bit worried that the whole sexism thing has been forgotten. Nobody else seemed to notice though, and you know what it's like, I thought maybe I'm just missing something here. Hacked Off seemed pretty pleased with the whole thing. But then I read a report from Object who said there'd been a 'missed opportunity' so I thought oh good it's not just me then!

And I was wondering, because on March 15th the UN Commission on the Status of Women had announced its 2013 resolutions, and there were LOTS of recommendations in there about the representation of women in the press! Like the agreement to refrain from:

'exploiting them as sexual objects and commodities.'

And then of course there was that vote by MEPs on March 20th for 'regulation on the representation of women in the media' in order to tackle the sexualisation of girls.

It's all happening isn't it!

But I'm having difficulty joining the dots here Mr. Cameron, if you don't mind me saying. I'm hearing one thing from Europe and The World, and nothing about it from you.

You know, I'm going to feel REALLY STUPID if you're on to this but just haven't mentioned it yet!

I know I should probably just calm down. But it would really help if you could just send me a teeny bit of reassurance about all this.

Thanks very much, I know you've got a lot on at the moment.

Stephanie