As it is overwhelmingly women and girls who are bought by men, any policy which is constructed out of a denial of that truth is meaningless. If we stop for a moment and imagine that that statement reads 'it is overwhelmingly black people who are bought by white people' it's clear that no Human Rights organisation would be trying to obscure that fact in any policy.
Any questioning is effectively silenced with the labels 'whorephobic' or 'transphobic;' trans issues may be discussed only from a position of 'cis privilege' and the voices of a minority of individual sex workers override any structural criticism of the sex industry.
Many people will look at today's Page 3 - described by the Official Page 3 on Twitter as 'seriously sexy' - and feel uncomfortable about the inclusion of a picture of an innocent baby. It is the Sun newspaper which needs to be held to account for being the first to include a picture of a newborn in a sexualised soft porn image. A new line has been crossed and it represents a disturbing new low for the British press.
Every woman has grown up in this country seeing her gender reflected back to her as sexual entertainment for the men who run the world. From childhood onwards she takes her cues from the predominant messages she receives from her culture about her value and role as a woman.
The media is not squeamish about calling out racist violence, or Islamophobia, or in fact any other form of bigotry which targets a specific group of human beings, even if the violence only takes the form of words, in which case it is labelled 'hate speech.'
The <em>Sun</em>, doubtless because 'Page 3' had received special reference from Ms Manjoo, hauled in Feminist Uber-Lad herself, Louise Mensch, who, under the charming headline <em>Shut it Sister</em>, indignantly took the 'we don't even stone our girls here' line to new ludicrous heights with this question: 'What about Bosnia, where rape was a national institution?'
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.
'Thank you for your email of today regarding Page 3 girls in the Sun. While I understand that some people are offended at seeing naked breasts, this particular page is something of a national institution, providing the girls with a job and Sun readers with some light and harmless entertainment.'
David Cameron understands the power of images over words in government policy such as the introduction of pictures of disease on cigarette packets, he knows how advertising works and he cannot feign ignorance of the daily conditioning impact of Page 3 and other similar sexualised images of women in the U.K. tabloids.
A good number of men have always supported the No More Page 3 campaign from the start but as the debate about Page 3 receives more and more publicity the proportion of men signing the petition has grown exponentially.
This week David Dinsmore, editor of the Sun newspaper, addressed the subject of Page 3 at the London Press Club and claimed that after conducting 'various polls and investigations done with focus groups' the consensus was 'do not touch it.'
For 43 years you have bullied women. You have served up bare-breasted young women daily for the sexual titillation and arousal of your male readership. You have belittled and dehumanised one half of the population to entertain the other half. And even worse, you have sold it as liberation and empowerment for women.
It's a massive step to get rid of the most sexually objectifying image of a woman in a newspaper. Whether it's replaced by another sexually-objectified image or just an objectified image, the question remains why it is necessary to give over two-thirds of a page to represent only women in this way in a national newspaper.
Given the support for the No More Page 3 campaign from the Girl Guides, the National Youth Council, the National Association of Head Teachers and now the NUT, perhaps it is time for the Prime Minister of this country to concede that the issue of Page 3 goes beyond 'consumer choice', and finally add his voice to the mounting pressure on David Dinsmore, Editor of the Sun, to scrap the feature.
The NAHT have just announced publicly their support for the No More Page 3 campaign, an acknowledgement of the harm caused to young people by the public visibility of Page 3 images from those on the frontline.
06/07/2013 15:16 BST
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