The tides of a fourth-wave of feminism are growing stronger. We're undergoing changes in our society; dismantling pillars of flawed traditions and campaigns are moving at a pace that many may find intimidating while others find encouraging. Yet while we debate how to engage with our peers, how to push agendas forward, turn men into feminists and shape the younger generation, there has been one consistently brilliant, dominating campaign creating solutions and leading debates: No More Page 3.
In our positivity, we must not disregard or downplay how unequal we are in terms of economic and political status. While women make up 51% of our population, the statistics are still shockingly low: a mere 22.5% of MPs are female; as are only 25.6% of high-court judges and 10% of bank CEO's.
One of the most telling aspect of how unequal and sexist our society is comes in the form of male privilege within social situations. Sexual liberation and freedom remains only tightly held in the hands of men. While men boast of notches on bed posts and high-5 round the office, women are most commonly associated with the 'walk of shame' and avoiding eye-contact in pharmacies. It's a social norm, enhanced by the negative representation of women within lads' mag's and newspapers: women are a tool of entertainment, a product of sexual pleasure.
Within a male dominated media, where only 5% of national daily newspaper editors are female, woman are consistently misrepresented and instead are used as entertainment and sexual objects of pleasure who are available to men for enjoyment. Women are hosted on magazine covers then discarded, thrown into the litter bin until the next issue. It's this ritual of British media, the sexist objectification, which shapes opinions and treatment of women in society.
Inequality blossoms under a sexist regime, a right-wing political system which does not represent women accurately nor does it challenge regimental, archaic traditions which keep women from achieving equal status. A product of this system is a sexist media that upholds the idea of men dressed in expensive suits and sat at boardroom tables who expect women to serve them tea and be on the covers of magazines, all glossy and titillating, rather than be sat beside them as an equal boardroom member.
No More Page 3 is more than an online petition; it's a campaign against male domination, male privilege and it's a movement for greater changes - it opens doors for future campaigns, for further progress in the fourth wave and revolution of equality. It's essentially the beginning of the domino effect: the first to fall in a long line of sexist pillars in our society.
The campaign isn't about censorship; it's about everyone involved - editors, executives and readers - realising that Page 3 is obsolete, an outdated aspect of a newspaper that simply contradicts the purpose of journalism: reporting the news. It calls for the voluntary removal of Page 3 and with it the acceptance and the self-realisation that in order to achieve an equal society, we must have fair and proper representation of both genders and Page 3 does not allow that.
No More Page 3 challenges the inherent male belief that men can control what is or is not misogynistic, what women should or should be offended by and what does or does not count as sexual harassment. Male privilege is alive throughout our society. It's what forces women to use 'I have a husband' as an excuse because repeating 'I'm not interested' simply isn't a good enough answer for men. It lavishes onto men political, social and economic advantages. The petition does not just call for female signatures, but for men to stand up for a better society, to challenge sexist normalities and to prove that they themselves want to live in a world where gender does not grant any favours, privileges or greater opportunities.
Objectification of women in magazines leads to young boys believing they are superior to their female peers. Moreover, it has damaging effects on self-esteem. It's the start of young girls comparing themselves to Photoshop images, to view their looks as more important than their brains and for self-worth to be measured by body shape and bra size. Page 3 does not just portray women as sex objects, the damage trickles through society like a running tap, contaminating minds, morals and self-value.
The collapse of Page 3 would be the catalyst for feminist campaigns and would be a major step in the abolishment of male privilege. It would massively strengthen the fourth wave revolution and see more women in parliament, at the heads of boardroom tables and at the forefront of political and economic committees, rather than on the tired and outdated pages of tabloid papers.
You can support No More Page 3 by signing and sharing the online petition