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 across all sectors of society I have put together my own personal Top Ten Quotes. So in no particular order, as they would say on X Factor, here are my favourite comments of the year:
'It is impossible for girls to nurture their ambitions if they are constantly told that they are not the same as their male equivalents. This is what Page 3 does. It is disrespectful and embarrassing. We would like The Sun to use its newspaper to promote positive role models to inspire girls and young women and help everyone to understand that women are never for sale.'Statement from the Girl Guides, April
'We dream of living in a culture where girls and women are not objectified - where a woman's worth and value is not solely measured by her sexual attractiveness but instead acknowledges her gifting, personality and talents.'Statement from the Girls' Brigade, October
'The consequences of gender stereotyping and the sexualisation of girls in the media are very real. Not only can such images impact on the self-respect and confidence of young girls it could also have a detrimental influence on boys as they develop views of women. Portraying women as nothing more than objects to be looked at, is entirely unacceptable for the 21st century.'Statement from the National Union of Teachers, August
'Some critics of this campaign want to know why we aren't debating the big issues of the day. Well, women's place in society is a big issue of the day. How women are perceived, and how we perceive ourselves, affects how we are able to maximise our contribution to the economy and how we shape our society, and it affects the aspirations and achievements of the girls who are this country's future.'Rebecca Evans AM winning support for the campaign from the Welsh Assembly, July
'Rupert Murdoch's claim that working class people don't care about page three is not only patronising, it is wrong. Through unions, working class people have led the way in battling sexism and campaigning for equality. We're going to show Rupert Murdoch exactly what we think.'Statement from UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis, June
'The fact that No More Page 3 is not dealing with all sexualised images in the media has led to a suggestion that it is unfair or just not trying hard enough. As if supporting the Royal Society for Protection of Birds is pointless, because what about the fish and the children.'From Robin Ince in his blog, September
'It does strike me as a certain irony that this T-shirt is regarded as an inappropriate thing to be wearing in this House, whereas apparently it is appropriate for this kind of newspaper to be available to buy in eight different outlets on the Palace of Westminster estate.'Caroline Lucas, wearing a No More Page 3 t-shirt and holding up Page 3 of the Sun in the Commons during her debate on media sexism, June
'It is a commonly held view that we should respect the successes of the individual, rather than bemoan the unpleasant reality that such personal victories leave society - the collateral damage of an unequal gender dynamic that equates female sexuality with monetary gain. Even if we celebrate these successes and individual achievements, the uncomfortable and inconvenient truth is that they confirm a reductive view of a woman's ornamental role in the public sphere.'The National Student's response to the news that the Irish Sun had dropped Page 3, August
'Gender stereotyping and the sexualisation of women can have detrimental effects on the safety of women in our society. The RCN promotes a working environment where our members and staff can work with dignity and not be placed in compromising situations that cause offence, humiliation, embarrassment or distress.'Statement from the Royal College of Nursing, December
'Page 3 not only objectifies women, but glorifies and celebrates the objectification of women. The Sun cannot style itself as a family newspaper and pretend that female nudity is just a bit of harmless fun. Objectification is all about power: the strong objectify, and the weak--or those who are perceived to be weak--are objectified.'Jackie Baillie MSP in her debate in the Scottish Parliament, November
And of course seasonal tradition demands that we include some turkeys in there, so here are some special awards I have just made up:
The David Cameron 'Calm down dear' Award goes to...er...David Cameron for his steamrollering of Jane Garvey on Woman's Hour in November with this dismissive and impatient response to her repeated 'It's not that easy to avoid it':
'There's a difference, frankly, between a book or a magazine which you can keep away from your children, and the internet.'
The Dominic Mohan 'I think it's meant to be a representation of youth and freshness' Most Unbelievable Justification for Page 3 Award goes to Richard Drax, Conservative MP for Dorset South in his reply to a letter from a constituent in December:
'...this particular page is something of a national institution, providing the girls with a job and Sun readers with some light and harmless entertainment.'
The David Dinsmore [Breasts?] 'You just can't avoid them' Most Illogical Justification for Page 3 Award goes to Richard Drax (again!) for his comment in the same letter:
'And, in most parts of the UK on a summer's day, finding ladies with their tops off is not a difficult task.'
A special You're Getting it But Not Quite Award goes to Rupert Murdoch for his famous tweet:
'Page three so last century! You may be right, don't know but considering. Perhaps halfway house with glamorous fashionistas.'
And finally our favourite Best Idea for a T-Shirt Slogan Award goes to someone on Twitter with this pithy comment:
'Jealous flat-chested bints'
As the most repeated comment on the petition is 'I can't believe this is still happening in 2013' I will end with a prediction for the New Year: Nobody will be saying 'I can't believe this is still happening' by the end of 2014. Happy New Year!