Wednesday, 18 February 2015

No More Page 3 Team to run feminist campaigning training day next week

A 'Kick-Ass Campaigning'  Day for feminists of all genders will be held by Team No More Page 3 at Lancaster University's Centre for Gender and Women's Studies next Thursday 26 February.

The event is free but if you wish to attend you will need to register to be sure of place. You can do that here.

The organisers say: 'We’ll stoke your activism fire and show you the ropes of campaigning! Warning: You might just start a campaign after this!"

No More Page 3 (NMP3) is a national UK campaign appealing to the editor of The Sun newspaper to please stop showing the Page 3 topless pictures.

The campaign has public backing from UK Girlguiding, Mumsnet, British Youth Council, National Union of Teachers, Rape Crisis and many other unions, charities and organisations, as well as the support of 160 cross party MPs and over 240,000 petition signers. You can sign their petition at http://nomorepage3.org/.

1970s sexploitation values
The Sun started its daily feature of large images of young women displaying their breasts back in the 1970s. Sexual exploitation was rife and enjoyed collusion at the highest levels of public influence. We hear with disturbing regularity, generally as a excuse for collusion with the grossest exploitation and harm, that 'things were different' then.  However we continue to find similar practices today; The Sun's Page 3 is a strand in the continuation of that mindset.

Time for a choice
NMP3 are not campaigning against online pornography, which is accessed by choice.  The campaign arose because The Sun is a paper often found in cafes, libraries and other public places. Not everyone chooses to buy The Sun, but almost everyone, at one time or another has, without warning, seen the Page 3 images left strewn as litter, displayed on a table or bench or being studied or even critically discussed by a nearby reader. In the same way they are seen and absorbed by children of every age, regardless of how vulnerable they may be.

The campaign believes that people who do not wish it, or find it disagreeable, should not have to be unavoidably exposed to sexually-objectivising images of young women whilst going about their necessary daily business. They are particularly concerned about the impact of these images and the dysfunctional social values their 'accepted' presence in a wide range of public locations represents, on children and young people.

No news - bad news
They are also concerned about the lack of balance in images representing women in the Sun, in which men are often pictured in suits, or at least normal clothing, undertaking heavy responsibilities, while stories featuring women more frequently show them in underwear and focus almost entirely on their bodies and appearance.  NMP3 believe that boobs are not, in fact, news and that this biased coverage amounts to a heavy censorship against reporting actual news about women's real achievements and activities.

Politicians fear The Sun
It is a difficult objective, as most politicians are keen to please The Sun's editor. In 1986 Clare Short was vilified as a 'killjoy' by the Sun and the tabloid press - with one paper going so far as to publish a photoshopped image of her head superimposed on the body of a woman in her nightwear. Prime Minister David Cameron has more recently ventured the opinion that if people do not wish to see these images, they need not buy The Sun. He himself likes to be photographed posing with a copy, at least when they aren't on trial.  Leader of the Opposition Ed Milliband says he doesn't like posing with it - but does it anyway.

Sign the petition
The No More Page 3 campaign has public backing from UK Girlguiding, Mumsnet, British Youth Council, National Union of Teachers, Rape Crisis and many other unions, charities and organisations, as well as the support of 160 cross party MPs and over 240,000 petition signers.
You can sign their petition at http://nomorepage3.org/.



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