Whilst waiting in Costa for a client last week I browsed through The Sun to kill time. BIG MISTAKE –whilst it certainly did the job of killing time it also killed my spirit a little bit too!
I know, I know many of you are already ranting at me saying why? And serves you right? But this is the number one selling tabloid in Britain and putting the Page Three debate to one side its attitude to women is simply unacceptable and we should be screaming about this, unashamedly!
Here is a sample of copy. The front page headline ‘One of these women has had 180 lovers and another just two – CAN YOU TELL WHO IS WHO? This is given a double centre spread and I cannot see the relevance or purpose of the piece nor can I understand any woman wanting to discuss this topic with millions of Sun readers?? Ladies please…….
Flicking through the rest of the paper we have space dedicated to Kim Kardashian’s posterior, a tribute to Mel Sykes who amazingly still looks good in her underwear at age 43, yes age 43, I know it’s a miracle! Carrying on we then have a full page dedicated to the brilliant military wives who trekked up a Scottish peak to shoot a nude calendar to raise cash for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Now, don’t misunderstand me here, this is to be admired but this is not a tongue in cheek, WI affair – these girls are bearing all, posing like porn stars with no attempt at coyness or humour.
At this point I understood why the beautiful Nicola Scherzinger was being slated for wearing a leather dress that the reporter felt was too tight. It may have been tight but there was no flesh on view, disgraceful!
I am sure you know what I did with the paper but millions of Brits subconsciously process the messages put out by this publication and others everyday. Is it any wonder women are still exploited, abused, beaten, murdered and marginalised? And don’t even get me started on the effect this has on our young people boys and girls. If it is OK to position women as simply sexual beings, with their permission, I might add in many cases, then how can we expect to be taken seriously in business, politics and the like.
Now, before all The Sun readers rise up and attempt to destroy me, I am not saying this publication is singularly responsible for all of the above, but I am saying it condones it.
More importantly we are condoning these messages too – we think it is OK to pose nude; acceptable to discuss the number of men we have slept with and wear the number like a badge of honour; empowering to be seen as a sex object; OK to be disrespected if we go out without make up on; fair game if we put on weight, have cellulite or dare to age naturally etc etc. We are making it easy for the tabloids, glossies and TV to trivialise our role in society.
The last time I voiced my opinion on The Sun (specifically about dumping page three) I received some nasty hate mail, twitter trolls and a few personal attacks – interestingly all from men.
With apologies to Edmund Burke ‘For the exploitation of women to continue all that’s needed is for good men and women to do nothing.’
Breath Jane, breath!