Obviously, the answer is no.
And that’s why Lucy Anne Holmes started the petition, in an attempt to rid The Sun newspaper of something that is definitely not news. More than that, it’s outdated, sexist and demeaning.
Holmes decided to write the petition, as she explained in The Independent, after picking up a copy of The Sun during London 2012. Seeing no bare breasts on page 3, she thought the age-old practice of placing a topless teen girl behind the front page might have ended, but, no, it had just been relocated due to the Olympics coverage.
“I got to page 13 and there she was, a beautiful young woman in just her pants. And it made me feel incredibly sad. Hers was the largest image of any woman in this issue. Much larger even than those of Jessica Ennis who had just won a team GB gold for her tremendous hard work.”
Holmes believes that Page 3 is there purely for the sexual gratification of men, thus it objectifies women. With upwards of 300,000 women being sexually assaulted every year, and 60,000 raped, Holmes thinks it isn’t wise to ‘be repeatedly perpetuating a notion that women are sexual objects.’
Why The Sun in particular? Why not target any of the ‘lads mags’ like Nuts or Zoo, whose bread and butter is scantily clad young women? It’s partly because The Sun has the second highest circulation for a printed publication in the UK, at 7,084,000 copies, behind the Tesco customer magazine’s 7,221,000. While one could argue only teenage boys and men who should know better read Nuts etc, but the Sun has a huge reach across a wide demographic range. What’s more, it claims to be a ‘family’ paper, while peddling such obviously adult-only content.
The campaign has been gathering speed lately. The petition has attracted more than 60,000 signatures (including high profile support from the likes of Caitlin Moran, Jennifer Saunders, and Glamour magazine), campaigners petitioned shoppers outside the four major supermarkets in November and two of those, Tesco and Morrisons, agreed to meet with the NMP3 team in the last week to discuss their advertising in The Sun.
The petition calls on Editor Dominic Mohan to, ultimately, ‘stop conditioning your readers to view women as sex objects.’ I’ve already signed it, and I hope you will too.