Paying to see a pic of a topless girl in a paper is almost quaint nowadays


victorian postcard
Ooh er, is that an ankle I see?


Farewell to Carly from Leicester and her views on David Cameron.

Farewell, finally, to the mortification of women everywhere who have mistakenly picked up the Sun only to be greeted by a perky pair, when all they wanted to know was what went on in Celebrity Big Brother last night.

The newspaper has, in a move that drags it into…ooh, at least the 1970s…decided to get rid of Page Three.

Or so we thought this week. Turns out, that’s not the case, and their Page 3 girl reappeared today.

But the whole ‘did they, didn’t they’ debate has just focused attention on, well, naked women in newspapers.

The increasing pressure to shelve Page 3 – which is, if anthing, strengthened by this week’s events – is nothing like any kind of feminist political power, contrary to the views of Dublin councillor Keith Redmond, who claimed (before a later apology) that “feminazis” have caused unemployment among topless models.

If Cllr Redmond, whose grasp of feminism, the Holocaust, the economy – and possibly reality – seems rather tenuous, is concerned about employment of naked ladies, I can point him in the direction of numerous ads for shower gel, lingerie, and beauty treatments.

There is no lack of work for shapely ladies, even outside of the titillation industry.

That industry, of course, has never been bigger. Lapdancing clubs, burlesque dancing, and the enormous amount of porn being generated every second, all require employees.

The world has moved on, and earlier this week the Sun seemed to be making a kind of half-hearted attempt to catch up.

Porn is accessible to anyone with a mobile phone. Reality shows are built around which idiot will bare all or hump a co-star, and TV shows about embarrassing bodies, plastic surgery, and all the rest provide daily gawks at the human body.

In this context, the notion of handing over cash for a printed picture of a girl with no top on is almost quaint. You may as well buy a Victorian postcard with a flash of a ankle showing underneath a crinoline.

Ruling out 50pc of potential buyers from the get-go never really made an awful lot of sense to begin with. Throughout my career, as a young woman in offices dominated by older men, I’ve never felt comfortable even leafing through it in work.

The objectification of women as a mere aside to TV listings, horoscopes and racing results has always been rather hard to take.

Page 3, in homes where teenage girls see their dads gawking at girls not much older than them, and in workplaces where younger women feel uncomfortable as their colleagues ogle bare boobs, has normalised the view of women as objects.

While many feminists are pro-porn, where women are paid equally and choose the work, most of us would agree that there is a time and place.

How can it ever be appropriate to get your kicks on the bus, at breakfast with your family, or in the office?

As a straight woman, I’ll probably never understand men’s fascination with mammaries. Sure, they’re lovely. It’s difficult to fill out a top properly without them. They’re also pretty important for feeding babies.

After that, it’s a mystery to me.

Perhaps, eventually, the blokes at the Sun for will realise they’ve been making boobs of themselves.

It’s been a while since the rest of us realised it, but it just goes to show the educational value of reading the words, rather than just looking at the pretty pictures.


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