Perusing Twitter a few weeks ago I noticed my girlfriends re-tweeting an account called No More Page 3.
As the days passed, this increased in frequency and whatever was going on was gaining momentum. As you can guess from the name, the aim is to promote a petition to put an end to topless models in The Sun newspaper.
Then the tweets changed. Whoever was behind the account was relaying all the catchy reasons why people where signing the petition. And that’s when it got interesting; a lot of men were getting behind it too.
My favourite came from a chap called Nick Gregory:
“Great that there's a @nomorepage3 campaign. Nowt wrong with ninnies,or pics thereof, just not in a newspaper”
I liked this tweet because I agree with this sentiment. I like boobs. In fact I own a pair that I’m very happy with. I also think there is nothing wrong or sleazy with people showing off their boobs in the right environment if they willingly choose to do so.
Many years ago I had a burlesque act (Mum I’m sorry if you are reading, Dad - even more so) and whilst I never quite got my ‘norks’ out to the degree that you may imagine (whipped cream saved my modesty) I have plenty of friends who are dancers, and I think what they do is great.
It got me thinking: what is Page 3 other than a throwback from the sexist decade that was the 70s?
Don’t buy it then, I hear you say. Well I don’t. I read the Daily Mail – a character flaw that is about as pleasant as addiction, which I’m currently tackling with intense cognitive behavioral therapy. But whether you buy it or not it’s still THERE and it still contributes to the objectification of women.
I would also like to point out that we don’t get semi nude men to ogle at do we? Dear Sun, the world has moved on. Please follow suit.
I tracked down Lucy Holmes, the woman behind the campaign and we chatted briefly just as the media storm was hitting. Lucy is an actress (Foyle’s War) and published author of three novels (soon to be four) who lives in Brighton.
She is also the woman behind the How to Start a Sexual Revolution blog. I particularly like this comment from her website:
“If someone had said, ‘here you go, human race, here’s this thing, it’s called sex, it’s an amazing, loving union between two people, where you celebrate and pleasure each other, it ends in waves of bliss. Take it, human race, and just for a laugh, see just how far you can debase it’, I don’t think we could have done a better job than we have”
Her aim in setting up the blog was to explore the rebranding of sex: to reclaim it from the dirty quagmire full of sin and shame, polish it and pop it back on the shelf as the natural action that it is.
She is not a seasoned campaign starter, but one came to her as a natural extension of this thought process. During the Olympics Lucy opened The Sun on a day when Jessica Ennis won gold and the biggest picture in the paper was, you’ve guessed it -the woman with her boobs out. This struck another cord. For a long time Lucy hated her breasts. She thought they were disappointing to men. “They have taken ownership of boobs. They are either splashing them everywhere or moaning about breastfeeding in public”. She decided it was time to reclaim boobs from men. The outcome: No More Page 3.
The storm broke this past week and the campaign has been keeping her very busy. She had to drop everything, though friends are being supportive and generous with the tea making. She recognises that she owes a lot to Twitter, and says: “The tipping point was definitely Caitlin Moran and Jennifer Saunders re-tweeting the campaign."
The campaign is already going global. It’s currently advancing at such a rate that you can now place a bet with Paddy Power on when it will reach 100,000 signatures. Whether Dominic Mohan will pay any attention is yet to be seen, but this in one campaign that won’t end up as tomorrow’s chip paper.
You can add your support over on change.org.