Apparently every household in the UK is receiving a free copy of The Sun today and I have seen several posts on Twitter this morning from people already taking action to prevent it being put through their letter boxes. Fair play to you! Imagine if our letter boxes could detect junk mail and shred it before it hit the door mat!
Of course it is an ongoing debate that the 3rd page in The Sun (more commonly known as Page 3) should be banned. For those that aren’t aware (I am sure these people exist somewhere) page 3 involves an image of a young woman with an enviable svelte body and her boobies out, this especially appeals to male readers of The Sun and probably why it is bought in the first place –boobies for 20p, what a bargain!
The argument by women, feminists and the like is that it objectifies women and enough is enough and I somewhat agree being a feminist. However, I also go against everything by having an interest in Playboy. Two years ago I completed my degree in Media Communications concluding with a written dissertation tackling the perception of Playboy magazine, I wanted to prove that the magazine isn’t all about naked women and what must be a great surprise to most… it’s not! Analysing a ten year sample (2001-11) which results in about 4,000 odd pages of content, the centre folds and other features concerning naked imagery makes up a feeble 17% (ish). Hardly a porn magazine!
If I could develop my research on Playboy magazine picking up where my dissertation left off, I would want to concentrate on the women that put themselves forward to be a Playmate and submerge themselves in and around Hugh Hefner’s lifestyle and this concerns as much equally about how I feel about the women that put themselves forward to appear on Page 3.
Q. Is it objectification if the women have chosen to feature there?
I appreciate that is a bit of a firework thought for a Thursday morning and I can hear you all gasping but seriously, the rules have changed now. I discussed briefly some of my thoughts on modern feminism in my post to The Editor (of Elle) a little while ago but fundamentally, there is no longer one definition of feminism and there is no ‘wave’ anymore to speak of, modern feminism has no boundaries and it encompasses many things and many different types of women. There is of course still a totally unfair and unjustified reason as to why men get higher salaries for the same job that their female colleagues are also doing, it is also unbelievably unfair as to why child care is so ridiculously expensive forcing many aspiring career women to stay at home and it’s these aspects of society that underpins and forms the backbone of feminism in all its strains. But who also is to say that (some of) the women featuring on Page 3 and in Playboy aren’t feminists?
For me, page 3 is just silly titillation and I do cringe a bit when I see aspiring Playmates play dumb to be more appealing to male audiences but you know what, these women are choosing to do this and until they all decide to stop putting themselves forward, the newspapers and magazines will continue to feature them and pay them ridiculous sums of money for the honour and ‘readers’ will continue to buy and keep it all in circulation. What can you do?
You can read further about my dissertation here. Also, if Hugh or Cooper Hefner is reading this, I would LOVE to visit the mansion and complete my pilgrimage so do get in touch!
Until next time x