So The Sun has quietly dropped its Page 3 topless model shots and I spent much of my yesterday being presented with female MPs, campaigners and celebrities on television and radio meowing in triumph at the demise of this iconic symbol of male chauvinism and tendency to treat women as objects, not least of lustful desire, the world over.
I was not impressed.
‘Is it because I is male?’ [to use modern common parlance] I wonder – and frankly, I don’t think so. It was probably about forty years ago that I consigned Page 3 to my personal metaphorical Room 101 as being of no significance or consequence to my life whatever.
Yes, I guess congratulations are due to those ladies who have made the demise of Page 3 a life-long quest which, when (if) achieved, would represent the biggest advance for women since Magna Carta. However, in the wider context my hunch is that women in modern Britain are less interested in the demise of Page 3 – and indeed whether pushy middle class ladies are getting their self-perceived appropriate quota of places in City boardrooms – than they are in the cost of groceries, the exam results and life opportunities of their kids, and whether or not Saturday night’s terrestrial television peak-time entertainment shows are going to be any good this weekend.
The survival (or not) of The Sun’s Page 3 adornment is but a tiny pin-prick in terms of global human importance.
How many anti-Page 3 campaigners celebrating so enthusiastically at the moment were, last week, also loudly proclaiming their support for the slain cartoonists in Paris by carrying placards saying ‘Je Suis Charlie’ and proclaiming the importance to Western democracy of the fundamental right of free speech and expression in all its forms – even if it offends.
Ah yes … just a minute … but not if it involves publishing photographs of breasts, or is it just nipples [I’m as bit hazy on the details]?
Frankly, if I was minded to espouse the cause of feminism, equality and the advancement of women generally, tinged of course with a general distaste for men’s propensity to objectify the female gender – which I’m not, by the way – I’d have given up worrying about an anachronism like The Sun’s Page 3 some twenty odd years ago and concentrated instead upon what appears upon the internet.
Never mind porn sites, some of these righteous campaigners might like to take a look at what school kids aged anything from 10 and over around the world are able to access via their laptops, smartphones any time of the day or night.
And whilst they’re at it, take a look at what images some of these same young people – as often as not females – are posting of themselves online. Some of it [not that I’ve seen it myself, of course] would make the average Page 3 model look like Julie Andrews dressed in a buttoned-up Salvation Army uniform by comparison.
Ah yes, Page 3 has finally gone. What a glorious triumph for the female of the species! Pity there’s so much going on in the rest of the world …