|Campaigners let their opinions be known outside The Sun offices (pic from guardian.co.uk)|
Not for the first time, a campaign is trying to get rid of what many people consider a blatant example of sexism in the media; in the past, former Labour MP Claire Short had to endure nasty comments coming from the newspaper itself when back in 1986,she raised this issue in the Commons-'fat, jealous Clare' were the words used then by the newspaper. This shows the ethics and class, once again, of the people behind this newspaper: when confronted with criticism their way is to respond with insults.
Many people object to this campaign on freedom of expression grounds and that old and tiring mantra 'if you don't like it, don't buy it'. However, and whilst fully acknowledging the need for freedom of the press, that argument misses the point as campaigners stress that their aim isn't to ban Page 3 but rather to raise awareness amongst newspaper editors -and more particularly The Sun's- to exert their influence and power more responsibly. Page 3, unfortunately, is not what you should expect from a national newspaper; the damaging effects, particularly on its male readers, help perpetuate the image of women as sexual, casual objects.
On top of all that, and if we consider how women and their achievements are underrepresented on other fronts of the media (almost inexistent in some cases) then we have an explosive cocktail that may help explain how sexism is still rife in the 21st century.
Perhaps Lord Leveson's proposal calling for statutory regulation of the press may not be a bad idea after all.