Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, wrote this letter to David Dinsmore, editor of The Sun newspaper..
I am writing as a supporter of the No More Page 3 campaign to invite you to meet with myself and a group of other cross party MPs. The Sun’s proprietor is starting to question whether women’s breasts, which you admit are purely for the sake of titillation, are acceptable daily content for a family newspaper. And just this month the NUT has added its support to the No More Page 3 campaign, lining up alongside Girl Guides, the National Youth Council, and the National Association of Head Teachers. So I hope you will be open to discussing the future of Page 3.
You may be aware that I have already raised my concerns during a House of Commons debate, as well as with the Prime Minister during question time. I am also sponsor of an Early Day Motion, which over 50 colleagues have so far supported. It reads as follows:
That this House is concerned about the strong link between the portrayal of women as sexual objects and attitudes that underpin violence and discrimination against women and girls; notes that this has been demonstrated by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and in a Government-commissioned Sexualisation of Young People Review; applauds the work of the No More Page 3 campaign; observes that The Sun newspaper is available across the parliamentary estate in at least eight locations; further notes that if someone is looking at page 3 of The Sun others can be subjected to it whether they like it or not; and calls on the House of Commons Administration Committee to take the necessary steps to prevent the House stocking The Sun newspaper until it removes the Page 3 feature.
During my debate on media sexism, of which Page 3 is one very symbolic aspect, I urged the Government to act if Page 3 isn’t scrapped by the end of the year. You’ll know the Prime Minister’s position is that anyone who doesn’t like it doesn’t need to buy The Sun. However, as the nation’s most popular newspaper, The Sun is seen by 7.5 million people per day, according to market data. Many have not chosen to view these images but they can’t be avoided – whether in cafes, on the bus, or left lying around the pub. These are sexually objectifying images which would be restricted from broadcast media before the 9pm watershed and yet are printed in a national newspaper which is not age-restricted and is not displayed at child’s eye level.
Given the increasing evidence of the links between exposure to sexualised or objectifying content and acceptance of rape myths, as well as violence against women and girls, I very much hope you will be willing to engage in a dialogue about Page 3 with myself and others. I look forward to hearing from you.
She received this response.
Please watch this video of Caroline Lucas debating in parliament earlier this year, if you want to see an example of a politician standing up and passionately and articulately speaking out about the media’s disrespectful representation of women and the damage it causes…this is it!
(you’ll need to start the video at 11.00 – the clock is in the bottom right corner of the screen)
Tweet your support to Caroline Lucas! @carolinelucas
Write to David Dinsmore to let him know how disappointed you are about this decision
Editor – The Sun
3 Thomas More Square,
London E98 1XY
email : email@example.com
twitter : @davedins