The Sun’s ‘Check ‘Em Tuesday’
It can be exciting when newspapers back important issues. We’ve seen recently how powerful this can be, Fahma Mohamed’s campaign on FGM in the Guardian, Yas Necati’s campaigning with the Telegraph to get the sex education curriculum updated. Today The Sun uses the platform of Page 3 to highlight the important issue of breast cancer awareness.
Many of the No More Page 3 team have been affected by breast cancer in the lives of people they love dearly. We really hope that this campaign succeeds in encouraging women to check their breasts who otherwise wouldn’t – and we love the notion of women supporting other women. We applaud the models for doing what they feel is right to help and congratulations to the founder of Coppa Feel for securing this partnership with a powerful platform like the Sun.
That said, we can’t help but feel that it’s a real shame the Sun has decided to use these sexualised images of young women to highlight breast cancer. They will say that they want to use the power of page 3 as a force for good – we say that a society in which sexualised images of young women are seen as that powerful has to change.
Lots of questions are being asked at the moment, by journalists, supporters, and non-supporters. Is Page 3 being re-branded? Is The Sun challenging the campaign, in a ‘you can’t object to Page 3 now, we’re backing a breast cancer charity’ way? Won’t this heighten sexist behavior in a ‘I’m just checking your breasts for you, love’ way? Isn’t it insensitive to highlight breast cancer through what we know to be soft porn to sell newspapers? Will associating breast cancer and sex make women feel uncomfortable going to the doctors? Will the Sun highlight testicular or prostate cancer for men in the same way?
All these questions aside, it would be wrong to wish this campaign anything other than success.
However we know that our stance hasn’t changed.
From us, as always, it’s No More Page 3. We’re doing this.
And together, if we keep fighting against the sexist representation of women in the media, one day we’ll look back and wonder why it was thought necessary to fight this horrific disease with images, for male titillation, of young women in just their pants.