• The Sun’s ‘Check ‘Em Tuesday’

    Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 09.08.38

    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.

57 Comments

  1. Jo says: March 4, 2014 at 11:36 amReply

    Shame on them for A) sexualising a horrific, destructive disease and B) using a charity campaign to cynically prop up their own campaign of objectification.

    No way would they have run this campaign if Page 3 hadn’t been under pressure. It’s a transparent ploy. The silver lining is that some women may benefit from this, and it will be ultimately because of NMP3 that they heard these messages. It’s also interesting that they felt the need to do this – clearly they must have felt that their pro-Page-3 argument was weak and needed a boost.

    But the truth is that an objectionable thing simply does not get a free pass if it’s done ‘for a good cause’.

  2. Serena says: March 4, 2014 at 11:41 amReply

    Yes, this is really wrong, on so many levels. It’s like they’re using breast cancer as an excuse for the nearly-naked women. Which is unbelievably sick and twisted.

  3. Andrew Leeke says: March 4, 2014 at 12:11 pmReply

    This is really disgusting, as its clearly just being done to validate their own existence. Who do they think that image is going to get attention from, women worried about breast cancer? Theyre just using it as an excuse to get a topless woman on the cover. I bet if you watch sales figures for this specific day, they will spike. And they can get away with it, saying “its because we’re raising awareness.

    Well I bet they wont put a naked man on the cover to spread awareness about testicular cancer.

  4. Joanne says: March 4, 2014 at 12:20 pmReply

    I think you are being more than generous in applauding Coppa Feel for securing this promotion, which seems to be based on the theory that any publicity is good publicity. I feel that they have chosen entirely the wrong platform for any message about breast cancer because, to The Sun and its readers, breasts are simply toys to be ogled at and played with. This overt sexualisation of the disease shocks and disgusts me and I think they have done more harm than good.

    The fact that The Sun will use this as justification to continue objectifying women reinforces how fundamentally naive the decision was.

    • Joslyn says: March 4, 2014 at 1:49 pmReply

      I could not agree more, Joanne.

      • CJ says: March 28, 2014 at 7:34 pmReply

        Totally agree with Joanne and Joslyn.
        Women don’t really need pictures of a soft porn nature to educate them about breast cancer -in fact, I think these pictures are more destructive. What are they saying to women who have had cancer, that they aren’t desirable or ‘useful’ (to men) any more.
        I thought the Sun had a low opinion of men, by implying that ‘men’ need any type of porn to get through the day, sadly if sales increase when the Sun pulls dirty stunts like this a low opinion of many men and the Sun is warranted.
        I’m very glad to see so many decent men supporting NMP3 tho, well done guys.

  5. Kathymel says: March 4, 2014 at 12:20 pmReply

    Comment from a male friend on FB:

    “If they were serious they should feature some mastectomies on Page 3 for a week. But they won’t. Scum.”

    • April says: March 4, 2014 at 1:04 pmReply

      That’s brilliant! And so very true.

  6. Anne Renn says: March 4, 2014 at 12:21 pmReply

    When I saw this Sun headline in the tube station this morning, I groaned. It is such an obvious strategy to try and grab the high moral ground in the face of our campaign’s success. What depths will they plumb next?

  7. KP says: March 4, 2014 at 12:22 pmReply

    I’m going to be controversial now, but… the NMP3 campaign picks up steam and then all of a sudden they’re doing charity awareness, really randomly in March, which is in no way connected to Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

    I work for one of the biggest charities in the world, and I work in corporate social responsibility. I know how these things work. This is not a coincidence.

    Just take it as a sign that the campaign is working, and that Page 3 clearly are feeling a tad worried. Let’s keep going!

    Lastly, congratulations on your eloquent response ladies!

  8. David says: March 4, 2014 at 12:26 pmReply

    In a funny way this is a result of your campaigns success, For every women saved because of The Suns campaigning pat yourselves on the back, I for one hope you force The Sun in to more corners like this so that they feel obliged to rebalance their moral chequebook and do some good for the world.

    I also hope that when page three finally does meet its end that The Sun continue to help this charity and more like it as they know they can whether page three exists or not.

    • cathy says: March 4, 2014 at 4:56 pmReply

      I don’t think any women will be saved to be honest. I think the very nature of page 3, that you are attractive if you have breasts, will frighten younger women away from being checked and risking losing those breasts. Would you really risk losing the things that supposedly make you attractive and valuable to society? I think it is not only an insensitive publicity ploy but a dangerously counterproductive one.

      • Win says: March 28, 2014 at 1:06 pmReply

        Well said Cathy. I found a small lump years ago which was removed and was found to be benign. But it didn’t take away the intense worry during the time I found it and receiving the result of the test. Some years before my best friend found a pea sized lump and woke up in hospital with one breast removed. Three months late she had a hysterectomy and three months later died of lung cancer. The Sun’s page three leaves a very nasty taste in my mouth.

      • CJ says: March 28, 2014 at 7:36 pmReply

        Exactly, well put Cathy.

  9. Les Reed says: March 4, 2014 at 12:28 pmReply

    Nothing surprises me – in this case the depths that The Sun will stoop to, in a cynical way, to promote sexuality in an unhelpful way. As the article says “we’re doin it for birds wiv brest canca” is so typical of the nasty manner in which The Sun justifies and sells itself: for shame.

  10. Mary Regnier-Wilson says: March 4, 2014 at 12:41 pmReply

    From the editorial “It is a national cause for concern that the numbers who regularly check their boobs for lumps are so low.

    “Only 18% do so as often as once a fortnight. And that’s only part of the problem. Almost half of Britain’s women wouldn’t visit the GP even if they thought something was wrong. Young women are the worst offenders.”

    So not only do they sexualise breast cancer, but they tell women it’s their own fault if they get it because they didn’t bother to “coppafeel”

    • Les Reed says: March 4, 2014 at 1:31 pmReply

      Just so! Your comments sum up pretty well the disgusting “playing with people’s minds and bodies” that the Sun seems to enjoy!

  11. joanne tapping says: March 4, 2014 at 1:26 pmReply

    this is disgusting , what about the poor women who have went through the disease , why not put a picture of a woman who has had there breast removed in stead of some young pretty lass , its just a joke !!!!!!

    • Steve says: March 20, 2014 at 11:15 pmReply

      I can only wonder what a woman who’s just had a mastectomy must feel like when seeing images of sexualized breasts plastered everywhere. As a man who’s lost both testicles, at least I’m not exposed to images of intact men showing off their balls. It’s bad enough dealing with the feelings of being less than a man and getting used to having an “empty sack” without any imagery. Page 3 must go.

      • CJ says: March 28, 2014 at 7:39 pmReply

        Perfect point Steve and don’t worry, we don’t think you’re less of a man.

  12. Clare Beighton says: March 4, 2014 at 1:27 pmReply

    I’m really not surprised by this. I think it’s disgusting!

    • Les Reed says: March 4, 2014 at 1:33 pmReply

      Just so – and you’re not the only one!

  13. Katy says: March 4, 2014 at 2:06 pmReply

    Coppafeel have totally sold out. I used to really support their campaign but this is a whole new level of ridiculous.

    “Page 3’s are the most famous boobs in Britain and will act as a fantastic reminder to all Sun readers to get to know their breasts.”

    This quote from the article makes me want to poke my eyes out.

    NMP3 this response is much too kind!

  14. I Clare says: March 4, 2014 at 2:28 pmReply

    If the Sun was really interested in women’s health it would do more to promote women’s sport. Exercise and consequent weight loss are the biggest preventive factors for cancer. Britain has the largest number of obese women in Europe. Funny they didn’t pick up on that one as a health issue for women; they could have had larger women exercising in baggy T shirts etc on page 3 instead – Their campaign just so happens to require young slim, big breasted women with only their pants on to promote it. Didn’t this campaign start when Jessica Ennis was relegated to a small back page article in the Sun on the day she won her gold medal, whilst a woman with a large pair of bare breasts was given the usual prominent page 3 treatment? They did it again of course recently to Lizzie Arnold when she won our first gold medal in the winter Olympics. Just think what they could do for women’s sport and health if they scrapped bare breasts and replaced them with features on women’s football etc on page 3 everyday. coppafeel the charity working with the Sun appear to have lost all sense to do this. They show utter contempt to the women, girls, men, parents, teachers, midwives, girl guides etc etc who ahave worked so hard to try and rid Britain of this daily sexist rubbish. Young girls have been abused and raped as a direct consequence of page 3 for God’s sake. Isn’t it possible to have a campaign to promote women’s health which does not also promote sexism?

    • Les Reed says: March 4, 2014 at 4:15 pmReply

      Absolutely right – you express the same revulsion and concern that any of we decent inviduals – I’m a man – feel ever day, when organs such as the Sun latch on to anything they can use to promote lewdness and offence against public decency!

  15. Paul says: March 4, 2014 at 2:44 pmReply

    Disgusting to hijack breast cancer in an attempt to legitimise objectification.

    When will The Sun start a campaign against prostate cancer – front page, a sexy young man bends over and shows us his bum…

    • Les Reed says: March 4, 2014 at 4:18 pmReply

      Not in a million years, “cos proper blokes don’t wanna look at ‘airy arses – we need boobs, and the bigger the better”.
      What a nasty paper it is!

  16. Amanda says: March 4, 2014 at 4:38 pmReply

    The sun pretending that page 3 can help spread awareness of breast cancer as opposed to just spreading photos of women’s breasts is like a porn website trying to spread awareness of cervical cancer in their gang bang section or prostate cancer in the fisting section. Sexualising the disease that has taken away so many great women is disgusting.

    • Les Reed says: March 4, 2014 at 5:23 pmReply

      Bit blunt – but you’re absolutely right!

  17. cathy says: March 4, 2014 at 4:52 pmReply

    I cannot see how any woman will benefit from this campaign. An institution that says a woman’s worth is her breasts saying check for lumps. And if you find those lumps those very breasts that make you worthwhile might be removed, along with your value to society. If I were a young girl affected by the Sun’s view of me, would I risk checking for lumps and risking a mastectomy? I don’t think so.

    I honestly think the use of Page 3 will discourage people from checking and seeking treatment. It isn’t just that it is insensitive to the point of being vindictive, it is that it will prevent people from getting treated!!!

  18. Helen K says: March 4, 2014 at 6:53 pmReply

    This just makes me so uncomfortable on so many levels. There is nothing sexy or fun about cancer and this charade trivialises the issue and the suffering of those affected. I am heartened by the responses that I have seen today though, no-one is cowed by this blatant attempt to show P3 as a “public service” doing good, and it looks as though this ill conceived plan is going to backfire on them in a big way!!

  19. Catherine says: March 5, 2014 at 4:53 amReply

    I have just sent an email to Coppa Feel , explaining how mortifying seeing a doctor to have your breast checked can be without having that situation being potentially moulded in with sexual titillating images . Very sad they have done this , don’t think they realise how much trauma many of us go through because of these images

    • I Clare says: March 5, 2014 at 5:58 pmReply

      Absolutely. Having had several breast lumps and seen many doctors and consultants myself, to make breast examination a sexual process is truly sickening and stomach churning. I feel deeply shocked by the Sun and coppafeel. I don’t suppose male doctors and consultants have welcomed this at all. I’ve also emailed coppafeel but had no reply

  20. Sharon says: March 5, 2014 at 6:02 amReply

    Oh wow! How did we not see that one coming, how sickening it was for me to walk into my local supermarket and right by the sweet counter see the front page of the sun. Breast cancer awarenes? Why not just say “The Sun Fighting Anti Page 3 campaigners and how we approached Coppafeel so we can justify porn” ..what kind souls they are and because of such generous hearts that The Sun have they decided to not put a sales flash across the top they were generous enough to show us one of the delightful page 3 girls taking up the whole of the front page Yipee aren’t we lucky folk! Obviously the first thing that men thought of when drawn the image was breast cancer…what a clever, blatant and sickeningly display of total disrespect for the real women dealing with these issues and their families many who will be campaigning against page 3 and a general disrespect for women in general. Decency seems to hold no place or value in our society anymore…such a pity.

    • CJ says: March 28, 2014 at 7:51 pmReply

      I though they had a low opinion of men (thinking they ALL needed their daily porn) -this sick stunt shows what a low opinion they have of woen, but it seems to have backfired, Thank God.

  21. Lisa says: March 5, 2014 at 1:19 pmReply

    One for the guys! Millions of men will be taking part in #upyourbumwednesay then showing off their #pokeypiccy online http://bit.ly/1eVzoJl

  22. Maria says: March 5, 2014 at 6:21 pmReply

    I think Jeremy Hunt should resign for publicly supporting this campaign.

    44% of women in this country are abused. That’s what we should be discussing. Not this cynical campaign.

    • Les Reed says: March 29, 2014 at 2:44 pmReply

      Just so!

  23. Andrew Saunders says: March 6, 2014 at 8:21 pmReply

    So Tuesdays page 3 is for cancer awareness which is good. But what about the other days of the week. What is the point of it then? It is still porn on a mainstream newspaper, portraying women as nothing more than sex objects (which can encourage crimes like sexual assault). It may do good for one day of the week but it is still wrong on the others.

  24. Lynda says: March 6, 2014 at 8:36 pmReply

    This is wrong on so many levels………how low can these people go.

    If you want to raise awareness for Breast Cancer, then put your trainers on and do the Moon Walk. Or or go out that night and support truly beautiful women doing something amazing……

  25. vivienne Black says: March 6, 2014 at 9:39 pmReply

    Why use a young model for breast cancer awareness? Middle age women are more prone to the disease. Its just another prop for the amusement of men.and not women who are the ones that the advert is geared towards. Its pathetic!

  26. Nicole says: March 7, 2014 at 8:36 amReply

    They have not put up pictures of people with masectomys or people with breast cancer because , as the founder said, the charity ia not aimed at that demographic. What it aimed are young women like myself to check. And I for one will say that the nature of the campaign takes away the morbid fear of checking and has made me think about checking my breast more often. Criticise the Sun if you wish- but the campaign is working , due to its delivery don’t slaughter coppafeel

    • Aisha says: March 28, 2014 at 5:12 pmReply

      I disagree. It’s aimed at men who want their daily intake of boobs and soft porn. Not at women who the charity feel need to check themselves for breast cancer. The full body image of a naked young woman doesn’t exactly scream breast cancer awareness. The organisation may have had good intentions, but for the most part all it does is sexualise the disease. I walked past that newspaper labelling it as the usual page 3 b*llsh*t, and didn’t realise until now that it was ATTEMPTING to promote breast cancer awareness.

  27. cathy says: March 21, 2014 at 6:18 pmReply

    Nicole, the day that Sun cover was on show in every newsagent my friend had just attended her hospital check up after a long slog being treated for breast cancer. She’d survived. She’d spent ages putting together her outfit. Nice bright colours all coordinated. She was feeling like she was looking good for the first time in a long while.Then she saw that cover and was in bits. She no longer felt good about herself – she felt inadequate and ugly – after all she’d had breasts once and now she didn’t. She isn’t ugly page 3 is.

    If the Sun cared it could have campaigned with coppafeel without involving page 3. Same coverage but with out the insensitive, vindictiveness that linking it to page 3 has. But David Dinsmore is obsessed with keeping page 3 for reasons known only to himself. I’m guessing some kind of sexual inadequacy leading to a dislike of women on his part. It’s the only explanation I can come up with.

    • CJ says: March 28, 2014 at 7:59 pmReply

      Well said Cathy.

  28. Patricia Clark says: March 28, 2014 at 10:54 amReply

    As a surviver I had no hair for several months, an operation that scarred and disfigured me which several years later still show but have healed well. I suffered Chemotherapy and had radiotherapy. How do the Sun think I and many others feel seeing a person with perfect breasts and hair purporting to be helping me. I started a petition on Change hoping to get an apology but sadly not many people have signed it

    • Les Reed says: March 28, 2014 at 12:08 pmReply

      Hello, I’d happily sign your petition – and with all the adverse publicity around now, I’m sure many others would too – restart it!
      Cheers, Les (guy)

      • Patricia Clark says: March 29, 2014 at 2:06 pmReply

        Les, please see my comment below
        Patricia

  29. angie says: March 28, 2014 at 12:54 pmReply

    A dirty comic that uses women. I will never buy the Sun. The pimps have been using women for too long and making womankind seem cheap. they will never have my money or support.

  30. Billie Dale Wakefield says: March 28, 2014 at 3:39 pmReply

    And what is going through the minds of males of a certain type when they see naked breasts alongside coppa feel? I can see the appeal for the Sun and its not a charitable undertaking on their part its opportunism.

    • CJ says: March 28, 2014 at 8:03 pmReply

      I really, really HATE the ‘coppa feel’ slogan.
      That in itself implies breasts are there for amusement.

  31. Patricia Clark says: March 29, 2014 at 2:04 pmReply

    Les,
    Thanks, I understand the petition is still on Change, however I’m a bit of a novice with such things so can’t say how to find, maybe Patricia Clark.

  32. Patricia Clark says: March 29, 2014 at 2:21 pmReply

    If the Sun really wanted to promote the health of it’s typical reader it would tell them to give up smoking, eat more healthy food, reduce alcohol intake, get more exercise, drive carefully and less and avoid too much sun bathing.

  33. Mike Doherty says: March 29, 2014 at 8:55 pmReply

    There really is a charity called CoppaFeel! ? I assumed that was just a Sun type joke as it was just too sick a concept to use a phrase that normalises sexual assault to promote breast cancer awareness.
    Still, the Sun also has a symbiotic relationship with ‘Help for Heroes’, a charity that supports wounded soldiers yet glamourises war in its promotional material.
    You are too kind on CoppaFeel. The cynical decision was made by their executive as well as by the Sun. There are plenty of other breast cancer charities to support…

    • Les Reed says: April 6, 2014 at 4:05 pmReply

      Just so – the Sun editors are past-masters at cynical actions (and a lot more!).

  34. Paul RMT says: June 13, 2014 at 3:41 pmReply

    As a trade unionist I’ve always been appalled at this paper. As a believer in equal rights, I am appalled at this paper. Finally, I am now gobsmacked at this new low it has gone to, to legitimise an abhorrent paper that is not even fit to for the dustbin of history, by linking it to major health issues and suggest this is a public service is beyond total utter contempt

Leave a reply.