Topless women have been a fixture on Page 3 of the Sun for more than four decades, but the popular feature has now been killed off.
Executives at the Sun have decided to quietly shelve the tradition after a baying lynch mob of critics branded it
Instead of bare breasts, the pictures will now show scantily-clad women wearing bras and pants.
The move was confirmed by The Times, a fellow News UK paper. It is understood that the parent company's chairman Rupert Murdoch signed
off on the decision.
Topless models were first introduced by the Sun in 1970, less than a year after Rupert Murdoch bought the title. In recent years, the paper has faced growing criticism from miserable campaigners who claimed the feature was out
According to the Guardian , executives had planned to drop Page 3 quietly, without fanfare. It is understood the change may be reversed if it causes a dramatic drop in sales.
The Sun newspaper's decision has inevitably been
welcomed by miserable MPs particularly from the Labour Party.
Education secretary Nicky Morgan, who also holds the women and equalities brief, said the move was long overdue . The Conservative cabinet minister crowed:
This is a long overdue decision and marks a small but significant step towards improving media portrayal of women and girls. I very much hope it remains permanent.
Downing Street refused to be drawn on the issue. A
spokesman said it was a matter for the Sun .
The move also received the backing of Liberal Democrat women's and equalities minister Jo Swinson - although she criticised the alternative content in Tuesday's edition.
I am delighted that the old fashioned sexism of Page 3 could soon be a thing of the past. I welcome this apparent step forward from the Sun, but I would encourage its editors to consider whether parading women in bikinis is really a
modern reflection of the contribution women make to society.
Labour frontbenchers including the shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan, the shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper and the former culture secretary Dame Tessa Jowell all
tweeted support for the No More Page 3 campaign.
Harriet Harman, the deputy leader of the Labour party, who has long spoken out against the Page 3, said she would ensure that the Sun would not be able to make the announcement quietly. Speaking on
her LBC phone-in on Monday evening, Harman bayed:
It will be the Sun moving into the 21st century, if that is the case. Because actually we do think in a newspaper, which is about news, the idea of girls standing there
in their knickers with some sort of pseudo-political quote, I mean it really is not the representation of women's role in this country that I want to see.
I've always been against Page 3. But bearing in mind that we've had a lot
of discussion about freedom of speech and what people can report, it's my right to say I don't think it's right, I think they should get rid of it. But it is absolutely not the role of any government to ban it. But if they've seen sense, so much the
The Sun has been having
fun with the campaigners who seized upon 3rd party reports of the demise of Page 3.
The paper ahas again featured a photograph of a topless model, which appears under a Clarifications and Corrections header and comes after a front-page
panel announces: We've had a mammary lapse.
PC campaigners were a bit taken aback with the most notable comment being from Julia Churchill, a No More Page 3 supporter who tweeted:
After #NoMorePage3 it
felt like we were taking a good deep breath after being held under water, and now, a punch in the face.
Nevertheless, commentators were confident that the days of Page 3 are ultimately numbered. Sources told the Guardian that the Sun
had planned for the demise of Page 3 to pass under the radar. When the Guardian revealed plans to scrap it on Monday, a senior editor quipped privately: If I were the boss, I'd put in a topless pic just to spite everybody.
Sometimes, the world looks like a bleak place: the Middle East is still rocked by bloody violence, endangering thousands of innocent lives; millions around the world are still dying from poverty and preventable diseases. And yet, No More Page 3 (NMP3)
campaigners are still convinced that the real crisis facing humanity today is the influence of boobs on working-class men.
Supermarket Tesco will no longer show the front covers of tabloid newspapers to avoid children seeing sexualised pictures of young women .
After months of lobbying by campaign groups No More Page 3 and Child Eyes, the largest supermarket chain
in the UK said it would change the design of its news cube stands so newspapers will not be displayed vertically.
Tesco will now only show the names and logos of newspapers on the sides of the display stands. Customers will now have to walk
right up to the display in order to see what's on the front of the newspapers. The policy will affect how all tabloid papers are displayed, from the red tops to mid-market titles like The Daily Mail and The Express.
Representatives from No More
Page 3 and Child Eyes, which campaigns against sexual imagery met with Tesco at its head office in September to convey their ideas for censorship.
Tracey Clements, customer experience and insight director for Tesco, said:
We are first and foremost a family retailer and it's important we do everything we can to promote the right environment in store. We've asked our customers what they think about the issue and we have spoken to campaigners. The change
we're making will strike the right balance for everyone.
It seems that the word 'balance' has now adopted the new meaning of censorship being imposed and/or rights being taken away.
Waitrose followed has followed Tesco's lead in censoring newspaper covers, saying it had been working on it for some time and would be changing their newspaper fixtures to display covers out of children's eyelines.
Offsite Comment: Modern Mary Whitehouses Want to Censor Newspapers, Magazines, Clothes and even Mugs
25th November 2014.
Right wing US commentators have fun watching Tesco censoring newspaper covers:
The Co-op has refused to bow to demands from anti-Page 3 campaigners to withdraw advertising from the Sun newspaper and to banish its sales to the top shelf.
The No More Page 3 campaign had targeted local Coop regional meetings and had won votes to
censor the Sun in three southern regions.
The board of Co-operative Food told campaigners that it entirely respects the views of those campaigning to have 'Page 3 ' type images dropped from the Sun and the Star , but said:
We are mindful, in consideration of these motions, of the need to balance the following: our commercial need to market effectively to our customers; our commitment to create a family-friendly shopping environment and the problems
associated with using corporate influence via sales, promotions or advertising to seek to influence editorial decisions.
With over 18 million customers using the Co-operative every week and a significant proportion of our target
audience, including members, reading the Sun it is vital that our media choices continue to reach this large audience cost effectively.
Removing advertising from the Sun based on what the paper chooses to publish runs the risk of
being seen as trying to directly influence editorial decisions and sets a precedent for all publications and media channels in the future.
There is a need to balance, in a free society, press freedom alongside newspapers '
responsibility to deliver accurate, fair and appropriate content.
For these reason we do not use advertising to influence editorial decisions and currently have no plans to change this policy.
The Co-op sells
half a million copies of the Sun each week.
The Royal College of Nursing has issued a statement in support of a ban on the Sun's topless Page 3 glamour feature saying:
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) supports the No More Page three campaign because we believe
that the humiliation and exploitation of women is something that should not be acceptable.
Gender stereotyping and the sexualisation of women can have detrimental effects on the safety of women in our society. The RCN promotes a
working environment where our members and staff can work with dignity and not be placed in compromising situations that cause offence, humiliation, embarrassment or distress.
All nursing staff should be seen as respected
professionals with no sexualised stereotypes attached.
The Sun has dropped topless Page 3 pictures in Ireland because of supposed cultural differences between that country and Britain. The editor of the paper's Irish edition, Paul Clarkson, is quoted in the Irish Times as saying :
Page 3 is a hugely popular pillar of the Sun in the UK...
In the Irish Sun we strive to share the qualities that make the newspaper great in print and digital, but we also strive to cater for our own readers'
needs and reflect the cultural differences in Ireland.
Roy Greenslade of the Guardian notes that this is a remarkable decision given that the paper has been running pictures of topless women for many years without apparently being
aware of the cultural differences .
Daily Mail Dave delivered a speech promising to censor more or less anything on the internet but has drawn the line at banning sexy pictures in newspapers.
Cameron said he would never support a ban on topless images on page 3 of the Sun newspaper.
Pressed to explain the distinction between his censorial position on online pornographic images and his laissez-faire stance on topless images in newspapers, he said that it was up to consumers whether or not they wanted to buy the Sun
[or Daily Mail].
Asked by Woman's Hour presenter Jane Garvey whether he was worried that his daughters could be confronted by Page 3, he said:
This is an area where we should
leave it to consumers to decide, rather than to regulators ... As politicians we have to decide where is the right place for regulation, where is the right place for legislation, where is the right place for consumers to decide.
founder of the No More Page 3 campaign, Lucy Holmes, said she thought Cameron's willingness to acknowledge the dangers of online pornography while ignoring the parallel dangers of topless images on page 3 of Britain's best-read newspaper was peculiar
David Cameron must see that these pictures are damaging for women. Is he afraid of upsetting the Sun?
David Dinsmore ,
the new Sun editor, has vowed to continue printing pictures of topless women on Page 3 as it is a good way of selling newspapers .
Speaking on the radio station LBC 97.3 on Wednesday morning, Dinsmore said that Page 3 would remain in the
paper despite growing criticism from campaigners. He was speaking of a new exhibition of erotic Japanese paintings at the British Museum in London and said:
This is Japanese art -- Spring Pictures as it's
euphemistically called. It's given the editor of the Times the opportunity to put a naked Japanese lady on page 3, which as we know is a good way of selling newspapers.
Asked whether Page 3 was safe under the Sun s new editorship,
It is, it is, yes I can tell you that.
He later told BBC Radio 5 Live:
Page 3 stays. We did a survey last year and found that two thirds of our
readers wanted to keep Page 3. What you find is people who are against Page 3 have never read the Sun and would never read the Sun.
As far as the exposure goes, it's on Page 3, it's not on the cover. I was flicking through a copy
of this month's Vogue and there's Kate Moss topless. I suspect the editor of Vogue won't be questioned on whether topless pictures are on its pages. I think we've got to keep a sense of proportionality about this.
Women from the No More Page 3 campaign have staged a 1970s inspired flash mob outside The Sun headquarters in an attempt to get the tabloid to remove images of topless women from its Page 3.
The protesters danced and sang in front of the
Wapping office block to the 1970s tune Y.M.C.A --- using their own lyrics and choreography.
Page 3 puts porn on the bottom shelf. It's not 1970 anymore, there's no place for this sexism today.
We're here to say we want No More Page 3!
Saturday's demonstration was organised by the No More Page 3 campaign, which was kicked off by writer and actress Lucy Holmes during last summer's London Olympics. The campaign has
grown into a full-time operation staffed by a team of 12 volunteers.