I was listening to Radio 4 (Womens Hour) yesterday and heard about the ‘Ban Page 3’ petition, courtesy of one female activist/author – Lucy-Anne Holmes.
Sometimes I get the feeling that I am a bit visionary. I tend to ‘anticipate’ a lot of things before they become a trend. Rather annoying friends who have known me from being tiny tell me this, and provide me with rather spooky examples. It’s irritating. By rights, I should be rolling in moolah by now. But no – I just witter on about things…they happen…and then I make no money from it.
But I digress. A week before this petition was launched, my small tribe attended a Family Fun Day. The day was organised by a large group of (employed) young people who were (paid) to deliver Fun Activities for School Children and Families.
Halfway through the activities – my 4 year old son needed to nip to the loo. Outside WC had a big queue. So we ended up dodging the ‘Private!’ signs and getting into the main building in order to quickly locate the employee’s toilets. And then the staff room (4 year old wanted a drink of water…) So we had a little, private viewing of where our friendly hosts hung out in between doing Fun Things with us all. And up there – bedecking the white board, along with the team’s instructions for the day – for all of these lovely, liberal and (whom I thought) were ‘right on and enlightened and educated’ sorts (for so they presented themselves to us paying punters) was… A carefully cut out picture of one Lovely Lisa with her Humongous Chest. From the pages of That Sun.
“Ooooh! Yuk! Boobies!!” squealed my boy (anything appertaining to the mere existence of women is a pretty revolting experience to him at the moment).
And I was shocked. I really had to do a Double Take (arf arf!) I don’t buy the Sun…I don’t buy tabloids. In fact I don’t buy or read any newspapers (news depresses me). So I dunno. I just thought that the Tits Out For The Lads Stuff had died out with Bernard Manning and The Dinosaurs. I guess life and work and kids and life and work and kids da da dee da means that this little prehistoric quirk of the UK had passed me by.
And although I know that the staffing ratio was about Male to Female 3:1 – there WERE females as part of the team. Perhaps they didn’t mind the photo there – leering at them with her double D’s as they supped their Horlicks. Or perhaps the Lads in the Team were more outspoken, took more of the decisions than the lasses. Maybe the females just rolled their eyes at the behaviour of the males. Or maybe – just maybe, those women in their very early 20s were more concerned about what their male counterparts thought of them if they objected to the Big Bare Breasts. Would they be seen to be ‘Up for a Laff’? Or ‘Miserable Bints’?
So I smiled when I heard Lucy-Anne Holmes on Radio 4 yesterday, describing exactly the same kind of recent revelation. She had stumbled across a Bared Mammary Glands of Busty Bev shot and was shocked to the core.
How the hell did they get away with this for so long? Why the hell have we been ignoring this until now? Don’t give me that “Women choose to do this so …they gain money from it… we like to look at them… and surely they should have the choice too… get over yourself you dried-up old feminist prune”….. crap.
Women choose to do a lot of stupid things. We make ridiculous decisions in life, we hurt others, we abuse others, we can act like total selfish idiots – but we live in a modern country and we aspire to less phillistine approaches to life than our mothers had to put up with. We live in a country where we want out daughters (and sons) to have a healthy body image, a positive attitude to sexuality and to be told and shown by society that we are equal.
I am not saying that there isn’t a place (somewhere) for bare boobies to be on display. But not in our newspapers. Not accompanying stories about torture in central Africa or bombs in the Middle East. Slinky Sandy with her Silicone SuperWhoppers titilating us as we check what tomorrow’s weather will be like in Bognor Regis is a product of a bygone age.
And as Andrea Mann in the Huffington Post tells us; “George Alagiah doesn’t say, ‘And now over to Angela Merkel, who’s flaunting her curves at the G20 summit today’ does he?”
And yes, the irony of a certain Kate getting her own baps out and having them snapped isn’t lost on me. Perhaps she is more ‘economically empowered’ not to have to rely on them as an income-stream, but as my other half said “If she’s daft enough to get them out at all, someone as famous as her….well I don’t see why us tax payers should be bloody well paying for her court costs!”
But back to me and the little lad. A small, but often sensible chap who was equally disgusted at Booby Lady. What did I do about the picture? I ripped the damned thing down and stuffed it in the bin. I doubt if the kid will ever remember it, will ever thank me for it. But maybe his sister will one day. But hell. It was the least that I could do.
And now I can sign the petition – please pass it on.