Women’s organisations (Eaves, End Violence Against Women Coalition, Equality Now, Object and Turn Your Back on Page 3) who gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry in January 2012 have warmly welcomed the ‘Leveson Report’ (29 November) and called for all parties to get behind Leveson’s model for a new independent regulator.
The women’s groups said that Lord Leveson’s recommendations “open the door” for government and media regulators to tackle the “endemic sexism” found in our tabloid press.
Key issues in the report:
- Lord Leveson says there is evidence to show that the “Page 3 tabloid press often failed to show consistent respect for the dignity and equality of women generally, and that there was a tendency to sexualise and demean women”, in particular the Sport.
- He agreed with the key recommendation of the women’s groups that “what is clearly required is that any such [new] regulator has the power to take complaints from representative women’s groups
- Lord Leveson also said that consideration should be given to Code amendments which would give the new body power to intervene in cases of allegedly discriminatory reporting and reflect the spirit of equalities legislation.
- Lord Leveson said that an article highlighted in the women’s groups’ evidence, ‘Bodyguards for Battered Towie Sisters’ (The Sun) may well have infringed clause 12 of the Editors Code as currently drafted.
Francine Hoenderkamp of Turn Your Back On Page 3 said:
“It is a victory for women that Lord Justice Leveson has recognised the harmful impact that the Page 3 tabloid press has on women’s inequality – of which this overt sexist and misogynistic portrayal of women is perpetuating and fuelling. If the tabloid press insists on continuing to treat women in this way it is up to the government to ensure there is a sufficient regulatory body in place that holds them to account.”
OBJECT and TYBOP3’s submission (http://tinyurl.com/cq8ymok) focused on the sexual objectification of women in our red top tabloids, providing a snapshot of the sexist and misogynistic content that permeates our daily press. This, within the context of what is still a grossly unequal society is deeply problematic. This overt sexist portrayal of women within the UK’s mainstream press is perpetuating and fuelling this inequality by, at best; encouraging negative attitudes towards us and within us, and, at worst, acts of violence committed against us. All of which grossly limit our choices, stall our progress and violate our human rights.
The Sun is the UK’s most popular newspaper and the existence of the 42-year-old ‘Page 3’ within it symbolises the acceptance and normalisation of sexism in our society and a government that doesn’t care about changing this.
Whilst our politicians continue to turn a blind eye to this mistreatment of women within the press they are turning a blind eye to sexism in general.
We cannot let this happen.
We need to demand that the government stamps out sexism in all its forms and eradicating the tabloid press’ blatant, persistent sexism and misogyny would be a good place to start.
To get involved write to your MP, join the Facebook group, and/or send a photo of your back (age, name, location optional) with the campaign slogan on and a brief explanation why you are protesting to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or simply post it on Facebook or tweet us @tybop3. Together we will show the government that we are united in the fight to end sexism in all its forms TODAY.
Turn Your Back On Page 3, stand up to misogyny!
Turn Your Back On Page 3, stand up for EQUALITY!