At a recent conference at Durham University (50 Years of Sexism: What Next?) Lucy Ann Holmes (@LucyAnnHolmes) gave a great talk on the things that led her to start the No More Page 3 campaign (@NoMorePage3), a campaign aimed, primarily, at The Sun (@TheSunNewspaper). A fairly broad question seemed to sum up Lucy Ann Holmes’ efforts: Why, at this stage in the 21st Century, are images of semi-naked women still prevalent in what is meant to be a medium of news – a national newspaper?
This seems to be a reasonable question to ask, and the paper eventually caved in to public pressure and dropped the daily exhibition of semi-naked (topless) women. However, there are ways of getting around this, as we’ll see when we consider Tactic #1 – complicity.
Complicity in this case comes in the form of those women who are more than willing to provide The Sun with selfies in response to The Sun‘s latest ‘campaign,’ Cleavage Week (I kid you not), where said women, in the hope of winning £1000, will provide, for publication purposes, images of their best cleavage shot. Just for clarification, Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) does not appear to have sent her photo to The Sun‘s Cleavage Week campaign, but all the others pictured have.
I wonder if the women providing The Sun with such selfies are aware of the derivations of the word ‘cleave,’ and how this may relate to @LucyAnnHolmes and her efforts to end the nonsensical, but continuing, exploitation of women via their bodies. In one sense, to cleave is to split or sever something. In another sense, to cleave is to adhere strongly to.