Started by Lucy Holmes back in August 2012 the No More Page 3 (NMP3) has quickly gained traction as it has gathered the support of big organisation such as the National Union of Head Teachers, the Girls Guides and Women’s Aid.
A passionate beginning
During the 2012 Olympics Lucy picked up The Sun newspaper while on a train. She noted happily that there was no Page 3 image; that page was full of the huge achievements Team GB was making. Then she reached page 13. There was a girl just in her pants, the largest picture in the paper – larger than the shot of Jessica Ennis, who had just won her gold medal. It made her feel sad, but also sickened. She had thought, perhaps, the paper had taken the Page 3 image out as a sign of respect to all the cultures visiting our country for the Olympics but no, they had just moved it.
Lucy told The Independent: ‘I am not a campaigner. But I felt such passion for this issue, passion that burnt like a fire in my chest, that I felt I had to do something about it… The page 3 girl image is there for no other reason than the sexual gratification of men. She’s a sex object. But when figures range from 300,000 women being sexually assaulted and 60,000 raped each year, to 1 in 4 who have been sexually assaulted, is it wise to be repeatedly perpetuating a notion that women are sexual objects?‘
Lucy set up an online petition through change.org, and created a No More Page 3 website on which there is also an open letter to the editor that is being signed by an increasing number of MPs. When feminist campaign groups Object and Turn Your Back on Page 3 made a joint submission about ‘the hyper-sexualisation of women in the press’ to the Leveson Inquiry at the end of 2012, Holmes told papers that that the inquiry’s focus on tabloid behaviour helped her campaign gain attention – as has the power of social media. She told The Guardian: ‘In 1970, a group of men, in a male-managed media, in a male-managed country, decided to put the naked breasts of young women in the newspaper, and in 2012, hopefully, we’re a different society. Shouldn’t we look at that decision again?’