Caroline Lucas MP called for The Sun newspaper to be removed from outlets across Parliament until the paper’s editor responds to the calls to scrap Page 3, today (Weds 12 June 2013). Caroline has taken an important stand against sexism in the workplace with this move. Student Broad Left supports campaigns for The Sun to be removed from all shops on our college and university campuses.
During a Westminster Hall debate on sexism in the media, Caroline said it was wrong that material portraying women as sex objects primarily for male gratification was so widely available in MPs’ workplaces.
The Sun is currently made available to MPs for free at eight different points across the parliamentary estate, along with a selection of other newspapers.
In the letter sent to the House of Commons authorities this morning ahead of her Westminster Hall debate, Caroline Lucas said:
“As a supporter of No More Page Three, I do not think that a newspaper that persists in carrying images which are degrading to women should be widely available across the parliamentary estate.
“There is a strong link between the portrayal of women as sexual objects with attitudes that underpin violence and discrimination against women and girls – demonstrated by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and in a Government commissioned Sexualisation of Young People Review, for example.
“The latter found evidence that suggests a clear link between consumption of sexualised images, a tendency to view women as objects and the acceptance of aggressive attitudes and behaviour as the norm.
“In my debate today, I call for action to address the fact that prejudicial attitudes to women are so deeply entrenched and normalised in our society, specifically the significant role played by the media.
“Page Three is a symbol of this problem. It ‘normalises’ the idea that women are there primarily for men’s sexual pleasure and, whilst I and other MPs can chose not to buy the paper, we are, nonetheless, through the choices of others including – in this instance, the Commons authorities – unable to avoid Page Three.
“Its presence is insidious and typical of how the idea that women’s bodies should be instantly available as a resource for men‘s sexual gratification pervades our media.
“I have joined calls on the paper’s editor to consign Page Three to the rubbish bin where it belongs.
“Now I hope the House of Commons will likewise agree to throw out The Sun until it removes Page Three, in acknowledgement of the damage it does and the fact that I and others should not have to put up with such images in our workplace.”