The controversy of page 3 | Views by Jo

I thought it would be topical to blog about the end of Page 3, touching upon what it means for our children, for their innocence and for the empowerment of women.

I’m an advocate supporter for the ability to choose. Choice is a right we expect to have and one that we undoubtedly should have. What does the end of Page 3 mean for that? I listened to an interview on the news last night with a Page 3 model who felt the end of Page 3 has removed her choice to model topless in something that is an iconic (for right or for wrong reasons) part of our British heritage. But what does it mean for our children and their ability to choose what images they see and at what age in life?

The world is such a big place, so amazingly interconnected and there is so much ‘stuff’ that is not appropriate for small eyes but how do we decide what they can see and what they cannot see. We cannot control for everything, or maybe we can but does that then have effects on our children? Is it better to expose them gradually, to teach them about Page 3 before they experience the world online? A world that I wholeheartedly feel is significantly worse and more dangerous than Page 3.

Someone tweeted yesterday asking how many children actively read Page 3, I would say very few. However, if it is lying around and as we all know children rifle through things left, right and centre they could turn over one page, just one page and see a beautiful topless lady. Again I feel like that is fine as long as they understand why she is doing it: because she wants to, because she chose to, because it empowers her not because it makes her cheap, not because being topless is something that all women do and not because a man told her too.

Whilst I firmly believe that if women have the confidence to be photographed topless and that it empowers them then we should support it. The world is composed of millions of different people and that is the thing we are different, we need these small differences in order to have the option to choose. If we were all the same there would be no right to choose. However, the access of having beautiful topless women on Page 3 of a newspaper is perhaps just a little too prominent, maybe a little too present, a little too infront of our children. By losing page 3 are we improving our ability to protect our children or should we keep page 3 and educate our children?

Having listened to numerous interviews, spoken to many parents and followed the debates on twitter, I feel that through losing Page 3 we are reducing womens rights to choose as with or without Page 3 you still have the choice to buy the paper, you still have the choice to remove the page incase your children do flick through it. Perhaps we should embrace the decision to remove it for its ability to protect innocent eyes but not lose sight of the bigger picture.