On Tuesday, The Times reported that its sister paper, tabloid newspaper The Sun, had quietly retired the infamous Page Three slot, which depicts a topless woman, after publishing it for 45 years.
Many, including Stylist, supported (and still support) this decision. What's more, it was a real victory for the No More Page Three campaigners, headed up by Lucy-Anne Holmes, who set up an online petition in August 2012, with the aim to ban the images as they were too sexual for a family newspaper.
The campaign had received over 200,000 signatures on its petition so understandably many were euphoric over the matter, such as celebrities, journalists and the campaigners:
What happens when 217,000 people come together? You get no page 3! Lots to do regarding equality but such a step in the right direction :):)— NoMorePage3 (@NoMorePage3) January 21, 2015
If Page Three has truly gone may I congratulate all the brilliant campaigners who have been at it for SO many years. Thank you.— suzanne moore (@suzanne_moore) January 19, 2015
Russell Brand also came forward in support of the campaign, and even posted up a video of himself explaining why this is a step in the right direction for women's rights.
But while many celebrated, others were angry about the decision and suggested that this move actually restricted women's rights.
In a piece on The Independent's i100 website, in which they asked glamour models their views, one-time Page Three model Chloe Goodman had this to say on the matter:
“Why should feminist women then tell other women how to live their lives? Women fought together to get the vote and so on and so forth, so why should women now be fighting each other, and tell each other what job roles to now take within the industry?”
Writing for The Debrief, columnist also Katie Glass made an interesting point:
“In the same way, we women shouldn’t lump ourselves together. We are not homogenous! One woman doing something does not represent us all. We can run the gamut - be journalists, doctors, firefighters, barristers, glamour models. We’re individuals, not just gender - that’s what real equality is.”
In the Guardian, female writers were asked their oinion on The Sun's decision.
MP Stella Creasy made a great point with this comment:
"This has never about being "offended" by Page 3, but being affected by it. By highlighting how so many felt about women's bodies being objectified, this campaign has prompted national debate on the kind of message we send to 51% of the population about their role in our society. Telling someone to turn the page misses the point about the culture that this depiction of what is valued about women feeds. That even when we don't look we are impacted by its presence."
But that victory was short-lived, as today The Sun has published yet another Page Three model, with a young woman baring her breasts. As if that wasn't insulting enough for those who campaigned against it, the tabloid's smug caption added salt to the wound.
Clearly, as shown by a tweet from The Sun's head of press Dylan Sharpe, it appears to be little more than a publicity campaign.
I said that it was speculation and not to trust reports by people unconnected to The Sun. A lot of people are about to look very silly...— Dylan Sharpe (@dylsharpe) January 21, 2015
Obviously, many were saddened and angered by the news:
One of the commenters in the Guardian today summed it up perfectly:
Most depressingly, it feels like there's a renewed struggle on speaking out against Page Three with women being vilified for expressing their disgust at The Sun's behaviour.
But perhaps journalist Sali Hughes' tweet sums it up the best for us:
What a hostile act. Deliberately ridiculing and belittling women. I didn't feel anything like as strongly last week as I do now. Appalling.— Sali Hughes (@salihughes) January 21, 2015
Tell us whether you think Page Three should be banned by voting in our poll.
Even better, let us know your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us at @stylistmagazine