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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 14 January, 2003, 16:12 GMT
The Page 3 debate
Rebekah Wade
Ms Wade has opposed Page 3 in the past
News that the Sun newspaper is to get its first female editor, Rebekah Wade, has re-ignited the debate on the future of Page 3 girls

Do topless models provide harmless fun or is it exploitation of women? Labour's Lynne Jones and Conservative MP Julie Kirkbride voiced their opinions


Lynne Jones
Labour MP Lynne Jones

It's not the portrayal of nudity that's problematic. It's the way that Page 3 trades women as commodities and the women are not just stripped of their clothes.

They are stripped of their own sexuality and individuality and treated as objects for men's pleasure and as playthings and I think it's this attitude which is very dangerous.

It's symptomatic of the inappropriate power relations ... that are responsible for many of the ills of our society and by making Page 3 into an institution I am afraid the Sun condones these attitudes.

I would challenge the fact that it's sex. It isn't sex as I would identify it in terms of men and women having a healthy sexual relationship and I think that's what's so sad about it.

Of course some people will do anything for money but what's quite clear is that the male versions are just as bad.

If Rebekah Wade wants to increase the circulation she should try to appeal more to women.

It's sad that men have to boost their own inadequacies by ... using women in this way.


Julie Kirkbride
Conservative MP Julie Kirkbride

First of all I am delighted that Rebekah is the top woman on Fleet Street and it's another glass ceiling smashed and I think she should do what's in her paper's commercial interests because I want her to be a big success.

Given that sex sells most things and that sex keeps the human race alive and going I would be astonished if she does abolish Page 3.

Many young women who appear in the Sun - and I am told they queue up to do so - find that their careers are launched on that basis.

I don't think as Lynne does that they are demeaning themselves, that they are sex objects for men.

I think they are gorgeous women, they have gorgeous bodies, they like to be admired with their clothes on or their clothes off and I don't really see there's a problem.

I don't consider nudity, or for that matter pornography, as something that's really terrible or shocking or wrong. It has a place in our society.

It's men who generally buy the Sun whereas women buy the Daily Mail where you read a lot about people's sexual exploits and of course the Daily Mail condemns it.

It's a different kind of thing provided for a different kind of market and I would be surprised if Ms Wade wants to get rid of them because at most it's harmless fun to start the day with and for the women it can be good money...

I am very interested in the Sun being commercially successful because it's the one chance of a red top supporting the Conservative Party. I don't think the Mirror ever will therefore I want the Sun to be commercially successful and return its allegiance to us.


 VOTE RESULTS
Should the Sun keep its Page 3 girls?

Yes
 73.63% 

No
 26.37% 

8260 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

See also:

13 Jan 03 | UK
24 May 00 | UK
14 Jan 03 | Talking Point

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