We met at 12.30pm in the Last Post not really knowing how many of us there would be. The subject matter is a difficult one and we have had some negative experiences of late when posting things on facebook walls etc. many posted letters to supermarkets who advertise in the Sun asking them to reconsider supporting the publication with their revenue and our hard earned cash and were met with a mixed response. Tesco’s page was an interesting experience. They try and police it and at times rapidly delete clearly inappropriate “Get your t***!” out type comments but strangely leave in place other offensive things such as the suggestion that the letter writer must have inadequate breasts and are therefore jealous of the page 3 girls. One man even wrote a blatantly misogynistic “This is why I hate women” which was left undeleted for several days. With this in mind you can see why, despite the number of supporters, folks are reluctant to go out there and promote this subject actively. I was therefore over the moon when there 9 of us in the pub and we were later joined by 2-3 more. Our group included a mix of men, women and young girls.
This wasn’t a demo as such; there were no banners, no chanting or singing. We simply and politely asked passers by to consider signing the petition and in the most part people were very supportive. People’s reasons for signing are as diverse as the number of signatures and the petition gives space for them to note what their feelings are. One of my favourites was a middle aged gentleman who was very keen to sign and simply wrote the word “Respect” which said so much! Others mentioned children seeing the images, exploitation, and sexism and girls body image. Many simply wrote “I am a woman”. It was great to see the positive responses and the discussions it provoked. With many saying, “Oh yes! I definitely sign that” and “About time too”. There were of course a few Page 3 fans and the one particular man who made it clear he would be keen to see two of our demonstrators in there as models?! Importantly though we came across a group of local female students who have been independently going into local newsagents and asking them to put The Sun newspaper on the top shelf. They knew nothing of the No More Page 3 Campaign and now they do. And that is the biggest hope from yesterday and from the interview I have done on Radio Nottingham this morning and the discussion it has provoked. That the message will spread, that people will sign, tell their friends and discuss this issue and it’s bigger implications far and wide. That is why we gave up our time and why we will do it again.
The anniversary of Page 3 is on Saturday 17th November and if we have enough interest we would love to do a bigger demonstration that day either in Beeston or possibly in Nottingham. Interested? Get in touch.