by Samantha Ritchie Growing up, women dancing around half-naked on my TV screen in music videos was and still is perfectly normal. This is because women being demeaned is not something out of the ordinary. A survey released by the LabTV website in 2005 …

Samantha Ritchie

by Samantha Ritchie

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Growing up, women dancing around half-naked on my TV screen in music videos was and still is perfectly normal. This is because women being demeaned is not something out of the ordinary.

A survey released by the LabTV website in 2005 stated that 3% of the young women found being a glamour model most appealing. A quarter thought being a lap dancer would be a good profession but just 4% picked the teaching profession. In this survey, 1000 young women were asked to take part between the ages of 15 – 19 years old. For women so young to take these views is shocking but for me, it is not. Because the scary thing is, many of my peers feel lap dancing, stripping and web cam work is easy money and if offered would consider it.

In November last year, The Leveson Inquiry produced a report which highlighted the culture, ethics and practice of the British Press. In particular, the Leveson inquiry discussed the way in which women are presented in the media. Lord Leveson stated that “Of greater potential concern to the inquiry is the degree to which the images may reflect a wider cultural failure to treat women with dignity and respect and/or a practice which, intentionally or not, has the effect of demeaning and degrading women.” Leveson criticised newspapers such as the Star, Sun and Sport for the way in which women are presented in the media.

Page 3 protesters outside the Sun office

Page 3 in the Sun newspaper allows men to see women with their tops off which effectively demeans and objectifies women. Leveson not only pointed out the issue he had with page 3 and the sun but he also stated about how other women are presented in the media. Images and language which apply a demeaning and sexualising lens beyond those who choose to appear in their pages with breasts exposed: even the most accomplished and professional women are reduced to the sum of their body parts.”

It now nearly six months from Leveson, there hasn’t really been any changes in the way in which women are presented in the media. And in fact, the British media has just rejected the recommendations Leveson made. Therefore, more than ever we need to be proactive and change this together.

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Young boys who see these images of women being demeaned will think its normal to be derogatory about women. And, if we look at Steubenville whereby a young women was raped at a party by a group of young men and then the video was passed around classmates for others to jeer and laugh at the state she was in. This is not what society should become. We need to change this for other generations who are becoming apart of this culture.

Please sign the No More Page 3 petition here and take action against the sexualisation of young women in the media.

 


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Samantha Ritchie