What’s Black and White and Wanked all over?

April 5, 2013 1:52 pm

HELP! Tits, Hooters, Jugs, Raisin Tassels, Bazookas (No, not the anti-veruca cream…) Fun-bags, Water-bags (really?!), Boobies, Breasts, the Twins (preferably identical, but never Siamese…), or whatever you want to call them, are being threatened! Well, not actually, just the ones on Page 3. But, could it really be true? Could that quintessentially British phenomenon which has titillated men, boys, and those who herald from the Island of Lesbos, since the dawn of time, really be on its way out? Will we have to wave goodbye to our much-loved morning glory? Farewell to Brandy, Candi, Brandi with an ‘i’, Kandi with a ‘k’? Or, for those of us who simply like to keep ‘abreast’ of what is going on in the world, will this be the end of Page 3’s ever-informative ‘News in Briefs’? Surely not?! news in breifs

Since 1970 – ironically a triumphant year for Second Wave Feminism (hooray feminism!) – tabloid newspaper, The Sun, has featured topless models on its third page. 40 years and endless pairs of knockers later – cue Fred Heatherton’s ”I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts….big ones, small ones, some as big as your head” song – and we’re still seeing McTitties with our morning toast. Don’t get me wrong, I love breasts. Aged 13, I would ritualistically kiss my pancake-flat chest every night before bed, chanting: ‘I must, I must, I must increase my bust!’ However, what I loathe, is how our nation views them, which is, as the Urban Dictionary has so moronically put, as ‘something to look at when talking to a woman’, because what women say in itself cannot possibly be funny, intellectual, or interesting? Could it?

Lexically speaking, how society (ahem…men) refers to breasts, that is through allusions to the animal kingdom – ‘mosquito bites’, ‘dogs noses’ – or, more generously, as slabs of meat – ‘racks’, ‘Burger Nips’ – is derogatory. This is visually enhanced through popularised institutions such as The Sun’s Page 3, whose buxom blondes seem soulless, as helpless victims of the leering male gaze. And I’m not the first to think so…

Poor ‘killjoy’ Clare Short‘s 1986 attempt to abolish Page 3 floundered, bullied by the tit-trolls at the The Sun for spoiling their (wet) dreams. But that’s exactly where Clare went wrong. Instead of getting rid of Page 3, we need to update it, to emancipate this masculinist mode of viewing breasts, and the female bodies they are attached to, thus making it more accessible to women. Think more Vogue, less vagina… Rupert Murdoch

With the 2011 Leveson Inquiry painstakingly scrutinising the culture, practices and, most importantly, ethics of the press – although, unfortunately, not focusing on matters to do with sex and/or sexism – things have started to change. And look! Good news: responding to a tweet last month from one ‘@kazipooh’ (not a typical name for a feminist vigilante, but hey) which called for a revamping of Page 3, King of the Hackers and tabloid Bad Boy, Rupert Murdoch tweeted, ‘You maybe [sic] right, don’t know but considering. Perhaps halfway house with glamorous fashionistas’. Alexandra Shulman, watch out!

But before you get excited, yes you, the 50% of the population with vagina’s and those without them but who are still sympathetic to our cause – we only need to look at the Sun’s ‘Page 3 Idol‘, a competition where topless beauties are in the ”racey to be the next Lacey”, to see that the nation’s favourite morning tit-fix ain’t going anywhere for a while…

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