I was in London the other day and popped in to a local newsagents, which was one of those that has the newspapers displayed on the counter in front of you, next to the till. I was waiting to pay and in front of me were two children, seemingly brother and sister: the boy was about ten and the girl about thirteen. They were paying for some sweets, and as the woman put their money in the till I noticed the boy stealing a sideways glance at his sister. He then quickly turned over the front page of the Sun on the counter right in front of him, and displayed the Page 3 picture. His sister scolded him and the woman behind the till looked very disapproving, and the page was hastily closed again. The girl dragged the boy out of the shop, obviously angry with him.

That incident sort of summed up why I support NMP3. The boy knew what he was doing was ‘naughty’ and also in some sense he knew he had power: he could annoy three women at once – myself, the shopkeeper and his sister, by doing what he did. Boys will always be naughty but the Sun provides them with the means and the permission to be naughty in a sexist way.

I worked in a city trading room in the late 80s, early 90s. As the only female I took the harassment -in all its forms -as part of the job. I hated when they would compare me (daily) to the girl on page three: ‘Where are your tits??’ ‘Your tits look rubbish in that’ etcetc.
I think I forced myself not to mind because being accepted in a very alpha-male job was not to show weakness like objecting to harassment. Of course the harassment didn’t stop there, but the ‘enjoyment’ and discussion of page 3 was part of the routine. Not minding about being treated like an object was survival. I can’t imagine the grief I would have got about complaining about it!! Unthinkable!!
I’m making up for not minding now :) I’m teaching my daughter about feminism and equality so she doesn’t feel she has to put up with that kind of behaviour. People I talk to about it have an epiphany when they think about it, like they can’t believe they hadn’t considered how out of place it is.
Soft porn has no place in a family newspaper. It should not be accessible to everyone. It is not OK and it has to change.
NO MORE PAGE 3!!!!!!!!

As a child Page 3 was always in our house, brought in by my father. When I was probably around ten years old upwards, I was always uncomfortable around it and always had a feeling of humiliation it it was left open on page 3 near me. The boys throughout the school years would say smutty remarks involving it and even show the images to us girls in an attempt to embarrass us, which it did because I had no comeback or was told I was jealous.

But when I was fifteen years old, I was brutally raped by four men in their late teens and early twenties. When they ripped my jumper off, they pulled my arms back and showed each other I was a “real life fucking page 3 girl”.

Every single day afterwards I was submitted to seeing the image in The Sun newspaper. I felt powerless, intimidated and humiliated. I’m now 38yrs old and this pornography is STILL circulated in a ‘family’ newspaper for titilation and to the detriment of every woman out there, whatever her age. It needs to stop, it’s is unfair, dangerous and negatively influential.

Please.

When I was in year 10 we were set work in a maths lesson that required us all to bring in a newspaper. All I remember was the uncomfortable feeling and the annoyance at the fact this gave the boys an excuse to be waving around topless models in a place that is meant to be safe. Girls that age, with all the insecurity they already have with their quickly changing bodies, should not have to have soft pornography thrust in their faces in a maths lesson. It’s outrageous and needs to end. When else would it ever be acceptable for half naked women to be displayed in the middle of a school lesson?!

I am 13 and a strong supporter of the No More Page 3 campaign. The issue is very important to me, and last month, i organised what i advertised as a protest, although it was not really because only four people turned up. Anyway, we stood outside tesco handing out flyers and badges, and holding signs. Overall it was a really good experience but there were a few incidents that i wanted to tell you about. Firstly an old man came up to me and asked me why i was doing this. I told him straight, that it shouldn’t be in a newspaper and women are not sex objects, but he kept going on a bout how is was ‘good and natural’ and ‘titillation for the soul’ (these are actually phrases he used). Eventually after about ten minutes of interupting me, not listening to my points and insisting it was normal, my mum intervened and asked him to go. However he did offer both me and my mum a postcard with his business details on the back, the cartoony sort of women at the beach with a sexist remark, and we both declined in disgust. The other incident is for a period of time we were outside tesco, there was a group of boys, who i recognised from the year above me hanging around. When they worked out what we were protesting about, one of them went into tesco, bought a copy of the sun, and walked up and down past us, clearly displaying page 3 to make us uncomfortable. This made me feel sick and angry, as i could not think of anything to say or do about it. I was forced to witness the very thing i was protesting about. I am fed up of this attitude, that women and girls are only seen for their sexual side, and not as thinking, individual human beings. It’s something i see everyday at school, the boys who will only go out with girls if they look good and are ‘not frigid’. And i see what it does to the girls, wearing heaps of make up, never standing up to the boys. I have been called frigid, whilst being in a relationship, for saying “I don’t want to tell you” or “none of your business” when people have asked me questions like “how far have you gone”. I want this to change, i want girls to feel confident being who they are, being strong-willed and i want NO MORE PAGE THREE.

When I was on the train the other day a young man,14 or 15 year old, picked up a copy of The Sun and began to open it. He quickly put his hand over page 3 in order to hide it and only took his hand away once he had turned the page…this just goes to show that even very young men find page 3 embarrassing and unnecessary.

Lesley, Glasgow

From an early age, my developing body seemed to have currency, I got that message loud and clear from the patriarchal system we all grew up in. There was always a stir of sniggers in primary school art class when trashy tabloids with bare-breasted women were used to line the tables as we did painting and gluing, and at secondary school, boys gave me a nickname revolving around my breasts.

I worked in many male-dominated environments, and was often the sole female voice of dissent. At one company in SE London which built marine systems, I was surrounded by male engineers and warehouse workers. I think there was one female engineer, and a sparse scattering of women in the warehouse. Stereotypical images of submissive women would circulate, and whenever I saw them, I’d speak out vehemently and deface them. I’m quite artistic, so I improved them greatly and became well known for it. The men in my office weren’t all bad, and over time my feminism rubbed off on them somewhat..I’d ask them just why they were ogling girls young enough to be their granddaughters etc. One of them asked me why I was “so cynical for one so young”, and I told him I had my eyes open to the ways of the world, rather than being a mere fluffy decorative addition to the office. They came to respect me.
There were worse offenders, though. A chunky squat greasy man called Mick was the Chief Engineer, he’d been a power-lifter when he was young and still had the bulky neckless physique, plus a good few stones piled on top. He’d always been alright to my face, but then one day I had to deliver something to his office on the other side of the building. I opened the door, and my jaw hit the floor.. the whole room was wallpapered with page 3 and other grotty pornographic images. We’re not talking about one calendar, although that would’ve been bad enough, we’re talking about no space on any wall not covered with grot, like a lifer’s prison cell. He must’ve seen my face drop – more than that, he enjoyed it – it was clearly a ‘keep out’ sign for any woman having the audacity to enter his fetid lair. What better way to tell women engineers and other workers that they were out of their depth, out of their comfort zone, and should leave the jobs to the boys? Well, now I knew the source of the circulating sexual images of women..

I went back and told my bosses how revolted I was, how that should never be allowed in any workplace, and how he’d leered at me.. he was high up though, and I was a lowly contract worker, I had no idea who I’d complain to, or how. My feelings about him were soon cemented when, approaching him in the corridor with a work-based question, instead of answering it, he gazed at my facial piercing and blatantly asked “What else have you got pierced down there?” gesturing to my genitals. I gave him a mouthful of verbal abuse and left him in no doubt as to what I thought of him and his porn-addicted attitude towards women. I told everyone I knew at that company, hoping to name and shame him. I was 19, by the way, and he was about 50.

Since then, whenever anyone questions whether a love of page 3 porn images has a direct influence on men’s attitude towards real life women, or is just “harmless fun”, I recite this story. I was already enlightened even at that young age, I’d objected to it from the age of about 13, despite derision from boy mates, as I was one of the only girls wise enough to care and see the wider implications. That was all new to them. I thank my Mum for telling me stories of sexism she spoke out about in the workplace in the 1940s and 50s – she made me aware even as a young child that any touching, any reference to my body parts or sex life was wrong, no matter how high up the offender.

It’s no longer the 40s or 50s, the world ought to have moved on, naked and semi-naked images of women should not be appearing in daily rags.
Why is there even any debate?

Rachael, London

I was a bit of an early developer, and it was bad enough having my painful heavy developing breasts ‘accidentally’ nudged by teenage boys in the lunch queue, or ogled openly in P.E.; but what really did it for me was a comment made when I was going to a Football match on a supporters coach with a friend and her Grandfather. As it was a warm day I wasn’t dressed in my usual grungy teenage attire of jeans and a loose jumper, but rather a jeans and a team shirt. My friends grandfather said to me as I stepped on the coach, ‘look at the boobs on you’ ‘they’re good enough for page 3′. I was 14.

It was bad enough that there was an audience of mainly young men laughing, but that my supposed guardian on the trip behaved in this way, was truly shocking and hurtful. Also a horrible realisation that may now be viewed in this way, I was not me, not a person with thoughts and feelings, merely an object for titilation and sexual gratification.

That was the last football trip I ever took with my now ex friend.

As an adult I am proud to put my name to this cause.

I had a breast enlargement when I was 19 which I really regret now. Looking back I know now that I wasn’t small, I was a B cup and it suited my frame but I was obsessed with them being too small and ugly. The boys at school were constantly bringing in clippings from the sun and sport of topless girls and that was my only reference point for the naked female body and I didn’t look like that. I felt ashamed, boys would try to grab me or ask me about my breasts and I would go bright red, knowing that they knew I wasn’t big breasted and I was being taken the mick out of. I used to stuff my bra with socks, all my friends did too, we all grew up with the only boobs we ever saw being porno boobs. We all felt like ugly aliens and not normal. Another of my friends has also had a boob job, I think the rest of my friends would get them too if they could afford it. My breast enlargement had complications and I had to have corrective surgery twice in two years, I have bigger breasts now but lots of scars and my confidence hasn’t changed. Growing up a bit I have realised that women do not look like page 3 girls in real life, that my body was completely normal for a teenage girl, but I think it might be too late and the damage is already done. I am angry at myself for putting myself in such a dangerous and life threatening position and getting surgery because of something as stupid as seeing page 3 pictures everyday at school and not wanting a boy to look at me and be disappointed when I didn’t look like that. Now when I say to people that I have had a boob job they look at me like I’m a shallow bimbo, I’m not shallow at all, I feel like I was indoctrinated as a teen to feel unhappy with my body against my will and that my personality wasn’t strong enough and my self esteem wasn’t strong enough to resist what seemed like the only solution. I wish I had never had it done now. But I know that if I hadn’t I would still be as tortured as I did back then. I feel like it is a no win situation.

Every morning my local newsagents is bustling with schoolchildren who are heading for the station or the bus stops. On numerous occasions the boys deliberately leave the Sun open at Page 3 to embarrass and harass the girls. I often see this and have to close the paper. It is shameful and humiliating.