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!!!!!!!!

I once worked for a few weeks at a well known insurance company in Lytham, and one day in my department two of the young men in a higher position were stood behind me, laughing with each other about something evidently very amusing they were reading whilst rustling the newspaper. As they were right behind me, I turned, smiled and innocently asked ‘what’s funny?’. They ignored me so I turned back round to face my desk. I was not expecting the response. They suddenly thrust the newspaper page right in front of my face, 3 or 4 inches away from my eyes, and said ‘this’. It was Page 3. I was forced to look at the pornographic image in very close proximity. I felt shocked and upset.
I went to the manager, a woman, and quietly confided in her about what had just happened. She called me a trouble maker, that these two young men were going places and would have big careers, and threatened that if I dared to take it further I ‘would be known forever more as a complainer’, that I wouldn’t want a negative record on my career.. and then I was fired.
I just want to share this with others as it was a horrible thing to happen to a young woman at work and the two men got away with their behaviour and were rewarded. Pornography has no place in the workplace or in public and is a symptom of the contempt and destructive, harmful attitudes directed towards girls and women in our supposedly modern society.
-A.

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

The place I encounter page 3 most of all is in my workplace. I am a nurse and when my patients come in for treatment they may be sitting for up to 3 or 4 hours so they often bring the newspaper to read.
Some Sun readers make a concerted effort to miss out that page, I assume they find it embarrassing to be seen looking at it, but others seem oblivious to it and sit with page 3 open. Sometimes even if patients are trying to cover page 3 the front page image can be equally as sexualised. There have been occasions where I am changing fluid bottles or checking cannulas and have the image right in my face. On one occasion the patient I was trying to canulate looked visibly uncomfortable because the man sitting next to him was holding page 3 open in both of your eye line. He seemed so embarrassed either for me, himself or both. I don’t think that is fair.
For a long time I used to laugh off the image when I saw it. Patients sometimes left the paper for us and I would open it on that page as if to confront it and laugh at it or laugh at news in briefs, I think to try and disarm the image. But now I have been given the space and ammunition from the No more Page 3 campaign I can see these experiences for what they were and still are – completely inappropriate sexual harassment in my work place. Not from the patients who have bought the paper in necessarily but from the paper itself and the editorial team who have chosen to incorporate sexualised and belittling images of women in something as mainstream as a newspaper. Ensuring that pictures that would not be allowed on the walls of any work place, hospital or cafĂ© can still reach us there, can reach us wherever we go. So that wherever we are, no matter how professional we might be expected to be, we are still reduced instantly to exposed sexual objects for consumption.
When I see it I feel a little disarmed, a little less like a knowledgeable professional, a little sullied and exposed but most of all I feel reminded that this society in which I live and work wants to keep me and all women in our place. This society is quite happy to make me feel like this any time it likes. This society is sexist.

when i first started as a truck driver i was the only female who had ever worked at this particular yard and page 3 was used in many ways to sexually intimidate me into leaving cos i felt the men didnt want me in their space. one morning i had to spend time scraping page 3 women off my wing mirrors, they had been glued to them. On another occasion i was told that i looked like the woman on page 3 but could i get my tits out to see if they were a match. On another occasion i was chased around the yard to much laughter by a guy wanting me to look at the page 3 image cos i had the same smile as her and he said he had got aroused thinking of me when he had seen it. the list goes on, even to this day,13 years on, i have to endure men purposefully leaving the sun open on page3 when im around just to get a reaction out of me. Unfortunately it works and ive had to take on many misogynists who think its funny to try and intimidate me and flaunt their privilege of not knowing what sexual intimidation, harassment, assault and fear of rape feels like. Page3 provides them with a starting block to indulge in this cos it gives them the opportunity to broach the subject of sex and the image gives the impression that if you dont like it then there is something wrong with you cos ‘she does’

I used to work in Argos, East Kilbride in Scotland. On more than one occasion I went into the tearoom and was confronted by images of page 3 women scattered around the table with young stockroom men sitting chatting about these girls in the newspaper. This made feel so uncomfortable that I stopped going into the tearoom and went elsewhere to eat my lunch. When I finally decided to approach the manager about this issue the first thing I saw was a copy of The Sun on his desk and backed out. I have left Argos now but never have I experienced such sexism in the workplace. The men in this store would even shout a code to each other “G13″ when an attractive women would come into the store so that they could all stop what they were doing and come out and take their turn ogling her – even the manager did this. This kind of behaviour is proof of the impact that newspapers like The Sun have on both men and women, as the men seemed to have all the power whereas the women were all very submissive even the managers. My only regret is not making a formal complaint at the time but I felt very helpless and intimidated by the men in this store.

In the nightclub that I work in on Saturdays the walls are papered with hundreds, maybe thousands of page 3 girls, ripped out of the sun and glued to the walls. It makes me feel uncomfortable and awkward, I also feel uneasy, like I am myself being exposed and exploited. I feel like some of the men in the bar associate me with the pictures because I work there and are more inclined to harass me. I don’t think I am imagining it, I have worked in four different nightclubs over the years and I get a lot more harassment from customers in this particular one and I am convinced it is because of the atmosphere caused by the wallpaper. Men are constantly making comments, asking me to take off my top, a few times men and leaned over the bar and tried to pull my top down, I am grabbed constantly and pushed against the walls in an intimidating manner, men chant in big groups for me and the other girls to get naked, continuously say crude things to us and get very aggressive when we object and call us four letter words. In the other nightclubs you get your fair share of this type of thing from tipsy men, but it is definitely a lot worse here and all my female colleagues (most of which have left now because of the constant harassment) agree, the manager/owner has also been accused of sexually harassing female members of staff although I’ve not experienced this myself. It seems that his choice of wallpaper reflects his general view of women and their place. One of my male colleagues is very good and always jumps in when I start to get any trouble but I worry that one day he won’t be there, or I’ll be walking home alone and someone will follow me, and I’ll be treated like a naked piece of meat, they’ll see me as fair game out of association with the pictures I work around all day.

Back in the 80s, I was part of an ‘Employment Training’ program with the local Council. One of the sites we worked on had a ‘brew room’ which had all the walls plastered with page 3s on every single space available. There were only 3 girls on our team and we were made to feel very intimidated when we had to go in there. We complained to management and they failed to get them removed so we ended up having to have our breaks outside in all weathers. I wouldn’t put up with it now, but we were all young (late teens/early twenties) and vulnerable then :-(

When I was 14, I got my first job, working in my small local newsagents. I was quite a shy girl and was nervous about my first proper job..it was only for 2 hours in the evenings and sunday mornings..all started well,my new boss was very nice and friendly,he was around the same age as my dad,and I thought he seemed very helpful and friendly,so I felt happy working there.
One day I came into the back of the shop on my tea break,to find my boss sitting reading The Sun, .he then turned to me and said ‘ take a look at her” holding the page 3 picture aloft to show me the picture ..’ Have you ever considered doing topless modelling? You have got a lovely pair ,I’m sure you would do very well doing glamour modelling?”…..now this is a 40 year old man saying this to a teenage girl….I was absouloutly mortified ,and felt totally humiliated…I left that afternoon and never went back..I never told my family why I left but I can still feel the embarrassment of that day nearly 25 years later….that’s why I feel so strongly about the no more page 3 campaign..it’s awful to think that nothing has changed since then and our daughters are still being affected by this sexist harmful paper.

In the 1980s I worked in a government office in an open plan large room. I was in a team of about eight people, a mixture of males and females. My team was led by a man. This man was blatantly sexist and was always moaning about “bloody women” etc. He thought it would be a good idea to put up a Page 3 calendar by his desk – on the wall – clearly showing to the entire office. If we complained, he said it was his “right” to have what he liked by his desk. I found it offensive and intimidating. It felt like he was trying to put us women in our place – by showing us as naked and available. At the turning of the page at the start of the month he would comment loudly and openly on the woman’s breasts and often say that us ladies could aspire to that. He also put up a calendar in the store room downstairs. I never had the courage then to remove the calendar in the office (I would now) but I was only 19/20 then, but every time I went to the store room I would take the calendar down and hide it.