Sometimes I feel like this…
The standard definition of ‘resent’ is to feel anger or acrimony.
Trace the word back to its Old French root, ‘resentir’ – and it simply means ‘to feel again’.
It’s the most challenging emotional state for me. I can’t afford to hang out with it. Re-feeling things over and over messes up the circuitry in my head. Where many other people can ride it out, I struggle – it’s in the re-feeling that the emotions get stronger, until my brain fogs over. In this state, I can forget the basics like sleeping and eating right.
Left unchecked, re-feeling rewires my brain and smoke comes out of my ears.
And for me, resentment is like a warning sign on the motorway. When it flashes up, I have to stop and rest.
Resentment about Page 3
It’s the trickiest type of resentment to overcome – recurring thoughts and ideas, which are rooted in a truthful or reasonable belief.
So I’m going to list all the recurring thoughts I have about Page 3 here:
1. Why can’t David Dinsmore see the simple truths about Page 3?
- Page 3 is sexist and outdated
- Page 3 is soft porn, which doesn’t belong in a family newspaper
- Soft porn, next to articles about teenage popstars aimed at teenage girls, is unacceptable
- Soft porn, near to promotions aimed at children, is unacceptable
- Soft porn, next to articles about rape or domestic violence, is wrong in a society struggling with its anger towards women
- Page 3 depicts a narrow and controlled definition of aesthetics – it’s a restrictive set of body shapes and it’s undiverse
- Page 3 is not about female empowerment – it’s about passivity and ubiquitous availability of women.
2. Why doesn’t Rupert Murdoch take responsibility?
There are calls for change from hundreds of thousands of people. Surely this feedback about a 43 year feature in his newspaper is of interest to him?
Since his 2013 comment that he was ‘considering’ whether Page 3 was ‘so last century’, he’s kept quiet.
Perhaps he is watching but has been advised to say nothing?
Time to speak up, Mr M – it’s your paper!
3. Surely there are Sun employees who agree with No More Page 3.
Amongst the people who work for the Sun, some must have doubts about Page 3.
Perhaps there are quiet conversations about Page 3 after hours, where Sun employees dare to air their views.
Perhaps some speak about it at home to their partners or friends.
Probably they’re keen to keep their jobs – so maybe they don’t raise their voices at work.
However, Rupert Murdoch and David Dinsmore are still catching up…
They either don’t think Page 3 is harmful or sexist. Or they do think Page 3 is harmful and sexist, but they believe there are greater pressures on them (#MakingMoney).
‘Aren’t there more important things to worry about?’
This is often a deflection their supporters use. When asked directly about Page 3, they often point to extreme porn on the internet in the next sentence – look over there, they say, you should be more concerned about that! This is interesting, in that it’s a tacit acceptance that Page 3 is porn, albeit at the softer end of the scale.
This suggests that they do know that Page 3 isn’t all cheeky smiles and family fun. They know the context is wrong. So whilst they say that Page 3 is a good way of selling newspapers – it’s an inconvenient truth for them that they also explicitly position their product as a family newspaper (with offers and articles directly targeting families with kids).
In the mean time, this ‘commercial defence’ of Page 3 is very bad news for girls and women.
Dinsmore’s worry list
Dinsmore’s ‘more important things to worry about’ may be:
- keeping hold of remaining readers
- keeping anxious colleagues in Finance happy
- keeping staff in jobs in a declining industry
- keeping Page 3 colleagues/friends happy
- keeping his job as editor
It’s a lot of trying to keep things as they are (fear) and not a lot of trying something new (courage).
Yes, it would take a spoonful of courage for David Dinsmore to choose to end Page 3…
I bet he has considered in quiet moments the ‘what ifs’ of removing the soft porn:
- What if ending Page 3 attracts hundreds of thousands of new readers?
- What if it brings back old readers who have stopped buying it because of Page 3?
- What if people really are so sick of sexism that they will support newspapers that lead on ending media sexism?
- What if there are many people who would love a mainstream tabloid newspaper that reliably has appropriate content for a family audience?
- What if a simple decision to end Page 3 is so widely reported that Dinsmore goes down in history as the editor who had the courage to shake things up? (Okay, I’m appealing to your vanity here Dave, but I really can see your name in lights!!)
There, it’s all out! Aaaaaaah, that’s better!
These are the recurring thoughts that baffle me most about Page 3.
But I shan’t linger on these questions too much longer or my head might short circuit!
So now, I shall leave the inner workings of Murdoch and Co’s minds because it’s beyond me!
I surrender, Dave and Rupes. And I pray to the Great Neurological Pathways in the Sky that your brains get rewired soon!
Meanwhile, I’ll stay focused on the wins…
The good news is that this is EASY!
No More Page 3 wins everyday. There’s an extraordinary energy about the campaign and a strong heartbeat. There is undeniable warmth and humour. There is boundless creativity.
When I keep sight of the essence of No More Page 3, I feel very happy – which is great news for my mental health :-)
Celebrating the wins
Celebration is powerful and attractive.
Celebration leads to more celebration – it’s irresistible and exciting like a Mexican wave in a stadium:
Here it comes! Get ready…JUMP!!!
Where are the wins with No More Page 3?
Incredible things happen everyday.
Every time a schoolgirl writes in, questioning Page 3 images in a national newspaper or reporting harassment at school – that’s a win for self-belief.
Every time a boy finds his voice and signs the petition on Change – that is a win for courage.
Every time a supporter writes a blog or poem, makes a video, draws a picture, takes a photo or writes a song – that is a win for creativity.
Every time someone speaks out for the first time about their experiences of sexism and they decide not to take it anymore – that is a win for self-respect.
And it’s ALL this winning that defuses ALL my resentment.
There is a win in every expression, an abundance of free expression. Now there’s a familiar phrase ;-)