This week Andrew Evans (author of the excellent blog, Andy’s Study) wrote a post about three petitions that have recently been going the rounds. The post is called ‘Page 3, Section 5, Nuts wrappers and the heart‘ and is definitely worth a read.
To briefly summarise (but really, do go and read it for yourself), he comments on three petitions: a call to The Sun newspaper to cease printing pictures of naked women on Page 3 of their newspaper; a call for ‘Modesty Wrappers’ on ‘lads’ magazines in shops; and a call for the repeal of a Public Order Act, which permits police to arrest people for saying things that are deemed ‘insulting’. He has decided to sign the last of those three petitions, but only the last, and his reasons for that decision are entirely sensible, and good.
I can’t bring myself to agree, at least not with his reasons to refrain from signing the Page 3 petition. Here’s a quote from his post:
The objections to Page 3 (and indeed to magazines like Nuts) is that they objectify women, treating them as objects for male “consumption.” That’s certainly true. But in the end the problem of seeing people as objects is a problem of the heart, not one that can be solved by banning or hiding some of its expressions. In a culture where the only permitted nudity is Reubens sinful men will objectify Diana and Leda.
That is true, it is a problem of the heart, and getting rid of Page 3 isn’t going to solve it. I know that to be true, and yet, when it comes to objectification, although I do care about the hearts of those doing the objectifying, I think I care a little bit more about those who are being objectified.
If you’re a regular reader then you’ll know that I already blogged about Page 3, and my issues with it. And the following week I blogged about strange men propositioning me on the street, and how that made me feel. And the more I think about it, the more I see the link between the two.
Page 3 of The Sun permits men to see women as objects. They see their faces and know their names, but frankly they may as well not – these girls are nothing more than their bodies. Is it that much more of a stretch for those men to shout obscenities out of taxi window when they see a woman walking by? After all, she’s nothing more than a body. Or what about groping a random girl in a bar? After all, she’s nothing more than a body. Or slipping something in her drink, taking her home, and raping her while she’s passed out? After all, she’s nothing more than a body.
Of course I am not saying that all men who read The Sun, are going to progress to rape. I’m not even saying that it causes it. But, when our society allows such casual, every day, ordinary objectification, it says to entire generations of men that women are only there to satisfy their desires – just objects to be acted upon.
I am more than that.
We are more than that. Created in the image of a good God; sinners, living in a fallen world; sent a saviour to set us free and buy us back. Male or female, young or old, black or white, etcetera, etcetera.
I am so looking forward to the day when our hearts are fixed and problem-free, but while we wait for that, I’m going to keep saying that objectification of women is a bad thing, and I want it to end, even if it’s just in this tiny, little way.
So, if you haven’t already done it, will you go and sign the Page 3 petition?
And maybe the other 2 as well.
In summary: ranting about boobs again.