It’s not just the boobs in the Sun which ‘aint News…

I signed the petition to get the boobs off page 3 – of course I did. It’s a stupid thing, in this day and age, to have women used in such a way and in such a context. And it’s not just because of being feminist.

War Kills People, Others Go Hungry… now look at these tits..

Yeah… wrong on so many levels.

But the insistence of the paper to hang on to the anachronistic and misogynistic practice of having naked women on page 3 speaks to something deeply problematic in how they view people generally. Ask the people of Liverpool – in the wake of the horrific tragedy at the Sheffield Wednesday Stadium on April 15th 1989,  which killed 96 Liverpool supporters – the reporting of the disaster in the Sun essentially became an exercise in trashing a whole city of people, and of engaging in the most disgusting victim blaming.

People are fodder to be used for a cheap, fast, money making headline – and yes, I recognise that of course people still buy the paper, for all sorts of reasons. Because of the cheap holidays offered every year, as well a growing roster of offers that are designed to tempt those for whom money is tight, therefore it has a consistent and steady readership.

Tuesday’s paper (3/12) was a particular low point – and no, I am not linking to it. A 6 year old trans*gendered boy, splashed across the front page, stood next to his twin sister, the headline like freak show poster. In a world that doesn’t exist unfortunately, a child acknowledging the gender they identify with would not be an excuse for exploitation. In a world that doesn’t exist, such a journey of self-discovery would be respected, honoured even, for it’s courage and beauty and purpose.

But we do not live in that world – and from those who so energetically campaign to get the boobs out of the newspaper said… well, as far as I can see, not one word. (If I missed something, then please correct me).

I understand that that it is a perfectly valid point of view to believe that each individual feminist campaign does not have to be all things to all people. But since when was the exploitation of a child, not a feminist concern?

Is it really the case that the way a cis-gendered woman’s body is treated is more important than that of trans*gendered child?

Because here’s the thing… the problematic reasoning and thinking which is behind page 3, is the same problematic reasoning and thinking behind exploiting a 6 year old trans*gendered child.

I don’t need a feminist campaign to be all things to all people – I just need a feminist campaign to acknowledge the whole of the problem.

And not just the part of the problem relevant to cis-gendered women.

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