Page 3, Sexualisation, Conservatism, and Objectification…

I do hope my first post is more stimulation; than provocation.

This morning a friend of mine posted a link on my Facebook page regarding ‘feminist’ protestations to Page 3. The link was to an article by Ed West in The Telegraph. In a recent conversation I’d expressed questioning, and apparent opposition, to banning Page 3, and I’m under the impression that the link was intended as a counter.

I’ve boycotted the newspapers that feature Page 3 for many years now, not because of topless models, but due to the propagandistic and sensationalised drivel that typifies them. My view of Page 3 is only that it’s archaic. The women are beautiful, the poses are stylised, and, being a heterosexual fella, I’m stimulated by the female form. Unlike the feminists, of the type described in Ed West’s article, I’m more offended by the brainless, demeaning guff that’s written and attributed to the models; rather than their naked upper torsos.

Anyway, this was my response to my friend, which ended up so long that it inspired me to start this blog.

This article only addresses a narrow form of feminism. In fact this could be regarded less about feminism and more about social conservatism. True feminism should be the off shoot of egalitarianism, which promotes equality for all. That would include equality for everyone to pursue whatever vocation they wish, whether that be soldier, cleaner, scientist, prime minister, engineer, actor, model, nail technician, doctor, journalist, or prostitute.

I don’t deny exploitation exists within pornography and prostitution, but the same conservative ‘feminists’ who promote the detrimental aspects also deny the industry an apparent legitimacy, which stagnates debate and stifles any progression towards anti-exploitation regulation.

The issue of sexualisation is a reactionary cop-out. Sexualisation by definition means to make something sexual. Mature humans are sexual beings. So we can’t sexualise them. It’s only left that asexual children are being made sexual, but this cannot occur without us first setting the precedent of normalising the objectification of those around us, and the objectification of ourselves.

I won’t get too deep into the causes of objectification, but we are part of a capitalist society, which by its nature means we are all commodities from the day we’re born. We all treat each other as means to ends.

The bigger picture is that each time we refer to someone in a way that doesn’t suggest they’re human only reinforces the objectification of humanity. I admit that objectification is natural for humans, we all require others to fulfil a service for us, but the negative indoctrination of children occurs when we publicise our discriminations, i.e., Muslims are terrorists, atheists are immoral, fat people are lazy, immigrants are bad, a woman’s place is behind the kitchen sink, children should be seen and not heard, Ethiopians are always starving, page 3 girls sexualise children, prostitutes are dirty. Some objectification is unavoidable, yet we shouldn’t perpetuate inhumanity and lack of agency for the sake of our impulsive biased reactions and cynicisms.

My case being that page 3, or porn, doesn’t sexualise children; we do by proxy of earlier examples of demonstrated objectifications. If we really want to counter the detriments of objectification we have to reinforce in children, and ourselves, to constantly acknowledge that every person on Earth, and forgive me my simplicity, gets frustrated when they can’t do something, cries when in pain, smiles when they’re happy, wants to run when they’re scared, hugged when they’re lonely, loves their parents, loves their brothers, loves their sisters, and appreciates their friends. So once children encounter, or grow up, and view pornography and sexually compelling images their reaction doesn’t stagnate on ‘the bird with the big tits’, or ‘the bloke with the 10″ dick’, but allows them to reassess and progress beyond that to see a human being; just like themselves.

This article has an undoubted conservative agenda. The assumptions are flawed due to his inherent judgements, i.e., “…not a single one of the well-off libertarian men arguing in favour of Page 3 would want their daughter to be a topless model.” How the fuck does he know? If a well-adjusted libertarian man has a daughter who is informed, empowered, and free from exploitation; why wouldn’t he want his daughter to follow a vocation she enjoys?

Conservatism is about maintaining the status quo, hiding the offense, and supporting exploitation out of the public gaze. Censorship has always been a reactionary policy. There’s no progress in it. We are only subjected to one side of the story. We have a proportionately large immature and patronising popular media that refuses to engage us with all the facts without bias.

Knowledge sets us free. Ignorance breeds ignorance.

Here’s a link to an article from a feminist with an alternative to Ed West’s ‘feminist’ conservatism.

Admittedly, for a first blog post, I’ve highlighted quite a few concepts for contemplation in further posts…. Hope you enjoyed this one.

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