Keeping abreast

I’m still thinking about freedom of speech / freedom of expression and the tangles we make.

I gather that Murdoch’s Sun “newspaper” has at long last bowed to pressure and its page three bare-breasted spread will cease. I can’t help wondering how many of the people who gleefully celebrate page 3’s demise were recently defending breast-feeding mums right to feed anywhere. And, last week, were they claiming “Je suis Charlie” on Twitter or on the streets of London? “If it offends you, don’t look at it!” was on repeat to Muslims upset by Charlie Hebdo’s front pages. Could we say the same of our national press? (Works for me; I’ve boycotted Murdoch’s media empire since the ‘80s.)

I know: context is everything. Breast feeding is natural, vital and life-affirming; page 3 is sexist and demeaning. But where are the lines crossed? And what has replaced the page 3 models? Less “sexy” model poses? Actual (god forbid) news? No. It seems that the paparazzi are in demand again, zooming in on celeb ladies for any inch of unfortunate flab. So it’s a wink to prudery and a raspberry to women – not least because it’s us women who are keen critics of our sisters, it seems.

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