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Page three. November 17, 2005

Posted by Winter in media, pornography.
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I wanted, very briefly to pick up on a point in the comments to the fabulous post by Emmy over at Gendergeeks. I’m not a fan of page three, I always thought they were really tacky, but I had never thought of the actual implications of having page three models in what could be loosely termed as a newspaper. However, having given a bit of thought to this I want to reiterate what I said over at Gendergeek and add to it a little. I think that the general treatment of women in the media, consciously or unconsciously objectifies and anonymises women. Putting titi shots next to “serious news” gives out the message “this is ok, everyone wants to see this, people who object are just pinched up spoilers who can’t see the funny side”. If you put the same picture in a top shelf magazine, it says ” Not everyone wants to see this, this can be offensive to people, people have a right not to want to see this stuff.” So really I don’t think that these pictures belong in newspapers.

However, I don’t think the effect of these pictures stops there. If you look at the treatment of women in the news articles themselves you also find a difference. Male victims of crime are more likely to be named and to have some personal information included about them in the article (good football player, devoted husband that kind of thing) where as women are more likely to be referred to as a pronoun (she, her) or be described in terms of police reports (a young woman was attacked). In addition to this young women and are less likely to have personal information included about them in the article. Together, this has the effect of making the woman an anonymous victim with little personality, while the man is a good lad, could have been your mate. A study by Anasttasio and Costa (2004) found that this treatment of women in print was likely to lead to victim blame and lower levels of empathy and sympathy for female victims of crime.

The effect of this kind of media treatment of women is to silence and objectify women through a combination of subtle and not so subtle means. By neglecting to give them names and distinguishing features on the one hand on the other hand by showing women as objects again with no voice inferring that their physicality is the only way in which they would have anything of interest to say, you deny them a personality and diminish their humanity

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Comments»

1. Emma - November 17, 2005

I think you have to not call us gender “gooks”! Have you been watching too man nam movies?

🙂

2. Naiades - November 17, 2005

appologies, i’ll alter it now, that’ll tach me for posting too quickly in my lunch break!!

rx

3. Naiades - November 17, 2005

where did i call you that, i can’t find it!! my dyslexia is getting in the way and i;m quite tired!!

4. Winter - November 17, 2005

Hey R. Sorry, but I went in an altered it when I saw it. I wouldn’t normally do that, obviously, but I thought I might catch it before Emma saw it! You’re not going mad.

5. Emma - November 17, 2005

Thanks, Winter!

Sorry you spent ages looking for it Naiades.

6. Naiades - November 18, 2005

no worries, that’ll teach me to spell check!! and write these things in more than 10 minutes.

7. yclepta - November 18, 2005

very interesting and not suprising

shame we still need to talk about this isn’t it?


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