Page three rage

by

For my last year at University I was in a student house of four girls and eight guys. Two of the guys in my house started putting up page three girls* in the living room, which was met with much eye-rolling and complete disgust from me and (thank goodness) my boyfriend, especially seeing as they kept discussing the women pictured and asking me and my female friends which ones we liked best.

I told them I didn’t want them up in the lounge, and that they should put them in their rooms instead, especially seeing as we’d had a house party recently and all our guests had been rather…put off by it. They responded by shrugging and not really even giving me the time of day. After two or three attempts to talk to them about it, I decided to take matters into my own hands. One night I drew clothes on three out of five of them to show I was serious and the next day when they complained I told them they had another day to take them down before I did.

They responded with a prank of their own. When my parents and sister visited me mid-term I took them out for a day. When I came back I found that my boyfriend had had to sit in the lounge all day to stop these two guys from plastering my dad’s car with porn. And not just page three porn – hardcore stuff they’d printed off the internet. When I angrily told my female flatmates about this, one of them said “it was just a joke” and basically thought I was over-reacting.

The next day the page three porn was back on the wall again. With no support from the rest of my household apart from my boyfriend, I had to suffer it for the whole year knowing the guys would come up with some stupid prank (and they were known for being nasty about their pranking), until one of my female flatmates finally came out and said she hated the porn as well, and burnt it.

Apparently it’s #MFIF and therefore my opinion doesn’t count.

L, UK

* non-UK note: UK tabloid newspapers often feature a topless model on their third page.

Advertisements

21 Responses to “Page three rage”

  1. Tara Says:

    You should have bought playgirl and put up pictures of well hung muscley men, then see how much they liked that, especially as they would have been over ruled by females!xXx

  2. Pavlov's Cat Says:

    I sympathise greatly. It can be really horrible living with people like that.

  3. Lorna Gregory Says:

    I had a not as extreme but simular situation myself. Within a couple of weeks of moving into an office which previously only contained males, one of them put up a poster of twenty or so naked women standing together from Zoo. I checked with people in the office that simular posters had never been put up before. I felt like if I asked him to take it down, I’d be making a fuss but it was getting to me. One day the building manager/cleaner came in and saw the poster a commented “that’s lovely that is”. That afternoon one of my office mates and I decided to give each of the women a name and attatch a poststick with that name to them. A few weeks went by, nothing happened to the poster, the poster’s owner didn’t comment on the names. At some point the names were taken down. I realised how annoyed I was by the poster and took it down leaving a note to say why I’d taken it down. Maybe I should have asked him to take it down in person but I felt too uncomfortable discussing it with him and didn’t know what I’d do if he refused.

    At the time someone suggested putting pictures of naked men up but I didn’t do it. I felt like I’d just be doing exactly the thing I was objecting to.

    • L Says:

      I’m sorry you went through something similar. What always makes it worse is the feeling of being alone and that you might be kicking up a fuss over “nothing”. I always get that feeling when I’m the only one challenging sexist comments in a group. It happens more often than it should, really.

  4. Synne Says:

    a friend of mine experienced exactly the same thing. She put up hard core gay porn. It worked. 😀

  5. Jaz Says:

    Ah yes I did the same thing in my flat. Put up gay pron in protest. The lads tried to pretend it didn’t bother them but took mine down after a few days whereby I promptly retaliated and that was the end of it.

  6. Amy Says:

    I had a similar situation at work a few years ago. I was one of two women in a team of about twenty, and one of the men decided to put up large picture next to his desk, that he’d cut out of a tabloid, of a large-breasted woman posing in a very skimpy bikini (okay, she wasn’t topless or naked, but the bikini left hardly anything to the imagination). Because of where I sat in our open plan office, I was looking straight at this picture.

    Added to that, the guy was a misogynist. He often talked in quite rude terms about women, and some of what he said was disgusting.

    Me and my only other female colleague were both offended by the picture (and by the man in general) so one time, after he’d left for the day, we printed out pictures of Carry On characters (like Sid James), cut out the heads and stuck them on the bikini! He didn’t find it funny and went mad, and complained to our manager.

    Thankfully, the manager (male) behaved very maturely. He asked me to his office for a chat, asked if I was uncomfortable about the picture, I said yes, and so he asked the guy to take it down, period. That request wasn’t received very well by our misogynist (and initiated a grumpy email round the whole team about freedom of expression being threatened and blah blah) but the picture came down. Hah.

    He really, really hated me and my colleague after that, and reportedly made veiled threats toward us when he was in the pub with other work colleagues. Since I left the job I haven’t seen him in years and I can’t say I miss him one bit!

  7. Francine Hoenderkamp Says:

    This is sexual harassment and we just need a law in place to recognise that. I think there is one now for public spaces i.e. a work environment but there should be for private spaces too especially in this case.

    I’m about to launch a campaign to ban Page 3 as I believe it is symbolic of women’s oppression, exploitation and inequality.

    Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/TYBOP3
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=85555267501
    My blog: turnyourbackonpage3.wordpress.com

    By the way, this is the second time your blog etc. has been flagged up to me in the last 24 hours. Once yesterday at the UK Feminista Summer School and just now as someone posted this post on my FB page so you’re getting the word out there which is brilliant!

    I also work for UK Feminista so I will upload your blog (see link below) and please (all of you) keep in touch, email me offline and let’s join forces in eradicating sexism in all it’s forms once and for all.

    http://www.ukfeminista.org.uk/blogsdiscussiongroups.html

  8. Anon (male) Says:

    I get so cross around people who think porn (page3, or worse) is normal. I have had seriously long arguments with male friends about it – funny how its not normally an issue with the female ones.

    Most of them don’t seem to agree that porn (in all forms) is a violation of someone’s human rights, and they should do nothing whatsoever to support anyone making money out of it. Anyone know any other good arguments to use when I have to argue the case?

    • Alibelle Says:

      Well, that’s not true really at all. A lot of women and men go into porn because having sex on camera is fun and exciting for them. Also, the people recieving some of that money are the people in the porn. I also don’t see how it’s a violation of anyone’s human rights, assuming the porn is involving people who are willing and of the legal age. There’s a whole subset of porn that is actually feminist porn, in fact. There’s nothing wrong with a lot of porn, and it’s pretty healthy to look at it. Not to mention it’s been around since pretty much forever, it ain’t going anywhere.

      The problem is that porn doesn’t belong in public spaces and many men put it in public spaces to make women feel uncomfortable and act like they’re being too sensitive.

      I don’t think you’ll find many people who say that porn is a violation of human rights (just like willing prostitution isn’t), but many feminists do believe that porn objectifies women. That would be the argument I would go with in the future when discussing it with people.

    • D Says:

      While some porn is problematic, and some porn actors are mistreated, I think saying that *all* porn is a violation of human rights seriously undermines the fact that some people do choose to work in porn and seem to enjoy it. And you can’t judge all forms of porn exactly the same. If someone maintains their own website of erotic photography of themselves, are they violating their own human rights?

      And if we’re talking about *all* porn, what about erotica? I read and write erotica, and I don’t think I’m violating my fictional characters’ human rights.

  9. Em Says:

    What giant dickfaces, sorry you had to put up with that.

    The depressing thing is that guys know exactly what they are doing to women they know by putting up porn, as shown by the fact that they deliberately USE porn as a tactic to upset, intimidate, insult and harass women. Happens a lot in male-dominated industries, flatshares, and several times I’ve given a page three pig on the train a filthy look only to have him make a moue of massively enjoying his porn.

    Guys who look at mainstream het porn that is coupled with misogynistic features, sexist articles, demeaning descriptions of women (page 3, lads mags) are demonstrating no respect for women as a gender and collaborating in treating us as pieces of flesh that sometimes get a bit uppity and speak.

    And sweet maude Alibelle what kind of fantasyland are you living in? Is it peopled entirely with happy hookers and nympho porn stars who just can’t get enough SEX??!
    Yes, there is porn that’s egalitarian and feminist, but the vast majority is made up of the mainstream het porn industry and its internet arm. Orgasms and kittens it ain’t. Rent the ten most popular vids at your local store (if you have an extremely stong stomach and accept there isn’t a trigger warning comprehensive enough) and have a rethink.

    Anyway, aren’t you tired of being thought of as a meat sack with orifices? (Also, ‘it’s been around forever’? C’mon, follow that up with ‘it’s the oldest profession’!)

    • Alibelle Says:

      I think you need to do some reading about sex workers. While not all of them enjoy the work, I never fucking said they ALL enjoy the work did I? And it’s still generally a choice, it’s not a violation of their human rights, in fact if prostitution were made legal it would be a wonderful thing because it would become more pleasant and less dangerous. I also think you need to read about some porn stars who do say they act in porn because they like sex, April Flores is a great example of this.

      Also, um, do you for some reason imagine that I have never watched porn? I have. A lot. I like porn in fact. And whille yes I do not particularly enjoy being seen as a sexual object by every single creepo who comes along, I will never stop enjoying sex, orgasms, porn and the people I have sex with. If you think porn is the only reason or even the main reason for sexual objectification you are off your rocker.

      • Alibelle Says:

        I also reccomend reading Secret Diary of a Call Girl, which was written by a sex worker who started doing sex work because she really liked sex and it paid well.

        “Most of them don’t seem to agree that porn (in all forms) is a violation of someone’s human rights”

        And this is basically just fucking nonsense. What about erotic books, poetry or my favorite, comics. Lost Girls by Alan Moore is pretty great. Under the Hill is also pretty great.

  10. BranchMonster Says:

    Your post has inspired me. I just emailed the editorial team at a local newspaper publication requesting SUNshine Boys – torsun.editor@sunmedia.ca
    This feature of a “news”paper has had me ranting in arms for weeks. Don’t even get me started on the number of news articles that feature women in bikinis. Let’s hope I don’t end up finishing the story with “MFIF” on this site.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: