• Caroline Lucas and the irony of topless models and dress code

    This is delicious irony. Brilliant. In a bad way.  Caroline Lucas, sole Green MP in the UK, and stalwart of socialist ideal, the environment and women’s rights, is championing the cause of the curtailing of the ubiquitous page 3 topless model in the UK’s most popular newspaper, Murdoch’s The Sun tabloid. The anachronism that is the page 3 topless model in modern society is all too obvious. So obvious, that most people don’t bat an eyelid. But it is pervasive and supports sexist ideals which most probably permeate into the rape culture in Britain that is illustrated by the shocking stats that were produced by Amnesty International last decade:

    The poll, ‘Sexual Assault Research’, published today (21 November) as part of Amnesty International’s ‘Stop Violence Against Women’ campaign, shows that similar “blame culture” attitudes exist over clothing, drinking, perceived promiscuity, personal safety and whether a woman has clearly said “no” to the man. For instance, more than a quarter (26%) of those asked said that they thought a women was partially or totally responsible for being raped if she was wearing sexy or revealing clothing, and more than one in five (22%) held the same view if a woman had had many sexual partners.

    Around one in 12 people (8%) believed that a woman was totally responsible for being raped if she’d had many sexual partners. Similarly, more than a quarter of people (30%) said that a woman was partially or totally responsible for being raped if she was drunk, and more than a third (37%) held the same view if the woman had failed to clearly say “no” to the man.

    Yes, that’s right, many people (and some very intelligent ones whom I have talked to) actually think women are morally responsible in entirety (or partially) for being raped! Wow! So if I wear a diamond necklace, I am morally responsible for being mugged??

    Anyway, that aside, Lucas was speaking at a committee meeting in Westminster today. She was presenting a case against page 3 publication in the national media. Before her speech, she took off her coat and sported a T-shirt proclaiming “No More Page three”. Half way through her case, she was asked by the chair to put her coat back on as she was in violation of the dress code. She was unable to continue until she did so, before pointing out the irony that it was appropriate for Westminster to sell The Sun in 8 places, with its topless models (which she was holding up), and yet in appropriate that a she was wearing a T-shirt. You’ve got to see it to believe it:


    Hopefully foreigners to the Beeb can access the video on this page. Priceless.

    Category: GenderPoliticsThe News


    Article by: Jonathan MS Pearce