Thanks for your patronising note to Sarah.
Reading your email to her, I had assumed that Sarah was a 9-year-old girl guide who had sent you a postcard from the Costa del Sol. Then I read her open letter to you, and realised she was a campaigns professional inviting you to a meeting. She wasn’t on holiday. She was at a conference.
I would imagine that Sarah, her colleagues and their supporters do not see their twitter activism as “enjoyable banter.” This is because they have to live with the consequences of the constant sexual objectification of women in the media every day. Your extremely condescending and rather Victorian response to Sarah – addressing her as if she were a small child and dismissing her questions entirely – illustrates the intrinsically sexist way in which you view women.
I’m sorry that the pillar of your “newspaper” is the image of a topless teenager dolled-up and presented for the male gaze (alongside fully-clothed men doing useful activities). But then again, your whole “newspaper” is a pillar for misogynism, racism and homophobia.
I hope you will get rid of page 3, but I’d rather your whole “newspaper” just disappeared. Until then, I will continue to judge people who buy it when I pass them in WHSmith :)
“20 August 2013
Thanks for your note. Unfortunately, we don’t have time for holidays here! I’m glad you had a good weekend. I am a fan of the Guides – I was a Scout myself. To save you any further effort, I won’t be changing my stance on Page 3. It is a pillar of the paper, the readers (both male and female) like it and I do not for one moment believe it is the basis of all evil. There are, I believe, many much more worthy targets you could be turning your admirable attentions to. I will continue to enjoy the Twitter banter. Regards David. firstname.lastname@example.org”
“20 August 2013
I wanted to write to fill you in on the amazing experience that I have had at the WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) European Conference. I was there on behalf of No More Page 3 as one of the key note speakers. That’s right; it’s not just Girl Guiding UK that is showing an interest in our campaign, it’s the whole European organisation. The reason that we were invited is because they are an organisation that works hard to create a safe space for young women and girls to be themselves, to grow and develop in a wonderful bubble of support and respect. They talk a lot about their members becoming “change agents” who work to improve the world around them. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that they feel very strongly that the pressure on girls these days to look or be a certain way is having a negative impact on their ability to become the powerful young women they ought to be.
I was planning on giving you all the details of my presentation and what the media is doing to make the lives of young women and girls so much harder. But you know what, I’m not going waste your time with that when really all I want to know is, will you meet with a couple of the Guiding UK Advocates and listen to their stories? I want you to sit opposite some of these incredible young women and hear how Page 3 impacts them and the lives of the girls and young women they represent.
After listening to them, do you think that you would be able to look them in the eye and tell them that it’s just about money? That the damage done to young women’s body image and perception in society as sexualised, ultra perfect beings is less important than selling newspapers?
Can you even prove that your sales would drop? Have you asked your readers? What happened when your predecessor dropped Page 3 in favour of Help for Heroes t-shirts? Did the sales tailspin into single figures because people didn’t know where to turn for their boobs?
Your argument is disingenuous and unproven. Talk to some Guides Dave, be a change agent yourself and make this world a little bit better for all of us.
No More Page 3”