If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read up on it.
Personally, I’ve always found myself agreeing with the campaigners. I haven’t actually heard any of their arguments but I have my own longstanding opinion of Page 3 and I’m sure it’s probably similar to the official party line.
The role of newspapers is to present the news. They are inherently serious because they deal with serious social and political subjects — even The Sun deals with these subjects, albeit horribly. The subtext of Page 3 is that the role of women in these serious matters is simply to look good. To place a naked woman next to serious discussion for the purposes of titillation marginalises and trivialises the role of women in the creation of the news and, concomitantly, the functioning of society. According to The Sun, the primary, newsworthy female contribution to contemporary society is superficial. Page 3 is simply out of context and entirely out of place in a newspaper.
Given that what I described above is – in my humble opinion, at least – the primary problem here, The Sun‘s relatively minor capitulation can’t be considered a victory at all. The newspaper will still use Page 3 to portray attractive women as newsworthy simply for being attractive — the sum total of their contribution to society. In fact, The Sun‘s token effort betrays their complete lack of understanding of the problem. Nobody, I believe, was particularly upset about the nudity itself (and if they were, they should never, ever be allowed on the internet). The focus was always the casual sexism involved in dedicating space in a fucking newspaper to reinforce the message that women are to be valued principally for their appearance and for their ability to provide light relief from the serious business of society.
If I was actively involved in the campaign, I’d probably be hailing it as a victory for morale purposes but it’s not really.