Daily Fail

We all know The Sun, and its infamous page three, is a staple go-to for those choosing to binge on a news-diet of tits, WAGS and Eastenders gossip. It's greasy beer and kebab stains on the white vest of journalism are shamelessly unapologetic. Most of us don't rely on the overly processed crap The Sun spews out in providing us with a healthy balanced world-view.




But this? This is where it gets dangerous. When the most read, and possibly most influential (at least on a mass public level) national newspaper decides it's perfectly acceptable to objectify two strong, smart, capable British leaders on their front page, you know the murk-o-meter has reached a new low. The English Prime Minister, and the leader of the Scottish National Party - women who have undoubtedly had to work harder and continually prove themselves more than their male counterparts- reduced to nothing more than sexual objects emblazoned across the most popular press in the country (check here for those all-important figures). Today is a sad day for feminism. Today is, in fact, a sad day for equality and diversity in all its glorious forms. 

The problem is not the press. You heard me right. The problem is not the press. Journalism merely responds to the whispered underground opinions that already exist. Gives voice to the public. Asks the questions its readership wants to hear answers on. Feeds the seemingly insatiable appetite of the masses with the junk we're so willing to consume. Junk that, like a dodgy Maccy D's which seemed a good idea at the time, leaves us craving more. 

The problem is us. The problem is the people. 

Every time we roll our eyes, or ignore, or chalk this shit up to 'well, that's just the way it is' we're complicit in inequality. We're active in creating a culture where women have nothing more to offer than their bodies - even those women who have consistently proven themselves experts in their fields at exceedingly high levels. We're sending the message to our girls to expect sexual objectification as part of the course, and we're conditioning our boys to provide it. 

This is not just the way it is. Or the way it should ever be. The necessity of negotiating blase sexual harassment is not something I want for my children, or yours. So what do we do? How do we go about changing the culture of cheap that we've come to place such high value on?

Detoxing from the deliciousness of the stuff that gives us instant gratification is tough. The buzz stories, the gossip, the instant comedy at someone else's expense. But let's own it. Take full responsibility for the weird feed-need relationship with the press machine. We always have a choice. 

Speak up and speak out, loudly. Let's not allow fear of overreaction to mute us. This matters way too much. 

Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon, this is for you.

Ladies,

I'm sorry you were subject to such crass harassment by our great British press this morning. While we'll never agree politically, I want you to know I absolutely respect you as people, and, more notably right now, as fellow women. 

Regardless of your public status, and the scrutiny every single aspect of your lives is permanently subject to, no person deserves to be paraded across the front page of the nation's most read daily newspaper and reduced to nothing more than a sexual object. No one. 

I'm livid on your behalf. I want you to know it's not OK. The presumable outrage you feel at being publicly belittled is entirely valid; not something to be boxed as part of the course as a female politician. Don't laugh this off, or suck it up, or respond in the way you're societally supposed to. 

You are strong and smart women who have made headway in a male-dominated sphere, undoubtedly at great personal cost. You command respect for being experts in your field; nothing more, and nothing less. I see that. For what it's worth, I'm standing with you, cheering you on. 

As fellow ladies, you inspire me to believe this world can be a better place for my girls than it was and is for me. Equality is everything. 

Again, I'm sorry for the shit you've been subject to today. My voice may be small and insignificant, but I speak on behalf of so many more. On behalf of anyone who has ever been abused, objectified, degraded, or neglected purely on the basis of their gender. 

Thank you for all you do for us. And, like I said, while we'll never agree politically, you inspire me as women. Your grit, determination and intellect command my respect. 

Yours, in solidarity as a smart and capable woman,

Lucy Parr



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