Prominent UK newspaper, The Sun, has this week decided it will no longer show the naked form of women on its third page, opting instead to feature ladies in various forms of undress. The news, which came as a surprise to many, but which has satisfied few, came after many decades of suggestions that the featuring of top-half naked women was demeaning. Rupert Murdoch, owner of the newspaper, is said to have ratified the decision to remove "Page 3 beauties" from the tabloid.
"It's an anachronistic throwback to a time when The Sun was the most popular prison newspaper and we had to satisfy the inmates," said Murdoch in a private interview. "Prisoners have access to the internet directly from their cells now, so there's no need for us to carry on."
Many feminist campaigners have called for The Sun to axe Page 3 over the decades, and have received in return either silence or patronising insults. However, this latest announcement has not lead to contentment, with many feeling that the ban is lip service. Marie Osmandarillo from feminist agency Gleichberechtigung Macht Frei told us:
"They've replaced tits-out with tits-in-a-bra. It's really not much of a move at all, and if they'd ever understood why it was offensive in the first place then they'd know that they've effectively done the square root of eff all. Yes, no bare breasts on page 3, but every story that mentions a woman seems to have a glamour shot, on pages 4-8, 10-20."
Sales of The Sun initially dipped at the start of the week, but sales for Tuesday and Wednesday have shown a perky uprising. Business analysts suggest that the newspaper is likely to see no great effect from its decision.
"Murdoch's not a clown," said Gerry Raffertiti, head of sales at a local business. "He wouldn't have made this decision if it was likely to cost sales. All he's done is got his newspaper mentioned several billion times on blogs and news sites across the world. His SEO guys must be laughing."