That No More Page 3 campaign – it’s all getting a bit bandwagon-y, isn’t it? Everyone wants to be in on it now and frankly I’m not sure it’s cool any more. Indeed, now that Bryony Gordon of the Telegraph has pinned her colours to the mast, I’m starting to wonder whether I should do an about turn and whip ‘em out for the lads. In fact, just in case you’re curious… (btw, getting that link to work is a nightmare. I suspect it’s because my body’s too bootylicious – or should that be boobylicious? – for it).

Don’t worry, I’m not being serious (apart from the bit about being boobylicious – which that soaraway pic that no one can actually see would demonstrate). No More Page 3 remains a fine campaign, and one which only a very foolish person would fail to support. Hence I’m now writing a post about it myself  – although I’ll have you know I disliked Page 3, and liked the campaign, way before it was trendy to do so. Not only is Page 3 deeply misogynistic, it’s just so unnecessary. Why can’t people who like to see tits just make do with thinking about them? I mean, how many times do you have to see a pair to get the image fixed in your head? (And yeah, I’m privileged – I get to see mine every single day – but still, I find it unbelievable that the basic structure is so forgettable, especially when in silicone form it’s so uniform). So anyhow, the No More Page 3 petition rocks, while Page 3 itself is crap.

There are some things which bother me, though. Suppose we do get to live in a post Page-3 world (phwoar! I’d have some of that! You don’t get much of that equality to the pound etc). Why would this petition succeed where other things fail? What other assumptions do we still need to challenge? Why are they persisting? I can’t help feeling that some are still bound up in the nonetheless positive responses we’re witnessing.

In her Telegraph piece Gordon wonders whether “we’ve all had enough of seeing women naked everywhere we look”. I think it depends on the context. And yes, that sounds weedy and vague, but it’s true. For instance, I desperately wish I’d been more willing to whack my tits out in public when breastfeeding my first child, and yes, one of the great inhibiting factors is the hyper-sexualisation that Page 3 promotes. But I’m wary of any drive to cover up on a broader scale. Page 3 is wrong because it’s dehumanising, not because it’s “immodest” (and anyhow, I quite like “immodesty” – I tend to think of myself as a slutwalking pioneer, insofar as deep down, there was always method in that Miss Selfridge-meets-Ann Summers madness of my early twenties). As long as getting rid of Page 3 doesn’t involve insisting that all women become “respectable”, I’m happy – but it can feel like a difficult path to negotiate.

There are other things which concern me. Gordon describes Page 3 models as “normalising the idea of women as nothing more than sultry sex objects”. I can’t help wanting clarification on how this sits alongside the idea that individual women – beyond the newspaper page – can dress however they like, revealing as much as they want to, without ceasing to be seen as responsive human beings. On one level the difference seems obvious to me – it’s that between active agent and passive object. But I’m not sure whether it’s always understood in that way, and worry that the “badness” of Page 3 becomes an excuse for not taking responsibility for one’s own responses. The idea that because of Page 3 men can’t possibly respect women is ludicrous but I have heard it expressed more and more of late. Page 3 encourages knobdom – that’s, like, a scientific fact – but that’s still no reason for anyone to actually be a total knob.

Like Gordon, I find the suggestion that Page 3 girls can possibly be “role models” on the basis that they’re not stick thin laughable (apart from anything else, they are stick thin, albeit with two blobs of silicone added). Nonetheless, the level of hatred reserved for women who cash in on sexual objectification – for the Jordans and wannabe WAGs of this world – is without justification. I don’t know how they are responding to this campaign; I hope they don’t feel personally attacked (but equally hope they aren’t twatting about suggesting that everyone else is “just jealous” – believe me, we’re not. Freezing nipples just aren’t that coveted).

The only real issue I have with this petition, though, is that although I’ve signed it and I agree with it and it’s ace and blah blah blah, I still can’t think about it without getting that tremendously awful Beautiful South song, 36D, in my head. It’s the one in which Paul Heaton and Dave Rotheray smarmily ask some random glamour model whether 36D is “all that you’ve got” (presumably in response to her asking them whether shit lyrics which think they’re way more clever than they actually are were all that they’d got).  It’s nearly as bad as My Angel Is The Centrefold by the J Geils Band – which, obviously, is also in my head now. Both of these songs are patronising, dire bollocks which perpetuate the idea that glamour models are misguided slappers who need saving. When that’s not how it is at all. So anyhow, if it’s reached a point where some kind of campaign song is required, let’s not go for them. I recommend I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts (Which Have Fuck All To Do With VAT Increases And By-Elections).