Lincoln says no, but the Sun also rises at Christ Church

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The SunThis weekend saw the spread of the ‘No More Page 3’ campaign to boycott The Sun newspaper in JCRs across the university.

Lincoln JCR is the latest to pass a motion to stop the JCR purchasing copies of the paper, joining Brasenose and Teddy Hall JCRs as the main proponents of the campaign in Oxford.

Christ Church, however, became the first Oxford college to reject the same motion, with 15 students voting for the motion. 17 students voted against the motion while 4 abstained.

This failure was despite an amendment to weaken the motion which proposed to continue buying the paper while using a picture of Christopher Hutchinson to cover up Page 3 in every copy of the newspaper.

Nick Mutch, a Christ Church student who opposed the motion, said:  “The Sun’s Page 3 is lewd, lascivious and offensive, but at the same time, I don’t think that the JCR or college should be involved in making decisions on what material students can or cannot read.”

The motion was proposed by the JCR Committee, none of whom were available for comment.

Ben Goldstein, who proposed the motion in Lincoln, commented:  “We are really happy that it passed, and really proud to go to a college that clearly has a zero-tolerance policy on sexism and misogyny.”

He added: “Considering Brasenose passed it this week, and they are Lincoln’s biggest rival, we could not allow ourselves to be left behind in the war on gender equality.

“This is taking a step towards that, and though Lincoln has always been notoriously apolitical, voting against sexism is not making a political move, not by any means. We should not be buying The Sun because it is horrendously misogynistic.”

Not everyone in Lincoln agreed with Goldstein, and though there were few students who stood up saying Page 3 is a good thing, a number of students voiced concerns regarding the JCR’s need to get involved.

Whilst an official count of the vote is yet to be released, Goldstein estimates that the vote passed with somewhere between 60 to 65 per cent of the members present.

The ‘No More Page 3’ campaign began this summer, when Lucy Holmes found herself horrified to find that the largest female image in The Sun, one of the country’s most popular newspapers, was that of a topless woman; despite the fact that Jessica Ennis had won a gold medal days earlier.

She wrote to Dominic Mohan, the editor of The Sun, and what began as one woman’s protest has now spread to colleges and universities up and down the country.

The petition calls for the abolition of page 3 on the grounds that ‘boobs are not news’. Holmes cites her main reason for supporting the campaign as:  ‘I wonder what children think when they see the paper and they see page after page of men in clothes doing things, like running the country and one massive image of a woman standing there in her pants?’

At the time of writing the petition had over 100,000 signatures.

Teddy Hall was the first of Oxford’s colleges to boycott the paper, voting in February to do so until the page 3 feature, which many students feel is casually misogynistic, is removed from the publication.

Goldstein argued that he believes the recent lull in college interest has been rekindled by the Everyday Sexism project, whose founder, Laura Bates, recently gave a talk at Jesus.

Goldstein said:“Laura Bates was incredible. She highlighted just how big a problem it is for women to avoid casual objectification and a publication which actively supports this misogynistic trend is not one which Lincoln College should associate itself with.”