A Nation of Cowards

What happened to the men of this country? And from where came this populace of feeble and selfish cowards?

Here’s some of the thoughtful criticism I got while publicly denouncing that British institution – The Sun’s page 3.

To all the men (and there were so many of you!) who responded by saying “but I like looking at tits…” and to all the men who asked me, “are you queer…?” I don’t know what to say to you. If anyone still has doubts that Rupert Murdoch’s papers build character, you will surely put them in their place.

To all the men who simply said “f*ck off”… No.

To the witty man who said that my wife must have put me up to it… Your friends think highly of your keen sense of humour. I’m standing up for the honour of my wife, and all the women and girls of my people against 40 years of vindictive misrepresentation in our biggest selling family newspaper. Furthermore, I’m contending for the men of my people, that they might not become the feeble, withered, passive, penis-fiddling kinds of cowards that I am here addressing. What would you suggest, funny man? Do think I would be more of a man if I would just stand down, get in line, shut up and masturbate to whatever Rupert Murdoch puts in front of me next? Why am I being accused of being less of a man by these overgrown-boys who won’t even make stand for their own women? Cowards.

To the Sun’s old assistant editor who said “There are bigger issues right now…” Is that a point? Or did you just say, “can we talk about something else please?” What eloquent heights British rhetoric and debate has come to. The man on the street says “but I like tits…” and the ruling elites of Fleet Street say “lets not talk about it…” Cowards.

To David Cameron who lamented the “pornification of society” and “the sexualisation of children” back in his earlier promise-making days. It was your party who pornified our society and sexualised our children when you laughed Clare Short’s bill against page 3 out of parliament and protected Rupert Murdoch’s right to saturate the working people with whatever he wanted – way back in 1986. In spite of your great words I see you’ve done nothing. Is it because you’re afraid to mess with Rupert Murdoch’s business? Cowards.

To those who insist that they should be free to masturbate over images of stripped women if they want to, and that women should be free to make money getting masturbated over if they choose… Maybe you missed what this is all about. You will still be able to use porn, and the same lucky minority of the multitudes of girls caught in this sick machine will still get paid. This is about categorisation. We just want porn out of family newspapers, where it finds its way into the lives of people who did not ask for it. That’s all.

If there are any left of that forgotten race of British men, who had dignity, strength, honour and balls, then sign this petition, and tell everyone you know to do likewise. We are a nation of cowards for as long as we tolerate this vindictive blight on our men, women and children.

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38 thoughts on “A Nation of Cowards

  1. Absolutely well said. And I’d like to retort back to The Sun’s comment that ‘there’s bigger issues right now’ – well, if there are so many other big issues why don’t you take page porn errr, sorry I mean page 3, out and use that new space to discuss and highlight some of those bigger issues?
    Frankly I’m more inspired, intellectually challenged, socially and politically updated and informed by watching the Telly Tubbies then reading the insult to human kind that is The Sun.

  2. Great post. I wish all men had the same sense of honour and decency. The idiots you spoke to just make me ashamed of the human race. No wonder society is in the state its in. Bigger issues there may be, but this affects all women of all ages.
    I have found it difficult to breastfeed my children in public, I usually hide in the car rather than do it in a cafe. I have friends who haven’t fed their children simply because society has sexualised breasts to the point that even some women can’t see that it is a normal, nay wonderful thing to do.
    Please keep this going….no stopping until page three is a thing of the past.
    And I have not been to Uni, nor do I know what wheatgerm tastes like!!!

  3. Thank you for writing this. It was a male friend of mine who alerted me to this campaign and caused me to write about it even on my food focussed blog. I still, sadly don’t know if my husband or other male friends have signed though. I suspect they haven’t.

  4. I remember listening to the parliamentary ‘debate’ about Page 3 on the radio in 1986. As those opposing Clare Short’s Bill had no arguments, it soon ceased to be a debate, and instead became a personal attack on Clare Short. One of the saddest and most revealing insights into the powers at work in our Parliament during my lifetime.

  5. Thankyou. For standing up on Saturday. For writing your ‘research findings’ so eloquently. For exposing the gaping void in our society that we all know is there poisoning our children. I have passed this to my MP who refused to sign the petition. I hope she thinks about it.

  6. Intellectuals who don’t even read the Sun complaining about it. Classic.
    That paper isn’t good and never will be, stop trying to ruin other people’s fun. Nobody is forcing you to read it.

    For some lonely working class men that’s probably the highlight of their morning. Leave ’em alone.

  7. We must not let the “ostriches” of this world deny us our right to publicise this denegrating “british institution” that has the audacity to call itself a “family newspaper”.
    Lobby your local MP, after all, they are supposedly there to represent their electorate , not their own or party line views.

  8. “We are a nation of cowards for as long as we tolerate this vindictive blight on our men, women and children.” You’re not wrong, but I think you’re grossly exaggerating a relatively small issue with today’s media as a whole. What about the abundance of absolute shit that’s being televised in prime time hours, eg. The X-Factor; the millions of young people who idolise the likes of Rihanna and Nicki Minaj (who both glamorise sex and drugs and who’s videos on YouTube have had hundreds of millions of views combined). Let’s not forget the frighteningly easy access to thousands of hours of free porn.. I dread to think how many kids under the age of 18 have laptops and how many of those laptops browsers don’t have content controls set by parents. And so I think the The Sun’s old assistant editor is right in the context of your article, there are bigger issues, and the biggest is the Internet. The Sun’s page 3 has as much threat to families as the common cold, you try to avoid it but occasionally you’ll be exposed to it, once it’s over you can carry on with your life. The Internet I’m afraid poses a far more prominent and persistent threat to today’s families. I can see you’re fighting a losing battle here and your petition won’t change anything. Don’t get me wrong, I recognise the courageous nature of this article but the men of our society need to focus on protecting their children from a much bigger beast, not worry about the contents of a newspaper that hardly anyone takes seriously. On another note, I can’t imagine anyone masturbating over a picture of some breasts that feature in a newspaper. This is too impractical and too ‘soft core’ – even for the most ardent ‘penis fiddlers’ – when there are smartphones around to save them of the use of their carnal imagination. The family men of this country, the one’s with balls, should be alert and proactive when it comes to guarding their families from pornography and the sexualisation of their children in this new age of media. Unfortunately this issue you’ve dug up is just the remains of a species of monster that’s been evolving for decades now.

    1. I was all for your protest until you stooped to petty name calling ! I beleive that Page three should not be allowed but for the reason that it lowers respect in some for the female species ! but I will not lower myself to calling males (or even females) who do enjoy it names ! you have now lost my support!

  9. thank you for doing this – I love the simplicity of your protest too – can we try to get more people repeating this protest? it’s such a powerful image…

  10. Pure, beautiful and eloquent. It says it all so simply and clearly and addresses all the stupid belligerent, evasive arguments – thus eliminating them. Well done and thank you :o)

  11. Love it,,,,,,,, good men hard to find; so cool to see a brave one standing up and being honourable thankyou !!!!!!!!!

  12. Gender is without title when both share the common cause. Your words stand to announce a cause so great, and to shield the ones who have felt so helpless.

  13. I don’t really like this post. It contains an anger close to self-righteousness. You call men ‘cowards’ but doesn’t this imply you are the antonym, ‘brave’? And are you really being brave in this case?

    You say this: “I’m contending for the men of my people”, but who exactly are ‘your people’? Do you represent the Sun reader? Is it the same thing for you to say ‘no tits, please!’ as it is for, say, a builder sitting around with his co-workers on a break? I don’t think it is that much a big deal for you in your context to stand around making statements and looking a little odd to the world – I don’t think it bothers you that much, and you might even like it.

    And you do really represent the manhood other people ought to aspire to? Please don’t take that as a slur – I’m not questioning your manhood or masculine qualities. But think about it – what are you to the people you are criticising so fiercely? What do they recognise in you? Nothing, I would think. Just anger.

    There is no trace of fellow-feeling in your words. As another man, I don’t recognise it in this post. I don’t buy the Sun, but I like ‘tits’. If I walk past a newsstand with a glamour model on it I will unfailing notice it. I won’t go back and open the paper/magazine up or buy it, but dopamine has gone off somewhere in my brain. I would criminalise the sale, purchase and production of pornography this afternoon if it were up to me. But as a male, visual stimulus is hardwired in a particularly significant way, and lust is an ongoing, presumably never-to-end struggle.

    So I am not surprised that you got two particular responses: 1. ‘Fuck-off’ and 2. ‘Did your wife put you up to this?’ Both responses imply that you are someone completely different to the person who is responding. The second one reveals their suspicion that a ‘man’ could not be saying the things you’re saying, and therefore you have been hen-pecked into doing it.

    And the reason for that is that you do not sound like a man. Men like ‘tits’. You do not appear to like ‘tits’. You actually may very much like ‘tits’, but this cannot be discerned from your rhetoric. I don’t know what you actually say to people on the street (I presume you are friendlier) and that the above article is intended as some kind of wake-up call/rallying cry to what you think masculinity is (in your context). But I bet that most of the responders here are women, and what men have responded are likely not Sun readers anyway, but more people similar to you.

    Someone else on this comment thread said something to the effect that you exaggerate the problem, which I agree with. But I also think you mischaracterise your targets and present a distorted and even rather alien version of masculinity. Perhaps for you the paradigm of an Old Testament prophet is someone who is a bit odd and says very angry things. If it is, I would rethink it.

    I think you are only preaching to the choir here and that sadly, you will continue to receive the response you have hitherto been getting from all the cowards and penis-fiddlers out there of which it is abundantly clear you are not one of, despite the notion that they are ‘your people’.

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