Let’s talk about how the front page of The Sun is fucking terrible

Content note: this post discusses sexual violence

Rumours of Page 3’s demise have been premature. This is very good news for The Sun, because it means that everyone is furious about a photo of boobs on the third page, rather than what’s on the front cover. Indeed, most of the outrage over the front cover seems to be about poorly-constructed breast pun rather than the truly terrible thing. Allow me to draw your attention to the headline story–that’s the bit underneath the boob pun and to the right of the other boob pun.

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It might not look it, but that is a report about a woman who was kept as a slave and trafficked to rich and famous friends of her abuser between the ages of 15 and 18. New legal documents have been filed, with more detail, and this is how The Sun have chosen to report it: as a fun little royal romp.

What does this front page teach those who will see it about sexual violence, about abuse, about women? First and foremost, that it’s cheeky and fun. The way it’s presented, it seems as though these traumatic events occurred with a Benny Hill sax parping away merrily in the background. It seems almost glamorous, as well as sexy: orgies and a real live prince!

The word “rape” is unsurprisingly absence from what happened here, as is “coercion” or “trafficking”. A survivor’s search for justice has been turned into lurid, titillating revelations, and given exactly the same editorial treatment as the testimonials of the “kiss and tell girls”. It is calculated to arouse rather than to anger, to excite rather than outrage.

Alongside the frankly horrible article is a picture of the survivor. It’s hardly just The Sun that have violated her privacy, indeed, I commend them ever so slightly for not using her name right there on the front page like many of the headlines about this story have. Nonetheless, each instance that this happens contributes further to a culture wherein we are perfectly happy to parade women who speak out about sexual violence around, to suck away their anonymity.

I’ve spent more time than I ever cared to receiving vile tweets from fans of rapist footballer Ched Evans. They believe it’s perfectly fine to provide private details of rape survivors. They all, also, seem to be labouring under the false impression that sexual violence is sexy and glamorous. With the front page of a national newspaper sending out messages like this, of course they believe these things. It’s all part of the background radiation of rape culture. Headlines like this are not a meaningless bit of fun, they’re teaching people that rape isn’t so bad, and they’re showing the world how survivors should be treated.

It is not enough to remove nipples from the tabloids. The misogyny problem, the rot, goes far beyond that, to far worse places. Over the last week, The Sun has shown clearly its attitude towards consent, and it’s an attitude which matches the logic of many rapists. Sadly, I think they know they can get away with this, that Page 3 will draw the fire of the people who should really be destroying them for a front page like this.

Every single page of The Sun is nasty. The pitiful excuse for a newspaper reflects and magnifies every ugly bigoted thought. The whole rag needs to die; it becomes clear again and again that this is the only solution. Dismantling that foul rag piece by piece would be but a start, but a tiny step along the way, because all news sources contribute to the problem in the same way. So let us see The Sun in flames, and as we dance upon the ashes, let us turn to the other hacks and let it be clear to them that they’re next.


8 responses to “Let’s talk about how the front page of The Sun is fucking terrible

  • therowdymouse

    Reblogged this on Hollow Pointe and commented:
    The Sun is the biggest trash rag in the uk and we both know it. They are notorious for be making stuff, yo.

    But if you will allow me to play Devil’s Advocate here with the old flipparoo with this cover of The Sun

    The Sun has done it again people. Those Misandrists are exploiting David Bekham to sell pissvasser beer and try tell us all men should strive to look like him, be an althete, and that somehow my masculinity is dependent on Some meaningless Sports Victory. They even go so far as to as to splay him out in a 12 page pullout. What is this, Playgirl? He already has 4 pages plus the entire sunsport section devoted to him.

    Yeah I get it he is a champion, can they move on and maybe talk about the Thinkers, Artists, and Engineers. instead of this delusional fantasy?

    Though I feel very sorry the horrible things that woman had to go through. The Sun probably won’t put rape on the cover because that doesn’t look good at the checkout lane. It’s sickening but they are sickening people.

    The cool thing is if you don’t live in the UK you can just not buy it and ignore them. Because those Dickwads still have freedom of the press. You know what they say, “I may not like what you say but you got a right to say it.”

  • therowdymouse

    Nobody with half a brain would use The Sun as a reliable source of the truth.

  • Mario Savioni

    Yes, as a rag it becomes unreliable. However, your response is the art and what persuades. You are magnificently illustrative. I believe it was a book by Alan Watts that I was reading today, where he said to just stand back and look at life, where you simply had given up in ever hoping to change it. I’ve come to this place in my work, where I’ve simply come to a large thick wall that is impossible to scale. I loved what you said, how you framed this. I am listening to you. You are helping me.

  • Minnie

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: the Sun hacks are worse than the TSG.

  • Μια εσωστρεφής

    I’ve also read such kind of stuff on Twitter where people were debating over Eminem’s song lyrics. In that song, he threatens Iggy Azalea by saying that he would rape her. I saw people tweeting how proud Iggy should feel after being raped by Eminem. So looks like Sun is the newspaper for such kind of people.

  • Elijah

    i just saw ‘win a villa for 2 weeks’. Is that like 2 weeks of constantly winning the villa? Sounds kinda exhausting

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