Saturday, 22 September 2012

Help for the Duchess of Cambridge

There is no doubt that the Duchess of Cambridge has had her privacy invaded when a photographer took the topless photographs. He was staked out for days with a long lens and the kindest words for him would be that he was a peeping Tom. Privacy should be protected for the Duchess and also for the Z list celebrity but how do you do this when there are newspapers and magazines that publish this sort of photo every day?

We get the media we deserve but regulation is so much better on television than it is in the papers than it is on the internet. On one hand you can turn the television off or not buy the paper or change the internet security settings but this isn't good enough because privacy is still invaded and many will still want to see those topless photos. Can we allow our media to hurt the feelings of others without punishment? Some will feel that it is the Duchess' fault because she knew that she could be seen from a public area. Some will say it is the magazine's fault for employing a Peeping Tom.

Although page three employs models there is still the problem of how we treat women. At best they should not be seen simply as an object of desire. At worst these photos inculcate misogyny. If you can't follow this argument then reverse roles and see how you would feel if you were only valued for your looks. I do not think of The Sun as a newspaper even if there is some news in it. The newspaper is not bought because it contains 'the truth'. More likely it is bought  because of page three. We get the papers we deserve but that doesn't mean that The Sun should be banned. However we should be leading people away from thinking that it is a newspaper. There are arguments that page three should be banned and I can understand these arguments, but then do you ban top shelf magazines? If The Sun were reclassified and sale was restricted to adults then sales would probably go up.

You don't change hearts and minds by banning things, but it is wrong to be a peeping Tom. It is wrong to have a 'newspaper' that thinks page three photos will keep up its circulation but injunctions won't help, reclassification of newspapers won't help. Specifically for the Duchess, a private area would definitely help. She has won a victory in court which still gives a profit to the media so stalking will continue. I am not a lawyer but it may help to go after the photographer with anti-stalking laws.

Change the world

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