Women’s groups ask Leveson Inquiry to examine ‘sexist’ treatment of women in newspapers
Four women’s groups have asked the Leveson Inquiry into press standards to examine the “sexist” treatment of women in newspapers. According to The Guardian, the groups; End Violence Against Women, Equality Now, Object and Eaves, have named the worst culprits in document submitted to the inquiry, having chosen ‘a small sample‘ of articles that they claim were ‘offensive‘. The 27 page document aims to highlight ‘poor reporting’ of violence against women, with the organisations claiming that they were either intrusive, inaccurate or misogynistic. The portrayal of prostitutes by the media is also criticised by the document, with The Guardian, quoting the report as saying: "It feeds into myths about prostitution, which at worse lead to attitudes that tolerate violence against women in prostitution or regard it as inevitable.” The Daily Telegraph is highlighted for a story that included the headline: ‘Women who dress provocatively more likely to be raped’ and included the line ‘women who drink alcohol, wear short skits and are outgoing are more like to be raped, claim scientists at the University of Leicester.’ Tabloid newspapers are the main targets for the report, however, with a joint submission from anti-sexualisation campaign group Object and Turn Your Back on Page 3 which charts ‘a week in the life of the Sun, the Daily Star and the Sport‘. This highlighted an article by The Sum which trialled ‘invisible shaping bum boosters’ by testing men's reactions when a woman bent over at work, and, according to the groups, ‘eroticises a form of sexual harassment making it appear that it is what women should, and do, seek from men‘. The Sun was also criticised for selling itself as a family product, by offering a free toy on its front page while also containing adverts for X rated DVDs, as well as for its Page 3 topless models.
Source: The Guardian