Open Response To The Sun

Yesterday we received a very exciting email from The Sun National Newspaper:

Hi there,

I’m a journalist from The Sun – the UK’s biggest national newspaper. I’ve heard a lot of good things about your tours and would love to come along and experience one for myself… would you be interested in setting something up in exchange for some coverage in our travel section? Our readership is currently in excess of 2.2million.

Look forward to hearing from you.

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The Sun, 3 Thomas More Square, London, E98 1XY.


After some thought and consideration, today we emailed the following response which we would like to share with you:

Dear The Sun

Many thanks for your interest in featuring Wandering Duck’s Canal Boat Experience in The Sun.

We are a relatively new, small tourism business, so it’s very exciting to find that we have come to the attention of a major national newspaper. With a readership of 2.2 million, there is no doubt that a piece in The Sun’s travel section would allow us to reach a larger audience than we have ever dreamed. We are sure that this coverage would be fantastic for us.

However, we have a problem with The Sun’s apparent attitude to women as evidenced by the continued presence of topless women on page 3 every day.

We understand that this is a long-standing tradition for The Sun but many other older attitudes towards women are no longer considered acceptable. For example, the view expressed in this excerpt from International Commercial Law dating back to 1863:

“By marriage, the personal identity of the woman is lost. Her person is completely sunk in that of her husband, and he acquires an absolute mastery over her person and effects. Hence her complete disability to contract legal obligations; and except in the event of separation by divorce, or other causes, a married woman in the United Kingdom cannot engage in trade.”

—Leone Levi, International Commercial Law, 1863

Imagine that: by getting married your personal identity is lost. At that time, we are sure that this attitude would have seemed perfectly acceptable, perhaps even logical, to many men and women. In hindsight it’s easy for us to wonder how anyone could pen such insults about half of the human race.

We have come a long way since 1863 and thanks to the Suffragettes, women now have equal voting rights, and to the likes of the machinists at Ford’s Dagenham plant we have the Equal Pay Act. Now we must stand amongst the new wave of men and women who are ready to tackle other inequalities in today’s society.

The Sun newspaper has shown a topless woman in their newspaper since 1970. Every day, as soon as you open up the paper, there she is. A woman who is there to be viewed purely for sexual pleasure. A woman who can be viewed by any man, woman or child who happens to see the newspaper on any train, bus or waiting room. Drip, drip, drip. A topless woman every time you open the newspaper. Woman, sex; woman, sex. Day in, day out.

This outdated tradition which objectifies women and portrays them as simple objects of sexual pleasure is something that we would not want to be associated with. We feel that by appearing in The Sun we would be silently accepting the way your newspaper insidiously demeans women.

Therefore we must decline your kind offer for the time being, but we look forward to Wandering Duck, one day, appearing in the travel section of a boob-free Sun.

It’s time to move on. No more Page 3.

With hope,

Ruth Seneviratne-Bratt
Mark Bratt
Wandering Duck
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