John Halewood-Dodd

John Halewood Dodd.
John Halewood Dodd.

The Sun newspaper’s apparent decision to drop Page 3 “girls” has highlighted whether it remains, or indeed ever was, appropriate to have pictures of semi-naked women in a daily newspaper.

As a teenager, I remember that my mates and I would take it in turns to buy The Sun as we walked to school.

The complexity of fiscal policy as analysed by Kathy Lloyd, Linda Lusardi or Sam Fox was obviously not the overriding reason for doing so.

As we mature, and become more reflective, the arguments as to whether such pictures objectify women have to be considered.

When doing so we have to wrestle with the possibility that our opinion of, and subsequent relationships with, women may have been tainted by influences that we did not fully comprehend at the time.

I acknowledge that some of my views are inherently sexist.

I am unsure what influenced me to this way of thinking, whether that be my upbringing in a male dominated family home, or indeed other agencies.

As children, my three brothers and I would go to the barbers every six weeks or so.

My cash strapped mother had arranged a deal where all four of us would have our hair cut for the price of three.

The barber was undoubtedly a misogynist.

A “traditional” coiffure who genuinely asked if sir required anything for the weekend.

I remember a sign prominently displayed above his mirror which suggested that women were only good for sex.

We didn’t really understand it, but as it was in verse form we found it amusing and all four of us can still recite this ditty verbatim.

The thing is that even though it was supposed to have been no more than “a bit of fun” I can’t help but wonder how much influence things such as this have on young minds during formative years.

Incidentally, one of my brothers recently informed me that the barber in question has since been convicted of sexual offences against young women. Enough said.