Dr Clare Short Campaign

Scope and Content

In 1986 Dr. Clare Short MP brought The Indecent Displays (Newspapers) Bill before the House of Commons in an effort to enact legislation to ban the use of pictures in newspapers, magazines or any printed paper of naked or partially naked women in sexually provocative poses. A large number of women wrote to Dr. Short in support of the Bill and later a series of petitions were filed with local MPs in 1986 and 1988. The 1986 petition forms were received from various parts of the United Kingdom (UK) but were not given one uniform heading. Most of the 1986 petition forms simply explained what was being protested, while some referred to the Bill itself, or named it the anti-page three petition. The Bill did not pass in 1986 and Clare Short reintroduced the Bill on 13 Apr 1988 with an added provision to remove pornography from workplaces. At this time another petition circulated entitled Petition against Pornography. Between 1986 and 1991, Dr. Short received Dear Clare letters from a large number of women across the United Kingdom expressing concern about the depiction of women in pornographic materials. It was this widespread concern that led to the formation in 1987 of the Campaign Against Pornography (CAP) and the publication of the book 'Dear Clare...This is what women feel about Page 3' on 2 May 1991. The series includes: Petitions (1986 and 1989); Correspondence (1986 to 1991): a small quantity of Dear Clare letters; general correspondence from MPs and Rape groups, and letters about CAP; the launching of the first (1st) CAP Conference; and information on the publication of 'Dear Clare', the book.