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Friday, December 21, 2012

'We're just raising money for charity': Female rower who stripped for naked calendar defends herself from feminist blogger's attack

By RUTH STYLES

Calendar girls: From left, Jenny Clark, Hettie Reed, Fi Angell, Ella Peters and Lexie Titterington

When the boys of the rowing club stripped off for a charity calendar, it was met with praise, encouragement and the occasional cheeky compliment.
But it seems that it’s one rule for them and another for the club’s girls – who have been accused of being attention-seekers and damaging the feminist cause by posing for their own naked calendar.
The 15 members of the women’s rowing team at Warwick University have received a torrent of abuse on the internet since releasing their calendar, which is being sold in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Bare naked ladies: The Warwick rowing team has unwittingly caused a storm with a charity calendar

Layla Haidrani, a University of Kent student who describes herself as a commentator on feminist issues, described the concept as ‘tacky’ and an ‘attempt to gain notoriety’.
Hettie Reed, a student at Warwick University, pictured second left in the picture below, said that singling out women is 'grossly unfair', adding that her rowing club's charity calendar was 'not about being part of some kind of watered down pornography.'

Kent University student, Layla Haidrani has described the calendar as 'tacky' and as a set back to feminism

The rowing club calendar, which Hettie helped organise, is being sold to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, which was chosen because one of the rowing team's mothers is suffering from the disease.
The offending calendar isn't the first produced by the University of Warwick rowing club either.
The boy's team have produced naked calendars for the past four years, even creating a behind the scenes video called 'Brokeback Boatroom'.

Hettie (right) pictured with a friend

But while the boys' effort has made a significant contribution to charity after being singled out by comedian Stephen Fry and singer, Boy George, the girls' first calendar has come under fire from self-described feminists and Hettie is furious.
'There are some sad people out there and it's a waste of time to criticise people for making a charity calendar,' she told MailOnline.
'The calendar was done in a non-tacky, tasteful way - if you look at the images, they are actually nice pictures, naked or not.
'I do believe that women deserve equality and in my eyes, if the men of our rowing club are able to make a naked calendar we should have the right to do the same thing without [receiving] derogatory and slanderous comments - that is what equality is about.'

Bottoms up: Frankie Salzano, right (pictured with fellow rower, Ella Peters) helped organise the calendar

Hettie's comments came in the wake of a blog on the Huffington Post website, which attacked Hettie and her friends, and said they had put the feminist cause back.
Layla Haidrani, who describes herself as a commentator on feminist issues, wrote: 'Groups of women posing semi-naked on a field with sticks doesn't sound a fundraising initiative for charity, it just sounds tacky,'

Fundraising: The calendar was produced to raise money for cancer charity, Macmillan Cancer Support

'Although many argue that it is purely for fundraising purposes, in my own university sports team, the majority of women who participated were not made aware and did not even seek to find out which charities were being helped.
'Rather, they just view it as an opportunity to strip and attempt to gain notoriety with friends and family both back home and on campus.'
She continued: 'I can't help but feel that women are just victims in the 'liberation game,

Hello boys! The Warwick University rowing team have been making a calendar for four years

'As opposed to being liberated by posing semi-naked, they are in fact just helping women to be perpetually viewed as sex objects, something to be 'bought', 'sold' and then tossed away once the Christmas period is over.
But Heidrani, says Hettie, has got the wrong end of the stick.
'These naked calendars do make money for some fantastic charities and so what really is the harm in them?' she asked.
'We do have some good looking girls in there but our calendar isn't necessarily sexy and it certainly isn't demeaning.

No pejazzles here! Unlike TOWIE's Mark Wright, the rowing team are au naturel in more ways than one

'The charity we chose is one that's important to us because one girl's mother has breast cancer and and a couple of the girls have indirectly been affected by cancer, so we decided that Macmillan Cancer Support would be the best charity for us.

Charity: The annual calendar was launched four years ago to raise money for Sport Relief

'We're upset that some people describe the calendar as a setback for women,' added Hettie. 'I wouldn't describe myself as a feminist exactly but then I don't need to.
'Being a feminist is all about wanting the same treatment for women as men get. In that way every woman is a feminist. I wouldn't personally advocate myself as a feminist but ultimately I am, there is no doubt about that.

Pimms please! The Warwick rowing boys pose with their pimms...and little else

'We have equality now, so there's no need for people to be like this.'
To find out more about the girls' calendar or to buy one yourself, see www.warwickrowing.org or twitter.com/nakedgirlsrow

source: dailymail



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