Tuesday, February 10, 2004

'Calendar girls,' or, The Patriotic Monologues 

29 local young women decided to create a calendar to help benefit Minnesota troops stationed overseas. They posed in cropped t-shirts, some swimsuits, and,the StarTribune reports, one shot of two women in "green-and-red holiday wrapping paper." For every one that is sold, another goes to a Minnesota-based soldier overseas.

So, of course, local feminist students complained. These letters from the student newspaper gets the gist of it:
I do not see the connection between this and pictures of barely clothed women. These pictures simply objectify women. Is this the appropriate thing to do when rape and other abuse toward women in the military is an ongoing crisis? And what about all the women in the military who are risking their lives in Iraq? Is there a similar calendar of mostly naked men that is going to be sent to them to "boost morale?"
Turns out the answer to that is "yes, next year." If anyone asks, I'm willing. Another letter:
This calender forgoes female soldiers, as well as soldiers who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered. Wouldn't there be better ways to support the troops, such as contacting political officials and voicing your opinion in relation to war efforts?

As a male who is in the Social Work field, I am offended and insulted by this sexist calender.
As a male who is a professor, I'm offended by your inability to spell "calendar". I can also guess that you've already "voiced your opinion in relation to war efforts." Not an option available to Iraqis around this time last year, mind you. Then again, neither was the calendar.

One of the 29 answers:

if you believe you have a better way to show your support, I hope that you act on that idea. We did. I promise not to judge your expression of support. I encourage each person to do whatever they can to show support in their own way.

...there are very few projects in this world (if any) that can, on their own, create world peace and make everyone happy. This isn't one of them. The calendar is an expression of support for our deployed military, nothing more.

As Lileks noted yesterday, we raise 'em well up here, we really do.

Here's the Chronicle's original article with the picture for November.

UPDATE: Should have known Hindrocket would find this one.