Warwick women rowers strip off for charity. But is that okay?

Warwick's female rowers have made another controversial nude calendar

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The Independent Online

Once again Warwick University’s women's rowing team is making headlines with their controversial nude calendar to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Last year’s calendar raised £600, a figure the girls are already on their way to surpassing with this year’s slightly more risqué calendar that already has 300 pre-orders from across the USA.

Last year’s calendar provoked angry objections from feminist bloggers who claimed that the premise and pictures were “tacky”, “sexist” and represented “some kind of watered down pornography”.

In a blog post for the Huffington Post, one of the calendar's main critics, Layla Haidrani, wrote that "groups of women posing semi-naked on a field with sticks doesn't sound a fundraising initiative for charity, it just sounds tacky", going on to claim that the girls themselves are "victims in the liberation game" and are merely serving to exacerbate the issue of "women [being] perpetually viewed as sex objects, something to be "bought", "sold" and then tossed away once the Christmas period is over."

The rowers however, far from being chastened by these comments, have stripped completely naked this year for their 2014 calendar and claim that last year’s comments merely “spurred them on”. Warwick Rowing’s male squad have produced a naked calendar for the past four years and been met with little, if any, controversy. The female squads are now arguing for their right to do the same.

The story has appeared in various nationalpublications, including The Sun, The Telegraph and The Daily Mail. Despite the press attention at the growing notoriety of the story this, girls are determined to use this year’s completely nude calendar to triple last year’s total, claiming, “It is just a harmless bit of fun for a fabulous cause… who can criticise us for that?”