Secular Woman Plans Nude and Semi-Nude Calendar For Fundraiser

Secular Woman is planning a fundraiser for this November with a very interesting and highly provocative subject matter.

It’s a calander titled “Atheists Breaking Through — The Reveal” and it will feature “nude and semi-nude nonbelievers of various races, genders, ages and body types.”

According to a press release:

The rationale behind the calendar’s nudity theme is to project the imagery of openness, joy, and freedom within the freethought community, in distinct contrast to cultures that objectify and repress. Bridget Gaudette, Vice President of Outreach, explained, “We’ve commissioned photos of a transgender woman, a pregnant woman, a breastfeeding mother, a Native American senior couple, a gay couple … Secular Woman hopes to portray the narrative that this is the freethinking community: multifaceted, proud and beautiful.” The calendar will also feature entertainers, a philanthropist, and a renowned author.

I love it!  And half of all of the proceeds are going to Foundation Beyond Belief‘s Light the Night fund, making this both titillating and charitable!

I think any opportunity to show off people’s beautiful, natural bodies is great, and Secular Woman is a great voice for… well secular women!

They are now accepting submissions and donations for the calendar.

***Update***: A list of the models is here!

About Jessica Bluemke

Jessica Bluemke grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from Ball State University in 2008 with a BA in Literature. She currently works as a writer and resides on the North side of Chicago.

  • Sindigo

    I’m all for the calendar. We’re an an enormously diverse group of people and that should be celebrated. But why do they have to be naked? Doesn’t that divert attention from the message?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=639378446 Bridget Gaudette

      Naked bodies do not = objectification. For example, the calendar will feature a breastfeeding mother. We are not objectifying her.

      ~VP of Outreach for Secular Woman

      • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

        Clearly you don’t know about pregnant porn. Many of people objectify breastfeeding women.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=639378446 Bridget Gaudette

          ANYTHING can be sexually objectified, even a shoe but the naked body does not automatically = objectification. Several of the people in this calendar were raised very religiously and thought of their bodies and gender expression as dirty. That’s not the attitude we want to promote. 

      • Pisk_A_Dausen

        Thanks for posting this. Glad to see something other than “I [can/can't] fap to this” in a comment thread about nudity.

      • Sindigo

        I agree with you that a breastfeeding mother is not, on the face of it, a sexual image and without seeing the image it’s impossible for me to draw any real conclusion as to its impact. For example, is the woman merely bare-breasted or completely naked? But you are presenting that image in the context of other images of naked (or semi-naked) people.

        Posing naked, no matter how tastefully done carries the baggage of sexualisation and that sexualisation objectifies people. I always thought that one of the goals of feminism over the years has been to move away from treating people as sex objects. 

        I realise that I’m probably coming across as a prude and I’m really not prudish ordinarily. I just question the nakedness aspect in this case. I’m not convinced that it’s necessary. Again, I ask the question: why do they have to be naked? Is is just because naked calendars are de rigueur?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=639378446 Bridget Gaudette

          They don’t have to be naked, no. It’s symbolic of being open and free, something many of us that were raised religiously never had. 

          Hopefully people will donate because 50% of the proceeds will go towards cancer research.

          • Sindigo

            I can understand your point when it comes to symbolism, though I think it likely had more resonance in the sixties rather than now but I’m not convinced that it’s a good enough reason to strip off.

            That being said, I can’t fault the charity you’re supporting, nor you for your time. Maybe I should check one out for myself. Will these be available outside the US?

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=639378446 Bridget Gaudette

              Yes, they will be available everywhere. In fact if you donate $30 towards the production, you’ll get one for free :-)

        • Octoberfurst

           I personally have no problem with it. I understand your concerns about sexualization of people. But yet we are all sexual beings.  Nudity, no matter how tastefully done, is sensual but I see nothing wrong with that.  I grew up with the idea that sexuality was “sinful” and that any type of nudity–except in the confines of a bedroom or bathroom–was wrong.  Thanks to atheism I have tossed those silly ideas aside.  So I applaud the idea of a calendar featuring nude & semi-nude models.  That’s just my 2 cents worth.

          • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

            So are you saying there’s a sensual aspect to nudity even on nude beaches and resorts where there are children? Do you deny that nudity is non-sexualized and non-sexual in places such as those?

            • Octoberfurst

               Yes, I think that a person CAN go to a nude beach and see a very attractive person and be turned on by it.   Now if you have sensual thoughts looking at children then you have a problem.  (It’s called pedophillia.) 
                 Of course I am not saying that just because someone finds looking at a nude person to be a sensual experience that means that they are going to attack them or masturbate on the beach.  It’s just human nature to enjoy looking at good looking nude people and I find nothing wrong with that. That’s all I am saying.   

        • RobMcCune

          There is a difference between the intent being objectification and the potential for someone to objectify an image. Technically a picture of you at the beach or a swimming pool could be objectified, but it’s not the intent of the photo or the photographer (presumably). It’s the actions of the person objectifying.

          Objectification is not about looking at skin, or sexual arousal, it’s about the way one person considers about another.

  • The Good Atheist

    The shortlist of people I want to see naked does not include a 60 year old couple, thanks. 

    • ReadsInTrees

      Then don’t buy the calendar, just make a donation instead.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001627228091 Alexander Ryan

    Better than what PETA does. “Hey, here’s some scantily clad women. While you’re looking, do you know how many animals are being abused on average every day?”

    • The Other Weirdo

       The response would be, “I stopped listening after “…scantily clad women.” :)

  • atheistperson

    Being a “diverse group of people” is not a self-evident good; it’s entirely neutral.

  • Zsdaf

    While people might support this in principle, I doubt they will pay for it.

    Maybe they should charge extra for the calendar with pretty people in it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=639378446 Bridget Gaudette

      It’s a fundraiser so I hope people will give because of their humanistic values even if they don’t want the calendar.

  • anon101

    Typical feminist double speak. Objectification is okay as long as we get
    paid for it unless we arbitrarily ban it like in the case of both
    babes.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=639378446 Bridget Gaudette

      All feminists do not think the same. I am a very liberal feminist.

    • RobMcCune

       Typical kneejerk reaction. Teh FEMINIZTZ iz EBIL1!!11!

      • Helanna

        One feminist says X. Another feminist says Y. TYPICAL FEMINIST DOUBLESPEAK! 

        Oh wait, feminists are human and may have differing views and values? Nevermind, my bad. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6OE7LEYELE4MZTVXGZUSVTBFUI julie

      You know, the main problem feminists have with objectification is that it only ever shows one body type. The models are perfectly airbrushed and impossibly thin and it makes healthy women feel terrible and leads to unhealthy eating habits. Not to mention that a lot of advertisements have sexual violence themes and promote women as sex objects. But simply being naked is not the same as objectification. Yes, someone *could* objectify these people, but anything can be objectified regardless of the original intent. And it’s showing different body types, showing that people can be comfortable in their own skin, no matter how they look.

    • anon101

      What is really insidious is that first they sell you the calendar and
      then the same feminists sue you for sexual harassment if you put it up
      on the wall in your office.

      • coyotenose

         Typical MRA lying.

    • coyotenose

       Typical MRA strawmanning.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Wouldn’t it have been better to show these people’s accomplishments rather than their naked bodies? “Here’s a Native American senior couple; they have been instrumental in…” “Here’s a gay couple, for several years now, they have been providing shelter for…”  “Here is a pregnant woman, she writes law briefs while…” “Here is a breastfeeding woman, she produces…”

    What does skin have to do with anything?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=639378446 Bridget Gaudette

      The calendar *will* have quotes about their views on feminism, diversity, etc. and list their contributions to the secular community. As for them being naked: why not?

      • The Other Weirdo

         Interesting. I suggested the calendar show some of their actual, real-world accomplishments. Your reply basically says that their views on feminism, of all things, and diversity are all the accomplishments they need to show. As for their contributions to the secular community, while important to our small demographic, those are akin to claiming the accomplishments of a priest where he’s led church services for the last twenty years.

        Have they been researching cancer cures? Preservation of the forests? Operating shelters for runaway teens? Providing foster care for minority children? Produced a  Broadway play? Entertained children in the cancer ward of a hospital? Hell, I don’t know, made progress in the field of scientific climate change research? Taught maths and language skills to underprivileged kids?

        As for them being naked, the question isn’t “why not?” The question is  “why?”

        • http://profiles.google.com/julielada Julie Lada

           Why not? Why does everything have to be about their professional/social/etc. accomplishments? Why can’t their personal views and diversity be highlighted? What, exactly, is wrong with that?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=639378446 Bridget Gaudette

          The calendar is a fundraiser for my organization, Secular Woman (50%). Therefore their views on feminism and diversity are relevant to why they are posing. Among other things, we want to show the diversity within the secular community so we want to highlight what they have done as a part of it.

          We didn’t think it necessary to include resumes or questionnaire responses for the models; we simply opted to use a couple quotes and their demographics.

          Please read the press release, it explains why they are nude.

          • The Other Weirdo

            I’ve read it. It boils down to “We’re making them nude to poke the theistic community in the ribs.” I’m all for confrontation, I’m just not convinced that nudity is the way to do it. And no, I’m not against nudity, or afraid of it, or think it’s icky or ugly or sinful or evil. I just don’t think that nudity is the way to make your statement. Of course, that’s just my opinion and I don’t speak for anyone else in this matter. Notice how I don’t say that this is the atheist community.

        • coyotenose
  • Mike Laing

    This is a great idea. At first, I though yeeuck! Then I realized that that is the knee-jerk response that this calendar addresses – the objectification of bodies by thinking it’s okay if it is ‘babes,’ but not okay if it is people.

    • Helanna

      That, and also the misconception that naked automatically means sexual. I keep seeing people saying ‘Aren’t you against objectification?’ But this isn’t objectification. It might be if this was a pinup calendar where everyone was posing for the sole purpose of being sexy and attractive, but they’re not. They’re doing it to show freedom and diversity and pride. If someone *finds* them attractive, fine, but that’s not the sole purpose of the calendar.

    • David

       Nothing new in this idea. (but it is still a great idea!)

      A group of middle aged women did it in Britain c 2000 to raise money for a local hospital leukaemia centre to buy a sofa for the relatives and patients.

      They have now raised 2 million pounds.

      They needed a reprint of the initial run, and then a film was made – google “calendar girls WI”

      WI = women’s institute, a secular women’s group present in most UK towns and villages; very traditional hobbies such as cake making and jam making is the typical association, but in fact anything goes really.
      Educational rale ++, and when started had a food growing/cooking bias to help in WW1.

  • JasmynMoon

    I bought the Nude Revolutionaries calendar, and I’ll get this one for next year. Thanks for posting about it.

    • Alexandra

       Ditto, I love my Nude Revolutionaries calendar.

  • http://twitter.com/Outcast_Kyle Edgar

    I don’t use calendar, but I’m pretty that at least one of the buyers will fap with it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6OE7LEYELE4MZTVXGZUSVTBFUI julie

    The question really should be “Why not?” not “Why?”
    The only reason everyone is asking “Why?” is because we’re not used to seeing naked people that we’re not supposed to objectify. Nudity = sex in our culture and that’s really a shame. Why not try to change that?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=639378446 Bridget Gaudette

      EXACTLY!

  • Kim Rippere

    Hemant, thank you so much for your support of this calendar.  

    Secular Woman is celebrating diversity within the atheist community through participants deciding how to show themselves in pictures.  They are free to make any decisions about the content of the picture, provided their face is showing.  Some may choose a secular theme, an activists theme, a giving theme, an outdoor theme, a patriotic theme, or anything else that they choose (legal of course).  The idea is for them to make a choice about how best to reveal themselves and show the world something of who they are.
    Secular Woman, President


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