The Naked Girls Calendar

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

Fundraising: The calendar was produced to raise money for cancer charity, Macmillan Cancer Support
The £7.99 calendar is available to buy through the rowing club's website

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.

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’ on a blog written for the Huffington Post UK.

Hettie Reed, a student at Warwick University, pictured second left in the picture above, 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.'

'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.'

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,'

'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,

'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 Haidrani, 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.

'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.

'Ours was done simply because we wanted to support the charity.'

Heidrani, in an echo of the campaign against the Sun's Page Three, also said that she thought women were 'hindering' progress rather than helping themselves.

'Why aren't women allowing themselves to be proud to show off their mental capacity such as academic ability?' she thundered. '[Instead they] have chosen the route of posing naked.'

'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.

'We have equality now, so there's no need for people to be like this.'

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