The Warwick Rowers Project, which is the organization that publishes the famous Warwick Rowers Calendar featuring the rowing team at the University of Warwick. Is speaking up about why the Warwick Rowers calendar and other similar efforts, including the Naked Rugby Players calendar are important. Most importantly, our favorite nude rowers remind us why, after 10 calendars now, they are as relevant as ever.
As part of their charter, the Warwick Rowers Project “uses nudity as a relevant and effective means to deliver messages about gender and sexual equality. We also aim to respect the diverse culture in which we live and are aware that some people may find nudity offensive. We therefore limit nudity in content that we believe may be viewed involuntarily in public or social spaces and free to view media.“
As we have reported previously, the Naked Rugby Calendar page on Facebook has been removed as part of a larger trend of social media platforms who are tightening their grip on their so called “community standards” which are unfairly targeting LGBTI oriented pages and showing less strictness toward those pages that represent “heterosexual male desire.”
The Warwick Rowers for the moment, are still on Facebook. However, the famous Rowing Team is no stranger to controversy as they regularly featured nude men artfully posed. Without any over sexuality displayed in their images, the calendar has nevertheless turned heads as men are not so often highly sexualized in main stream media as women are. Leading to many hateful comments and backlash, including the removal of many of their images and posts from social media platforms. With aggressive and overt displays of female sexuality so present in our society today, the Warwick Rowers are looking to provide some balance to ensure there is more representation for other communities. In a recent post, the Warwick Rowers Project took to social media to share more about why their movement is so important…
“Society does not deal equally with the needs of heterosexual men, women, and LGBT communities. We are all human and we all deserve the same rights. However, we still live in a world that is largely about heterosexual male desire. The Warwick Rowers Project is about heterosexual men celebrating the rights of women, queer people, and anyone else who wants to look. And if they look, the boys have a message: You see a friend. ”
With this project, the Warwick Rowers Project have been challenging gender bias in the sexualization of women versus men while helping to promote a more well-rounded, sex positive environment that doesn’t break anybody down. The funds from their calendar sales go toward different charities which support organizations that “challenge homophobia in sport, challenge gender imbalance in sport, promote sport as a more inclusive opportunity for personal development and university sports participation.“ Including Sport Allies and other organizations.
For their 10th Anniversary, the Warwick Rowers Project released a new calendar, a coffee table book, numerous “behind the scenes” videos of their photo shoots and other fun things! Find out more information and shop at www.warwickrowers.org
By Dirk Smith