Sexiness & blogging – a lose-lose situation?

Months ago I was approached by JT Eberhard who asked me if I wanted to pose for their 2011 Skepticon pin-up calendar. It’s one of the fun fundraising techniques they have to keep Skepticon free. I would be posing alongside other outspoken atheists like Greta Christina, Rebecca Watson, and PZ Myers.

JT stressed I could pose however I wanted, however clothed I wanted – something sexy and fun doesn’t require nudity. I joked that I would do it if I could be Miss December 2012 because of the destructive nature of my boobs. I even used it as my April Fool’s Day joke this year.

But joking aside, it’s been festering in my brain for a while. Sex Positive Jen and Frustrated Blogger Jen have had the following debate on the issue:

SPJ: You should so do it! It’ll be fun.
FBJ: You know you’re just asking for trouble.
SPJ: But there’s nothing wrong with a pin-up calendar! I’d be embracing my sexuality. And it’s not objectifying women or anything – they have men too, and most of the poses are funny or smart.
FBJ: You understand that. But just think how others will react. Some feminists will use this as evidence that You’re Doing It Wrong.
SPJ: I’ve learned not every feminist is going to agree with me.
FBJ: But worse, this will just perpetuate the misconception that you’re only liked for your looks.
SPJ: Dude, I’ve always been the nerdy awkward girl. The idea of people only liking me for my looks is somewhat absurd. If anything, this is the first time I will get to embrace my looks! For once I can feel sexy.
FBJ: Your ridiculous self-esteem aside, people do know you as “the boobquake girl.” You’ll perpetuate that and have to deal with it. Do you really want more people asking you to sign your calendar than your book?
SPJ: Do I want to cover up just because of what others may say? That’s wrong!
FBJ: Hmm…
SPJ: Hmm indeed.

So, I don’t know what I’m going to do. But an interesting point? I don’t think PZ had this thought process before he agreed. Ah, double standards and the joys of being a young female blogger.


  1. says

    Maybe you could do the calendar, but then an interview with Suicide Girls, just so you’ve got the other side (un)covered…. ?

  2. Matt says

    Every time I see a post or blog about this sort of thing I always want to immediately make a comment, -but then I remember I have a penis. I hope you come come to a decision. I, for one, could not and will not judge you in either case. Good luck!

  3. says

    Look, it’d be one thing if you gave up blogging or intellectualism and went on a course of base sexuality; then you’d have a reason to doubt.but from what you’ve said about the calendar it’s just a fun, half-snarky way to promote atheism and liberation.some people will always know you as the “boobquake” girl; there’s no getting around that. but by expanding your “brand” and getting your name out there more, it gives everyone a chance to find out more about you and your brains, not just your’re probably just over-thinking this one. i vote you do it, and have a lot of fun with it.

  4. says

    This is something I have struggled with myself, as a young, queer female blogger with a disability. People with my disability are often desexualized, or it is presumed that the disability affects children exclusively. If there are depictions of adults with my disability in the media, they’re usually nonsexual or disinterested in relationships. Oh, and they’re almost always men. I’d like to change that, and I often talk about my sexuality and my relationship with my girlfriend on my blog and sex, and the importance of sex education for disabled children, but if I were ever approached to do say, a “Sexy on the Spectrum” calendar, I can picture myself having the exact same self-argument. I want to be fun and spread the message, but I don’t want to deal with the messy fallout of criticism, and I don’t want to fuel any double entendres involving the words “Asperger” and “ass”.

  5. says

    If you don’t want to do it, then don’t – but it sounds to me like you do.There’s no need to de-sexualize yourself out of concern for the pettiness, criticism or misunderstandings it will generate in others.That’s what religion does.We could do with less of it.

  6. says

    Seattle’s own Miss Indigo Blue’s Academy of Burlesque has classes on this, I’m sure. They help you put it together. My friend Jolie, for example, after conferral created a media burlesque look in which she wore a sandwich board (front and back) and slowly tore off Vogue covers. While wearing net stockings of course.

  7. says

    I guess it depends on how strongly and how often SPJ wants to argue with the world about sexuality. Posing in the calendar will make it more of an issue, but if you want to be on the front lines of the sexuality debate, that’s one way to do it.Either way, I’ll always be a fan of your blog. :)

  8. Tony says

    “But just think how others will react. Some feminists will use this as evidence that You’re Doing It Wrong.”Fuck. Those. People. The opinions of people who are wrong should never been considered when making a decision.

  9. Buhr Jeff says

    I recognize this is a much easier decision when you’re not the one making it but I did want to point out that from your internal monologue up there it looks like the reason you wouldn’t do the calendar is because of team “I only listen to women because it gives me a chance to stare at their chests” and (their often rival) team “any display of female sexuality is a betrayal of the sisterhood”.While I’m sure both are frustrating groups of people to deal with – and I, along with the vast majority of people, will understand and respect your decision either way – I find the world always seems a little sadder when either of those two teams gets their way.

  10. Caliguy7281 says

    I wish I knew how to convey that no matter your choice I’ll still respect your mind. But I’m bad with words, so yeah.

  11. says

    People really overthink this sort of thing way too much, and you seem to be one of them. Now, I may be a penis-holder and therefore not perfectly suited to sound off on such issues (or so I’ve been told, anyway), but …In the end, in simplified terms: Screw what anyone else thinks, from other feminists to random people on the street. Screw what it “means” or “does” to the feminist movement. (Not your words, I know, but you know what I mean.) Screw any silly, inane and overall unimportant ramifications, including what people who don’t know you or your writings and intelligence will think of you.Way I see it, the only questions you should be asking yourself are these:• Is it actually a degrading act?• Would you enjoy it?• Would anyone actually be hurt as a result of it?• If you let yourself be prohibited from doing something you’d enjoy out of fears that other people won’t like you for it, is that really the sort of message of independence and freedom of choice you wanna be sending?If your answers are “no”, “yes”, “no” and “of course not”, then you should do it. End of story. And frankly, anything anyone else may say to the contrary is just trivial nonsense.Never let yourself be stopped from doing something you love, especially if it’s harmless, just because of public opinion. Seems to be that’s the point at stake, here. Do whatever the heck you wanna do, and to hell with anyone who thinks you shouldn’t because it would tickle their preconceptions.

  12. Azkyroth says

    It’s worse than that. When we aren’t being desexualized, we (or the males, I guess; the females continue to be Disintegrated by Premise) are most often seen being scapegoated for the obnoxious sex-related Entitlement Behavior of a substantial subset of males in, specifically, “geek” culture. >.>

  13. Rex says

    I was going to encourage you to go with your first response to the proposition and “just do it”. I was also going to remind you how much you thought your fashion modeling gig rocked.After reading your post here though, I am not so sure. Before it is over, you are going to have an untold number of these calendars in your face for signatures and who knows what else for a long time. Perception of others aside, I think that the prospect of having, even an image of you that you love, constantly reflected back at you would become tiring in fairly short order.I think that I am going to take it a step further than Tony. Do it if you want, don’t do it if you don’t want, but decide for your own reasons. There will be people who agree or disagree no matter what you do, so make the decision that makes you proud when you look in the mirror; the rest is just noise.

  14. Azkyroth says

    Yeah, really. I mean, some people will insist You’re Doing It Wrong by prioritizing intellectual honesty over mean-spirited self-gratification. In fact, there’s substantial overlap, from what I’ve seen….

  15. says

    I’d like to say “Screw those other people – you do that calendar if you want to and in that little black dress you just bought,” but then I remember I’m a guy and if I say it somebody out there will misconstrue it as “Yeah, he’s just a guy who wants to see you naked”. And I admit that I uncharitably thought that about similar comments already posted here by some male-looking nyms.However, having just watched Julia Galef’s video blog post on rationalizations at… I would like to offer this thought: are you thinking this through rationally or are you merely making rationalizations one way or the other?

  16. Azkyroth says

    Jen, you could do one where you’re pulling up your shirt to reveal that you’re covered by a CT scan of your brain activity…That seems like it has the same problems as Gordon Parks’ rendition of American Gothic, though. (Wait, *everyone* probably didn’t read that story in high school… x.x)

  17. says

    Tell you what – why not pose in such a way that your boobs are emphatically de-emphasised? Cover them completely so they’re totally desexualised and make a statement about being known for more than just your boobs.Seems to me that could appease both SPJ and FBJ.

  18. says

    Kewel.I’m stealing a whole bunch of that in the future.It’ll fit in well with my sermon on ‘What should we submit to in others – pettiness or openness?’

  19. Bob Smith says

    Interesting question. Female/male does make a difference, unfortunately. For that reason, I suggest you refrain from total nudity. If you ever have kids/teach kids/run for public office, you know this pic is going to come out. It looks like this Internet thing isn’t a fad, after all. (Running for office, the atheism is more likely to be a bigger drawback. Damn! Maybe we can change that.) But if you can find some underwear/bikini/costume that makes you look like how you want to present yourself, I say go for it. It’s for a good cause that you believe in, and besides, knowing that I’ll be seeing you in your underwear makes it much more likely that I’ll buy the calendar.Full disclosure; twenty years or so ago, I made porn. The kind of porn that guarantees that I would never be considered “electable”, so before I agreed to the first shoot, I spent a week thinking long and hard about what circumstances would compel me to seek public office. This was before the Internet, but people who buy porn tend to be pack-rats, I’m sure there are still dog-eared magazines in someone’s stash, and old VCRs. Besides, I understand I was recently re-edited for DVD. To this day, when I volunteer for a political campaign, I never appear, even in B-roll, with the candidate, I don’t go to victory parties if the candidate is going to be there, and I’m the country’s best volunteer, because I can do almost any job in a campaign, but I can never be paid.So if you decide to do this, when your at your shoot, only appear in street clothes and your costume, change in private. Watch what poses you use, yours or those suggested to you, think of how you’d feel if “that shot” appeared on a campaign poster, or your ten-year old’s classmate found it on whatever we’ll be using for the Internet by then. I said up top that male/female does make a difference, I’ve changed my mind. I’d give the same advice to a boy who was considering putting his ass out there.

  20. says

    Fun compromise: Dress yourself up in full modest Victorian garb, but…gasp!…be pulling up the dress to reveal your ankle. In a very silly quasi-seductive pose. I think that would make a fabulous statement about the double-standard you mentioned.Or maybe I’m just talking nonsense.

  21. says

    Personally, I try to live by the Agnes Macphail quote: “Never apologize. Never explain. Just get the thing done, and let them howl.”I say go for it! But then, like Matt, I also have a penis.

  22. schismtracer says

    “Some feminists” are like (or possibly just are) trolls: they’ll always be hovering around, they’re always implacably angry no matter what you do or don’t, they’ll always find a way to insert themselves where they aren’t wanted, and they don’t make decisions for you. Haters gonna hate, so do what you want.

  23. paisley says

    I guess I don’t really know if your debate is between doing the calender or not OR doing a really sexy calender shoot or a more modest one.I think you should do the calender, because you’ve become quite the figure in atheist blogging in this past year and it’d be cool to have you grace a page alongside some other really awesome [feminist] atheists. Now how you go about the shoot, I can totally understand the dilemma….good luck with that. You’re gorgeous but I also love your quirkiness. Maybe try to put them together? Like you could be topless with a censor over your boobs and a warning at the bottom of the page.

  24. says

    To my mind, the most important question is this: Do you trust the people who are putting together the calendar to create something that’s both sexy and properly respectful of the participants?If so, then I say go for it! Haters are gonna hate no matter what – and to be perfectly honest, when it comes to all the creepy weirdos and angry anti-sex crusaders out there, Boobquake has probably already given them all the excuse they need to be angry/creepy in your direction. For that reason alone, their opinions should be irrelevant. It’s more important that you take ownership of your image and do with it what pleases you. (Note: I’m not trying to push you in the direction of posing, or any direction in particular; I’m just saying that if you’re already leaning in that direction, I don’t think you should let the hypothetical negative reactions of other people dissuade you.)I have to echo several other commenters: If you do decide to participate, make sure it’s a photo of yourself that you’re entirely comfortable with, because you’ll probably be seeing it a lot. I have to admit I don’t really know how this process works – would you get editorial control over which picture they use, or do you give up that right by signing the release for the photo shoot?

  25. says

    does feminism automatically mean you can’t embrace your sexy side?? Seriously, that bothers me….as a woman I embrace all aspects of myself…including great cleavage and a nice set of legs.

  26. says

    No one seems to care about the calender outside of the sex-positive skeptic community, so I think the extent to which you’d be judged is pretty minimal

  27. says

    As one of your lurking women readers, I think you should pose for the calendar. Really, I think you should be spending more time on the nature of the pose and costuming (even if it’s just plain-clothes) instead of whether or not to do it. The intention of the calendar is not exploitation for the benefit of a few. You know who is putting the calendar together. You know it is for a good cause. You know it would be fun. Any of the detractors or nay-sayers who would criticise you for doing it will just criticise you for another reason anyway.

  28. Kris Preusker says

    I was going to suggest Jen have her cleavage looming over a Globe of the earth in a “Mwahahaha/Mad Scientist” type of pose, but I think this is even better.

  29. says

    Most feminists I know and/or read claim the most important aspect of feminism is choice. In this case, you get to choose whether or not to pose for the calendar that supports a cause you agree with. You are not being forced to pose, or being coerced in any way, so whatever you choose is a feminist choice. (at least in my opinion)But, as someone with a pretty small profile (my 15 minutes of fame were much smaller and forgotten much faster!), I don’t know exactly what its like to get all of the attention you get and I could certainly see how that could be enough to sway you from one position to another, just to not have to deal with it.As many other posters have said, I will support your decision no matter what it is. Do what you decide is best for you and fuck what everyone else thinks!!

  30. Ray says

    I was going to say go ahead and do it, but then your comment made me remember that I’m a lesbian, so I guess my input is salted as well.

  31. Tony says

    I honestly couldn’t give half a shit if Jen does the shoot or not… the only way I’m ever seeing the results is if she posts it here. My reaction is purely based upon my loathing for bringing the possible opinions of others into a personal decision that affects only one’self

  32. says

    You say right in your profile that you’re a perverted feminist! Dress like a dominatrix and if anyone objects whip them with your leather whip!

  33. says

    Jen, I’ve been reading you for a long time, and I think this:You are a female atheist blogger. Your popularity on this blog proves your intellect and wit. By making an action to cross over to “sexualize” yourself you are not de-grading (think about that word) yourself. You are actually furthering the notion that intelligent women can be sexy. This is important to our movement.On the flip side, if you were a woman (let’s say a pornstar) who had no reputation for being intelligent, and decided to write a paper on some highly intellectual issue, that would be the same thing. “Pornstar Jen” would be breaking down the walls that said you could be one or the other – intelligent or sexy.Dammit, be BOTH.

  34. says

    Caitlyn offers (unintentionally, I suppose) a great idea.You, on a strip-club stage while being completely and conservatively dressed. You could make the point that you’re sexy without showing any skin. (Which I think you are.)

  35. Azkyroth says

    The way I learned it years ago is three dots is trailing off; four is a *meaningful* pause.

  36. Mloren says

    FBJ seems to be only concerned with what other people might think. Your blog has a strong following who (judging from the posts here) aren’t going to think any less of you for doing this. I’m pretty sure the atheist community as a whole wont think any less of you. I say don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. Do what you want.

  37. jose says

    “FBJ: You understand that. But just think how others will react.”Others can go fuck themselves. They have nothing to do with this decision.

  38. Bob Smith says

    Ooohhhhh!!! Are there any pics of Marie Curie that you can recreate? Something in a lab? With maybe an ankle showing? Or a shot with her husband played by PZ? Okay, she wasn’t nearly as cute as you but maybe something like this, with a saucily turned up ankle.

  39. says

    Well, my question was specifically geared towards Jen and posing for the Skepticon calendar, to quash the silly notion that posing for a sexy (bi-genderal) calendar was in any way “degrading” towards women. But, of course, if anyone else wants to do something that actually can be considered “degrading” by a given standard, then they should do it anyway, if they still want to do it.Hell, plenty of top-grade bloggers spend their time writing about very private issues and even their sex lives, something that many would be quick to condemn as being too showy or immodest. And yet, that shouldn’t be used as an argument to make them stop, now should it?Frankly, in my view, any accusations of something being “degrading” tend to be bunk on account that what’s “degrading” or not is an entirely subjective matter that depends on whoever you ask.… Bit of a long-ass answer to your simple question, but eh.

  40. Bob Smith says

    Just using Mme. Curie as an example, she’s always been a hero of mine. But there have been a lot of female scientists/researchers who could show a little skin. I’ve loved three of them, one of whom is on the path to a major prize. (It won’t be awarded for another ten years or so, for work she did ten years ago. What a weird system science has evolved…)

  41. Joe says

    As much as I’d love to see the pictures, you’d maintain more of your journalistic/blogging cred if you didn’t.

  42. Kylenki says

    Full disclosure: I have a penis.That being said, I think the calendar idea is for a good cause, and everyone who is bright enough to understand the nature of the people involved isn’t going to lessen their opinions of anyone in the calendar. The only people who are going to care are the ones too myopic to see beyond their own self-image issues.So, do as thou wilt. I, for one, will not discard the feminist movement just because a calendar has some fellow naked apes in it(I’m looking at your ring finger PZ! Hubba hubba hubba).

  43. says

    You have said yourself, I believe, that the main tenet of feminism is CHOICE. If it were me (which is wouldn’t be, as not only do I not have the readership to garner demand for my participation in such a calendar, but I am also have figure of a 30 yr old woman who’s carried two children) I’d be on an opportunity like white on rice, yo. ALL. OVER. IT.I agree with Jose above me. Others can go fuck themselves. You sound like you want to do it. I think if you didn’t, you’d have said no already.

  44. says

    nah, his cred was completely demolished back when he showed his NIPPLE! it was just as bad as Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction”, I tell ya.or, of course, not.

  45. Vanessa says

    “you’re probably just over-thinking this one.”THIS. C’mon, you know you do that, Jen. XP

  46. Claire says

    Something to consider: will you regret it if you don’t pose for the calendar? Will it be something you look back on and say, “I wish I’d done that” or will you not really care?

  47. Quester says

    All right, so I’m looking over your inner dialogue, and this is what I’m hearing:To Pose; Pros:- It’ll be fun.- You’d be embracing your sexuality.- This is the first time you will get to embrace your looks.To Pose; Cons:- Some people will use this as an excuse to give you trouble.- Some feminists will criticize you.- This will perpetuate the misconception that you are only valued for your looks.- You may become known only as “the boobquake girl” instead of known for what you write.Not to Pose; Pros:- You avoid encouraging more of the criticism/misconceptions you are already receiving.Not to Pose; Cons:- It is wrong to cover up because of what others might say.Is this a fair rephrasing?

  48. says

    If I were in Jen’s spot, I wouldn’t do it. Because no matter how many times you repeat that other people should go fuck themselves and their opinions don’t matter, it’s not actually true. Especially for women in science.Aside from being a skeptic, Jen is also going to be working as a scientist. And as a woman, that’s already going to be a struggle against not being taken seriously and being overlooked.So, if I were in Jen’s position, I wouldn’t necessarily want to make that even more difficult for myself by posing in a nude calendar, whether actually nude or not.But then, Jen’s a lot braver than I am, and she’d probably handle whatever backlash she might get for this in the future a lot better than I ever would.

  49. Angela says

    “bringing the possible opinions of others into a personal decision that affects only one’self “The problem here is that the personal opinions of others can have a HUGE impact on oneself after the fact. As a 23 yr old female grade student myself, there’s no way in hell I’d do a sexy photo shoot like that- I have a hard enough time being taken seriously now because of my looks, why would I want to make the matter worse? There’s an annoying cultural idea that pretty women aren’t smart/competent, and that goes double for pretty women who acknowledge that they’re pretty. Furthermore, women who “advertise” their sexuality are often considered fair game for sexual harassment/assault (see every “she was asking for it” argument ever), and thus to pose for a pin-up calendar is to invite an army of trolls, both online and in real life. Waaaay more headache than I want to deal with for a moment of feeling sexy in a picture.

  50. says

    This is easy. If it is something you’ve always secretly wanted to do, say yes.If it is something that you’ve always secretly dreaded being asked to do, say no.Either way, write a blog post about it. Regarding the sex-positive v. classical feminist questions and potentials of this sort of thing? Can’t win, can’t lose. Given boob quake, everybody who was planning to judge you has already done that, those who are not inclined to be judgmental (whether they would agree or disagree with your decision for themselves) will (or should) respect you, not give you a hard time, and try to keep perspective; This is not about calendars, or boobs. It is about enhancing the level of truth, rational thinking, policy-honesty and the value of science. Try to get the photographer to include a seismograph in the image, though, OK?

  51. Lynet says

    There’s no doubt in my mind that showing the world that you can be both smart and sexy *is* a feminist act. It can make sense to point out that people sometimes use sexuality as a way to degrade women, but that only works because sexuality is perceived as being degrading to women in general. Ultimately, the best way to fight that is to create female sexualities that aren’t degrading, so as to disprove the link. Once you start saying that all displays of sexuality degrade women, you’ve conceded the fight and might as well go home.So — as your dialogue would suggest — this isn’t about whether posing for the calendar would really mean that you don’t deserve to be treated as a whole person who happens to have a perfectly acceptable sexy side. This is about whether you want to take the flak.I can’t blame you for wanting to avoid the trolling. I can’t blame you for not wanting to hear, over and over again, that being sexual makes you less of a person. You don’t have to fight every fight; you’ve already done great work for feminism. It’s up to you whether this is a fight you want to have.But I want you to know that lots of us have your back.

  52. Unclexbob says

    When did feminists start displacing religious conservatives in guilt tripping women who dare express sexuality?How Orwellian.

  53. says

    Do it, Jen! Sex-positive Jen is obviously the better Jen. Show people that there’s nothing wrong with female sexuality, even as an image. You go, girl!And, yeah, I’m looking forward to seeing it. ;)

  54. says

    As someone who posed for the calendar last year (and again this year), I want to point out that the Skepticon crowd are a pretty respectful bunch. The people who asked me to sign were very nice and at no point did I regret putting my picture out there. I got a lot of “you look great!” and “I LOVE this picture!” and none of the so-called compliments that would’ve made me feel uncomfortable. And a lot of the guys were asked to sign their photos, too.

  55. littlething says

    I think that’s very subjective, depending very much on how you define “enjoy” and “degrading.” My dirty mind immediately jumps to various sex acts and fetishes– if a person enjoys being degraded sexually but is in a mutually respectful relationship then I would consider the degrading acts more as theatre and not actually degrading. If a person is actually in a relationship in which they are disrespected and degraded (sorry, I’m having a hard time thinking of examples outside of romantic relationships at the moment) do they actually enjoy it? Can they? I think it’s possible for a person to enjoy being degraded (human emotion is fucking complicated) but it’s late and I’m having a hard time putting that scenario in a realistic context. Can you clarify?Sorry, this is a bit of a derail– Jen, you should totally do it. But come up with something hella clever.

  56. Anna says

    Being friends with a group that is mostly male, all geeky, and includes a few with autism and Asperger’s, I see this a lot both directions. People will say “oh, they act like pigs because they are geeks/males/disabled.” And that’s not fair, because not all geeks or males or disabled act like pigs; a lot of them are really great people. But then some start turning the blame into an excuse. “I can’t help being a pig, I’m a geek/male/disabled.” And that’s not fair either, to themselves or the people around them.

  57. littlething says

    totally great idea.if you DID want to do something sexier though, I think you have options without showing skin. i think some of the sexiest pictures are those when you know the subject is naked but you can’t actually see any naughty bits. or I totally think you could pull off something dita von teese-esque.OR something androgynous? Dress up as PZ? okay I should really go to bed . . .

  58. SigmaStarState says

    I agree totally, but there is one more thing to consider: Is it something which could potentially affect your career in the future? Given that you are a scientist (as am I – and a female one, btw) it probably won’t be an issue. If you ever want to teach at a below-college level, or want to hold certain jobs which are subject to public scrutiny, then this becomes an important consideration however. Barring that (and assuming that you would in no way feel degraded or uncomfortable), I think you should go for it. Show the world that us nerdy, smart, feminist women can also be sexy and have a sense of humor!

  59. Anna says

    I think the danger is that people who already dislike Jen for her “un-feminist” ways (because, uh, women should never show desire or be desirable is feminist teaching now?) will use this as ammunition for criticizing her- not because they care about the calender, but because they care about being hateful.Similarly, people who dislike her because of her “look, women are being treated as sex objects” posts are going to use this as ammunition for their “you can’t complain because you did booquake/posted a perfectly normal picture/admitted to being a woman” arguments.The issue is these people are still going to exist and be jerks either way.

  60. SigmaStarState says

    I don’t have a penis. I am a woman, in science, and I think that’s one of the best quotes I have ever heard.

  61. says

    Do a range of pictures. If you have the time and the energy, use two axes: (x) from just one ankle showing to whatever you’re comfortable with, and (y) from aloof/disinterested to … whatever you’re comfortable with. Tack them on your wall according to their coordinates, and look at them for a while. Decide which part of the plane you like the best, and do a few more shots in that area.Or not.

  62. says

    I don’t know how much of a feminist I am, but I think you’ll be doing it right if you pose for the calendar (if you want to, of course).

  63. Jenny Draper says

    I don’t think any of Frustrated Jen’s arguments really hold water… if you think it’ll be fun, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do it.

  64. Svlad Cjelli says

    I use four dots specifically to avoid association with ellipsis. Or I used to, when I was younger and stricter, before I noticed that my plans are prone to falling apart due to outside influence.

  65. says

    Alternately, if you want to run with the Boobquake theme, go full modest, with the tinest bit of cleavage, and have the room look completely demolished behind you. But in the end, do what you’ll like. If folks don’t agree, they can go do their own pin-up calendars. :)

  66. says

    It’s times like these, I go with what Rick Nelson sang all those years ago.”You can’t please everyone, so you’ve got to please yourself”This has been my personal philosophy since I first heard the song in 1973.

  67. jose says

    Ah, great. Women should remain submissive because otherwise men won’t give them jobs.

  68. JM says

    If you don’t do it, year after year someone will have to ask why you’ve never been in the calendar.

  69. Kes says

    My BF has bugged me many times for sexynekkidpix. I always refuse, because those things are just too damn easy to spread around these days. I keep my sexuality for ME and those I CHOOSE to share it with. I don’t want him flashing it to the whole bar to prove how hot his girlfriend is. (While we are both Very Sex Positive, BF also has an exhibitionist streak that I lack.) Any picture like this, intended for mass consumption, is by its very nature, out of your control. If you are comfortable with your image being used by others in all sorts of ways, that’s fine. If you aren’t, don’t do it. It’s not a Sex Positive/Sex Negative issue; it is a privacy issue: how much of yourself do you feel comfortable sharing with the world?

  70. Amii says

    My suggestion is that you do the calendar and have lots of fun with it. Make it sexy, but with one caveat – de-emphasize the boobage. Sexy face or a gams for miles shot…how about your posing in a dress that reveals your back?As a sister in boobage, I understand your trepedition, but it is important be who you are, and you are a sex positive person.

  71. says

    Umm… You are missing THE ‘Pro’ to posing–You arent doing this ‘just for fun’. You arent doing this for a paycheck.The proceeds of sales of this calender go to decreasing the cost of attendance for women to the AMAZING meetings.You are an internet and skeptic celebrity. Your appearance in the calender will increase sales. Thus more women will be able to attend because of *you*.If *you want* to pose, and anyone tries to give you shit, your response is “What have you done to help women in skepticism? Id love to hear how I can help your cause too!”And then all you have to do is bask in the sound of crickets chirping.

  72. Amii says

    The way I learned it was three dots to trail off; four if you are starting a new sentence after trailing off an old one.

  73. says

    I say go for it. I’m always of the opinion that I, and others, should do what it is they want to do and whoever has a problem with it (provided you aren’t doing something illegal or dangerous to others) can just get the hell over it. It IS a double standard, like you mentioned. No guy has to wonder if he won’t be taken seriously if he does the shoot. Your readers here know who you are, and what you stand for, and we’re here for your writing and your opinions and takes on things. I certainly wouldn’t subscribe to somebody’s blog just because I saw their boobs.

  74. Stony says

    As an old career gal I will give you two more points to ponder. Once you pose, it’s done, it exists, and it may have a life of its own, outside your control. Will it adversely affect your future? (Will it beneficially affect your future?) And the second point is: enjoy it now. Once you’re at the point in your life/career when you realize you can do just about anything you please — well — damn few people ask you to.

  75. breadbox says

    Dude. Don’t offer your penis to women with salt on it. It doesn’t work, trust me.

  76. says

    Er…while that’s a fabulous idea, this isn’t associated with Surly Amy’s drive to get more women to The Amazing Meeting. This is to keep Skepticon free – well, which I guess theoretically also decreases the cost for women. Hrm.

  77. Anna says

    I guess the question is whether we, as Jen’s loyal readers, and the atheist blogging community at large are enough to counter the raving loons. That’s really up to Jen. I know that the support of people around me is usually enough to wash out the pain of other’s hate, but it might not be enough for Jen in this case.

  78. says

    I’m just one more raised hand(a straight geeky male one, at that) letting you know that I’m not going anywhere whether you pose … or not. Only you can make this choice, so I’ll respect it, and you, regardless of the choice you make.

  79. says

    :-/ Apparently ‘two’ calenders worth of sexah nekkid skeptics is enough to confuse me. LOL!But, you know what I mean– You arent just doing this for the lulz or $$– its a *cause*.

  80. the_Siliconopolitan says

    Whatever you end up doing, PeeZed should follow suit – be it birthday suit or Victorian dress.

  81. Tony says

    Realizing that not giving a fuck is, to some extent, a straight white male privilege… such people are not worthy of your time, attention, or consideration. Now, the possibility of a decision affecting your future career options is absolutely worthy of consideration. I did not get the impression, from the text of the original post, that this was something Jen was particularly worried about.

  82. says

    That’s a very interesting conversation between the two characters inside yourself. Maybe I should respond to it with a conversation between a rational man and a man that thinks with his penis. lol. hmmm…. I’ll play safe and let you imagine what the conversation will be like.

  83. Azkyroth says

    That’s an excessively uncharitable reading. Every woman shouldn’t be made to feel like it’s her responsibility to personally fly her career into the hull of the patriarchy.

  84. Azkyroth says

    Is “degrading” still used in a non-sexual context outside of legal language related to treaties on treatment of prisoners and civilians? I thought it had gone through the same milling process as the various derivatives of “to molest.”But yeah, that was more or less what I was getting at. I think that more or less answers it.

  85. Azkyroth says

    With a meaningful pause, the new sentence is clearly implied but not explicitly stated, sooo… ^.^

  86. says

    As you point out it has been several weeks and you a still not comfortable ( conflicted ) about the opportunity. It does not sound like you ( unequivocally ) want the experience as a person. Unless there is something you want to say artistically, humorously or as feminist or skeptic activist pass at this point.

  87. Georgia Sam says

    FWIW, I tend to agre more with SPJ than with FBJ, but then I’m male, so I may not be an impartial observer. But seriously, trying to be as impartial as I can, I think SPJ makes the stronger case, & I think the fact that men don’t have that conversation with themselves reinforces it. On the other hand, I would totally understand if you decided not to do the calendar.

  88. says

    no cupcake; women “should” nothing. I was just providing a realistic counterpoint to all those who were saying that Jen “should” totally do it because other people’s opinion doesn’t matter. because it does matter, and it’s for each woman to decide for herself how much of this bullshit she’s willing and able to take on. Because there’s so much misogyny out there that we all have to pick our battles. Only very few women have the strength and the privilege to be a warrior and make a point in every single aspect of her life.

  89. says

    indeed. not everybody can afford “kamikaze feminism”. If I were in Jen’s situation, I would defininitely not be able to afford it. But like I said, I’m not Jen, Jen’s not me, and she may well decide that she can handle it. But simplifying this issue into “just do it” is pretending like there aren’t any real costs connected to this.

Leave a Reply