As we've covered many times in the past, there are only three reasons for physical calendars to exist in 2015: to raise money for charity, to objectify beefcake, or to provide an excuse to put up really, really cute animal pictures in your office. But a soon-to-be NYU School of Law graduate has decided to really mess with the formula by creating a calendar devoted to neither beefcake nor cute animals, but rather feminist men.
Marcella Kocolatos, 24, has launched a Kickstarter to bring 12 "feminist-identified men" into your home in the form of a tool to recall the last time you went to the dentist. Here's her description of the project:
A 12-month calendar for 2016, each month profiling one fabulous, feminist-identified man. A short biography and personal statement on why he is a feminist will accompany each man's photo.
This is a group of men who know that a woman is more than an image, and it is important to me that they have control in their images as well. They will therefore be dressed and posed how they feel most comfortable. In other words, this project is emphatically not about reversing the male gaze, so to speak. With the photos I seek to emulate what Humans of New York has achieved in offering space for the subject's own words, allowing the subject, rather than the photographer or viewer, to explain his own identity and participation in the project.
The calendar will also denote important days in women's history.
Kocolatos, who is focusing on women's reproductive rights in her studies, says that all future proceeds from the calendar—after they secure the $1,800 Kickstarter goal—will go to a reproductive justice organization. And hey, anything with money going toward good charities is, at the end of the day, better than nothing. But the figure of the "male feminist" has been batted around in far more negative contexts than positive ones as of late.
Kat Stoeffel wrote an excellent article for The Cut last year covering why the term, and people who self-identify as such, are less trustworthy than one would hope. "There’s something suspicious about anyone eager to identify with the oppressed," she wrote. "Many men seem to reach for the 'feminist' label first to shore up their sensitive-dude bona fides and, second, to get a little female validation."
coming soon, the first issue of Male Feminist magazine, for progressive passionate guys like you and me pic.twitter.com/FXrvS0uIeX
— blocked plonker (@shrekpissslave) October 3, 2014
For what it's worth, Kocolatos doesn't see the term—or the men in question—that way. She told Metro that she was inspired both by men in her life (her classmates, many of whom will be the male feminist models) and random dudes about town:
It’s a long time passion of mine, and I was in my local cafe a month or two ago and I was eavesdropping on this conversation between two men and they were talking about feminism and I just thought ‘the world needs to know there are men like you.’ And I thought a calendar would be a good way to show that not only are there male feminists but part of being a good man is being a feminist.
Since there will be no objectifying of these feminist men, you'll have to get your rocks off with those sexy taxi drivers.