It seems like a fairly simply idea, though not a particularly original one. Late-middle age and senior women in their birthday suite (tastefully done, of course) posing for a calendar. (Hmm…wasn’t there a movie about this same thing? No…wait…don’t tell me…it’s right on the tip of my tongue….)
While I can understand that this is, after all, California, where PC is king, it’s difficult to understand what all of the fuss is about. It’s not as if anyone is showing Russ Meyer movies to children at the local drive-in….
Carmel — A dozen women who posed in the buff to raise money for Carmel-by-the-Sea’s fire station thought their efforts would be welcomed, with a chuckle, by this cash-strapped city.
But much to their surprise, the more than $40,000 raised by the Carmel Fire Belles’ fund-raising calendar has been sharply rejected by city officials who say that the cash is too hot to handle. They say accepting it could offend sensibilities and expose the city to costly sexual harassment lawsuits.
“I feel belittled and insulted by the people responsible for bringing down a good cause and good people,” calendar girl Paula Weber, 85, told city officials at a public hearing. The most senior of the calendar models, Weber is pictured hiding coyly behind a pair of firefighters’ coveralls.
“You can’t collect money for one thing and give it to another,” said fellow calendar girl Patty Ross. “We are in a corner here.”….
The calendar girls — ranging in age from 51 to 84 at the time the pictures were taken — say they’ve been treated like the girls from a frontier brothel trying to donate brownies to a church bake sale.
Critics of the city’s stance point out the scores of nude sculptures and artwork displayed in gallery windows throughout Carmel — and wonder why the Fire Belles’ heavily edited photos have inspired such civic angst.
City officials say they are not prudes but must be vigilant about exposing the city to lawsuits charging them with sexual harassment, gender discrimination and maintaining a hostile workplace environment.
I’d like to know how a calendar of this nature is going to foster the creation and maintenance of a hostile work environment. On top of that, no one has managed to demonstrate how accepting the Fire Belles’ money is going to translate to the calendar being posted in City-owned buildings.
The money was raised by the Fire Belles with the sole purpose of supporting a new fire station in Carmel. Period. The City can issue whatever disclaimer it chooses to, but no reasonable person can tie the Fire Belles’ $40k to sexual harrassment or the creation and maintenance of a hostile work environment. Methinks that in the end, this tempest will be recognized for what it is- much ado about nothing. Something is definitely rotten in Denmark when narrow-minded, moralistic trolls can derail a heartfelt fundraising effort such as this. Truly, this may just rise to the level of being worthy of a DUMB@$$ AWARD.