Encoding the Maternal: Female benevolence in naked charity calendars
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AbstractThis paper explores if the contemporary visual phenomenon of nude fund-raising calendars (naked charity), reinforces historical ideals that benevolence is typically domestic and asexually maternal. It examines if naked charity resonates a conventional style of femininity in which a woman is located as culture's natural, maternal helpmeet. Is there an interrelationship between encoded maternal caring qualities ascribed to women in the history of art, and popular naked charity? A woman's presupposed nurturing qualities in this paradigm are culturally imagined to facilitate an unproblematic transition from the home, to the secular, via charitable acts.