Concerned that the popular Women of KU calendar emphasizes too much body and not enough brain, a Kansas University group is planning a calendar of its own.
The Emily Taylor Women's Resource Center plans a January launch of its own yet-to-be-named calendar, which center director Kathy Rose-Mockry said would highlight women's accomplishments in the classroom instead of looks.
"It's tempting to portray women by their physical appearance," Rose-Mockry said. "I think it's really important to show women in a different light. We can look at them in terms of their accomplishments, not their physical appearance."
The concept won't be the only difference between Rose-Mockry's production and the Women of KU calendar, which features scantily clad KU students.
The new calendar will have a one-page poster format, as opposed to the monthly format of the Women of KU. Instead of featuring a woman for each month, the poster version will feature several women all at once, at the top of the calendar and along its sides.
The center still has not selected women to be featured in the calendar, but is accepting nominations until Oct. 1.
"An example might be that we have one of the highest numbers of women faculty in our chemistry department here on campus," Rose-Mockry said. "We might be able to portray those women on the calendar. I think we've made progress in showing women in more positive ways than we've done in the past, but we have a long way to go."
Rose-Mockry said about half of the $5,000 production cost had been raised. The calendars will be distributed free at various campus locations in January with the hope it will become an annual tradition.
"This is hopefully the inaugural year," she said. "We will do this many, many times in the future. We'll have the opportunity to include people who can't be included this year due to lack of space."
While the concept for her calendar was loosely based on the Women of KU calendar, Rose-Mockry said she wanted her calendar to be viewed as an alternative, not a competitor.
"This is in no way meant to be competitive," Rose-Mockry said. "It's meant to be an alternative portrayal of women, looking at women in a different light, so to speak."
Rob Curley, general manager of World Online and editor of the Women of KU calendar, said he was worried about the message the alternative calendar would send to the women who posed for his company's calendar.
"I was concerned about what some of the models may think because these women are the who's who of campus," Curley said. "Over 175 girls applied to be in the (Women of KU) calendar. We have a really stringent GPA requirement to get in. You have to have a certain amount of charity hours. It is really hard to get into the Women of KU calendar."
The 2004 edition of the Women of KU calendar features former high school valedictorians, the current Miss Kansas and Miss Teen United States, a manager of the KU men's basketball team, and a popular morning show disc jockey for a local radio station, Curley said. It includes students from a variety of academic disciplines, including majors in business, economics, psychology, art, pre-med, education, theater and film, and others.
He said he didn't want his calendar to be seen as the "pretty" calendar, and Rose-Mockry's calendar to be seen as the "smart" one.
"We didn't necessarily pick the most beautiful women to be in the Women of KU," Curley said. "We picked the ones who were the total package of smart, funny, great GPA and also look attractive. It's not just a pretty girl calendar."
Curley said that the models in the 2004 calendar have an average GPA close to 3.8 and have done fund-raisers for Lawrence-area charities.
The Women of KU calendar is owned by The World Company, which also owns the Journal-World, World Online and 6News.