By Joe Roberts
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Videographer / Director: Adam Gray
Producer: Hannah Stevens, Ed Baranski, Ruby Coote
Editor: James Thorne
Vanessa Lussier, from North Carolina, leads a group of mens’ rights activists called the ‘Lovely Ladies For Men’s Issues’.
And for 2018, the group has big ambitions to empower men by posing in skimpy outfits for the ‘Lovely Ladies for Men’s Issues 2018’ calendar.
Vanessa, aged 22, told Barcroft Media: “It’s kind of unheard of that women support men’s issues. While historically men have had more authority in the society, no society is perfect.
“And now that women have basically all their rights, and you see how men are, for example, way more likely to be sentenced for a crime and much more harshly, you have to think men have issues too. So why can’t we talk about that?
So Vanessa, along with fellow activists Reading Wren and Becky Quinton, came up with the idea to spread awareness of their cause with the Lovely Ladies for Men’s Issues calendar 2018.
Vanessa and Reading will feature in the calendar, alongside other supporters of the movement, with facts about specific mens’ rights issues for each month.
A portion of the profits from the project will be put towards funding a charity that, according to the girls, “trains veterans in high-demand careers.”
Lovely Ladies co-founder, Reading, aged 29, added: “I think the sexy calendar format is a more playful way of getting people to notice some of the issues that are going on.
“To me the most important issue really is paternal rights and what happens to men in family court.
"I’m married, I have kids, and I want my kids to grow up in the world that, if a relationship breaks down, they won’t get screwed over just because their mother’s rights come first.”
The Lovely Ladies are on a mission to raise awareness of such issues as male circumcision, which they say is akin to female genital mutilation, and paternal rights.
A crowdfunding campaign set up by the group managed to raise $2,552 to fund the calendar, which equates to an impressive 449% of the original target.
The Indiegogo page states that the calendar represents the women “who are dedicated to addressing the inequalities faced by men that are largely ignored in society today.”
Vanessa, who is fully aware that her efforts are likely to stoke the ire of the modern women’s movement, says she is a “non-feminist” rather than is an “anti-feminist” because she “doesn’t want to silence anybody.”
She explained: “To me, feminism is a good idea that got taken advantage of by bad people.
“I believe the biggest disruptors to men’s rights are anybody who pushes myths and stereotypes of men, such as ‘toxic masculinity’.”
The activist and YouTuber has been championing mens’ rights since high school, where she says she witnessed friends become entrenched feminists, eventually becoming hostile towards men.
It was this that prompted her to investigate feminism more deeply, leading her to read about mens’ rights issues and beginning her affiliation with the movement.
Vanessa, who also goes by her YouTube monicker ‘Modern Medusa’, continued: “When I realised that feminists were actually pushing views that harmed men, it made me get involved to kind of even the playing field.”
Her journey would lead her to establishing the Lovely Ladies for Men’s Rights group, along with Reading and a man known online as ‘mad_cat’.
“Everyday you see positive reinforcement for women’s sexuality,” she added. “You can wear whatever you want and that’s perfectly fine.
“But with men it’s kind of a different story, because they are not as free to express their sexuality as women might be. We are all about telling men it’s okay to have sexual attraction.”
Alongside the Lovely Ladies group, both Reading and Vanessa have set up various personal social media pages, including YouTube channels which include such videos as Vanessa’s “SJW encounters #1 - My First Feminazi”.
Joined by friend and supporter Becky, Vanessa and Reading recently held a photoshoot for the upcoming calendar on Kure Beach in North Carolina, posing together in swimwear and spreading their message of equality.
Becky, aged 25, said: “It definitely opens people’s eyes, you know. They will see the calendar and they will see the pretty ladies and be like um, ‘Ooh. What? I am very interested in that. I want to see what’s going on.’”
The calendar has certainly proven popular on its crowdfunding page, but whether it will succeed in recruiting more women to the mens’ rights cause remains to be seen.
But Vanessa remains optimistic, adding: “I personally believe that if we just help one man out there then that’s absolutely worth it.
“And if we did somehow cause some sort of problems with the campaign, we would just continue to promote positive sexuality.”