To raise money for the victims of the bushfire crisis, Kaylen Ward has been sending nude photographs of herself to anyone who donates more than $10 to her chosen charity. By her own estimation, she has raised more than $700,000. She calls herself the Naked Philanthropist, since “not all heroes wear capes”.

The bushfire crisis is a personal cause for Ward since she was previously affected by the 2018 Carr and Camp fires in northern California where she resides. Thus, she is personally motivated to raise as much money as possible. Unfortunately for her cause, her Instagram account has been deleted.

Other sex workers have also been following her lead to offer naked photographs in exchange for donations to Austrlia’s bushfire relief funds. Since there is already a fan base for their nude photographs, the perception was that this was an easy way to raise donation funds.

Read the full article on The Guardian: Instagram model raises $700,000 for Australia fires with nude photos before account deleted

Analysis:

Ward comments that “people are always going to have their opinions especially if you’re in this line of work” and that “if you’re doing it for a good cause and you know deep down you’re a good person, never let anybody get to you or make you feel that you’re less-than.”

What is it about sex work that, in Ward’s words, gives people so much cause for concern? While it cannot be denied that Ward and other sex workers who have followed her lead have raised significant amount of money, has this come at the cost of making these women vulnerable and exposed? Ward has received extensive scrutiny over her actions on social media as a result of her offering naked photographs for donations.

Your sensitivities about pornography may differ. However, if you do take that pornography is either degrading or dangerous for the women involved, then can it ever be legitimate that the nudes are being sold for a good cause? Essentially, what is the moral value of doing the right thing with the wrong means?

Questions for further personal evaluation: 

  1. Do you agree with Ward’s decision to sell her nude photographs to raise money for the bushfire crisis? Why or why not?
  2. Can you think of other ways to raise money and awareness about the Australian bushfire crisis?


Useful vocabulary: 

  1. ‘philanthropist’: a person who seeks to promote the welfare of others, especially by the generous donation of money to good causes
  2. ‘tally’: calculate the total number of

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