However critics have slammed the university’s student newspaper for portraying women as “sex objects” after encouraging female students to pose in just their underwear across campus.
Critics have accused them of harming the feminist cause and the university’s reputation, according to news reports.
The pictures have been sent to an independent student website.
However the ‘smart ladies’ have used pseudonyms and have hidden their faces from the camera to protect their identities.
Each female gives a brief tongue-in-cheek biography with her photograph.
While other students are using the university library to revise for their impending exams, one of the students, Meredith, stripped down to her underwear to be pictured on tiptoe taking a book from a shelf.
The Wolfson College undergraduate jokingly said that she ‘lures unsuspecting students’ into the labyrinth of shelves where they are relieved of their wallets by ‘heavies’.
”The trick to looking good in knickers is to wear high heels,” said Bella, who poses in frilly knickers and nude stilettos with her long dark hair tumbling down over a tight-fitting jumper
Leila sports see-through white pants with beige trim, whereas Lynette is seen in her digs wearing a ‘dark-elf dominatrix’ outfit of black leggings with a festive rosette.
Elizabeth, from Homerton College, whose alumni include actress Cherie Lunghi, claims that her ‘first sexual thoughts were of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’.
The competition entrants were found through ‘word of mouth’ at the university and the photos sent in through anonymous email accounts.
“As members of the Cambridge community, we have a responsibility to speak out against the portrayal of women as sex objects,
given that extensive research by bodies such as the UN and the End Violence Against Women coalition has repeatedly identified links between these portrayals and attitudes that underpin violence and discrimination,” said student women’s officer Ruth Graham.
“We can’t stop what they’re doing but it would be fair to say we don’t approve of it. It is not the kind of image we would want to project,” a university source added.
Meanwhile the male students were generous in their praise.
“High-definition pics from multiple angles would’ve provided a better comparison,” read one of the comments.
Another, referring to the website’s rear of the year competition for men which was launched in April, read, ‘The boys’ bums were naked – this isn’t fair!’
‘It’s given me a bit of a confidence boost. I don’t think it’s got anything to do with feminism really. I certainly wasn’t trying to make a point, nor do I think I’m being objectified by men,’ joining the debate ‘Leila’ commented.
Editor Joe Bates, 20, who is studying music at Gonville and Caius, defended the contest by calling it as a ‘bit of fun’ and claimed the men’s rear of the year competition destroyed accusations of ‘anti-feminism’.
Students have been voting for their favourite male and female bottoms and the results will be let out today.
However the Cambridge spokesperson refused to comment over the matter.