Caitlin Stasey, Herself
Caitlin Stasey is an Australian actress that got our attention with her new project Herself
. She’s a feminist. So is Herself; a website she describes as a ‘gesture to women for women by women.’ It’s a platform for women to exist and speak honestly. Featuring nude shots and interviews candid enough to make plenty of people blush, it breaks rules. Not for the sake of it, but because the rules are often senseless. She isn’t an agreeable person per se. In fact, she comes across as condescending at times. But, whilst she’s unapologetic about her views (and so she should, really), she doesn’t see her opinion as the absolute truth. She truly does give a platform for women to speak their mind, even if their truths are different from hers. She’s also vocal about the importance of empowering other women. Supporting them without agreeing with them is a part of that. She’s honest about her own shortcomings, and she owns her words.
It’s all very non-judgemental. The interviews on the website discuss puberty, masturbation, sexual awakenings, marriage and polyamory. Some started pleasuring themselves as children, others didn’t figure it out until their teens. For one person casual sex might be the most empowering experience while the other doesn’t agree. Some dream of spending their life with a soulmate, others find it unimaginable finding a partner in one person. Whether Stasey is agreeable or not isn’t important, because Herself isn’t about just her. It’s not even about a collective. Herself is a platform for individual women. We don't all belong to this one big sisterhood, even if we do all aim to liberate one another. And really, above all it’s about ownership. It’s about owning our bodies as well as our views, and not having to apologise for who we are or for not fitting into this box or that. The talk of women reclaiming their bodies and setting themselves free of the male gaze is a tricky one. The male gaze will follow us everywhere, but all the same, we own our bodies. It can be a difficult decision, but nonetheless it is our choice how much and if at all we let that dictate our ways. As it is, maybe we don’t need Herself to reclaim our bodies, but we do need it to remind they were never anyone else’s to begin with.