Hollis and I were recently interviewed and photographed for Between Girls by the amazing Speciwomen team. Here are some highlights of the interview but make sure to check out the full interview on the Speciwomen site here.
What are your thoughts on how the media portrays women and their intimacy?
Hollis: Whether it’s through the news, television, or otherwise, we’re constantly being talked at or about as opposed to being able to speak for ourselves. Even the scope of the conversations we “should” be engaging in is limited. Profiles are a unique opportunity to express our thoughts, questions, and concerns about the ways the world interacts with and responds to our existence. They force you to listen to the voice of an actual person as opposed to what parts of them are determined pretty or palatable enough to show.
Grace: Yeah, and when we get rid of the pressure to be read as appealing and just focus on being honest, we create opportunities for communal learning. We all have experiences that have made us into who we are today. Imagine what we could create and the issues we could solve if we just pooled that knowledge. That’s the positive side of media that we are trying to contribute to. And even further, womanhood in the media is so cis-centered. We rarely hear trans women and femmes telling their own stories, and those are often the most crucial individuals to hear and understand. Womanhood is so much more expansive than people think.
To have the title Between Girls (like Speciwomen or other platforms with the binary in their titles) is inevitably labeling your community as “girl-focused.” How do you see your project fitting into a future where gender is a much more fluid concept?
Hollis: We’ve had this conversation over and over again. In all honesty, when we initially started this project we knew a lot less about the intricacies of gender. We’re both cis women, and that’s where our perspectives and experiences are coming from. However, womanhood and femmehood are marginalized demographics of people. We hope that through amplifying the experiences of our participants, like Grace touched on, we can all work to better understand just how expansive the umbrella of “girlhood” really is. What it means to be a woman or femme is entirely up to the individual. We don’t have the desire to filter who can or cannot contribute to this work based on exclusive and antiquated models of what a “woman” may be.
Grace: We're always striving to make this platform a place for people to express freely, and we hope that people feel comfortable enough to share with us. The steps we take to be more inclusive will always be in evolution.