I have wanted to do this for a long time.
To create welcoming, open-minded, safe spaces for the exploration of uncomfortable, not-openly discussed and often taboo subjects that comprise much of what is normal life for women.
I started the project back in 2000, and very quickly, even before I shot the first v-portrait, so many topics came up. About our public lives and our private lives.
I tried to organize them in the container of the website, established each section to get filled in over time (you can see the ending Tables of Contents in the screenshots above), but I was endlessly worrying about how to do it, about not being an expert—or much of a researcher, and really uncomfortable opening up subjects that I didn’t know much about. Afraid of failing women who were having a harder time than I was with their bodies, with health and wellbeing, with discrimination, and objectification, and violence. I so wanted to get it right, to do it the way someone who knows things I don’t know would do it. Someone who has the skills of a researcher-journalist-cultural-commentator-pundit writer, or at least the snappy confidence that others have when they write or say these grand-sweeping or sparkling-quippy things, and everyone nods would do it. Stuck in the conversation going on in my head…I worked on it less and less, with a full stop in 2013. sigh.
Stopping was good in that I really didn’t know where I was headed by then. I just couldn’t see through all the voices in my head. Some of them though, were bugging me to keep going. Eventually, I lived my way to a place where the shrill critiquers are being outdone by the persistent c’mon already! voice of the underdog lover of openness, of showing up as is. You really never know how things will go, or how long they’ll take. Often, it’s hard to see what matters.
I haven’t gotten any better at any of the things I thought were so important. I have worked on other things though, and we’ll get to all that as we go.