Six years may as well be a decade. It feels like that long since Villainesse exploded into being, defiantly carving out a space for young, smart, outspoken (and endlessly powerful) Kiwi women.
I started Villainesse because I was sick of being patronised, told what to wear, which diet to follow and which sex position I should assume in order to "flatter my curves". I was 25, fearless, optimistic and green. Fuck it, I thought. If the media platform I want to read doesn’t exist, I’ll create it.
I had no idea how much hard work lay ahead. There were many long days writing and editing that stretched into nights. But there were also moments – too many to count – of victory, inspiration, connection with sisters at arms, and wonderment at the talent of those who generously gave to Villainesse. The writers, the producers, directors, casts, crews… across an international viral campaign, four webseries, a documentary, a festival, two NZ media awards, and too many amazing stories to count, I will be forever grateful to the creatives who have made Villainesse a little site-that-could that we can all be proud of.
And now that I’ve well and truly buried the lede, it’s time for me to come clean. This story will be the last published on Villainesse. Maybe not forever, but for the foreseeable future. To be honest, the last 12 months have been incredibly tough on Villainesse. COVID had a massive impact, particularly on our events and advertising revenue, and so the time has come for Villainesse to hang up her cape for a while.
I hope she’ll be back. She’s still very much alive in my heart, and I’ll always be proud of what the Villainesse community of writers, creatives, readers, attendees and viewers achieved. With any luck, we’ll continue to make the odd webseries, and host the occasional event, but for now we’ll pause regular posting of new stories.
That said, I’m committed to ensuring that our stories remain online, and will continue to pay the bills to keep the server online for as long as possible. If you’re currently a subscriber, I totally understand if you’d prefer to end your subscription at this stage, but if you do stick around, know that your money will go towards keeping the Villainesse body of work online.
What else can I say? An enormous THANK YOU to our readers, subscribers, advertisers, supporters and contributors. You have made the last six years one hell of a ride, and made the New Zealand media a little bit less sexist. Now you’ll find a reasonable amount of no filter, no bullshit media for young women elsewhere, and I know that Villainesse has been a catalyst for some of the much-needed change we’re witnessing in our media. Like other feminist publications before her, Villainesse too has made what will hopefully be a lasting impact.
If I have one last thing to add, it’s this: if you are young and female (or non-binary), have something to say and a shit load of passion to put out into the world, stand tall and speak up. Your voice is immeasurably powerful. It is the voice of the future. Let it roar.
Lizzie xSupport Villainesse