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Caitlin Stasey has some surprising opinions religious education.

Caitlin Stasey: actor, website founder, feminist, giver of excellent interviews.

We interviewed the outspoken and fabulous 24-year-old former Neighbours actor and Herself.com founder on feminism, gendered casting in Hollywood and the women that inspire her — and she was as sharp and insightful as ever.

Caitlin Stasey: “I’ve passed on maybe several films because of my views”. (Photo: Instagram)

Have you ever had to deal with any sexism in your field of work?

All. The. Time.

From casting to filming to press, it’s all gendered BS most of the time.

You’ve been very vocal about your social and political views. Have you ever had to turn down roles because of those views?

I’ve passed on maybe several films because of my views, but of course I’m at a point where I’m just trying to work constistently.

I know at some point I’ll probably land a gig that I feel isn’t entirely in line with my views; I have in the past.

Read more: Caitlin Stasey isn’t mad. She’s Brilliant.

What do you make of Emma Watson’s brand of ‘we need to get men on-board’ feminism?

While in essence it’s certainly the only way forward (to have all humans on board with feminism), I’m still totally fed up with having to field questions about men and about how feminism can make THEIR lives better. Women are constantly asked to define their oppressors and take them into consideration.

And why do we have to dress feminism up as a win/win for all dudes? Sorry, but a shift in power is going to suck for those at the top for a bit — too bad? You’ll thank us in a hundred years when your female counterparts save the world from your unchallenged dominion over it.

Caitlin Stasey interview
“I agree that feminism needs to start championing the multitude of voices from within it.” (Caitlin Stasey. Photo: Getty)

As with any famous woman, you’ve been attacked online by trolls. How do you deal with that kind of abuse?

Agree and amplify. If you ever need to undercut an opponent online do it through humour, you’ll have more fun and they end up looking as stupid as you know them to be.

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Some critics see feminism as dominated by women of racial and economic privilege. As a white, successful woman, how do you respond to that?

I agree that feminism needs to start championing the multitude of voices from within it, that feminism up until this point has catered primarily to the needs of Western, well-to-do women. We certainly need to make an effort to start amplifying the voices of WOC [women of colour], trans women and disabled women if we’re ever going to make any headway.

Related content: In defence of Caitlin Stasey’s going full-frontal nude for feminism

Of course being white amplifies your voice, but I don’t necessarily agree that my race has anything to do with my being listened to, it’s more so the fact that I was given a platform prior to discovering feminism, that I had a body of work people followed.

If I was a 24-year-old woman in marketing or accounting I’m sure no one would be listening to me (not to say that any woman working in these fields isn’t worth listening to). Which is more a statement about celebrity culture and who we are willing to lend microphones to.

I have a difficult relationship to being referred to as white, because I truly believe people will treat you as the race they expect you to be regardless of heritage — people treat me like I’m a woman of colour in most casting rooms and in many social situations. I’m constantly told I could ‘pass’ for white if I stay out of the sun, and I’m always pressed about my ‘true’ nationality as no one seems to want to believe I am simply white.

In saying that, I certainly don’t face the same challenges WOC do on a daily basis and I am in no way comparing my struggle to theirs, it’s just I’ve spent 24 years observing how people treat me when they believe me to be ‘non-white’.

Caitlin Stasey interview
A portrait taken for Caitlin’s website, Herself. (Photo: Jennifer Toole/ Herself.com)
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You recently said you were ‘mortified’ by your sexuality as a student at a Catholic school. Any words of advice to students at religious schools who are similarly struggling?

Get out! A religious education has nothing to offer you except shame.

Go to ANY OTHER SCHOOL… And if you can’t, know that you’ll be OUTTA there in no time and in the real world, which is of course far more hateful than many high schools.

BUT you get to custom design your lifestyle and social group, you get ACTUAL agency. Hold out for that.

Stasey lists Janet Mock, Roxane Gay, Malala Yousafzai, Maria Bamford as some of her feminist idols. (Photo: Instagram)

You recently tweeted, “I think you are an authority on what gender you are.” How do you feel about the speculation and media coverage surrounding Bruce Jenner’s gender?

I think it must be pretty triggering for many trans people, to see a public figure mocked for allegedly going through exactly what you went through.

The media just doesn’t understand that. Journalists become journalists because at its core, news coverage is a gesture to the people. Journalism is about obligation to deliver information to the masses, to educate — and yet I would say the majority of reporters and journalists working today have no moral compass, and feel no sense of compassion or empathy.

Which prominent women do you most admire?

Almost too many to mention. Janet Mock, Roxane Gay, Malala Yousafzai, Maria Bamford.

And all women fighting alongside one another.

*Additional research credits for this story: Isabella Trimbioli, Sophie Thomas.

Caitlin’s website, Herself, was set up as a platform for women from diverse backgrounds to speak on the issues that matter to them and share honest images of themselves without the “burden of the male gaze.” You can visit the site at herself.com

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