We have been featuring the best writers from our writers’ community for their committed contribution to FII, making it what it is today. FII would not exist if not for the passionate and loyal feminist writers’ community that we have steadily been building over the last three years.
This May, we feature Akshita Prasad. Akshita is particularly adept at scouring the news and quickly writing a feminist analysis to it. Outside of news-based articles, the topics that she works on, particularly experience based, are strong, angry and have depth and vulnerability. Some of her pieces that stand out are a review of Raazi, a battle with alcoholism, the protesting lawyers at Kathua and male sexual assault.
FII: Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
Akshita Prasad: I am an eighteen-year-old high-school graduate and I intend to pursue a career in criminal law as an attorney. I hope to major in Political Science and then go on to get my Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School. Apart from this, I write. I have been writing since I was thirteen and I play the violin and I am trained in LA-style salsa.
FII: How did you become a part of the FII writer family?
AP: A few months ago while I was going through Facebook, I stumbled across FII’s page and took an instant liking to the content and the website’s striking inclusivity. I went through it intently and saw a post seeking writers, I sent an e-mail with a writing sample and soon I had my first piece published on the website.
FII: How and when did you become a feminist? Which issues within feminism are close to your heart?
AP: My first tryst with feminism began when I was thirteen and started an organization called Egalite that dealt with feminism and LGBTQ issues. Though Egalite didn’t work out, I knew for certain by then that I was a feminist and from there continued to create, explore, and establish my feminist identity.
Within feminism the issues that have always been of great significance to me are, allowing women a public existence without the fear of shaming or violence, doing away with menstrual taboos and spreading awareness about how they can alter our perception of our bodies and our identities as women.
Apart from this, I also like to focus on the often overlooked, but growing issue of increasing prejudices and discriminatory behaviours among teenagers and young adults. My added interest in these issues stems from my own experiences of dealing with them as a woman.
FII: What is your favourite piece on this site that you have written, and your favourite piece on this site that you have read? Why did they strike you?
AP: Currently my favourite piece is, To Bleed Or Not To Bleed: The Culture Of Period Shaming. With this piece, I attempted to bring to light an issue that has its tentacles spread far and wide but is rarely spoken of. It highlighted how we make menstruation about men and not about us women and how we pass on the culture of period-shaming and menstrual shame, down generations, as a family heirloom.
As for my favourite piece by another writer, it has to be Of Tinder, Sex, and Colonial Hangovers – Is Desire Political? by Mini Saxena, who I incidentally also interned with. I have never happened to read a piece more thought-provoking, which compelled me to examine my own biases and question the influences that shape my desires and their nature and it eventually led me to see that desire is political.
FII: What do you like to do when not writing about gender and social justice?
AP: When I am not writing, I read. I ambitiously, but fruitlessly attempt to write novels and gleefully debate about both absurd and relevant issues, much to the dismay of everyone I choose to debate with.
FII: What do you like about FII and our work? What more would you like to see from us?
AP: One crucial aspect of FII’s work that stands out to me is how inclusive it is. No matter what your voice, or where it comes from, there is always a place to incorporate it at FII. Our feminist identities don’t lie in isolation from our other identities and FII allows for the room for the intersection of all of them.
FII thanks Akshita Prasad for being such a dedicated writer. Her enthusiasm is truly infectious. We are very grateful to have her as part of our writers’ community. She can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.