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 March, we feature Madhuri Sastry. From giving tips on building a sustainable wardrobe to telling men how to dismantle patriarchy, Madhuri’s writing gives readers practical ways to make the world a better place. Some of her other popular articles are the review of The Favourite, She’s Not There, and many more.
FII: Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
Madhuri Sastry: I’m a human rights lawyer turned writer! I studied a lot, and have worked with refugees and in gender. Right now, I am writing a lot of essays and opinion pieces on feminism, pop culture, food, women’s human rights, identity and sexuality.
FII: How did you become a part of the FII writer family?
MS: When the #MeTooIndia movement had a resurgence last October, I got involved in a lot of conversations on Twitter – several of them with FII. One of these tweet-chats was about how men could be good allies during this time (and forever, honestly). I came up with the idea of a listicle to help demystify patriarchy, and things men could do to help dismantle it. I wrote it and sent it to FII, who published it – and the rest is history. 10 Things Men Can Do To Dismantle Patriarchy In The Time Of #MeToobecame one of the most read pieces last year!
FII: How and when did you become a feminist? Which issues within feminism are close to your heart?
MS: I have been a feminist all my life. My parents were feminists and set fantastic examples for me. My mother, particular, was so influential in teaching me to assert myself, and that my voice had value. The issues that are particularly important to me are women’s fundamental human rights, sexual freedom, war and militarism, toxic masculinity, body positivity, and the intersection between gender, race, and class. I also write about ageism, the portrayal of female/non-binary characters in pop culture, and the media’s role in perpetuating unhelpful narratives of gender.
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?
MS: My favourite piece that I wrote was Why Must Sumukhi Suresh’s Legacy Be Tainted By Utsav Chakraborty? It drew attention to the need for nuance in the #MeTooIndia era, and to have principled responses that help women, instead of knee-jerk reactions that are cause them more damage in the long run. A favourite that I have read is Some Men Menstruate Too. Can We Talk About It Now? It handled so many complicated topics – menstrual health and the trans experience – so thoughtfully. It left a very lasting impression, and I still recommend it to so many people.
FII: What do you like to do when not writing about gender and social justice?
MS: I love to cook! Time in the kitchen is sacred to me – I feel creative and safe, and it does wonders for my mental health. I love experimenting with new recipes and making my own. Yoga is also sacrosanct to me, I practice almost daily. I am a voracious reader and a crossword enthusiast. I love spending time in the company of a good book, coffee, my dog Penny, and my plant babies. Also, I’m obsessed with TV. I’ll watch everything from The Sopranos to The Real Housewives – no judgment!
FII: What do you like about FII and our work? What more would you like to see from us?
MS: I love the diversity of voices, and the variety of issues that FII is a platform to. It’s something to be very proud of! I would like to see more pieces on environmentalism, sustainability, and climate change – these are all feminist issues too!
FII thanks Madhuri for her timely and valuable contributions. We are incredibly grateful to have her as a part of our writers’ community and appreciate her for her deeply informative writing. She can be followed on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.