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 Mudita Sonawane.
From talking about her experiences as a Dalit woman to explaining the exclusionary practices in our current pandemic stricken world, Mudita’s exceptional flair of writing has covered a host of topics, keeping us hooked to her articles and her activism. Some of her other popular articles are ‘Intelligent’ TV Shows Disappoint Asexual, Aromantic And LGBTQ Spectrum, Dear Privileged Liberals, Do Not Appropriate But Ally Against CAA and many others.
FII: Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
Mudita Sonawane: I’m an introvert who likes to explore the world through her own lenses. At the same time, I adopt different personalities to deal with different things. I did my master’s in Physics at University of Mumbai and intend to pursue research. I also learn Hindustani Classical music and explore news and other arts.
FII: How did you become a part of the FII writer family?
Mudita Sonawane: Social media is a wonderful thing if utilized properly. I followed a page on Facebook named “Humans of Patriarchy” and one day, someone shared an article from FII on that page. At first, I was just a reader, later I learnt about FII’s writer’s community. Then I resorted to my writing skills that were in a closet since school (!). Much of my understanding of what India needs in feminism comes from FII, I learnt the meaning of “intersectionality” on FII. So I continued writing on the platform on issues that concern me of intrigue me.
FII: How and when did you become a feminist? Which issues within feminism are close to your heart?
Mudita Sonawane: I can’t remember exactly, but I think I’ve always been a feminist (thanks to my parents). My understanding of feminism evolved with time and reading. During childhood, I’d notice that certain advertisement was not really nice or certain comedy show/movie is mean to someone, or the way other people would tease/interrogate my mother on why they didn’t try for a son.. I am interested in the patriarchal mentality present in humans irrespective of their gender and the impact of theistic religions on them.
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?
Mudita Sonawane: ‘There Is Something Called Retired Husband Syndrome And We Need To Talk About It‘ is my favorite piece written by myself. Because the topic was all new for myself too, and I don’t think I had ever thought about it before coming across the term Retired Husband Syndrome. But when I digged more, I found it relevant to many people around me. The article ‘Patriarchy Also Affects Asexual Women And We Need To Talk About It‘ by Meghna Mehra is one of my favorites on FII. It reflects on the complexity of asexual women’s issues. It’s intriguing that in a country where women’s sexuality itself is a taboo, there is zero consideration of women’s asexuality.
FII: What do you like to do when not writing about gender and social justice?
Mudita Sonawane: Theravada Buddhism that is consistent with the Tipitaka has “Maha Mangal Sutta”, in which Buddha says that learning many languages, arts and sciences is a great ‘mangal’ while on the path of Enlightenment. That’s what I try to do. I study physics and try to link it with society and its mindset. Apart from writing and academics, I love to explore music on KEXP and Coke Studio, sing, paint, take photographs of literally anything, read, observe people and their behavior and sometimes indulge in pointless discussion with them to take note of how they respond. I also try to study sociological aspects of India’s education policies.
FII: What do you like about FII and our work? What more would you like to see from us?
Mudita Sonawane: What I like about FII is that it’s mostly all-inclusive. The articles and videos on this platform provide a good tool to understand the complex nature of Indian society from a non-patriarchal gaze. I would love it if FII indulges in more videos/documentaries in future, and extend the platform in more Indian languages.
FII thanks Mudita 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. You can follow her on Instagram.