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 July, we feature Aastha Tiwari.
Someone who fearlessly voices her opinions, Aastha believes that nothing exists devoid of politics and critique in this world. She enthusiastically participiates in political debates and believes one should read and educate themselves before forming opinions. Some of her other popular articles are Revisiting Ramayana And Its Relevance Through A Feminist Lens, The Problems With The Criticisms Of Four More Shots Please!, ‘Mother Earth’— Is Nature Gendered To Make Men Feel Superior and many others.
FII: Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
Aastha Tiwari: I am a student at LSR pursuing Political Science. I am highly opinionated and unafraid of voicing out my opinion in front of anyone is my speciality. I love reading books of all genres and endlessly watching movies and series. Beside that, I am always keen on learning and zealous to knowing everything, leading me to try new things every time. Rest of the time, I write and debate and stare at the beautiful clouds with my earphones plugged in, playing my melancholic playlist on loop, to avoid the chaos.
FII: How did you become a part of the FII writer family?
Aastha Tiwari: It was very sudden and out of an excitement to be a part of FII mostly. I happened to just email FII one day while enquiring about internships and that is when I thought I’d like to become a regular writer with FII. I always wanted to write about issues that lie at the core of my heart and at FII, I found that platform, for which I am grateful. Also, with the COVID-19 lockdown and Ramayana being re-televised, I needed an outlet to vent out my opinions. Then I became a part of FII and I want to just keep writing for you guys because I feel so proud that I am a part of such intellectual amazing women, never gonna lie.
FII: How and when did you become a feminist? Which issues within feminism are close to your heart?
Aastha Tiwari: Since the education system does not lay enough emphasis on feminism and related themes, I never knew of the word feminism until class XI. It was in class XII that I truly embraced feminism and since then I have been a hard-core feminist. But one thing I noticed about myself was that even when I was all of 13 and did not have much of an idea, I strongly condemned a lot of gender-discriminatory practices, the normalised gender-bias at school and home, etc. I would evidently be disturbed by it. I believe that one doesn’t have to subscribe to the labels of feminism to voice out and fight for the wrongs existing around them.The major issues related to feminism that are really close to my heart are: gender inequality, especially the normalised culture; issues pertaining to the LGBTQIA+ community; body shaming nudity, sexuality, stereotypes, sex-role conditioning and so many more.
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?
Aastha Tiwari: The piece that I like the most of mine is: Revisiting Ramayana And Its Relevance Through A Feminist Lens. I feel it is a powerful article because of the way it challenges the myths and the unquestioned beliefs of people. It sends a message that it is not the faith that is the problem, but the clouded rationality. It is hotly debated upon everywhere, given how it has “RELIGION” etched in its essence, questioning that with grounded facts makes it a powerful one.The piece that I like at FII is Embracing My Femininity During The Lockdown. The primary reason I loved it was because it was a real, personal account. I always try to be very sensitive and look forward to learning more about the LGBTQIA+ community and their lived experiences. Also, the account ended on a liberating and happy note, which brought a wide smile on my face. I just felt so proud of the person.
FII: What do you like to do when not writing about gender and social justice?
Aastha Tiwari: When I am not writing, I am definitely reading books to brush up my argument, in addition to painting and dancing. Even my painting reflects my innermost feminist ideals. I love thinking and reflecting. So, I write poems and sketch my ideas. I love making lists of a lot of things that I want to do and then I think of ways to go about it. Rest of the time, I try to engage in a dialogue and impart education on feminism to people and watch a lot of movies.
FII: What do you like about FII and our work? What more would you like to see from us?
Aastha Tiwari: The best part of FII is how inclusive it is. FII is open to all kind of views and I love that. While I published a positive review of Four More Shots Please with FII, I also saw a critique of the series published, which to me was reflective of how inclusive you are of different lines of thought. Further, I believe you are open to everything and leave it upto the audience to think. I just want you to continue being the vocal and bold organisation that you are and nothing more. I look forward to one day meet you guys and work with you.
FII thanks Aastha 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 and Twitter.