As part of FII’s new Meet the Team series, we are featuring former and current employees who have worked with or are working with us currently since the inception of FII. Feminism in India as a digital intersectional feminist media platform would not exist if not for these incredible individuals who have helped build this organisation to make what it is today.
Today, we’re chatting with Mahika Banerji, who identifies as a repository of bad jokes, bad puns, social awkwardness and trashy Bollywood elements, and a nerd for all things sci-fi and medieval fantasy. She is very proud of the latter and these aspects define the relationships she forms with people. She can spend all day at home with her dog. Or all the dogs in the world. There has to be a dog(s) in the picture.
Mahika joined FII in 2017 as our full-time Content Editor. Let’s find out more about Mahika’s journey at FII!
FII: What did you like most about being a part of the FII family?
Mahika: There is a lot of socio-political and creative freedom that comes with the job. Also if something at work goes awry (e.g. trolling by en masse self-righteous sanghis or a bunch of people with one-track minds hating on you because you spoke the truth about their alma mater) – you will be supported.
FII: What advice would you give someone joining the organisation?
Mahika: Brace yourself. Double-check the grammar in everything. Enjoy yourself. Try to not let yourself get personally affected by narratives of personal trauma that you receive. Take lot’s of deep breaths before responding to someone in a conflict situation. Last but not least – if you take off your bra after you enter the office, it’s not weird.
FII: Which fictional character do you identify with and why?
Mahika: Rose Tico from Star Wars played by Kelly Marie Tran. She is an every womxn – yet she is extraordinary, full of rage and fire and a driving force for positive change. Her contributions to rewriting history are not glaringly apparent as that of a protagonist – yet if one were to look deeper they would realise how crucial in the struggle for a better tomorrow. Personally – my heart breaks for the actress because of all the racism, misogyny and fat-shaming she is subjected to and I can relate to it all. What I can also relate to is how much she pushes back and continues to be resilient.
FII: What is something that you’re tired of hearing?
Mahika: “Have you tried yoga?”
FII: Which feminist movement do you feel particularly passionate about and why?
Mahika: The Gulabi Gang. The state, the legal system and due process are rigged against women – so it made my day when I heard about a huge number of women who stepped up where the state failed and took action on violence against women.
FII: Do you remember when and why you decided to work at a feminist organisation?
Mahika: I needed to feel safe. Plus I have a severe anxiety disorder. I know that when I step into an organisation that values feminist principles and has womxn in charge – I won’t have to fear unrequited interactions and violation. That’s a huge load off my mind.
FII: If you had a talk show, which feminist icon would you call and what would you ask them?
Mahika: I can’t choose between Parvathy (Thiruvothu) or Jameela Jamil. And I would ask them out. Kidding (I’m dead set against public pressure).
I would ask them their favourite memes and/or puns and what they tap into for that endless amount of drive towards a feminist future.
FII thanks Mahika Banerji for her timely and valuable contribution to the organisation. We are incredibly grateful to have her as a part of our team and appreciate her for her deeply insightful work. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.