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 September, we feature Guni Vats.
A research scholar at the University of Lucknow, Guni believes in ‘shifting the center’ and deconstructing what forms the mainstream through her words. Some of her other popular articles are PUBG And The Glorification Of A Hyper-Toxic-Masculinity, Shaheen Bagh: A Women’s Movement Fogged As About 100 Muslims Join The BJP and many others.
FII: Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
Guni Vats: I am a Haryanavi feminist! The words that describe the becoming of an identity that is an amalgamation of the best of both worlds. The birth of feminism in the roots of patriarchy. I am a research scholar and have been published in more than a dozen books.
FII: How did you become a part of the FII writer family?
Guni Vats: I have been an avid reader and admirer of the ambitious articles and efforts of FII since 2018. This year I followed it on Telegram and finally decided it was time to contribute my voice to the beautiful platform that FII is. FII has been the only place where feminism is not stereotyped and voices from all margins are heard. I am proud of finally being an author at FII.
FII: How and when did you become a feminist? Which issues within feminism are close to your heart?
Guni Vats: I come from the belief that feminists are born. The day I realised I had a problem with the society was when my opinion was silenced by a relative. I knew it then that validation would have to be done away with and the mould of being a ‘Good Woman’ would have to be shattered. The silencing of women is the aspect of patriarchy I am most concerned with. I believe voice (and not language) is the agency of power, and being devoid of an opinion fetters one into the norms of society. I like to deconstruct patriarchy, to peel off every layer that covers oppression.
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?
Guni Vats: My favourite piece on this site that I have written is “Shaheen Bagh: A Women’s Movement fogged as about 100 Muslims join the BJP”, and my favourite piece that I have read is “These are the 15 women who helped draft the Indian Constitution”. Both these articles talk about the women who broke norms and asserted their voices. Relevant to their respective contexts, the women have, in both these articles, expressed their opinions in the making of the politics of this great nation. Both these articles inspire me to speak, to initiate a dialogue irrespective of the scrutiny of present and memory of the future .
FII: What do you like to do when not writing about gender and social justice?
Guni Vats: Netflix and chill! I watch a lot of series and non-fiction cinema. I enjoy reading historical narratives and non-fiction sagas. When I am not writing about gender, I am probably reading about it. I am not a nerd though, being aware is my hobby. Recently, I have been keeping myself occupied with conferences and research articles. And I love to shop on a budget, so when I sneak some bills away, I am probably shopping online. Oh, and lockdown made me learn baking…I bake pretty decent cookies now.
FII: What do you like about FII and our work? What more would you like to see from us?
Guni Vats: I like how interactive and an open platform FII is. It appreciates diverse voices and celebrates intersectional feminism in its true colours. FII is the platform where nobody needs to confirm to a thought. It is a virtual platform that maintains its intellectual sanctity and also remains a neutral medium. I would want to see it become more interactive, where authors and readers could communicate.
FII thanks Guni 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, where she has just started posting her poetry.