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 November, we feature Isheeta Sharma.
A student of History and an avid reader of historical fiction, philosophy and gender theory, Isheeta Sharma is an exceptional writer with a flair to cover varied topics such from the validity of sex determination tests in sports to analysing performance arts such as jatra and the cinema. Some of her popular articles are Film Review: Portrait of A Lady On Fire – On Queer Love And Sexual Desire In A Patriarchal Society, What Happened To The Female Jatra Performers, Santhi Soundarajan & The Misogyny Of Sex Verification Tests In Sports and many others.
FII: Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
Isheeta Sharma: I am a freelance writer and content creator who hopes to engage with the different facets of Gender, its representation and its impact on socio-political issues. I am also hoping to soon start my Master’s in Gender Studies (if the pandemic allows).
FII: How did you become a part of the FII writer family?
Isheeta Sharma: It started in the backdrop of the early lockdown period for COVID-19. I reached out to the FII team with some ideas hoping to work with them and they were interested. I remember being asked what Intersectionality means to me. I wondered how to answer this question as an upper caste Hindu woman. That question allowed me to delve deep into a concept that, for me, lays the foundation for contemporary feminism. The answer came easily. Intersectionality meant (and continues to mean) amplification, allyship and selfless solidarity.
FII: How and when did you become a feminist? Which issues within feminism are close to your heart?
Isheeta Sharma: I became a feminist when Audre Lorde spoke to me about the ‘Uses of Anger’. When Toni Morisson’s ‘Beloved’ made me weep. When Chandra Mohanty Talpade’s essay ‘Under Western Eyes’ found its way into my hands. I became a feminist when I found words and works that made me question my own being, only to open up multiple realms of possibilities. Gender representations in popular culture, family and sexualities are some of the issues within feminism that are important to me.
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?
Isheeta Sharma: I think my favourite piece will have to be my first one, my movie review of Celine Sciamma’s ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’. Firsts will always hold a special place, I guess. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the movie and then being able to analyse it through a gendered lens. I enjoy a lot of articles and podcasts on FII. Recently I have enjoyed The Aunty Body and All That Follows and Feminist Laughter: A Form of Resistance – both interesting commentaries on popular culture and feminism. I also enjoy a lot of the infographic articles by FII. They break down complex laws or histories into nuggets of knowledge.
FII: What do you like to do when not writing about gender and social justice?
Isheeta Sharma: I read. A LOT. And post on my Book Instagram account. Three kittens have recently found a way into my home and heart so I spend most of my time pampering them and Adia – my dog. I also binge-watch shows and sometimes, tie ghungroos around my ankles and practice Kathak.
FII: What do you like about FII and our work? What more would you like to see from us?
Isheeta Sharma: I admire how committed FII is to its editorial policy of intersectionality and giving the right platform to the right people. I would love to see more reporting by FII (I quite enjoyed the menstruation and PPE kits report released by FII).
FII thanks Isheeta 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.