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. For June 2021, we feature Priyanka Gulati.
An aspiring journalist and a feminist with a knack for reporting stories, Priyanka has covered a diverse range of topics such as debates around cosmetic surgery, the state of teachers and women entrepreneurs in the pandemic, the Indian police system to how sportswomen are affected in the current socio-political climate. Some of her popular articles include The Horrors Of Lockdown For The Fisher Folk: Starvation, Stranding, And Invisibilisation, Loss of Income, Debts, Police Harassment: A Street Vendor’s Suffering In The Pandemic, among others.
FII: Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
Priyanka Gulati: I am an aspiring journalist, currently in the last year of my Bachelors in Mass Media from Sophia College for Women. Along with that I freelance and volunteer with NGOs dedicated to different social causes. I believe that compassion and empathy are my strongest suits — these emotions are what drive me to channel change in whatever capacity I can.
FII: How did you become a part of the FII writer family?
Priyanka Gulati: When FII had posted their ‘Mood of the month’ on body positivity and body image issues, I had just discovered my interest in writing and was also strongly feeling about the toxicity of the influencer culture promoted by celebrities like Kylie Jenner. I had started to dislike certain features of my face and body; spent too much of my mental energy obsessing over them. Eventually, I learnt to dissociate. I thought that I should write an article about cosmetic surgery because I had a different view on it than what was promoted by certain feminists on the internet. This was the first place I ever got published, that is why FII will always be close to my heart!
FII: How and when did you become a feminist? Which issues within feminism are close to your heart?
Priyanka Gulati: One fine day in college our Sociology teacher asked us whether we are feminists. No hand went up; even mine didn’t, because everyone was so embarrassed to call themselves a feminist. All of us, netizens, had such a flawed and reductive understanding of the movement due to the jokes and memes on feminism that go around social media. Then the teacher gave us the reality check that we needed. Since that day, I proudly call myself a feminist. As a feminist, I aim to shed light on issues faced by the oppressed existing at the nefarious intersections of gender, caste, class and religion. The lives of marginalised women are often invisibilised and negated. I want to advocate for their rights because otherwise my privilege is just a burden on this world.
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?
Priyanka Gulati: ‘Loss of Income, Debts, Police Harassment: A Street Vendor’s Suffering In The Pandemic’ – I believe this article of mine is an important read. Street vendors are such an integral part of our daily lives and the pandemic has isolated them. This article is also close to me because it was the first time that I ventured out to take an interview. I had interviewed three women who sell sandwiches — apart from them narrating their struggles, they were enthusiastically telling me the story of how they started this business to be independent. Their entrepreneurial spirit warmed my heart.
“As Protests Continue, India’s Rural Women Farmers Fight Invisible Battles” – This piece sheds light on the invisibilisation of women farmers, challenges the notion of men being at the forefront of the farmer’s protest. It explains how this hinders their basic and deserved rights such as land ownership. I believe everyone should give this article a read because when you mention the word ‘farmer’, most people would imagine a male and not a female, despite them being the backbone of Indian agriculture.
FII: What do you like to do when not writing about gender and social justice?
Priyanka Gulati: I do not have hobbies per se – but I dabble into different things such as art or sports. When I am not writing, I am reading. I make it a point learn a couple of new things every day.
FII: What do you like about FII and our work? What more would you like to see from us?
Priyanka Gulati: I like that FII is open to giving opportunities to budding writers like me. I love FII’s Instagram page because they present and break down concepts in fun and creative ways. I have not come accross any other platform that so beautifully represents what intersectional feminism is. A range of articles and videos — FII is my one-stop shop for all that I need to learn about feminism.
FII thanks Priyanka for her timely and valuable contributions. We are incredibly grateful to have her as a part of our writers’ community and appreciate their deeply informative writing. Priyanka can be found on Instagram and Facebook.