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 March, we feature Abhinaya Sridhar.

An English undergraduate student who is passionate about documentary filmmaking, Abhinaya Sridhar writes enthusiastically on politics, mental health, books, etc. Her article on the invisibilisation of children’s consent in family vlogging won the prestigious Orange Flower Award this year. Some of her other popular articles include Moving On: Transforming Grudges Into Self-Awareness When Relationships Fail, The ‘Buts’ To Freedom Of Speech In India, etc.

FII: Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

Abhinaya Sridhar: I am an English undergraduate student with a keen interest in intersectionality and the workings of gender and sexuality. When I am not ruminating, I am on the lookout for vegan recipes and unputdownable thriller novels.

FII: How did you become a part of the FII writer family?

Abhinaya Sridhar: I remember coming across FII’s page while I was researching about an assignment that I had to submit. The diverse perspectives and opinions excited me because all my previous feminist discussions had only happened with people of my social position. I wasn’t even sure what I’d write about when I sent an email to become a contributing writer, perhaps my affinity for talking helped me contribute the few perspectives I managed to document. In a sense, this continuous commitment has also often delivered me from my worst phases of mental health.

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FII: How and when did you become a feminist? Which issues within feminism are close to your heart?

Abhinaya Sridhar: I think I found traces of feminism at home because I have chiefly been brought up by women. Their feminism was one of praxis, not to say that they weren’t patriarchal in their own ways. Frequent conversations with my elder sister also helped me question all the beliefs I had imbibed without realizing their actual oppressive intent. I was often ridiculed by peers in school when I questioned their slut-shaming remarks. I was introduced to intersectionality in college, and since then it is almost as if a fog has lifted from my eyes. I think the operation of gender and sexuality within the domestic sphere is a loaded area, where perhaps we have only reached the tip of the iceberg. I also love to explore the relationship between language and privilege, and vocabulary and shaping of identities.

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?

Abhinaya Sridhar: I think perhaps my most favourite piece would have to be the ‘How family vlogging invisibilises children’s consent’. I think consent as a concept is largely discussed in the context of adults, and so I hoped this article would spark some conversation around this. There have been several articles that enlightened me. One of these would be the recent article, ‘The History Of The Colonial State And The Unmaking Of The Tawaif’. I have read extensively about the extinct tawaif culture and this furthers my understanding of that lost culture.

FII: What do you like to do when not writing about gender and social justice?

Abhinaya Sridhar: I like to narrate stories from my life very dramatically to my friends. I also love baking and watching videos about it. I have recently taken a liking for canvas painting and I am not half bad at it (my sister might disagree). If I am not hooked to a book, then I resign to re-watching superhero movies.

FII: What do you like about FII and our work? What more would you like to see from us?

Abhinaya Sridhar: The safe space and inclusivity that FII provides is almost magically real! The entire team of writers and editors are extremely supportive. Perhaps being able to read these articles in other Indian languages will help these ideas percolate deeper in the social hierarchy.

FII thanks Abhinaya 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. 

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