The Women Behind Women’s Web: Amrita Rajan

Posted: September 22, 2011

In a series of posts called ‘The Women Behind Women’s Web’, we present to you the people involved in bringing you this website – some who’ve been there from the very beginning, and some who joined in enthusiastically a little later. Hope you enjoy reading more about the team that contributes to Women’s Web. Presented in a Q&A format, this one is with our Media Columnist, Amrita Rajan, who shines the Spotlight every month on films, television and popular culture.

Intro: Tell us a little about yourself.

Writer, blogger, reader, film buff, internet addict, liberal, feminist.




Q1. Why do you blog/write? What attracts you to it?

Instant gratification. I started writing as a small child and I’ve always found it cathartic and deeply pleasurable. I express myself better, think more deeply and live more vividly when I write. Reading or creating a well-written sentence or a well-crafted turn of phrase is one of the greatest joys in life. Blogging is an extension of that. We’re slowly turning into a world full of people who don’t really write in our personal lives – who writes long letters, keeps a journal or personal diary anymore? And I think that’s a loss that blogging addresses. It’s like a letter to the world, a record of our times. When I read things I wrote a year or five ago, it’s like I’m reading about the life of a stranger.

Q2. What do you like best about writing for Women’s Web?

I like the fact that it exists. I like that it’s not condescending. I like writing for women. It’s not something I usually do consciously – I just write irrespective of target demographics.

Q3. What do you think Women’s Web can do better/do differently?

I think the personal is the universal, especially on the internet. So I would put the blogs front and centre on the front page, a series of posts you can scroll past the whole day long. And the featured articles and columns would be –

1. Featured up top in the box as it stands right now

2. Be included on the front page as part of the blog posts.

This way nobody has to go hunting for anything, and you could roll out your main articles on a pre-determined roster at specific intervals while visitors always have something new to read when they come to the site.

Q4. What are the things that trigger you to write, that make you go, “I have to write about this!”?

Violence against women, child abuse, attacks on liberty (civil, artistic, personal), rampant idiocy, watershed moments in pop culture, and arguments that haven’t been properly argued.

Q5. Who are your favourite women bloggers? What do you admire about them/their work?

The ones I love the most, I love so much that they’re now my friends and know me personally so it’s a long list if I were to take names. So let me say there are certain groups I enjoy more than others:

1. Mommy bloggers – I know some women find that title offensive so I’d like to apologize but it’s still the easiest descriptor out there. As a single woman who intends to keep it that way, it’s like reading about an interesting alien life form. Also, the kiddies are cute. (But I’m not available to babysit.)

2. Research mavens – I love it when someone puts in the time, whatever be the subject. Film, science, politics, whichever it is, when I see someone make studied arguments about something, I’m immediately attracted to that writer. Bonus if it’s well written, funny and/or doesn’t take itself too seriously. I read so much and my tastes are extremely catholic but there’s a certain pleasure in being educated by a peer. It takes me back to college.

Q6. What would you like to say to people who are interested in writing/blogging but are hesitant to start?

If you can’t throw yourself into it 100%, then you shouldn’t be writing in a public forum. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh but this is the internet. People are going to be assholes just because they can (and this applies doubly to women bloggers). So if you’re already scared of publishing your thoughts then it’s easy to get beaten up because you’ve already signed over all the power to them. But if you can develop a thick skin, write what you believe, and hit that publish key, then you will also find an amazing network of people out there who will be supportive, appreciative and are genuinely nice. It’s a way to participate in the world while sitting in your chair at home. It’s addictive!

Previous interviews with the Women behind Women’s Web:

Freelance Writer, Nayantara Mallya

Food ColumnistLavanya Donthamshetty

Gender Issues Enthusiast, Preethi Krishnan

Blogger, R’s Mom

Freelance Writer, Melanie Lobo

Blogger, Hip Grandma

Freelance Writer and Blogger, Kiran Manral

Founder-Editor of Women’s Web, Aparna V. Singh

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