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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 Preethi Krishnan, who has blogged quite a few posts on gender related issues and whose most recent write-up on Thasni Banu is still fresh in all our minds!
Intro: Tell us about yourself in a few lines.
I am currently a student pursuing my graduate studies in sociology. Previously, I enjoyed stints as an HR professional and as a researcher. Personally, I am a hopeless romantic. A friend described my world as one filled with “daffodils and stars, with no kitsch.” He did not mean it kindly, but I liked it so much, that it’s now my tag line !
PS: I am rather honoured to be included in this list. Feels awesome!
Q1. Why do you blog/write? What attracts you to it?
I began blogging because I like to write and reflect. Long back, I used to keep a personal journal and thought I would be a writer some day. When technology allowed me to “publish”, I just jumped in. Now, blogging is more than a personal journal. In fact, my personal blog demonstrates the evolution that we all go through as people. There are days I get embarrassed at some of my previous posts. But I let them be, just to remind me, that we all evolve.
Secondly, I have enjoyed the little community of readers and bloggers that I have come to know. I am very cognizant that the above said evolution is thanks to many of those bloggers. It is only through them that I realised how one sided the mainstream media is. Blogs represent the alternate media for me. I make informed choices because of the wide variety of views that I get to read through blogs.
Finally, there is gender. It’s been a passionate topic for me. Writing helps me formulate my thoughts better. I am grateful for brilliant comments on my posts, which has make me rethink many of my views and deepen my understanding of a subject that I am very interested in.
Q2. What do you like best about writing for Women’s Web?
I am always concerned that I should not stay removed from what women like me are thinking today. Theory is sometimes not in pace with the real world. Similarly my social life is pretty limited to friends who think like me and would understand me totally. Not that I would like to change that; but, surely, the world is more diverse!
I like the opportunity to interact with women like me who are in different stages of their lives and who hold very different views. Some are more conservative than me and some far more liberal. I love comments that find holes in my post, because that is my window to understanding the world from a whole new perspective.
Then, frankly, I trust the founder of Women’s Web, Aparna Singh. When one associates with a venture, you always wonder who the people behind it are. Although, my views are independent from that of WW, you still want be associated with a venture that is respectable and has a certain kind of sensitivity. Finally, the trust that the editor has on their bloggers is also nice. We have literally been given a free space as bloggers, in terms of content and topic and I love that. But I wish, I write more often than I do now!
Q3. What do you think Women’s Web can do better/do differently?
I remember reading an article about a blog post which criticized blogs dedicated entirely to women. I do not agree with the entire article, but it did make me think. In real life too, I wonder if we women, have it easy sometimes. (I am sure to get brick bats for this!) I also have an assumption here, that people who read WW belong to a class of society who have been fortunate in many ways in the kinds of opportunities that we have received. Many blogs for women, do talk a lot about rights but much less about responsibilities – what we should do, as women? Sometimes, I do feel we are not challenged enough to take a hard look at ourselves.
While WW does have many sections on how women can do better in personal and professional lives, I feel a little more could be done to challenge ourselves and our perspectives as women. While we read and write a lot about how things have been unfair to us, we should also be able to identify where we let that opportunity go. I am not sure how to do that. I guess, I am looking for such kinds of posts and articles. Even from myself.
Q4. What are the things that trigger you to write, that make you go, “I have to write about this!”?
I like to write when I observe something related to women and have the time to reflect on it, I like to go deeper to understand why. Writing helps me articulate my arguments better in my own mind. My post on women bloggers is something like that.
Otherwise, I like to write when I feel angry at some injustice shown to women. I always think that, for women, most personal issues are not limited to her alone. It is almost always a bigger social issue. When Thasni’s incident happened, I had friends telling me that she was just making a mountain out of a molehill. At those times, I get disturbed and those are the times I am thankful for WW, that I can write on the issue and reach many people.
Q5. Who are your favourite women bloggers? What do you admire about them/their work?
Meena Kandasamy is one of my favourite women bloggers. I actually started reading her poetry first. While I still like her poetry, I am thankful to her for introducing me to the issues of caste. I was quite blissfully ignorant about caste as it exists today. My understanding for many years was this – “rich dalits take all the seats and the ‘deserving’ candidates lose out” until I started reading Meena. I like her posts not only because of the perspective that she helped me develop, but also because I find her very open to views which are different from hers. I have great respect for bloggers who can do that.
I like Jina’s blog because it is one blog which is written from the heart, with a little humour, a little love, a little sorrow, a little anxiety – quite like our real lives. I also, feel that her blog emits a lot of “goodness” as I like to call it and a lot of warmth.
Otherwise I like aggregators such as Ultra Violet where I get to read many different women bloggers.
Q6. What would you like to say to people who are interested in writing/blogging but are hesitant to start?
I would say, try it out anonymously. I don’t see anything wrong with that. It helped me.
Take that stupid/funny/crazy/serious name that you always wanted and you could create an online profile for yourself. As time goes on, you could decide to let that anonymity go. If you do like writing, you certainly should give it a try.
Previous interviews with the Women behind Women’s Web:
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
Women's Web is an alternative magazine covering real issues for real women. This blog
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