EXPRESSIONS Sisters Sneha and Shwetha start Sa a website dedicated to women. ZARA ABRAHAM
Feminism makes itself heard in yet another dimension of public awareness. Also known as the Internet! In a fascinating display of technology assisting a concept that predates it. Culture in India is such that women were not treated with as much respect or dignity as men.
We live in a patriarchal society where most women do not get the rights they deserve. India is just an example; this kind of inequality is carried out all over the world. Over the years there have been many people who have challenged these ideas and campaigned for change. However what makes Sa- the blog dedicated to Feminism different is that it is not run by veterans but by two college students. Sneha and Shwetha Krishnan felt strongly about the problems women face in society. And what better way to have their thoughts heard than through the World Wide Web? They have put together a webzine that addresses myriad aspects in relation to feminism and a feminist point of view from political issues to books reviews and movies with a twist. Asked about their webzine, Sneha spoke both elaborately and passionately.
What made you take up Feminism so strongly?
Taking up feminism was more about attaching a name to a feeling I’ve had all my life. It heightened during my college years when I suddenly realised just how little people wanted to talk about gender equity and how much inequality there was all around. It struck me that oddly it was really a man’s world out there in many ways and that simply moulding women to pander to it and become part of the same oppressive system was not helping. I see feminism as an idea that emphasises harmony — between men and women, male and female ideals, male and female work and work ethics and forces no one to behave in a particular way.
What inspired you to start Sa?
Taking the Eco-Feminism elective at Stella Maris College taught me that those of us who have the opportunity to say what we feel, should say it. I love Web 2.0 and have previously written blogs. I also like to write. My sister, who co-founded Sa with me, also felt that we should at some point write down all the stuff we were talking about everyday — the man who tried to grope someone on the street, the lady teacher who said “girls don’t sit like this” and glared at you, the bit in the news about the tribal women. So we decided to start a colla-blog at first to write about these issues. It grew much bigger and faster than we’d anticipated. So we turned it into a regular webzine.
Which were the entries that really interested you?
My favourite is “My Afghan Heroine” by Eshita Jayaswal. Eshita is a regular on Sa and this story is about an Afghan maid her family hired while they lived in Islamabad. The article traces the maid’s domestic abuse at home, her love for Indian cinema and her somewhat turbulent relationship with the burqa and her home country, all through the eyes of the author who was a 11-year-old Indian immigrant in Pakistan. Apart from this, I found “I am NOT a Spinster” by Aishwarya a great read. As she says, why is the word Bachelor reminiscent of George Clooney and spinster of a crazy woman with 20 cats? I was, of course, completely thrilled as well to publish an article by Dr. Crystal David on women and invisible work because it was her teaching that got the feminist juggernaut rolling for me. Abhisikta Dasgupta’s art is brilliant as well. Just what we’d been looking for. The sisters have entered a new field of entrepreneurship, supplying for a very abstract need, the need for people to express their views in a place where their voices will be heard. They have over 20 writers contributing to Sa and very active facebook and twitter pages; so the message is obviously being spread effectively.
Visit www.savadati.com to understand more and perhaps even contribute to their growing team or fan following!
Zara is taking a gap year after finishing her Std. XII from Sishya
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