Author: Meghna Pant, Shaili Chopra
Publisher: Penguin Books, India
Publishing Date: 17th August 2018
Cost: Rs. 90 (Paperback), Rs. 147.25 (Kindle Edition)
Feminist Rani is a collection of interviews with path-breaking and fascinating opinion leaders - Kalki Koechlin, Tanmay Bhatt, Gul Panag, Aditi Mittal, Gauri Sawant, and many more. These are women and men who have advocated gender equality and women's rights through their work. These compelling conversations provide a perspective on the evolving concept of feminism in an age when women are taking charge and leading the way.
Their stories are well-researched and thought-provoking. The conversations indicate real incidents and experiences that will surprise you, shock you, knock out your conscience and anger you. But more importantly, they force you to look within and question your own sense and understanding of the word ‘feminism’ and urge you to find your personal grounding on it.
About why this book has the potential to speak to many and the grounds of being relatable, Shaili says: “Our normative values are patriarchal and discriminatory especially when it comes to freedom of speech. The women interviewed tell us how they live on their own terms. And hopefully, the narrative of the battles they fought, how they overcame them will inspire and fire-new thoughts in all those who are silently internalising and dealing with stereotypes and discrimination.”
Although among these women, there are two men speaking out candidly about this topic, it, however, shows long we, as a society have to go to incorporate more men into such discussions. It is extremely crucial for people of every kind to be involved in such a movement.
Sourabh Pant uses his comedy to address burning issues like sanitary napkin tax, fairness creams, violence against women, marital rape, in order to continue a fight that doesn’t affect 50% but 100% of the population.
Tanmay Bhatt speaks about how men are still learning and evolving with regards to feminism. Through his own experience, he speaks about how he was body-shamed and fought back using comedy for social commentary.
There’s a quote from Aditi Mittal saying: ‘We don’t want to be your Madonna, and we don’t want to be your whore. We don’t want to be your ghar ki izzat, and we don’t want to be your office ki shaan. We want to be us. Start seeing women as human beings. That would be awesome.’- This pretty much sums up the book’s agenda.
The book presents different views about how different people experienced feminism or the need for it differently. It also talks about how there is a need for urgency for stopping the entire vicious backlash against feminism.
About the Authors:
Meghna Pant is a multiple award-winning author, journalist, and speaker. Her books – Happy Birthday!, One & A Half Wife, Feminist Rani, The Trouble With Women and How To Get Published In India– have been published and received both: commercial and critical acclaim.
She has been felicitated with various honours and shortlisted for distinguished contribution to literature, gender issues and journalism, including the Laadli Media Award, Bharat Nirman Award, Muse India Young Writer Award, FON South Asia Short Story Award, Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, Frank O'Connor International Award, and the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Pant's short stories have been published in over a dozen global literary magazines, including Avatar Review, Wasafari, Eclectica, etc. Meghna has lived in Delhi, Singapore, Zurich, Dubai and New York City. She is currently based in Mumbai with her husband and daughters.
Shaili Chopra is an Indian business journalist, author and entrepreneur. She is the founder of SheThePeople.TV, a platform to empower women with stories of role models and inspire them with a changing conversation on women and what matters to them. As a business journalist, she is known for working at NDTV Profit and ET NOW and has won the 2012 Ramnath Goenka Award for excellence in Business journalism among various other awards. She then switched to being an entrepreneur and wrote four books. Her ventures are India's women's channel SheThePeople.TV and GolfingIndian.com. Her books include Feminist Rani by Penguin, When I Was 25 by Random House, Big Connect- Social Media and Indian Politics by Random House, and Birdies in Business by Times Books.