By Sonal Rana
Ayesha Asif, an aspiring clinical psychologist, is an online feminist-activist who collects quotes and stories centred around the concerns of women’s empowerment, environmentalism, abusive relationships, mental health, casteism and self-love.
“I believe feminism without intersectionality is shallow and self-serving,” says Ayesha. “It is important to consider the various social intersections of wealth, caste, religion and disability while talking about feminism because the oppression of all women is not the same.”
Ayesha’s blog, which has over 20,000 followers, helps facilitate a safe space for victims of any kind of abuse by providing a means for them to come forward and share their stories anonymously.
“As an ally to the marginalized, and also as a supporter of victims of abuse, it is not my job to speak for them. It is my job to step down from my platform and ‘pass the mic’. I feel the need to give space and visibility to the work and emotional labour put in by members of disadvantaged communities to educate us about their struggles instead of me speaking over them,” says Ayesha.
One of the many reasons that Ayesha created the page was to harness knowledge about social issues herself. “I thought of putting myself in the middle of an online activist community that would provide me with the exposure I wanted. And I was right, the journey has been incredibly enlightening,” says Ayesha, who is doing her Bachelor’s in psychology and works at a play school.
In addition to the vast, and equally manifold, avenue of feminism, her page also deals ardently with the concept of mental health. Having suffered from the shallows of depression, the 22-year-old found herself face-to-face with people’s dangerously ignorant attitude towards mental illness.
She adds, “Seeing this happen first-hand and also to my close friends made me aware of the urgency with which we needed to work towards normalizing and destigmatizing neurodivergent people seeking help for their disorders.”
The journey that Ayesha has chosen to embark on is a strenuous but a necessary one. The mere realization that her page holds the potential to create a positive change in even a single person is what keeps her going.
In fact, Ayesha is now planning to expand the scope of the page to set up workshops in schools about sex education and warning signs of unhealthy or toxic situations. She also plans on teaming up and volunteering with NGOs.
This is part two of the three-part series ‘Women For Women’ published in eShe’s September 2018 issue