Flumes Volume 2: Issue 1, Summer 2017 - Page 26

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to become like my mom. So, lately I feel like I’m more of my mother’s daughter, and I believe that’s what I love about my parents is being exposed to their love.

Their love is so beautiful to me. The way my dad carries himself in the culture, the way my mom carries herself. I think that’s what has made me want to become a strong person and speak up. My mom says “This is why you should write about our culture, our religion.” Especially our religion, because in our religion we treat women so beautifully. Feminism is a thing, and you know Sikhism’s been distorted. I read something where it said a couple, these Sikh writers, have been, I guess they’ve been criticized for speaking about feminism and some man or some Sikh said that “There’s no feminism in Sikhism.” And yes, there is. It’s very strong there.

I went on to tell her about what I had read from Dorothy Allison, who I had interviewed recently, about how writers are revolutionaries, something I had explored before I knew Dorothy felt the same. So I asked Jassi what she thought.

JGH: Do you think that writers are revolutionaries?

JKB: The thing is, that’s what I’m experiencing right now. They say that when you send your work out, men are read more, men are given the chance or published more. So, I asked my professor. I don’t go by Jasmeen, and I said if I write myself as J.K. Bassi, do I want to get published? I think that in a way, the idea of a trickster character, I think of... you gotta work around the system. The whole idea of signifying... you gotta work around the system.

JGH: I mean so many women had pen names or took on a male name just to get published.

JKB: Yeah, and then I think about my writing, and there’s no way that it will be passed as a male writing, and I believe that, too. So, I think that’s so relevant even today. I don’t want to lose my name, so if I know my writing’s feminine I want to go by Jassi K. Bassi or he [her professor] said “You can do J.K. Bassi. Maybe that will give you more chance of getting in.”

to become like my mom. So lately I feel like I’m more of my mother’s daughter, and I believe that’s what I love about my parents is being