This fortnight on the podcast, with apologies for the one-month delay since our last episode, I sit down for a chat with Zoya Patel, a writer, editor, friend of six years and the founder of Feminartsy, an online feminist arts and literature journal (which you should check out).
It’s hard to overestimate the influence some people’s approach to their passions has on their friends. Zoya and I have been friends since 2011, and in those six years of coffee dates, shared writing and lengthy conversations about the politics of gender, Zoya was one of the first people to hear about the idea for Homer, and through her work as an editor, writer and activist, influenced my thinking enormously.
It’s not too much to say Homer probably wouldn’t have happened were it not for Feminartsy.
But Zoya’s other great influence on me has been to sharpen my critical faculties. One thing we’ve always had in common is an abiding skepticism, and nothing pleases me more than to bring an idea that doesn’t sit right with me to Zoya and hear what she makes of it. This is nowhere truer than in matters of feminism and gender.
Unfortunately, Zoya’s about to leave our shared hometown of Canberra for the craggy inclines of Scotland, so this struck me as an important opportunity to sit down and discuss our friendship and everything that’s helped to define it: feminism, writing, masculinity and more.
I hope you enjoy this new episode; it felt like no time at all and could easily have been an hour long.