Jess is one of my English students. She's about to sit her GCSEs before going on to Sixth Form. Jess is a writer and a thinker with plenty to say, and the SOFA is delighted to give her some space to share her views. I asked her about her writing, how she saw herself as a modern teenager, and as a young woman and to chat about life in general
''I don’t recall the exact age or book that got me into reading…I always read as a child and it’s been an interest that's stayed with me. At the moment I love reading horror, true crime and sci fi, but I also love classics such as Vladimir Nabokov’s ‘Lolita’, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’, and all of George Orwell’s books. I am inspired constantly by Stephen King especially, the quote “they can’t scare me if I scare them first” is something of a personal motivator.
I see my identity as whatever I want it to be, despite the surrounding pressures I feel to be this or that. I feel the pressure to be skinny but curvy, pretty but not intimidatingly pretty, submissive but assertive, and dumb but intelligently dumb. I feel like one day I’m being told to be something then the next I’m being told to be the opposite.
And even when I fit the bill EXACTLY, its still not right. My dictated identity is, however, a “bitch” because I don’t sugar-coat my feelings or thoughts and I don’t feel the need to flatter stupid little boys and immature little girls wearing masks of maturity; a “nerd” because I care about my future and what happens in it, and I have a “wrong” obsession with video games (which are, as I’ve been told, for boys only), as well as lastly a “hypocrite” because I claim to be a feminist despite looking down on and criticising the majority of girls in my generation (I can’t help that the majority of them only share one brain cell, but, whatever…).
And radfems (as a general population, I’m sure some of them are nice) can go and die in the hole they built in the “patriarchy, in the words of Frances Bean Cobain. You don’t have to fight for your right to not wear a bra or not shave your armpits, those are things you just do. Ruining the whole concept of feminism however, may be something you have to fight for a right to do…
Although sometimes I immensely dislike who I am, I’ve actually quite come to like me. You are, after all, your only real life companion. You are born alone, you die alone and all that…however sometimes I wish I was a few years into the future with a criminology and English degree under my belt, working at a nice well paid job in a psychiatric prison, writing books on the sde.
I’ve seen a lot of people saying that they wish cheap space travel would come quicker. I sincerely hope for all the other living organisms in the galaxy, this never happens. It’s bad enough that we’ve already destroyed one planet, if it dies, we should die with it and let the rest of the galaxy finally live in peace, like it was supposed to. Modern politics ticks me off, modern education ticks me off. I’m a pessimist that gets ticked off by a lot of things, including the human race itself, more often than not. Why can’t we find a middle ground? Between capitalism and communism, peace and war, discipline and freewill?
The stupidity of humans never ceases to amaze me; one of the reasons why I think I’m so interested in serial killers: I can relate to their lack of understanding of (and sometimes, lack of empathy towards) people. Not that I don’t think the world has its nice moments, however few and far between they are, and I still keep a little faith in the kindness of strangers. I think about a lot of different things constantly, my head is like a little machine that is continually whirring over a million things at one. I find it difficult to stay in one place.''