Date of Interview: August 4, 2016
Name: Alice Peck
Location: Washington, DC
If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?
I would be a seahorse, absolutely. I think because I really like the way they move. They also look nothing like horses which has always fascinated me; they look kind of like a saxophone and they move in a really magical way
Did you read fairytales or fantasy as a child? Did this impact who you are now?
A lot of fairytales. As a child I read a lot of the more traditional ones that you read to little girls and little boys. And they’re quite gender binary, very traditional gender roles – like with women saved by the man, and it’s actually taken me a couple years to kind of shake off that. Realizing what is a fairytale and now not wanting that kind of thing in my life at all. So yeah, these kinds of things impact you definitely, but in a way that I can question now.
What are you passionate about?
Gosh, so many things. I love… Right now I love reading so much. I get swept up in words and I think waking up and reading poetry, which sounds so pretentious, is so good for my soul. I just think there is so much unlocked potential when you begin reading. You never know how you’re going to react to it. It can be a really beautiful form of escapism. More broadly, I’m really passionate about challenging inequality, injustice, and discrimination.
Do you think how you were raised effected this?
Yeah, definitely. Well, for a start, I was raised in a way that was very fortunate and privileged. I never had to worry about… anything. I lived a sheltered life but my parents were very good about talking about our privilege. Letting me know that this wasn’t the way for everyone, and what responsibilities come with privilege. Also my responsibility comes from what I really believe is wrong and learning about institutional racism and sexism. And learning why these things are wrong. It’s something that I’m really passionate about as I think everything was handed to me on a plate and that’s really unfair.
What is something that you’re afraid of for yourself?
I would say… Failure. In a… How do I describe failure… I think I have very high standards and ambitions for myself. And I can be my worst critic. Something I’m working on and challenging a bit is this idea of success. I’m questioning what looks good and personal goals. I think not living up to them is something I am definitely afraid of.
What is something that you’re afraid of for the world?
Climate change. Yeah, I feel quite hopeless when I look at the beauty of the planet and how we’re destroying it. And how we don’t know how to respond to it.
Do you think the world was always like this or that there have been changes within the past decade?
I mean, the history of the world is of one that has been at constant war. So, I think, definitely think that there hasn’t been this “Golden Age” of peace and security. And if there was “peace” there was violence against women or suppression of people who are homosexual or people of color. So yeah, I think the world has always been like this but right now it seems very extreme due to the way it’s broadcasted into our lives all the time. The ways that everyone is vocalizing their voice on twitter and broadcasting it out on social media. How people can just say racist bigoted things and it gets everywhere. I think it’s a different form of the usual kind of violence and hatred that we’ve always had. It’s so bleak.
What are your thoughts on relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise.
I think relationships and connections with other humans is one of the most rewarding and hopeful things in life. Especially since we live in such a sad time, being able to connect to another human being and share words and understand and listen… just coming together from different perspectives is one of the most beautiful things. Also, physical intimacy is… Incredible ::laughs::. I don’t know, in terms of a long-term personal relationship… I think I’m more cynical.
If you could tell your 15 year old self something, what would it be?
So many things I would want to tell myself… I think, if I could convince my 15 year old self to believe in myself and love myself a bit… Just have some self compassion. Yeah.