Introducing: Brenda!

“Introducing” is an ongoing series in which we ask bloggers, activists, allies, entrepreneurs and assorted Bostonians about their inspirations, motivations, super powers and experiences with street harassment. If you know someone you think we should feature here, please drop us a line!

introducing: brenda! // hollaback! boston

Brenda is a local activist and blogger, and one of two new additions to the Hollaback! Boston team. As our Outreach Coordinator, Brenda will be handling Take Back The Bar, Safer Spaces and other programs, and can be found on twitter and at Boricua Feminist. Welcome, Brenda – we’re so glad to have you on board!

Tell us about yourself – what are you into? I am a Latina feminist activist and blogger. By day, I am a law school diversity professional which means I get to utilize my passion for equality and racial justice daily. I have spent the last seven months becoming obsessed with yoga and don’t know how I could live without it. Music is a huge part of my life and if I’m not singing or dancing at home, I’m probably at a concert. I unabashedly love pop culture and deconstructing media is one of my favorite pastimes. I believe Buffy is the greatest show that has ever existed and directly influenced my feminism. At the end of my busy days I enjoy snuggling up with a book (or the tv) while my partner plays his guitar.

Define your style: I consider myself cool and casual, on trend but not trendy. Tie dye or anything with hippy flair is up my alley. Moto jackets are a must. Long hair, don’t care! My tattoos are my accessory.

Favorite Boston fact: The Boston Public Library was the first large free municipal library in the United States. I love books and it’s great to know I live in the city that introduced free knowledge to the community before the internet.

Your favorite place in Boston? SOWA Open Market. My partner and I love to walk there on Sunday mornings to buy food at the farmers market and browse the crafts and antiques. Nothing like supporting your local farmers and artists.

Have you experienced/witnessed street harassment in Boston? What stood out most in your memory? Daily. I think what always stands out is the persistence. The willingness to keep at it even when the person is clearly not interested or has explicitly said no or stop. Recently a guy kept harassing this woman on the bus. He finally said, “I just want to be your friend.” And she said, “I have enough friends.” That shut him up. I wanted to give her a hug.

What’s your signature response to street harassment – your go-to Hollaback? I don’t have a signature response because I always like to be aware of my surroundings and my safety when responding. However, I do give a mean stank face and evil eye-sometimes that can go a long way.

Your superpower is… maintaining friendships across racial, ethnic, gender and sexual identities. Sadly in our society this is a power that everyone one has but so few choose to utilize. These relationships give me strength, hence my super power.

What are you excited about in 2013? I am excited to be an official member of the Hollaback! team. I am also excited to maintain my work with other women’s organizations in Boston in order to empower as many women and girls as I can. I am also excited to continue to make my voice heard on my blog and with my own music (for the first time, ahh).

What inspires you? Human love and kindness inspires me. Every day people look around and decide to make a change. Standing up for what you believe in can be difficult but I am constantly inspired by those who came before me in this fight and those who continue to speak truth to power.

If you could leave the world one piece of advice, what would it be? “Act the way you dream you could.” It’s from a song and I have it tattooed on my arm. I think we should always strive to be better to each other and to the planet. Change is possible, if you believe it’s possible.

Thank you so much, Brenda!

image credit: Hollaback! Boston

Have you taken our three-minute survey on the state of Boston’s streets? Please do, and share it with your networks – the more we know, the better we can serve our city!

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We actively denounce the notion that street harassment is culturally accepted and that victims somehow "deserve" it. Through raising awareness and sharing experiences, we hope to put an end to catcalling, groping, stalking, public masturbation, assaults, racial slurs, and other forms of street harassment. Because we believe we have the power to create a world where we can feel hot, confident, and badass, while still feeling safe!

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  1. […] conference was another reminder to keep fighting and that the fight matters. Last week I became the Outreach Coordinator for Hollaback! Boston. Now it is guaranteed that I will continue to […]

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