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“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!
Jamie is a freelance writer, doctoral student, activist, volunteer and fanastic addition to the Hollaback! Boston team; she’ll be helping to facilitate workshops, table events and spread the anti-street harassment word throughout the Hub, and can be found on twitter and all around the internet.
Tell us about yourself – what are you into? I‘m very into how welcoming the activists and writers – queers, vegans, feminists – have been in this city. (And if we haven’t met please find me on twitter @jamiejhagen and let’s get coffee!) I also just turned 30, moved to a new city (from Brooklyn to Boston) and I’m about to be a full-time student for the first time in my life so I’m into all of that.
Define your style: I think it’s fair to say I’m a bit intense! This approach led me to a jaded activist phase I’m proud to say I’m on the other side of now. I think it took me awhile to discover how to make myself useful. Now that I have a better sense of my role, I work to stay involved in a number of different movements and don’t get swallowed by my work in one. And I definitely value finding awesome people to work with like the Hollaback! Boston group, as well as having fun!
Favorite Boston fact: I appreciate that the story “Make Way for Ducklings” actually received both praise and criticism for the feminist, independent nature of Mrs. Mallard who assures her stubborn husband she can raise their ducklings alone if need be. Also, those duckling statues in the park are the cutest!
Your favorite place in Boston? I’ve only been in Boston for about a month and a half so I’m still completely charmed by the experience of crossing over the Charles River on the T and seeing all those little sailboats out the windows.
Have you experienced/witnessed street harassment in Boston? What stood out most in your memory? I got a “Hey beautiful!” the other day while I was very lost walking from the Sullivan Station to Union Square. Being lost while being harassed is a special sort of uncomfortable isn’t it? I’ve only been in Boston for about a month and a half so it’s not unusual for me to be lost while I’m walking around Boston. Being lost already makes me feel more vulnerable, let alone having a stranger size me up and holler at me from a stoop. I think the anti-street harassment movement is well served in reminding those who may take for granted feeling safe on the streets to be more aware of how others may feel un-safe or vulnerable. This type awareness should educate how we interact with those in our community. Though often this issue is framed as a need to educate men about how to interact with women, it’s certainly also an issue in the queer community and takes on many different power dynamics regardless of sex or gender.
Your superpower is… bulldog whisperer. Before moving to Boston I ran my own freelance dog walking business and for whatever reason about six of my clients were bulldogs. Bulldogs are a very special, stubborn breed and over the years I have learned their ways. If you need help with a bulldog, I’m your gal.
What inspires you? I’m totally inspired by those who are politically engaged and also committed to their own self-care and happiness. I’m also truly inspired by women who mentor other women, in my case Mandy Van Devin, former associate director of NYC’s Girls for Gender Equality, and journalist Jina Moore.
If you could leave the world one piece of advice, what would it be? Ask for help from those who have what you want. Life is too short to worry about asking stupid questions. Humble and curious are two wonderful things!
Jamie, thank you so much, and welcome to the team!
image credit: Hollaback! Boston
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