Feminism and Abortion

Last Wednesday, November 9th, we held another discussion night, this time on feminism and abortion. We started the evening with discussing the win of Donald Trump in the USA elections. His win can have devastating results to the abortion-laws in America.

Compared to the previous discussion nights, the turnout was quite low, however we had a very interesting and sometimes enervating meeting. We had more time to go in-depth and ponder on the issues at stake, so the quality of a discussion night is not in the amount of people that turn up.

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Feminism and (Zwarte) Piet

It is almost impossible to live in the Netherlands and not know about Sinterklaas. This mythical Greek-Turkish bishop, who resides in Spain for most of the year, comes over to the Netherlands by steamboat in November. For a few weeks children can put their shoe in front of the fireplace, put a carrot in it for Sinterklaas’ horse Amerigo, and hope to receive a small gift. On the 5th of December the Sinterklaas time has it’s climax on Pakjesavond (Presents Night). Gifts are exchanged, often accompanied by poems. After that event, Sinterklaas silently leaves the country to return to his castle in Spain. Since a few years, there are some ‘going-away’ festivities as well, especially for children with autism.

But Sinterklaas does not come alone. He bring a bunch of helpers, and this makes the festivities very problematic. The Helpers of Sinterklaas wear blackface make-up, including bright red big lips and are called Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). Additionally, they wear big gold hoop earring and their suits are modeled after the uniforms that black child slaves wore in the 17th Century.
In the last few years, more and more people have been speaking out about the Zwarte Piet figure, pointing out that it is a racist and harmful stereotype. A lot of people disagree with this viewpoint and the debate has been quite grim.

A lot has been written about this debate and as intersectional feminists, we feel it is our duty to share some insights on this debate. In this post, we will share articles written by others that can help understanding the tradition and the harmfulness of it; as well as deciding where you stand and maybe shift your position a little bit.

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Feminism and Abortion

Next week, on the 9th of November, we will be having our next Discussion Night, and this time we will be discussion abortion. One of our members has prepared a great list of discussion questions and in this post we want to present those, as well as sources that will help you prepare for the discussion night and learn more about abortion.

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The Feminist Club Responds (Dutch)

Recent stond in de NRC een opiniestuk van Colin van Heezik (lees hier via Blendle, €0,29) over de zogenaamde condition masculine. (Hetero) Mannen hebben nu eenmaal oerdriften die zij niet kunnen beheersen, stelde van Heezik. Een aantal van onze leden hebben een reactie geschreven op dit artikel.

Seksualiteit moet gedeeld goed zijn
Praten over seks: tot op welke hoogte moet het kunnen? Wanneer is iets kleedkamerpraat of corporaal gebral en wanneer wordt het goedpraten van verkrachtingscultuur? Noor Spanjer roept mannen (terecht) op om elkaar scherp te houden. Om niet schaapachtig mee te grinniken als je na de voetbalwedstrijd even uitgelegd krijgt hoe je een meisje met haar kut om je kanon legt.  Logisch toch? Niet voor Colin van Heezik. Voor van Heezik is de “werkelijkheid complexer.” Wij leggen hem graag uit waarom de werkelijkheid van seksueel geweld tegen vrouwen en het seksistisch taalgebruik dat daaraan verbonden is eigenlijk helemaal niet zo complex is.

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The Feminist Club Recommends: Youtubers

The great power of new media is accessibility. Through media like youtube, twitter, and tumblr, you can find like-minded people from all over the world. It’s a wonderful way to connect and an opportunity to educate yourself. In this serie of blogposts, we want to share our favorite channels, tweeps and tumblee (is that a word?) etc. with you!

In this first edition you can find our favorite youtube channels. Click on the names to go to their channel, or watch on of their videos here. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment with channels that should also be on this list!

Riley J. Dennis
Riley makes videos about all kinds of intersectional feminist topics, in which she explains her viewpoints. Some of the topics that she has uploaded about in the last few months are the Burkini ban in France, polyamory, intersex, asexuality, and Donald Trump’s infamous “Grab ’em By The Pussy” recordings.

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Feminism and Mental Health #2

On October 18th we had a great Discussion Night at the office of Mama Cash, where we discussed mental health in relation to feminism. In this blogpost, we want to highlight some of the things that we discussed.

First of all, it should be mentioned that a night like this can work like a trigger. Talking about one’s past and using ableist language can be hurtful and emotional. This came up yesterday and we weren’t really prepared for it. We try to learn from these instances and provide a space that is as safe as possible, however we shall not always succeed. We do continue to try to improve. If you ever feel triggered or unsafe, please let us know.

We started the night of with discussing ableist language and trying to find suitable alternatives for ableist phrases. If someone is having moodswings, don’t call them bipolar or a schizo. If someone is being unreasonable, don’t call them crazy. If someone is upset, don’t call them hysteric.
For some phrases, it was hard to come up with good alternatives. If you’re going to say that someone you don’t know looks anorexic, it might be better to not say anything at all. Other words, like idiot or imbecile, once were used as official terms in psychology. Many people are not aware of this history and use the word to indicate that someone is being dense or silly. Is that okay? Can a phrase lose it’s original charged meaning and can it then be used as a more or less innocent swearword?

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Feminism and Mental Health

On the 18th of October, we will be having our second discussion night of this year. We will be discussing mental health in relation to feminism (and vice versa).

In what ways can feminism contribute to your mental health? How can people who struggle with their mental health be supported by feminists? How can our group be (more) inclusive? In what ways do sexism, racism and other –isms play a role in mental health issues?

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