The national elections in the Netherlands are drawing closer, in March we will be voting for the House of Representatives (in Dutch: De Tweede Kamer, literally: The Second Chamber).
But what should we vote for…?
To answer that question, we’ve started a collective effort of formulating voting advice. Using our recently published Manifesto, we’ve made a list of criteria. Together, we are reading all the party programs and putting our findings in an online document. If you want to contribute to this document, please feel welcome to do so! At this point, we are writing in Dutch. When we’ve finished the analysis part, we will try to find someone who can put all the findings in a clear and handy infographic. We will also try to make the effort to translate this infographic for those who do not read Dutch but are interested in the programs of the Dutch parties.
So go on and head over to our google doc, and see how you can contribute to an important document for feminist voters in The Netherlands.
In de aanloop naar verkiezingen wil The Feminist Club politieke partijen oproepen om zich actief in te zetten voor een eerlijkere arbeidsmarkt. Daarom heeft The Feminist Club een Feministisch Manifest geschreven, waarin wordt beschreven op welke gebieden verbetering noodzakelijk is. We willen politici aansporen om zich hard te maken voor een werkvloer waar seksisme, racisme, discriminatie, cisheteronormativiteit en andere ongelijkheid wordt uitgebannen.
Het Manifest bestaat uit de volgende 6 hoofdpunten:
Reproductieve- en ouderschapsrechten
Loonkloof en waardering voor ‘vrouwen’werk
Vrijheid van kledingkeuze
Seksueel geweld en seksuele intimidatie
Racisme en discriminatie
Volledige decriminalisering van sekswerk
Wil je het manifest steunen? Graag! We nodigen personen en organisaties van harte uit om het manifest te delen via hun eigen kanalen. Laat het vooral weten als je ons manifest steunt. We plaatsen graag steunbetuigingen op onze website en in het manifest. Je kunt ons bereiken via email@example.com
A few weeks ago Lactacyd, a brand of “female hygiene” products, published a new video which – supposedly- was meant as an advert. It was terrible, shitty on all accounts. The video basically was four guys sitting at a table, body shaming women. Talking harshly about how they would never go down on an unshaven or unwashed pussy.
News for heterosexual men: vulva’s and vagina’s are NOT made for your pleasure, how vulva-owners treat their body is entirely up to them. Moreover, Lactacyd is a completely redundant product that can do a lot of harm to the skin. There is no reason to wash with anything other than water. Telling people that they should wash their genitals with soap because they might otherwise not get laid, is a disgusting business strategy.
I am very happy to say that within our group a couple of members initiated a video response, which has been published yesterday. Check it out here!
One of our members has written this beautiful piece on bad sex. She wishes to stay anonymus. If you want to write a message to the writer, you can send an e-mail to us, and when appropriate we will forward it to the writer.
The end of bad sex
Image by: Dunpharlain, 2010, click image for source
‘..Or you can stop whining’, he said softly, after I tried to address the topic that is our boring one-sided sex-life with my ex-boyfriend ‘Tom’*.
..Finally after kissing and fondling her, he quickly gained an erection and entered her in the male superior position, with little or no foreplay, and orgasmed in approximately 5 minutes. She had no orgasm and went to the bathroom. . . .
After trying to bring it up for the umpteenth time in all the ‘positive ways’ I could think of and things barely changing… he wished I would stop whining. ‘Well you can also think about different positions during intercourse’, he said. I explained, that while dick in my pussy is cool, it could hardly ever make me come, and is only a small part of what I consider good intimacy and sex. And that there are many more possibilities beyond that. He said, ‘I don’t have to come every time’. But somehow he did come nearly every time, and I came nearly never. Something he failed to notice or care about.
Preaching to the feminist choir
On the discussions on our Facebook page, there is certain topic that regularly resurfaces. Every once in a while people will critique online feminism, and I totally understand why. In our Facebook group, a lot of people post articles, pictures, videos, about feminist issues. The online discussions that follow are valuable. It is nice to see that people share these posts with others. Hopefully, some people are educated, grow and maybe also start calling themselves feminists. But a lot of the time, it can feel like preaching to the own choir. So shouldn’t our feminism be aimed more towards the outside? Shouldn’t we run to the streets and protest? Every so often someone will exclaim this in the Facebook group. Gathering likes within a feminist facebook group will hardly change the world right?
I think that sharing posts and reading up on feminist issues can be great. It’s very nice to find like-minded people. It gives a sense of belonging, knowing that you’re not the only one out there who thinks a certain way. Activism can take place online. We’ve seen that in the past when we collectively complained against sexist posters and more recently against an online campaign by health insurance company OHRA (in Dutch). And sharing articles is what got me personally involved with feminism. Without tumblr and twitter, I may have never been as active as I am now.
But going to streets does create change! For some examples, check out these articles on recent protests in Europe:
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.
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.
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.
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?