‘Ik pik dit niet meer!’
“I will not take this anymore!”
There are a few Dutch, male, former Wikipedians who dominate the Wikipedia criticism sites. If you ask them, and probably even if you do not ask them, they will man-splain to you that the Netherlands is One Big Happy Family, and that they personally created equality for Dutch women by marching in the 60s.
They refer to women in the Wikimedia movement as “gender bitches”, and the criticism sites let them get away with it.
But what do Dutch women say?
As a result of speaking out about her own experience with sexual violence, Laterveer lost her job, but she can’t even talk about it, because of a non-disclosure agreement.
Laterveer werd een landelijk boegbeeld. ,,Ik heb mijn baan erdoor verloren. Het was voor mijn werkgever te ongemakkelijk wat ik aan het doen was, dus moest ik weg. Hoe het precies gegaan is, mag ik niet zeggen.
But slowly, women are coming forward to tell their stories.
Sexual harassment occurs on the street, with friends or at festivals…. Almost every woman has a story about the station in Rotterdam.
Seksuele intimidatie komt ook voor op straat, bij vrienden of op festivals…. Op het station in Rotterdam heeft vrijwel elke vrouw wel een verhaal.
Berfin Dem (age 36) will no longer go to the Kruiskade shopping district in central Rotterdam. “I am completely finished with it. One man is in the car, the other one jumps out and is on the other side. Then they try to talk you in, or to drag you.”
Op de Kruiskade in Rotterdam komt Berfin Dem (36) niet meer. ,,Ik ben er helemaal klaar mee. De ene man zit in de auto, de ander springt eruit en staat aan de andere kant. Dan proberen ze je naar binnen te praten, of te sleuren.
So what does Wikipedia say about ZegHet and Anke Laterveer? Crickets. According to Dutch Wikipedia, the hashtag is “#ikook”, not #ZetHet. Completely unsourced, of course.
Soprano Alicia Berneche told The Washington Post that while she was working at the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center in 1996, the conductor invited her to his dressing room for a coaching session before forcing himself on her: “his hand on my rear end, and his tongue down my throat.”
Berneche said she had wanted to report his behaviour but that a friend had warned her not to, saying: “If you come forward, you will be fired, and he will continue.”
Another singer, soprano Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet also made an allegation against the conductor. She told the paper that in 2000, while they were both working on a production of Wagner‘s The Flying Dutchman in Bologna in Italy the conductor had tried to force himself on her: “I pushed him off and ran out of the room.”
If the Netherlands is such a paradise for women, why does it take an American newspaper to expose these things?
This one is just weird. Amsterdam has 35 public urinals for men and just 4 public toilets for women. A male judge in Amsterdam fined a woman €90 for peeing in public and told her that she could have used a men’s urinal. The resulting “Amsterdam pee in public protest” was cancelled after too many women (around 8,000) wanted to attend.
And then there’s catcalling, and the “dearcatcallers” project on Instagram, similar to the “ten hours of walking in New York as a woman” video. A young Dutch woman spent a month taking selfies of herself with her tormentors. Like the New York video, it went viral.
The Netherlands is way more violent towards women than the rest ot Europe. By the time Dutch women reach the age of 15, 45% of them have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence, compared to 33% for the rest of Europe.
But what about equality for women? Haven’t Dutch men have given them everything?
Nope. When it comes to the pay gap, the Netherlands lags behind much of Europe. Although the Netherlands is first in educational level of women, it ranks 32nd for gender pay equality and 50th in wages for similar work.
The moral of the story? If you are female, do NOT go to Holland.