Dutch women don’t get depressed

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In a riff on the book ‘French Women Don’t Get Fat’, a book that explains how French women manage to avoid the treadmill of the gym by skipping along merrily from marché to marché carrying delightful baskets full of good wholesome food, (Dutch! female!) psychologist Ellen de Bruin has published a book called ‘Dutch Women Don’t Get Depressed’. The review in the International Herald Tribune seems to be toggling between the ideas that on the one hand the book is a parody, on the other, a serious work.

So why don’t Dutch women get depressed? The review hints at many a contorted explanation, dragging in several stereotypical views of Dutch society. Gay marriage gets a look in (suggesting the Dutch desire for family building) as does the Amsterdam Red Light District (suggesting sexual freedom). And an important element seems to be that Dutch women don’t feel the stress of the need to seduce, and instead dress in lumpy, gender-blurring clothes that are ideal for biking along windy canals.

Meanwhile English (female!) columnist Sarah Sands first discards the suggestion that an English version should be called ‘Why English Women Don’t Get Laid’, then gets bitter:

This is also a country that embraces euthanasia. All those elderly parents in old people’s homes must feel nervous about family visits. And if we have discovered the correct social conditions for human happiness, they are fragile. The cultural clash between Islam and the secular West has been fought ferociously on Dutch soil.

The main problem with this book is that it does not have the obvious appeal of French Women… Many of us would like to be French, at least on the outside. With respect, how many of us wish to be Dutch?

You tell ’em, fatty! ‘Ere, have some Belgian chocolate.

7 Comments »

  1. I’m incredulous: in my experience half the Dutch workforce at any given time is on extended sick leave recovering from the latest ‘inzinking’ or bout of ‘overspanning’.

    Comment by Belgian Uncle — June 11, 2007 @ 3:23 pm

  2. I own a collection of Dutch newspaper and magazine articles that say how lazy Dutch women are. Whether it be true or not, I have never heard of or seen anything of the sort in all of North America.

    Comment by Orangemaster — June 11, 2007 @ 3:34 pm

  3. What a load of BS… This is just as generalizing as saying all American women are overweight and dumb, all English women are drunken sluts when on holiday and all German women are loudmouthed beer-drinking Lena’s from the Beer Fest.

    Yes, Holland is very tolerant, sometimes too tolerant in my point of view.
    But there are so many different nationalities living in this country, so many different types of women, that stating the dutch women do not get depressed is very shortsighted. We do get depressed. We do encounter hardship, we do have PMS. But we are openminded and creative enough to find our way out of it. Mostly.

    And if we can’t manage, there’s always chocolate…

    Comment by Dutchie — November 17, 2007 @ 11:21 pm

  4. It also proves that generalisation in the Netherlands is all about white Dutch speaking women, as of all the rest of us don’t exist. It’s BS indeed :)

    Comment by Orangemaster — November 18, 2007 @ 3:39 pm

  5. Isn’t it funny actually that we try to push women from countries in these boxes, while in fact we usually can only recognise parts of ourselves in these descriptions?

    In every country there will be depressed or fat or lazy or loud women. The same as that in every country there will be thin or busy or happy or seductive women but does that make them the norm to which we all should be compared?
    I think not.

    I’d like to think that books like these are purely for entertainment reason. A fun topic to talk about over the table.
    Do they reflect my (or maybe other’s) reality. Not even close.

    But that doesn’t make it less fun to read. And laugh about afterwards.

    Comment by Georgie — November 6, 2009 @ 2:15 pm

  6. […] a country where Dutch women don’t get depressed, the Netherlands regularly topping the world’s happiest nations and Dutch kids are happy […]

    Pingback by 24 oranges » Really happy or just faking it? A depressed country — August 9, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

  7. […] As they say, Dutch women don’t get depressed. […]

    Pingback by 24 oranges » Dutch working mothers are paid less than working fathers — June 16, 2013 @ 10:34 pm

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