June 15, 2018

Teenage girls help police catch pickpockets in Rotterdam

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 4:24 pm

Two teenage girls in Rotterdam have quite the hobby: they hang out in the main shopping area, track pickpockets, film them on their phones, and report them to the police.

Both girls, who want to become police officers when they grow up, say that they can easily spot pickpockets because their clothes are usually ‘one year out of style’. The dynamic duo work together with a police officer who goes through their footage and presents them to colleagues.

Not only do the girls want to become police officers later on, but they say that their dream would be to set up a livestream to follow the activities of pickpockets.

(Link: nu.nl, Photo by Facemepls, some rights reserved)

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May 9, 2018

Dutch orchestra gets first female conductor

Filed under: Dutch first,Music by Orangemaster @ 3:43 pm

The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, which ranks third in the hierarchy behind the Concertgebouw and the Rotterdam Philharmonic, has just appointed its first ever female conductor, the American Karina Canellakis, 36, who will succeed German conductor Markus Stenz in September 2019.

Canellakis, the first woman music director of a major Dutch orchestra, made her debut at the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in Utrecht and Amsterdam, with works from Britten, Shostakovich and Beethoven. In 2016 she won the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award. Canellakis was also assistant to Dutch conductor Jaap van Zweden in Dallas and is being introduced to Dutch media as his protegée. She credits her first conducting opportunity to a stint at the Berlin Philharmonic Academy, when Sir Simon Rattle offered her the baton.

(Links: nu.nl, slippedisc.com, Photo of Carlo Antonio Testore violin, Milan, 1738 by Jason Hollinger, some rights reserved)

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March 5, 2018

Sexist toys for boys pulled from Dutch supermarkets

Filed under: General,Sports by Orangemaster @ 4:13 pm

Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 15.52.06

A football party pack marketed to boys aged 8-13 is being pulled from the shelves of the Albert Heijn supermarket chain for being sexist and glorifying stereotypically bad behaviour. Sure, a party pack with football-related items sounds almost acceptable except that this one automatically excludes girls form the get-go, making it not only sexist but also implying girls don’t play football, which they do en masse. What an odd situation, especially knowing Dutch women win at the highest levels of football. Maybe they should market this party pack to girls instead, albeit without belittling others in the process.

But this game gets worse, fast. They are cards in the game with multiple answer questions like “If a girl you don’t like asks you out, what do you do?” One of the answers is “I laugh at her”. Another question is “what is something you don’t want to see?”. One of the answers is “crying girls”. There’s another card about what to do at the beach that suggests “looking at girls” as an answer. Aren’t boys usually playing in the water or kicking a ball on the beach at that age?

This is a country where companies don’t check what they aim at children and a colouring book with an image of Hitler making a Nazi salute and wearing a Swastika armband and toys for boys to use to assault women (not girls, women).

(Link and screenshot: nltimes.nl)

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January 24, 2018

Sexist carnival theme gets students’ funding cut

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 1:07 pm

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Eindhoven University of Technology, Jan Mengelers, ‘blew up’ at a student association for using a sexist and ‘rapey’ carnival themed party on campus entitled #nietoo intended as a play on words and a rhyme of #meetoo.

Translated into English, the theme is ‘What women want doesn’t count’ (‘De wil van de vrouw doet er #nietoo’), with a wonderful image of a young woman with tape over her mouth and #nietoo stamped on it. These are future engineers in the making; their parents must be proud.

Mengelers gave the representatives of this student association, which I have a feeling has little or no women in it, a stern talking to on the same day he found out and in true straight up Brabo style told them this conversation wasn’t going to be a long one and told them their annual funding has been cut off.

The student association plans to publicly apologise, cancel the party and investigate internally. In one month, these morons will have to talk to Mengelers again and see if they’re still the cavemen they’ve shown us they can be.

update: The poster in question (see link), which was a bit tough to read, also reads ‘for 18 years and up and 5 years and under’ which shocked a lot of people more than the sexist remarks.

(Link: omroepbrabant.nl)

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December 18, 2017

Rotterdam launches app to report harassment

Filed under: Technology by Orangemaster @ 12:26 pm

Thanks to a new Dutch app called ‘Stop-App’, people will be able to report cat-calling, whistling, hissing (it’s a thing here) and threats of many kinds on the streets of Rotterdam. As of 1 January 2018, this kind of behaviour will be punishable by law with fines starting at 190 euro and running up to 4100 euro or three months in jail.

Like me, you’re probably wondering if this will work or have any effect – who knows. The city claims that it can effectively combat this bad behaviour if people report it. As well, Rotterdam will have special agents on the streets talking to offenders, with action only if warranted. It’s the Netherlands, everybody talks things out first.

The app will also need people who make reports to let it use their phone location, but if the situation is dangerous, calling emergency number 112 is still the right thing to do. According to research in Rotterdam, some 84% of women between 18 and 45 have been sexually intimidated, half of which is afraid to go to certain places at night. Only 5% of women report the harassment, and the goal of the app is to make it easier and increase this percentage.

(Link: rijnmond.nl, Photo by William Hook, some rights reserved)

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December 4, 2017

Radio pranks singer with streaker, artists outraged

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 10:40 am

On November 17 during a live radio show where young singer Maan de Steenwinkel was performing, the show’s male DJs thought it would be amusing to have a male streaker run through the studio. What happened is that 20-year-old The Voice of Holland winner Maan was on the radio singing live, panicked, and burst out in tears for all to see and hear.

Although the incident happened a few weeks ago, it was published extensively on social media yesterday. And even in November, Dutch singer Tim Knol had already tweeted his outrage right after the incident, saying “Shit radio. UNBELIEVABLE BUNGLERS. That’s not how you treat artists. Nobody should go to that shit station anymore to promote their music. Sod off.” Dutch columnist Sheila Sitalsing answered more eloquently, but in the same vein: “And to sell her music, she’s dependent on this type of station with creepy men who think that creepy men’s fantasies are amusing. Urg”. A Dutch business radio station manager said that if the DJs worked at his station, he would have fired them.

But yeah, that’s all nice to hear after the fact, but someone somewhere thought it was hilarious to trash an artist’s performance for the sake of a laugh. The Dutch radio station in question is indeed an outdated white Dutch male frat boy outfit who also thought it was fine to promote the Olympics this way a few years back.

(Links: nos.nl, parool.nl, nu.nl)

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November 28, 2017

Nigella Lawson upset about Dutch book translation

Filed under: Food & Drink,Literature by Orangemaster @ 10:23 am

Famous English gourmet Nigella Lawson has criticised the Dutch title of her cookbook ‘How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking’, which in Dutch is ‘Hoe word ik een goddelijke huisvrouw?’ (Roughly, ‘How can I become a divine housewife?’. The irksome intruder is ‘housewife’ because there’s no ‘housewife’ at all in English. Although there is a reference to women with the word ‘goddess’, implying that women would be the target market, the Dutch title clearly goes one backwards step too far for Lawson.

“I’m not a housewife at all. I don’t have anything against housewives, but I’m a business woman with a career”, said Lawson to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. Hey Nigella, the Netherlands still has the highest rate of European women who work part-time with and without children (!), where roughly 60% of them cannot financially support themselves and rely on their partner (usually a man willing to pay for them) or the government to take care of them.

Let’s unpack the mistranslation then: my Facebook friends’ best guesses are that it would sell better to women that way, that it was a man came up with this title and that Dutch women, having come very late and part-time to the labour market (1970s) as compared to their European counterparts, basically deserve to be talked to down to like this and will still buy the book receive the book as a gift because, hey, it’s Nigella Lawson.

(Links: nu.nl, scp.nl – PDF)

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November 27, 2017

Woman gets unwanted hysterectomy due to bad communication

Filed under: Health,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:34 am

A 35-year-old Polish woman was given a hysterectomy back in 2013 due to a grave error by a gynaecologist at a hospital in Limburg caused by a lack of proper communication between patient and gynaecologist. The woman’s partner acted as an interpreter and had agreed to an operation to fix a low hanging uterus, but somehow that turned into a hysterectomy.

The gynaecologist claimed in court that he did not understand at the time why the woman had agreed to a hysterectomy, but then he had not asked the woman what kind of operation she had agreed to in the first place. As well, the gynaecologist had not made it explicitly clear that she would no longer be able to have children after the operation. To make matters worse, the woman already had two children from a previous partner and this might have been seen as ‘but she already has children’. In fact, she wanted children with her new partner. The gynaecologist also didn’t ask if she was taking any kind of birth control.

This grave error will see the woman being given 33,700 euro in damages, get psychological help, while the gynaecologist has been given a warning for his subpar communication skills.

(Link: limburger.nl)

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September 19, 2017

Woman sparks outrage over lack of public toilets

Filed under: General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:52 am

While the not yet formed Dutch government is getting ready to present their non-budget on Prinsjesdag, the day the budget is presented after the monarch gives a speech and women wear fancy hats — non-budget because we haven’t had a government since March and there is no budget — the country is being subjected to a story about a woman who was fined 140 euro for peeing in the street in downtown Amsterdam after hours. If a man was caught doing this, it just wouldn’t be news.

Taking a wee in an alley after the bars closed and no public bathroom in sight, the woman was fined for doing something illegal and getting caught – check. The case took two years to get to court, and 50 euro was knocked off the fine because it took too long – check. There are 35 urinals in downtown Amsterdam, only three public bathrooms for women, the closest of which was 2 km from Leidseplein (there’s an app for that!), one of the major pub districts – deemed sexist.

The woman says the fine was ‘sexist’, fought the fine and lost, and now the entire country’s talk shows are discovering yet another thing that does not cater to women. She even quoted Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights that protects from discrimination. “There was absolutely no alternative to pee in the proper place, but if I had been a man, there would have been.” Nope, the bar she had just left wouldn’t let her back in and it was too far to wait to get home. Remember, men just go pee in an alley and that’s socially acceptable without further scrutiny.

Installing public toilets should be a simple fix, you can even charge for them like at train stations, which means women yet again have to fork out more to pee than men, but it would at least have been an alternative. The male judge said ‘you could have peed in a urinal’, which surprised everyone, and even agreed with her that not having enough places to pee for women is sexist, which puts the blame on the city for not catering to women. To be continued.

(Links: ad.nl, nrc.nl)

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September 15, 2017

First Dutch American football league in Amsterdam

Filed under: Dutch first,Sports by Orangemaster @ 1:43 pm


The Amsterdam Cats are the very first women’s American football in the entire country. Sharing a pitch with the men’s team, the Amsterdam Crusaders, founder Kanessa Muluneh-Coerman jokingly explains in an interview that at first, the men thought they were ‘cute’ and not thrilled at the idea.

In the meantime, the men have nicely come around, help train them and look forward to playing against them as well.

Watch this video in Dutch, as the Amsterdam Cats train.

(Link: at5.nl)

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