Mainstream news in The Netherlands is depressing. It has to be shocking, sensational and topical. This way news gets negative and people feel like the world around them is changing for the worse. They lose trust and hope and feel powerless. Yet, it has been scientifically proven that the world is getting better every day for humans. And so, I share 7 news-article once a month in these posts. A mix of positive and bad news, but mostly positive, to make sure that positive news has the upper-hand. Along, I share a practical tip on what you can do to change that news. This could be a lifestyle change, a petition to sign or a campaign to support, anything. To make you feel in power, because we are! This way you’ll know about the positive news, how to keep it that way, the negative news and how to change that!
Third Female Only Number 1 Hit in the Top 40 | 1-1
In The Netherlands we have a top 40 music list. It’s what people call the best 40 songs in a specific week. This month, for the third time ever a woman only song is on number 1. It was MEAU with ‘Dat heb jij gedaan’. And with female only I mean, self-written ánd produced. This has only happened twice before, by Dolly Parton and Alicia Keys in all 57 years that the top 40 exists. This fact shows the huge imbalance between female-made and male-made music. Unfortunately, the industry is very patriarchal still. But this new hit by MEAU is showing a little progress and good news.
Personal practical tip: I have made a female-only playlist. This is not a list with both female singers and producers, but the list only consists of female singers and bands. The producers I took for granted here. It’s just to support female artists. I try to listen to only this female playlist. A tip for you would be to do the same. Let’s bring these women to the forefront!
Burger King 50% Vegetarian in 2030 | 4-1
Burger King has launched new vegan nuggets on their menus in the UK. Together with this, Burger King announced the pledge to be 50% vegetarian by 2030. This will take 8 years for them, I don’t know why. But still I am happy about it! It is at least something. A goal was set and now they should meet it. Vegetarian is not as great as vegan but it’s a big first step. Burger King is finally leading this transition, since other fastfood restaurants like MacDonalds (which don’t even offer a vegan burger in The Netherlands yet) don’t do anything. This is proof that vegetarian and vegan demand is soaring!
Personal practical tip: I try to avoid fast food restaurants all together. It’s bad for your health and you’re still supporting a company that kills billion of animals each year. However, at the same time we should show businesses that vegan is becoming the new norm. So, if you’re visiting Burger King or any other restaurants, order vegan food.
More Gas From Groningen | 9-1
We have an abundance of natural gas in the Netherlands. Most of the gas stock is in Groningen, in the north of the country. However, since subtracting the gas has been causing earthquakes and climate change, the government decided to quit the gas subtraction. This is however going very slow and this month another set-back was announced. Due to unforeseen circumstances the government will subtract more gas this year than was anticipated. A slap in the face for the people who suffer from the earthquakes and for the world altogether.
Personal practical tip: if you own an house and have the means, get off natural gas. You can do so by heating your house with a heatpump which is 100% electrical. Another option is to quit cooking on gas by getting an electrical cooking device. Also, send an e-mail to your local municipality to learn about the subsidies available for this transition.
Van Dale Becomes Gender-inclusive | 11-1
The Van Dale is the most used dictionary in The Netherlands. And now, it’s finally changing to becoming gender-inclusive. Over 15.000 words which are now indicated as female or male will now also be indicated with an x to cover other genders too! This is such a big deal. The Dutch language is changing for the better.
Personal practical tip: when introducing yourself say which pronouns you prefer. I usually say: My name is Romee, I live in Amstelveen and my pronouns are she or her. I also do this in my e-mails and it’s listed on all my social media accounts. This way we normalize all the different available pronouns and move away from the binary categories.
BOOS Reveals Rape-Culture in The Voice of Holland | 20-1
‘Boos’, a Dutch weekly Youtube-show m, usually about scams, this week had a very shocking episode. The makers of BOOS revealed that multiple men working for The Voice of Holland have been sexually harassing young women over the past years. The show has been shut down immediately and court-cases are now started. BOOS has revealed a rape-culture within the tv-show.
Personal practical tip: rape-culture is a complicated thing. I can’t grasp it with a few words. Just know: sexual harassment is always the fault of the person harassing. They should know better. Educate yourself on rape-culture.
Dutch Parliament to Cut 5 ‘thinking’ Days Before Abortion | 26-1
It is finally happening! Right now, whenever a pregnant person wants to have an abortion, they are sent home because it is mandatory to wait 5 days. This is a stupid rule, since it implies that people don’t think about an abortion thoroughly. Having an abortion is not an impulsive decision and people who seek help have already made their decision. Finally, parliament is voting to cut this policy. Most parties want the policy to go. This is progress!
Personal practical tip: we all want less abortions, because nobody wants people to be pregnant when they don’t want to be. Making abortions complicated will not prevent unwanted pregnancies. Inclusive sex-education and free contraception will. When picking a school for your children, see what sex-education they offer and also, provide sex-education to your kids yourself. There are enough resources out there.
Ellen Laan Passed Away | 22-1
On the 22nd of January Ellen Laan passed away. She passed away at age 59, way too young. Ellen Laan is a famous sexologist. She is most famous for her work on how women experience sex. She worked hard to make sure women have pleasure in sex too, one of her main concerns was the orgasm gap. Laan has produced important work in the fight towards sexual equality. And besides all that, she is a human being that will be missed by her family and friends.
Personal practical tip: I cannot grasp everything Ellen Laan has ment for the feminist movement in this short news flash. Please, read more about her here.