News + What You Can Do About It | August 2021

Mainstream news in The Netherlands is depressing. It has to be shocking, sensational and topical. Because of this news gets negative and people who only follow this news feel like the world around them is changing in a bad way. They lose trust in people and companies and they lose hope. Besides that, it makes people feel powerless. Yet, it has been scientifically proved that the world gets better every single 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 social media 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!

Boy Can’t Wear Nail-polish in Jumbo Supermarket 12-8

In a small town in The Netherlands, Glanerbrug, a boy has quit his job at one of the biggest supermarkets of the country, Jumbo. The boy, Lars, worked as a cashier at Jumbo and also wears nail-polish. His manager didn’t think this was okay and requested him to take of the nail-polish. Lars thought this was ridiculous, since female cashiers are allowed to wear nail-polish. Lars quit his job at Jumbo. This is a classic form of sexism and it unfortunately shows that The Netherlands is far from equality. Luckily, Lars was offered a new job at Coop supermarket the same week, where he is allowed to wear nail-polish. Great, but this should have never happened in the first place.

Personal practical tip: you know, the solution to this problem is very simple. You don’t have to do anything for it. Just. leave. people. be. When a colleague wears nail-polish, accept it. When a male family member wants to wear a skirt, accept it. When a person wears a hijab, accept it. You don’t have to do anything. Just. let. them. be.

Earthquake in Haiti 14-8

It happened again. 11 years after the massive earthquake in 2010 on Haiti, there was another earthquake this month. 1300 deaths have already been confirmed and more have been injured. People have lost their people houses again, hospitals are damaged and can’t deal with the massive amount of people who need help, people don’t have enough food and all this in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. People were still recovering from the earthquake in 2010. It’s a nightmare. We don’t know if this specific earthquake is a direct effect due to the climate crisis. What we do know is that the climate crisis leads to more earthquakes, due to fluctuations in the ice caps and gletsjers.

Personal practical tip: now that this disaster has already happened it’s crucial that we send money to help the people in Haiti. Any amount of money is welcome. You can donate to The Red Cross or Artsen Zonder Grenzen for Dutch people specifically. We should donate on a structural basis, but we should also donate extra money when a disaster like this happens. I will soon make a list of charities which do good work so we can all donate structurally too. At the same time we should tackle the underlying problem: we should combat the climate crisis by taking our responsibility: living an eco-positive lifestyle within the earth’s capacity.

Man Wears Dress in Tv-show Slimste Mens 16-8

I know, this should not really be one of the ‘news’ flashes, it should be normal. But due to the amount of criticism and talks around this event, I want to mention it. The Slimste Mens is a Dutch television program and a lot of people watch it, about 1,7 million people each week. On the 16th of August Rikkert van Huisstede appeared on the show, wearing a dress. I thought it was amazing! A big television show finally breaking the binary gender rules. It really shows: people can wear whatever they want. I have never seen it before on Dutch television and so for me it was a first. In 2021. Sad but amazing at the same time.

Personal practical tip: as I said, it’s very simple. You don’t have to do anything here. Just. leave. people. be. When a colleague wears nail-polish, accept it. When a male family member wants to wear a skirt, accept it. When a person wears a hijab, accept it. You don’t have to do anything. Just. let. people. be.

Golden Calf is Now Gender Neutral 19-8

The annual Dutch Film Festival also hands out prices. Prices for the best film music, the best actor, the best documentary, etc. It’s a bit like the Oscars, but then on a national level in The Netherlands. It’s well known and it’s a big deal to win a price. Up until 1994 the categories were gender neutral, but then some categories were changed. Since then the categories of actors and supporting roles have been divided into binary categories. Best female actor, best male supporting role and so on. Of course this is ridiculous, since gender is a spectrum. But from this year on, 27 years later, they changed it back into gender neutral roles and that’s great! It’s a big step forward for representation of all genders, not just males and females.

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.

Inclusive Clothing Line Lovaeij Launched 23-8

Lotte van Eijk has released her first clothing line, Lovaeij. What makes it so special is that Lotte is fat and has created this clothing line for everybody. It’s inclusive. The sizes go from 38 till 64. Where fat people normally can’t buy clothing in stores at all, and online stores offer them boring clothing which say ‘hide yourself’, this brand is funky and cool. Fat people shouldn’t hide themself, they should wear whatever they want (just like everybody else). Loveaij’s models are inclusive too. I’ve seen all sorts of people, from black to white, from big to small, from abled to disabled, from old to young. Finally, everybody is represented.

Personal practical tip: you don’t always have to buy something if you want to support a business (but of course that’s also a way to help). You can also share it, so that more people know about it. Follow their social media, share their posts, etc. I personally don’t buy anything because I don’t buy new clothing and that’s fine. I also couldn’t find anything about sustainability either which is another reason why I wouldn’t order anything. But I get it, this is a different battle. You can’t fight all battles at once. I am not fat and so I have nothing to say about it either.

Open House at Sanctuary Lamana 28-8

One of my favorite Youtubers has a sanctuary. She’s called Sofie Senden and the sanctuary is called Lamana. Sofie rescues handicapped or sick animals. Animals which would otherwise die or be slaughtered. She rescues bunnies, donkeys, pigs, cats, guinea pigs and more. Sofie has the biggest heart and works very hard every single day. She’s one of my biggest examples. On the 28th of August she organized an open house. A day where all people could come by the sanctuary to meet her, the animals and learn more about the sanctuary. It’s a dream. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go myself but I saw that around one thousand people showed up. Amazing! Days like these are amazing days as an alternative for zoos.

Personal practical tip: I support the Lamana sanctuary on a monthly basis and you can do so too. You can also support Sofie by watching her Youtube videos and sharing it with everyone you know. Next year there will be another open house and you can visit Lamana if you want to. It’s a great alternative to zoos. I understand that people love seeing animals. But by going to a zoo you support their suffering. By visiting a sanctuary you can see animals ánd support a good cause. Win-win!

Taliban Takeover in Afghanistan 30-8

Since June 2021 American soldiers have been leaving Afghanistan to return home. As a response to this, all other countries with soldiers in Afghanistan have done the same because without the US they can’t be there. On the 30th of August all American soldiers were gone. For me personally, this gives me mixed feelings (but maybe that’s because I don’t know much about war). First, I thought: this is great. No more wars. I am against war. People shouldn’t die. But since all countries have left Afghanistan, the Taliban has taken over the country. And that’s honestly really horrible. The Taliban have strict rules for society and have been known for their cruelties. Women can’t go to school, women can’t go out of their home unsupervised, women can’t work, men have to weird beards, the Taliban run a sex slavery network, Hindus and Sikhs are discriminated against and the list goes on. It’s hell. I am very afraid for all the people living in Afghanistan.

Personal practical tip: vote for parties in The Netherlands which see refugees as people and want to help them. Right now, the Dutch government acts horribly when it comes to refugees. But these people need help and we can give them help. Also, donate money to organizations which help refugees, organizations like Stichting Vluchteling. Donate structurally, but also donate extra in humanitarian crisises like these. There was also a protest in Amsterdam and there have been petitions, but the protest has passed and that day the petitions have been handed over to the Dutch government.

Yours sincerely,

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