News + What You Can Do About It | October 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!

Iceland Does Not Have More Women* than Men in Parliament After Elections 1-10

In news articles in September historical news was released. It appeared that Iceland would have more women than men in parliament after the elections. That would have been the first time ever. Not only for Iceland, but for Europe entirely. The patriarchy is very much alive since all countries in the European Union have more men than women in parliament. It seemed that Iceland was going to make history since it seemed like there were 33 women elected for the total of 63 seats. However, after a recount this appeared to be false. Men are still the majority of the Icelandic parliament. Bummer.

Personal practical tip: vote for women in your own country. I wrote an entire post about how to vote as in an intersectional feminist. We need parliaments to be a good representation of society. In The Netherlands regional elections are coming up again in March and I am voting for a woman.

No Free Contraception in The Netherlands 6-10

Bureau Clara Wichmann and other organizations for the interests of women in The Netherlands have gone to court over contraception. They want contraception to be free for all people in The Netherlands, as it is a basic human right to not get pregnant when people don’t want to be. They also argued that because contraception costs money, the burden is usually on the person with a womb to pay for contraception. However, the court has ruled that it is fair this way. People can afford it and there’s no reason for it to be free, the court ruled. Bureau Clara Wichmann will probably appeal this decision. Also, politicians are working on a law to make contraception free. This is not the end line, but it is a big disappointment.

Personal practical tip: since contraception is not free at this moment, I think the costs should be equally divided among partners. In the past, I paid for my contraception. Nowadays, I pay for it, but I do ask for half of the money from my boyfriend. We both do not want children right now and so we both pay equally. This is a tip I have for all couples. Not for the sake of the money, but for the sake of equal burdens.

The Hague Bans Fossil Commercials In Bus and Tram Stops 8-10

The Party for The Animals has proposed to ban fossil commercials in The Hague in bus and tram stops. For now, the ban is for flights and cars that still use fossil fuels. The municipality has agreed to this proposal and so this will happen. I think it’s a good thing that the products that literally endanger humans will no longer be advertised in public spaces. I mean, this will not ban all fossil commercials in public space but it’s a step forward. A win!

Personal practical tip: the only thing we can do is motivate our own municipality to do the same thing. Sending an e-mail to a local party member is a great start. Let’s spread this ban to all cities.

California Bans Non-Consensual Condom Removal or Stealthing 11-10

In the state of California in The United States a law has finally passed that makes stealthing illegal. Stealthing is when a person removes the condom during sex without the other person(s) knowing. It’s a form of non-consensual sex and has in some cases been judged as rape. It can lead to STD’s, unwanted pregnancies and mental issues. It’s really disgusting and wrong in so many ways. I think it’s a good step that this assault is finally made illegal and that people can face the consequences when they do this. California is the first state to do this in The US.

Personal practical tip: I was looking into the situation in The Netherlands and it turns out that stealthing is not officially illegal in The Netherlands. However, victims are encouraged to press charges and sometimes individuals can be convicted.

LEGO will Make their Products Gender Neutral 11-10

LEGO says that it’s working hard to make their products gender neutral. They will no longer make specific toys for specific genders. So no more girly dolls or nurses and astronauts or firefighters for boys. Research has shown that children are already influenced by these stereotypes from a young age. Boys* are often afraid to play with toys that associated with being girly. Things like dolls or princesses for example. LEGO wants to fight the stereotypes. This is great news! This is progress. Now it’s time for other companies to follow.

Personal practical tip: behaving gender neutral or raising your kids gender neutral is something that can be very complicated in today’s society, it’s not the norm yet. Gender stereotypes are very implicit. But you begin small and learn on your way. What I am currently working on is referring to professions in a gender neutral way. That’s because we use gender in Dutch words, unlike in English. So no ‘brandweerman’, but ‘brandweer’. No ‘verpleegster’, but ‘verpleger’.

Phthalates in Plastics Seem Harmful Once Again 13-10

Phthalates are found to cause 100,000 premature deaths annually in The United States for people in age group 55-64. And that’s only for that age group! Phthalates are chemicals that are used when making plastics. Plastics for shampoo bottles, containers, food packaging, etc. People primarily die from cardiovascular diseases due to phthalates. Evidence against using plastics keep piling up. For me it’s clear: avoid plastic where I can.

Personal practical tip: plastics are harmful and evidence keeps piling up. My tip is to live as zero waste as possible. For your health ánd the environment. I wrote an ultimate zero waste list and I hope this can help you.

Pension Fund ABP will Go Fossil Free 26-10

After years of hard work and pressure from ABP fossil free, a grassroots organization, ABP will finally subtract all its investments in fossil fuels. No more money will go to coal, oil or gas industries. That’s 15 billion euros that will be subtracted from fossil fuel industries worldwide. That’s what I call impact! ABP will sell all the shares they still have until 2023, then everything has to be sold. Bye Shell, BP and Exxonmobil!

Personal practical tip: check your own pension fund. And if it still invests in fossil fuels, switch to another one! ABP is the pension fund for civil servants and people working in education. It’s basically the pension fund for everyone who works for the government. And since it’s public, you can’t switch. That’s why it’s amazing that they stopped investing in fossil fuels. But if you’re with a private fund, you can switch.

*I try to avoid using binary language when writing these articles. It’s not just men and women on this planet and the gender spectrum is broad. However, some articles don’t give me room to do that.

Yours sincerely,
Romee

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