News + what you can do about it, week 40-2020

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 week 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 today 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!

Saturday 26-09

The Central Organ for refugees in The Netherlands has blocked LHBTI+ refugees from the dating app Grindr. The Central Organ for refugees decides what websites or apps are available for refugees and they base that on algorithms (which have been known to discriminate). It is a sign of a bigger problem of discrimination of LHBTI+ people. Source: Lilith Mag.

Personal practical tip: educate yourself about the LHBTI+ community. This way you can be more inclusive in speech and actions yourself. Platforms I would recommend are Lilith Mag, Damn, Honey, OneWorld and Ongehoord. But please, if you know any more platforms, let me know in the comments below.

Sunday 27-09

From now on, if you have been the victim of sexual assault in any way in The Netherlands and you want to report this at the police, you don’t have to pay for any medical costs that might come in. I feel stupid writing this, because I didn’t even know this wasn’t the case yet. In The Netherlands you always have to pay the first 365 euros yourself for most medical costs, but I had never thought about this. Another hit after the horrendous thing you’ve gone through. Good things this has changed! A tiny step to fixing our rape culture. Source: Damn, Honey podcast episode 51.

Practical personal tip: I find it hard to link anything to this good news. What I would in general say to anyone, learn more about consent. Most people don’t learn about this when they’re young and this leads to people doing things they don’t want (people of all genders, not just women).

Monday 28-09

China has promised to have zero emissions in 2060. I know, it doesn’t sound like enough or soon enough and it surely isn’t. But I find this a good step in the right direction! And it’s a good sign to The United States, who’s government always avoid any responsibility and point to China. If China takes the lead, this is a good thing. They own a big part of the global the market and are the biggest source of emissions. It shows willingness! Source: Duurzaamnieuws.

Practical personal tip: I’ve written before that it a matter of system change ánd personal responsibility. We need government, corporations ánd individuals to do their share. So do your part and start an eco-positive lifestyle. It can’t go overnight, but you can make massive changes today.

Tuesday 29-09

We have one dolphinarium in our country, in Harderwijk. And recently, the political committee responsible for the zoos in our country wrote a destructive report about the conditions of the park. They basically concluded it is circus and most European countries no longer have Dolphinaria. It’s horrible news, because I can’t even imagine what it’s like for these animals. Living in a tank, all day every day. It breaks my heart. Positive thing is: this news led to a debate in the council of Ministers and the PvdD (party for the animals) proposed to shut the entire Dolphinaria down and I hope they will soon. Source: PvdD.

Practical personal tip: don’t visit Dolphinaria (or zoos). Educate yourself by watching The Cove or Blackfish. If you’re into activism, you can become an activist in Taiji to fight dolphins from being sent to Dolphinaria (but you should watch The Cove first, to learn about this). You can also donate to the Dolphin Project. Demonstrate at the Dolphinarium in Harderwijk. There is a lot we can do. And spread the word!

Wednesday 30-09

Research shows that online gendered hate-speech is growing, which is horrible. What’s also horrible is that this is mostly towards women and minorities. This is the bad news. The good news is that Bureau Clara Wichmass has launched a project against gendered hate-speech today. They’re researching the possibilities to fight this in court, so that people can be arrested or convicted.

Practical personal tip: 28th of October there is an online event at Pakhuis de Zwijger. Sign up! It will raise the attention to gendered hate-speech and address what we as individuals can do about it. This site is also dedicated to what you can do yourself.

Thursday 1-10

Our minister of safety is working hard to implement new laws about rape. Sex without consent will be punished faster and will lead to higher sentences. Online sexual intimidation will also be punished more (which is mostly good for children, who are often the victims of pedophilia online, on platforms who don’t protect them from this, like TikTok). The law will basically mean that women have more options to go to court because they have been raped, even if that’s without violence. I think it’s a step in the right direction! The law isn’t there yet, but he’s working on it. Source: Volkskrant.

Personal practical tip: crime against women in The Netherland is the highest in all of Europe (OneWorld). Every ten days a woman dies here because of that and those numbers are conservative. Educate yourself about intersectional feminism because most experts say the basis of our rape culture is toxic masculinity. This means that men have problematic views in our society of their rights, duties and their position in relation to women. If you educate yourself about intersectional feminism, you can recognize this behavior and speak about it in several ways. In daily life, online and in protests.

Friday 2-10

A big win for animals today in France! The french minister of Ecology has banned the fur-industry in France! There are 4 companies left in France and they will all close within the next 5 years. Amazing news, huuuuge!

Personal practical tip: never buy fur! And speak up about it if you see someone wearing it or on social media. You can become an activist for example Animal Rights to protest or support them financially. Also, check out Bont for Dieren.

Yours sincerely,

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