Men of The Netherlands, you need to stop.
(This post was written after I heard a column and read some tweets about international women’s day and its (ir)relevance to The Netherlands and the people who live there.)
Men of The Netherlands, you need to stop. You need to stop joking how women are the people who hold the real power in this country when they make 23% less for the same work and make up 37% of parliament.
Men of The Netherlands, you need to stop. You need to stop saying that women do not live in danger here when many of the first comments to an article about a 15-year old girl being murdered a few blocks from my house are along the lines of “she shouldn’t have been out alone at night.” When there is no indication that fewer women are victims of abuse and sexual assault than elsewhere in the western world. When women have to keep their personal safety at the forefront of their minds whenever they plan an activity that takes them out of their house (and in the case of women who live with domestic violence, even that keeps them inside).
Men of The Netherlands, you need to stop. You need to stop, sit down, and listen to your sisters, girlfriends, mothers, wives, friends, coworkers when* they tell you how they feel when men try to look up their skirt when they’re riding a bike while wearing a dress. When they tell you how they feel when men feel them up while walking through a crowded bar. When they tell you how they feel if it’s dark and they’re alone and an unknown man approaches them, even if it’s just to ask for directions. When they tell you how they feel when they’re told by strangers, often and unsolicited, to smile (lach eens, liefje! Het is zo erg niet!) as though their existence is mere decoration in the lives of men and their purpose is exclusively to look pleasing and pleased.
Men of The Netherlands, you need to stop. You need to stop complaining that education is being ruined by women because if you really cared, if you really wanted a more equal gender balance of teachers, you would become one rather than look down on the apparent femininity of the profession. You would also stop women caring for their children because teachers are one thing, but parents are with their children the most, aren’t they? If female teachers can do such terrible damage to their poor male student, just imagine what female parents must have been doing to them for years.
Men of The Netherlands, you need to stop. You need to stop acting like you’re so pussywhipped** and you take such an equal part in parenting when you use terms like “pappadag” (daddy day). Because when your parenting partner is not at work, she is not taking a “mammadag.” She’s being one of those lazy women who only work part-time and are probably throwing their education away. You are not a babysitter. You are a parent. Act like one and stop begging for compliments.
Men of The Netherlands, I need to stop. I have 40 papers and 20 resits to grade. If I don’t do that, I won’t be doing my part for the feminization of education and the nefarious secret plan of women everywhere – to take over the world with one special day per year in which we applaud the activities of inspirational women across the planet – will be severely compromised. I’m sure you understand. While you’re stewing and maybe thinking of a snippy comment to put me in my place, I recommend you look over the male privilege checklist and think long and hard if what you’re planning to say may in any way refer to the points mentioned in it. Because if it does, and you’re being a privileged [expletive], I will tear you a new one.
*I should say “if they tell you,” because with your attitude, chances are they hardly ever try to talk to you about these things.
** alsof je zo ontzettend onder de plak zit