One of the questions that those who have lived in the Netherlands for many years but come to the minds of newcomers: Can I drink water from tap water in the Netherlands?
Criticism and resignations after sexist speeches by a university student association in Amsterdam
The president resigned after three members of the governing body at a caucus party called women “whores” and “semen buckets”.
Sexist speeches at the party organized by the Netherlands’ largest university association (ASC/AVSV ) on July 24, in its Dutch abbreviation), caused a wave of criticism on a national scale. Three male students from the board of directors made misogynistic comments: “If I think she’s going to the NDSM pier [a cultural space in Amsterdam] on Sunday, July 24 in her best dress, then she’s one of them…” . The response from the all-male room was: “Bitch.” In another commentary, women are said to have “semen cubes”, and one speaker even offered to “break their necks to penetrate them”. In light of the facts, the chairman of the group and the trio responsible for these parliaments resigned. The university rectorate will not renew the grant for this association for the time being and 270 students have written rejection letters.
What happens in university associations, in particular the hazing to which new members are subjected every year, does not usually transcend. There is an unwritten law of silence, but this time a video of the celebration has been leaked. In it, you can see the boys, some of them very young, chanting the harangues of their classmates from more advanced courses several times to the cry of “whores”. The celebration took place in separate rooms, for boys and girls, although the rest of the year there are usually joint activities. Some guests left the room at the tone of the speakers. The journalist and feminist Milou Deelen, who was not there, criticizes that those who make these comments “think they are funny, when they are terrible,” the 26-year-old says on the phone.
Adds Deelen: “These guys tease each other because, in the end, they just think it’s great to be able to have sex with as many girls as possible. Saying those things gives them a dangerous sense of power.” Six years ago, she herself was part of Vindicat, a student association at the Dutch University of Groningen. At one point in her studies, Ella Deelen was insulted with a denigrating song sung by her own classmates, and she responded by denouncing the misogyny of her former group. She recorded a video for it where she claimed her sexual freedom, thus showing the double standards that she applied to her. It was the same freedom enjoyed by the boys around her without anyone insulting them.
The association has not responded to calls from El PAÍS, whose president, Heleen Vos, resigned last Thursday. As she has said, “there are members who are opposed to things changing, and much remains to be done.” Shortly before her departure, she had called for “the campaign of intimidation and threats now suffered by the people involved” to stop. Profiles of the three student members of the board circulate on social networks with their pixelated faces and insulting messages. For their part, in their letter, the 270 signatories assure that they are “fed up with this sexism.” “This is not a joke. We have no words to describe what it means for us to be presented in such a disrespectful way at our own dinner and celebration, “adds the note.
Milou Deelen ‘s personal campaign went viral six years ago, and she regrets that things remain the same. She says that it is very difficult to imagine that these male students would want to say something like that, “after the #MeToo phenomenon, when feminism is on the political agenda, and with a recent sexual harassment scandal in the Netherlands, in the music competition The Voice [ The Voice]”. The three students from Amsterdam who have submitted their resignations were at the end of their university cycle, and Deelen finds it “very dangerous that they could hold important and powerful jobs in the future”. “As far as I know, they are no longer active on the board, although they are still members of the society. They wrote their speeches and I think they should be kicked out. If not, things will stay the same,” he asserts.
The student who leaked the images prefers to remain anonymous, and the video was published on Dumpert, a digital platform owned by Mediahuis, a private communication company with assets in Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Luxembourg. The Dutch media have then collected excerpts in their editions. Another video of a show contracted by the same association has also been leaked, where two half-naked women hit the faces of some men on stage with their butts. It was witnessed by hundreds of ASC/AVSV members.
Founded in 1851, ASC/AVSV has 2,700 active members, and Femke Halsema, mayor of the Dutch capital, has also raised her voice calling the rants “incitement to violence against women”. At the moment, she is investigating the possibility of temporarily withdrawing the association’s license. Last year, it no longer received the corresponding contribution, sent by the rectorate, to carry out its activities. Then it was because of the violence of the hazing endured by the new applicants: there were blows, kicks and slaps, and “a change of tone” was announced that has not occurred.
The University of Amsterdam, the Free University (VU) – also in the Dutch capital – and the polytechnic (Hogeschool) have shown their rejection of what happened. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is among the potential employers of these students, has asked the association to remove the institution’s logo “immediately from its website.” And the Heineken brewery, one of the sponsors of the party, has distanced itself from the sexist speeches.
Amalia de Orange has broken tradition and will not join the University of Amsterdam student association accused of sexism
The heir to the Dutch throne makes a “personal” decision to distance himself from a group criticized nationwide for misogyny.
Princess Amalia of Orange , 18, has decided not to join the Amsterdam University Student Association (ASC/AVSV, in its Dutch acronym) for the time being, thus breaking a family tradition with this type of brotherhood that goes back to his great-grandmother, Queen Juliana. The heiress to the throne of the Netherlands will study in the Dutch capital from next September and this is the group that would correspond to her. However, she has made the decision after the sexist speeches made during a party held last July by its members generated a wave of criticism on a national scale. The information service of the royal house (RVD) has confirmed Princess Amalia’s decision to public television, and has described it as “personal”.
The ASC/AVSV association, to which in addition to the students of the University of Amsterdam those of the Free University (VU) —also in the Dutch capital— and those of the polytechnic (Hoge school) can sign up, already lost last year the subsidy it receives from the rectorate to carry out its activities.
So, it was due to the violence of the hazing to which the new partners are subjected. This course, the initiation rituals have been suspended. Scandals due to humiliating treatment in an educational center are also a problem in other countries and for other European royalty. This is the case of the crown princes of Denmark, Federico and Mary, who last June announced that they have decided to change schools for their 16-year-old eldest son, Christian. The young prince will no longer study at the Herlufsholm boarding school, an official report uncovers cases of bullying and harassment. Located about 90 kilometers from Copenhagen, and with a good reputation to date, both brothers will now attend other schools.
In the biography on the Dutch princess Amalia, which appeared in 2021, its author, Claudia de Breij, pointed out that the young woman hoped to enjoy the full experience of the university stage. She wanted to “belong to a student association and live in a house with other students”, as she said.
Her current resignation shows, however, that she is attentive to what is happening in Dutch society, since becoming a member of these groups is not mandatory. In the case of ASD/AVSV, both the president of the board and three of its male members resigned as soon as misogynistic comments made during the party held on July 24 came to light. That day, the three now-separated students said, among other things, that “women are buckets of semen.” It was also proposed to “break their necks to penetrate them”, and they were called “whores”, in chorus, during a meal. The leaking of a video of the celebration generated a wave of criticism, and 270 students published a letter of rejection.
Amalia de Orange is diligent and passed secondary school with an average grade of 8. Technically, she obtained a diploma cum laude . She at the University of Amsterdam will pursue a three-year degree (Bachelor) in Politics, Economics, Law and Psychology., which requires a selection process. In her family, membership in student associations goes back to her great-grandmother, Queen Juliana, followed by her grandmother, Queen Beatrix.
Her father, King William, now on the throne, also did, although it was not his intention. According to Peter Rehwinkel, an expert on constitutional law, when William of the Netherlands was crown prince, he “would have preferred not to join a university brotherhood.” “He didn’t want to study at Leiden University either, where future sovereigns used to do it, but he ended up doing both,” Rehwinkel told Dutch television.
As for the place chosen to live, Amalia wanted to reside with other university classmates, although she knew that in her case security measures had to be taken into account. Right now, the shortage of student rooms across the countryit is notorious and the educational centers themselves advise those enrolled to postpone their studies, or even cancel their enrollment, if they do not find accommodation before the start of the course.
Amalia de Orange will not have these problems. As indicated on her Twitter account by Rick Evers, information expert of the Dutch royal house, the princess will live in a house next to the canals of Amsterdam that is owned by some friends of her parents, the kings Guillermo and Máxima. . At the end of May, RVD spokesmen stated that the space chosen during this stage would be rented to its owners.
More than 100 detained in farmer protests in the Netherlands
In a written statement made by the police, the figures of detention and fines in the farmer protests held since July 22 were announced.
In the statement, which stated that the detentions and penalties made in the said events were not calculated separately, it was reported that the estimated number of detentions was more than 100 and that most of these people were under the age of 30.
The reasons for their detention were given as blocking the roads, throwing dung and garbage on the roads, and burning straw bales.
It was also noted that more than 700 fines were issued, 186 for slowing traffic and 212 for stopping traffic.
Thousands of farms are predicted to close
In the Netherlands, since July, farmers protesting the government’s protests against nitrogen emissions have blocked roads, blocked food centers and spilled dung and hay on the roads.
The farmers, who opposed the government’s decision to reduce the number of cows on the grounds that it caused large nitrogen emissions, held the largest demonstration to date in the city of Stroe on June 22.
The government has set targets to reduce nitrogen emissions by 50 percent in most regions of the country, and 70 and 95 percent in some regions, by 2030, after domestic courts’ infringement decisions on the grounds that they fell short of climate change targets.
According to data based on the Dutch Ministry of Finance, 11,200 farms are expected to be closed by 2030 due to targets to reduce nitrogen emissions in the country.
17,600 farms are expected to reduce the number of available animals by more than a third.
The first meeting between government officials and farmers’ representatives was held on 5 August.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and other cabinet members also took part in the meeting, which took place in the city of Utrecht, mediated by Johan Remkes, former deputy of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD).
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