One of the nice things about the Netherlands is that it’s somewhat egalitarian. We have our elite and celebrities and security and all that, but it’s all pretty reasonable for a small country like ourselves. On the left is a photo of our prime minister Mark Rutte cycling to work, for example. Can you image president Obama on his bike in the streets? I like how our national politicians feel more like local ones.
I got into a discussion with Gert-Jan Segers on Twitter. He’s a member of the House of Representatives for ChristenUnie (Christian Union) and one of the initiators of the legislative proposal to criminalise clients of sex workers who are victims of trafficking or coercion. Don’t be fooled: ChristenUnie want to criminalise all forms of sex work, but they’ve convinced PvdA and SP to collaborate on this step towards the Swedish Model. It’s already illegal to have sex with someone who is obviously forced or not consenting, so this new law wouldn’t change that. But the PvdA and SP still say they believe this law won’t be used to start a witch hunt against clients of sex workers. I talked to one SP politician who actually seems to genuinely think this is true. Oh and Gert-Jan Segers had no idea that the number of possible victims reported by Comensha included women who had travelled alone. The ignorance is astonishing.
Anyway, I turned off my phone and went to a convent for the weekend. I sometimes feel like a bit of a fraud for not publicly self-identifying as atheist more, I think it’s important to be visible and I find the increased influence of theism problematic. They say you should pick your battles and I’m identifying with plenty of ‘other’ already, so I’ve decided to keep my religious ideas more to myself. But I regularly stay at this convent, I enjoy the slow pace, the silence, the routine, I like it there. I wish I could stay longer. I’m an atheist, they know this, I’m still welcome there. Those nuns are not the problem :).
But people like Frits Rouvoet are. (“Her mom died when she was 2. Her son is dying of cancer. Look at this scary-ass empty parking lot. She’s all alone and it’s so dangerous. Nobody chooses to sell her body, no prostitute decides to go into this type of life. I’ll just stalk the red light districts and write all about the sex girls are having for money and how degrading and filthy and fapfapfapfap such respect for the strong fapfapfap women fapfap“).