The Dutch are half-crazy when it comes to politics or just making plans. How crazy? Well, this week a study on the aging of the Netherlands appeared. Apparently, the steadfast increase in the average age of the Dutch might prove to be a challenge to our economy and health care system over the coming years. This research into the coming of our gerotopia was called, wait for it… Various Shades of Greying. I wish I could make this up, I swear. This is the point where comedy simply writes itself.
But moving on to more tragically funny news: the theocrats are at it again! This week, the municipality of Vlissingen might be making history as the first place in the Netherlands where *gasp* a woman(!) will represent the conservative political party SGP in the city council. That’s right, in the Year of Our Lord 2013, we may finally be seeing the end of religious phallocracy. The SGP, which currently holds 3 out of the 150 seats in Parliament, has long since opposed the right of women to participate in politics, stating that men and women simply have different tasks (as if that explains anything).
In a not so surprising act of Doublethink, the SGP has always maintained that their ban on women was not only right, but also unnecessary, for the reason that no female party member would ever aspire to be in politics. A few years ago, the SGP reluctantly repealed the law that prohibited women, and now, the thing that everyone saw coming is about to happen: a woman, by name of Lilian Janse, has announced her candidacy. The final punch-line to this absurd joke is that she has everything going for herself for the simple reason that not a single man from Vlissingen has joined the race for this position. In an interview, SGP chairman Maarten van Leeuwen chastised his fellow party members in Vlissingen for their “lack of sense of responsibility”. He also added that he hopes that a man will step up before next Monday. He further demonstrated the SGP’s troublesome relationship between theory and practice by stating that he is neither rejoicing over this course of events, nor will he in any way try to prevent it from happening. Because as I’ve stated twice before, the SGP is not a party that is in any way bothered by things such as “facts” and “reality”.
Meanwhile, the oft heard responses among the community vary from “I’m slightly not okay with this” to “couldn’t care less” to “Finally!”. And so it goes: political misogyny ends not with a bang, but with a whisper.