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Gender in the Netherlands. What has changed Current affairs? Dr. Alkeline van Lenning Social cultural science University of Tilburg. Government ‘60. Doesn’t consider it as her job to improve the position of the married working woman through: Equal earnings Reducing tax burdens

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gender in the netherlands
Gender in the Netherlands
  • What has changed
  • Current affairs?
  • Dr. Alkeline van Lenning
  • Social cultural science
  • University of Tilburg
government 60
Government ‘60
  • Doesn’t consider it as her job to improve the position of the married working woman through:
  • Equal earnings
  • Reducing tax burdens
  • Encouraging services (day-care centres)
family obedience and authority
Family, Obedience and Authority
  • Family = nucleus / core
  • Upbringing, strict rules
  • Emphasizes obedience on parents & on persons with authority
  • Harmonious inequality
  • Differences in upbringing, education for girls and boys
  • 1965: 85 % of adults has difficulties with mothers who work while having a school going child.
1968 usa
1968 USA
  • No more Miss America
  • Freedom Trashcan
changes the sexual revolution is going on
Changes: the sexual revolution is going on.

“A girl should be a virgin when she gets married”

  • 1965: 42 % of the adults agrees.
  • 1970: only 17 % of the adults agrees with this view.
  • “Dolle Mina’s” whistle after men


  • Toilets for woman
  • Reclaim the night
  • Accuse porn industry (Porn = theory ; rape = reality)
  • Legalisation of abortion
  • Opening abortion clinics
  • Contraceptive pill in sick benefit fund / national health service
feminism used to be a contra movement
Feminism used to be a contra-movement
  • Little self-critisism / reflection on itself
  • Immense barrier to common sense opinions
  • Mobilisation of outrage against the other sex
  • Little room for making subtle differences
  • Refuse to please any longer

90 % of the adults thinks it’s wrong if a mother of a young child (< 6 years) works


  • Since 1985 an increasing number of woman set out for the labour market.
  • This growth will persist.
90 s meritocraty
’90-s Meritocraty
  • Romance of the ’70 (marge)
  • Romance of the ’90(succes)
  • From solidarity to individualism
  • Woman want to play a part in the game and want to win.
  • But the rules of the game haven’t changed
a lot has changed
A lot has changed
  • Woman are as well educated as man
  • Woman are as lengty educated as man
  • Woman flow into the labour market
  • Over 40 % of the woman with young children (age < 4 years) works
  • Views about this are liberal as well for man as woman.
positive negative developments

Increase labour share in all categories of woman

The traditional breadwinner-model has disappeared


Woman work more often parttime

It isn’t replaced by a double-income model but by a one-and-a-half-income model

Positive & Negative Developments
positive negative

More and more woman have an income of their own and woman become more financially independent


Woman have a lower hourly wage in comparison to man

The feminisation of poverty continues: over the households with a low income the share households of woman as only or most income increases

Positive & Negative
how is this inequality possible
How is this inequality possible?
  • How much are feminism and masculinity determined by biology?
controversy and depate dispute
Male are promiscue by nature

Boys are more agressive

Girls cry more quickly

Woman are more capable by nature of raising small children than man

Children aren’t made like that, it’s a cultural issue

Conservatives always call on nature to validate their point of view

Controversy and depate / dispute
nature nurture
Nature - Nurture
  • The biology exists within the history, the culture, the social and the symbolic discipline.
  • Inmagine a society with sexuality, sleep or hunger without the foresaid.
  • Biological impulses are regulated and receive a meaning within the social order of culture
difference similartity discussion flares up
Difference – similartity discussion flares up
  • Are man and woman essentailly equal and should we aim our strategic battle on equality?


  • Are woman just essentially different and do we want acknowledgement for feminine attributes and qualities?
ann oakley 1972

Trivial physical sexcharacteristics


The cultural consequence wich is connected to the biological body

Implications on the societal and psychological field

Ann Oakley (1972)
why does gender inequality gets passed on everytime again
Why does gender inequality gets passed on everytime again?
  • Why is sex-inequality still reproduced whereas nobody wants that to happen and everybody expresses the equality between the sex?
  • There’s no more discrimination
  • People do want to hire woman
  • Since tens of years the educational system has been open for woman.
wishes of the community of man as well woman are fairly emancipative
Wishes of the community, of man as well woman, are fairly emancipative.

With the arrival of a child, many woman partially withdraw from the labour market

Nevertheless many couples intent to divide the household-jobs less traditionally.

  • High education and equal opportunities at the start of the labour market.
  • On the other hand: the rest gives up her job when the first child has arrived.
  • And differences increase when a second child arrives.
joan scott why is gender everytime again an meanigfull category
Joan Scott: Why is gender everytime again an meanigfull category?

Dont’ look at the sexdifferences (little woman at a key position). But it has to be viewed as the outcome of different meaningful processes. And these processes should be the object of investigation.

questions to be made
Questions to be made
  • Everytime: how does gender becomes an important catagory?
  • How is gender constructed, how is it reproduced?
  • It isn’t about the inventory of the differences, but about the productionprocess.
gender constitutes in
Gender constitutes in:
  • Symbols and ideas

For instance: Hard/soft, light/dark, pollution/ pure, innocence/corruption.

2. Normative interpretations

These refer to symbols and actuate symbols. They are sort of concepts wich you’ll find in all kinds of political and religious but also in scientific doctrines and also in common sense: value judgements: objective, hard science, soft investigation / technical with people. Toiletry, parfums

gender constitutes in1
Gender constitutes in:

3.Political and social institutions and organisations. This view believes that gender plays a role in all sorts of societal systems like the labourmarket, the education system and politics.

4. Subjective identities

Here belongs the urgency to investigate how sexual identities are constructed

jessica benjamin
Jessica Benjamin
  • The devalued feminin domain should be restored
  • The field that until recently used to be part of the male, should be open to woman.
  • The contradiction between the two state of minds should be eliminated.
current emancipatorty policy of the governement
Current emancipatorty policy of the governement


  • Labour & Care
  • Glass ceiling
  • The Netherland is confronted with non-western male/female relationships.
  • Travel - and communication possibilities and large communities from origin culture, make it less necessary to integrate.

Powergirls (machismo)

Not a loser but a winner (also with sex)

The Hedonism


Honour of the woman but aslo of the whole family


The Moral

but what are we doing with our freedom
But what are we doing with our freedom?
  • Bad acting / cliches / empty sex with young plastic bodies.
  • More explicit and commercialised
  • More rude
  • Bad taste: vulgar
  • Feminin sex for masculine lust
  • Eating disorders, Cosmetic surgery
western culture becomes more visual and commercial
Western culture becomes more visual and commercial
  • More, younger, better
  • Adoration of youth (energy, future)
  • Body isn’t any longer the dungeon of the soul but the temple.
advertisers exploit insecurities
Advertisers exploit insecurities
  • Looks get connected to professionality and succes
  • Dress for succes
  • Stay young / discipline
but what does decency means
But what does decency means?
  • The double standard: uneven criterion for man and woman
  • Denial or underestimation of the female sex
  • Fear of female sex
  • Girls circumcision
  • Polygamy
  • Expulsion
the netherlands has to do with
The Netherlands has to do with
  • Honour revenge
  • Arranged marriages
  • Girls circumcision / hymen reparation
  • Increasing number of teenager-pregnancies
  • Increasing white-slave traffic