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#MeToo

Like the church a few years ago, Harvey Weinstein and lots of other big Hollywood bozo’s suddenly collapse under the force that’s the united complaints of loads of people who finally go and tell who exactly harassed them when they were young.

I hear many men complain ‘oi, it’s not ALL MEN?! I was actually raised pretty properly!’ and I can imagine it feels like being trapped in the ‘guilty’ box even though you’re pretty sure you’ve never done anything.
First of all: hello and welcome aboard the Shittrain Of Accusations that women endure when they even so much as try to report what happened to them.
First questions asked aren’t ‘what did he wear? What does he look like? Shall I punch him in the face for you?’ most likely it’s:
‘What were you wearing? Did you say something that might have given him the idea you wanted it?’ or ‘how did he get to be alone with you?’
It’s mostly trying to see if it could be blamed on you. You. The one who just reported the harassment.
As a society we’re clear: it’s NEVER your fault.
Then again, as a society, our first approach is still that is COULD BE your fault after all. Maybe it’s not how you intend it, but it is how you approach it, quite likely.

Ages ago, when I was quite heavily underage (or at least very heavily underdeveloped as I recall), an aquantaince found a way to spend time with me. I hadn’t realised I had never been alone with this man, nor what the look in his eyes had meant when I had been wearing a bathing suit around him some time before that. I do recall -afterwards- that I had never seen anyone look at me like that. Not knowing what it meant, I didn’t act upon it in any way.
One afternoon his wife went out. It then happened. I am not a person to actually verbally say ‘stop that, please’. Even without the please. I just freeze. I’m quite introvert. I have learned from a young age that telling ‘stop, I don’t like it’ doesn’t help. Being the daily target of bullies at school, I had in fact learned that usually had the opposite effect.
I did try to turn my legs away, but being in a rather small space, that wasn’t a real option. It was caressing, touching, without actual looking at me. I got up, in hopes of escaping, but my leg was caught in his arms and he pulled me closer to him. As I couldn’t use my leg to keep my balance, my automatic response was to wrap my arm around his head. So he got to touch my breast aswell in his next move. Given that my leg was now free, I got to walk away from that scene after that.

It took me quite some time to get over that. I had no idea what just happened, why it happened and especially not why it had happened to ME. I have never found myself attractive in any way whatsoever, people have always told me I look far too skinny to be that in case I might think different: so WHY me, really? And for the record: I had been wearing short skirts and dresses around this man for quite some time (it was summer and I was a daily visitor to the pool that was less than 10 feet away) but I was actually wearing trousers and an oversized T-shirt that particular day. Just so you know.

I decided to tell someone that same day, as I couldn’t stop crying for a full hour when I got back to where I was staying. I told the right one, thankfully, as the aquaintance who did it got an angry visit after that right away. I was told, before that visit ‘you have done NOTHING wrong, it wasn’t your fault and I’m glad that you have told me’. To be fair I have no idea what would have happened if the first one I told it to hadn’t responded like that.
I do recall telling some of my family members, and at least one of them responded with:
‘Are you sure it was that bad what happened? Uncle Blahblah has sometimes touched me weirdly too, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything’. I was a bit shocked by that. Not just Uncle Blahblah apparently not being able to keep their hands away -something I never have endured, thankfully- but also the idea that my interpretation of the experience could be questioned.

I’ve noticed something else too, with the #MeToo hashtag: women are being far braver than ever before. They still hardly mention any names though. Only when it’s one of them big bastards, like Harvey Weinstein, they do. He is already proven guilty after admitting he has done wrong things. So women do feel they no longer have to keep silent on his part. Good for them. But these other men, why still protect them?
I get it and I don’t get it, is all. And yes, I’m aware I’m doing exactly the same, but I think everyone’s story as to why they protect their harasser is different. I’m just curious to why others do it.
In my case, I find the fact that this man was already confronted with what he had done and afterwards apologised to me with the demands of the one who confronted him, he’s had his punishment. He thought he could get away with it, he couldn’t. I told, it was solved.

 

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Posted by on October 20, 2017 in Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Anne Faber en het falende rechtssysteem

Met het verdwijnen en de zoektocht naar Anne Faber, werden er in minder dan twee weken tijd ineens een hele hoop mensen met hun neus op de feiten gedrukt: ons rechtssysteem deugt niet.

Dat wisten we, op zich, allang, maar met de dood van een (plotseling) zeer geliefd meisje -met alle respect voor de nabestaanden; zó lang kenden velen die naar haar zochten haar tenslotte niet, áls ze haar al kenden- werd het ineens héél duidelijk.

Want hoe kon het dan zo’n psychopatische gek zomaar los kon rondlopen, die feitelijk al maanden bezig was met het plotten van de ‘ideale’ moord. Als ik de vele spookverhalen op twitter, verscheidene blogs en nieuwssites mag geloven, tenminste.
Er werd dan ook meteen een petitie opgestart. Een zeer emotioneel opgestelde. Dat begrijp ik. Ik heb net zo hard op m’n twitter-feed zitten kijken elke dag. Het doet wat met je, of zo iemand nou bekend is of niet.
‘Is ze al gevonden?’ spookte het door m’n hoofd. Gek genoeg had ik al vrij snel (na het opduiken van haar jas en fiets) het idee dat er helaas geen levende Anne Faber meer zou worden gevonden.
Het viel me wel op hoe ontzettend rechttoe rechtaan het hele verhaal ging. De twee weken waren weliswaar zenuwslopend, maar na een DNA spoor op de jas van Anne Faber, ging het snel met het opsporen van de verdachte en het vinden van haar stoffelijk overschot.

En dat is het een beetje: als dat al meteen zo duidelijk was, wáárom was het dan zo dat deze meneer al aan het wennen was aan het leven buiten? Ja, hij had een relatie met ‘s werelds meest achterlijke begeleidster/therapeut (wat is dat voor neukhol geweest daar in Den Dolder?! Weet je als professional daar soms niet wat de werkwijze is van zo’n psychopaat? Dan ben je dus ook niet voldoende geschoold, lijkt me?) en zat kennelijk in een soort ‘vrijwillig’ therapeutisch traject.
Punt is dat men kennelijk wel door gehad moet hebben hoe gevaarlijk hij was. Ondanks de zogenaamd uitgezeten straf. Die dus niet heeft geholpen.
Ik las ergens dat er een lage recidive te verwachten is na TBS, in tegenstelling tot gevangenisstraf. Ook las ik dat TBS bij psychopaten zinloos is. Belangrijker nog: mensen mógen KIEZEN voor TBS. Dus of het nu geschikt is of niet, de keuze is ook nog eens aan degene die het leed al heeft doen geschiede. Dat is toch uiterst curieus?

Omdat therapeuten ooit hebben bedacht dat therapie alleen werkt als de patiënt er zin in heeft, hóeft het dus niet? Met het gevolg dat zo iemand na slechts maximaal 2/3e van zijn/haar straf te hebben uitgezeten -en de straffen zijn al te laag, zeker in relatie tot pyschisch danwel lichamelijk letsel-  vrijkomt en weer opnieuw kan beginnen? Het lijkt een beetje op het omgekeerde van het Florence Nightingale-complex: zoveel mogelijk slachtoffers maken in korte tijd, en maar zien hoe de samenleving dat oplost.

Ik sprak een advocaat, wiens terrein an sich dit gelukkig niet is, maar daarom nog wel kennis van zaken heeft.
‘Als advocaat ben je in dienst van je cliënt. Ook al vindt je wel dat iemand TBS nodig heeft, of wat voor therapie dan ook, als de cliënt niet wil, dan heb je daar naar te handelen’.
Iedereen heeft recht op een advocaat. Dat is gewoon zo. En als het de taak is van de advocaat om datgene te doen wat zijn cliënt ‘m opdraagt, dan moet de verplichting van de veiligheidsstelling dus via de wet geregeld worden.
Kennelijk.  Als jurisprudentie of wat ook. Het zou in de wet moeten staan dat een rechter verplicht is de samenleving te beschermen.
Een advocaat moet, namens zijn cliënt, hard kunnen maken en kunnen toetsen dat TBS (of wat dan ook) niet nodig is. Faalt hij/zij daarin, dan zit de cliënt er dus aan vast.
Is er gebleken dat iemand bijvoorbeeld ‘licht ontoerekeningsvatbaar’ is of wat dan ook? Prima, dan ook verplichte behandeling.
‘Dat helpt niet’ hoor ik u denken. Het zal u verbazen: iemand loslaten in de maatschappij, werkt nóg duidelijker al helemaal niet.

Weg met dat ‘vrijwillig’. Laat meisjes zoals Anne Faber en uw eigen dochters, nichtjes en trouwens ook neefjes en zonen, rustig buiten fietsen en lekker hard worden door een buitje, en niet door psychotische rotschoften, omdat de therapeut/begeleiding d’r broek liet zakken. Of zoveel meer in iemand zag. Daar komen slachtoffers van, weten we nu.

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2017 in Opinion

 

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The Lovely Bones

This incredibly long film stuns mostly by not being boring even one moment. And it even stuns more by not being boring without actual ‘quick’ parts. It even has quite some bits that are a bit more slow, and still: it works.

The story is quite dreadful and you need to be in the mood for drama. On her way from school to home, Susan Salmon (very well played by Saoirse Ronan) is tricked and as such killed by her neighbour, played by Stanley Tucci. The film is mostly about how both parties -the living and the dead- deal with the situation.

Susan Salmon is the voiceover and tells everything in an at times warning voice, but mostly nearly excited. Her voice does its work really quite well, and all the things that keep happening after her disappearance and the things that happened before, make this film a sort of perfect mix of loss and not loss altogether.

I’ve read on InternetMovieDataBase that Stanley Tucci was actually quite uncomfortable with the kind of personality he was supposed to be playing, so he did everything he could to make the role physically as far away from himself as possible (wearing a fat suit, dye every hair he got in a different tone, wear colored contact lenses, even dying his skin in a different shade), but still you immediately recognise him. At least I did.

There’s also the early years of Rose McIver to enjoy (who we now know as the iZombie leading part) and as a whole, the parents and grandmother of Susie.

All in all I’d say it’s a film well worth watching, expect quite some mixed emotions here and there, as it’s the killed one versus the killer who doesn’t want to be discovered. Logically.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2017 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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The Drowning

With Julia Stiles, Avan Jogia and Josh Charles amongst the actors.

A psychiatrist is confronted with his past influence in court, when he saves a drowning young man who turns out to have been his patient, years ago.

This film is actually quite boring and it feels, at times, a lot is left out, without being explained. That doesn’t make it better. In itself Josh Charles’ play is good, but it seems out of character for any loving husband to not tell his wife so much. Julia Stiles is a properly annoyed wife, not understanding what’s bothering her husband about certain contacts she has.
Avan Jogia is brilliant as annoying bastard. Too pretty, too young, too luring. In that sense it’s a bit too obvious that he is the dangerous factor in here. His actions seem weird and aren’t too well explained either, not until the end.

The people in court aren’t of much help either. The colleague of the psychiatrist asks him for favors, but in return doesn’t give any information either.

It’s not a bad film, and the tension is properly build up at times, but the only moment where you think ‘ah, finally something is explained’, it’s only one thing and you agree with the character there: ‘why didn’t you tell me before?’

If you’re a Julia Stiles fan like myself, you will probably enjoy yourself. Josh Charles is doing a far better job in The Good Wife.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2017 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Our Souls At Night

With Jane Fonda, Robert Redford and Iain Armitage.
A curiously dull film, to be fair. One night, Addie Moore (played by Jane Fonda) knocks on Louis Waters’ (Robert Redford) door. She has a proposal of sorts.
She would like to sleep together on a regular base.

‘Not for sex, I’ve long lost interest for that’, she explains, making the proposal a little less awkward and in a way funny, but still: Louis Waters doesn’t know what to say to that??

The storyline itself is very unsignificant. It’s basically what happens when two elderly people who are alone get together to spend the night -just to talk and not be alone. They are the talk of the town amongst their peers, but it’s not really that shocking. It still is two people who have the age and the maturity to choose for themselves. Louis Waters does get angry with his peers for a bit, but that’s about it.

For people looking for an exciting film: this isn’t it. It’s a very demure, peaceful story about two elderly people who spend time together, with minor incidents like a grandchild coming over, some friends who become curious and so on. The biggest event is one of their children protesting against the parent being happy.

Given that Jane Fonda currently also stars in the series Grace & Frankie, this film will disappoint. Jane Fonda actually tries to look attractive in that series and is a lot more progressive. Besides, the film Barefoot in the Park, that has both Jane Fonda and Robert Redford in it, has a lot more to offer when it comes to weird and sillyness entering the building.
Robert Redford actually has feelings in that film too. He is far more of an introvert here. He barely talks about himself. He asks her why she picked him. In the end you still don’t really know.

In short: if you love the actors, go for it, but don’t expect much of it. It’s really quite dull.

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2017 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Rights to your own body.

You know that scene from Sissi, in which she tells Franz that their first child is on its way? Just in case you haven’t, here’s his response:

 

Unless your response as a man is the same as the above, I don’t think you have any rights at all to judge a woman who is quite unsure what to do next, once she has found out she is pregnant.

For ‘normally’ pregnant females, there are websites, which tell you what feelings are normal to experience when you find out you’re pregnant. Also that it’s normal to feel quite ambivalent about it. To be scared. To want to get rid of it. To feel ill equipped. Those websites tell you to talk about those feelings. That it is normal to feel that way.

This is true. I have several friends who admitted to being scared shitless after finding out they were pregnant. No matter how much the unborn child was wanted, those thoughts were among the happy ones. It happens. Mostly, I’ll admit, with friends being heavily nauseous during that first trimester. Pregnancy isn’t always jolly good fun, after all.

It’s also true that types like Jacob Rees-Mogg wake up another type of disgust. Because what if your pregnancy is the result of a rape? The result of a rape by someone you trusted to be your protector? Or just someone who brutally grabbed you, pulled you into the bushes and made you his? Rape itself is traumatising enough, it’s disgusting that a man in suit and tie also claims abortion is wrong in all circumstances.
I was astounded to hear that Jacob actually has a wife and no less than six kids. After his bold confessions that he is against abortion in any case, I thought to myself: that poor daughter of them! Because this also entails that whatever will happen to her, she now has the security that her father will always assume that it was her fault, should something happen to her. Even if Jacob Rees-Mogg did it himself. Or his sons. He has enough of those.
With what kind of world view will these boys be raised? That it’s OK to rape a girl, because she denied him? That it’s OK to rape in general? Because yes, that’s basically what someone with those views, is saying. It is actually denying that rape exists at all. It is beyond the pillory, even. I wanna bet that Jacob Rees-Mogg was mourning the loss of the Magdalene laundrettes in Ireland when they were closed?!

And yes, I know those are his personal views, but still I consider this man to be very dangerous. And a bloody hypocrit, given that he profits from the sales of abortion pills. I’m pretty sure your God will kick you out of heaven, Jacob Rees-Mogg!

Then there’s yet another point of reasoning to consider. What if your child has a chromosomatical deficit, or is handicapped in a different way? This is, again, a very personal point of view. But that’s it: personal. There’s people who say a handicapped child shouldn’t be included in the pro choice process. Why is that?
I know there are experts and lots of people who are very willing to accept any type of people into their lives. But there’s also those who don’t. Why would you force a child to have a parent who will never fully love their child? Don’t forget that many of these children have needs that are mostly costly within health care. A health care that’s slowly bleeding to death, in nearly every country that even has this type of health care at the ready. There are lots of possibilities for people who have money, but not so much for those who don’t. Are you going to be the one who judges if a live is compatible with the current life? Or are you gonna leave that to a professional (the doctor) and the parents who actually need to take care of such a child?

I saw the other day an article about men talking about their side of the story when it came to abortions. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the link any longer.
One man I felt for. He had wanted to have children with the love of his life, and I do think that if he would have had more time with this girl, they might have had a shot at being happy together. I did think: if she would have known how much he loved her, and how much her hormones were possibly confusing her, she might have kept it. Of course I can never be sure. It could be he wasn’t the love of her life, in which case it’s not all that brilliant to be tied together forever because of a child you have to raise. Parenting is tough enough if you are in harmony about things, as children will try to play you out at every single occasion possible.
Another story was from a man who had also unwillingly supported his girlfriend during her abortion. He later forced another woman to carry out her pregnancy, even though doctors had told them their child would not live out of the womb. Of course I felt sorry he had the traumatising experience of his girlfriend undergoing an abortion, but I could not, for the life of me, think why he would punish another woman for that?! He said in the end it was a healing experience, but I thought he had been very cruel to that woman. He had no right to do so, in my opinion. You’re not going to force someone you love, to loose someone if that’s not necessary.

And for those who are still not convinced it’s the choice of women themselves: I’ve read a website where women who had had an abortion could leave their story. I was astounded, shocked and disgusted by how many of these women had been chaised by their angry partners with knives, belts, bats and lovely promises (‘I’ll kill you and that unborn of yours if you keep it!’) before they went to indeed have an abortion. Imagine what that would be like if you did that where it’s illegal. How safe are you going to feel as a woman or a young girl in trouble, if everyone is opposed to any action you can think of?

If you want to help, then really help. Not short term. Don’t say ‘you are a murderer’. Try to actually foresee what could happen to this child if it was born. Are you gonna take care of it? Is that a solid promise, no matter what? Or are you just prolife because you once had an abortion and you’re sorry about it now? Your life isn’t the life of the other. You literally have no idea what you’re up against.

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2017 in Daily life, Opinion

 

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Knock, Ireland

To say I ended up here by accident is weird. You don’t end up in a city or small town such as Knock by accident, right? People don’t end up at a pilgrimage that way. You were supposed to go there. Or the sweet Lord has guided you there.
To be fair I would have thought the same if it had happened to anyone else. Not because I’m an atheist, that’s the least of the problems in this scenario, but simply because I was guided through the loveliness that Ireland has to offer by my two aunties.
Both lovely, but severe nutcases. Each in their own right and each with their own set of charming characteristics. I’m named after one of them, so how bad can they be, eh?

So how did we end up there, then??
I’ll tell you. First one thing you have to know: both my aunties are incredibly sweet and funny, and incredibly stubborn. The one who was doing most of the driving, hates maps. Even satnav. She refuses to use any of those. It’s not that she can’t read a map, but during driving, she likes the whole experience, thank you very much! She literally drives the car the way vikings and skippers sail(ed) their boats: by looking into the sky. She looks at where the sun is and she keeps in mind where she wants to see it at the end of the day, that’s the direction she will drive in. This could be by highway, but she takes D-tours just as easily. She is the kind of person to like the tour just as much as a the destination.

My other aunt will give away how we ended up in Knock, so that’s why I saved her for last: she collects holy water trays. You know the ones you keep on your wall, for instance, to make a quick pray?
They are a hard find. This is one of the things collectors of anything get a kick out, yes I know. To find a trinket of your collection when abroad is the big thing there too. But her collection is really quite specific, so as soon as we saw signs for a carboot sale, she would go: ‘oh, let’s check it out, they might have some!’ and most of the time, she was right about that, too. She had collected a few during our roadtrip. Given that we were travelling with a camping van, there was quite enough room for her collection to grow. Then, one morning, without any specific plans -except for ending up in a place I do no longer recall the name of, we drove there.

We were driving through, what we didn’t know was the main road in Knock. Whilst the aunt driving was watching for directions to go, the other, collecting aunt, goes:
‘Hey, this place has holy water trays!’ and after that:
‘This place too!’ and so on. And so on. And so on.
So, we parked the van, auntie tried to remember exactly where she saw the trays, then noticed:
‘Oh wow, every store here has those trays?!’ it was like a Walhalla for her. She went nuts in one store after another (from having to search for any, she now suddenly had to pick, as buying all of them would’ve been impossible) and then there was the chapel and the whole story of Knock.
Because of course, as true idiots, we had entered the city backwards (typical), so the explanation came last.
While being in awe of all that we had just discovered, the square where one can actually fill up anything that might contain fluids with Holy Water showed itself to us. I was reminded of the many holidays I’d had as a child on campingsides in France instantly. Because yeah, basically that’s what they looked like. With far smaller taps, as the stores all sold bottles in a massive range of varieties of shapes. Mother Theresa, Mary, Jesus, Joseph, anyone who looked holy enough. With a small blue cap. All to fill up these beauties of Holy Water Trays that my auntie collects.

It was a magnificent find.

Later, I visited the place with my (then) fiancé. We then actually went to the museum to see what had happened, to learn about the story of Knock. It’s a lot more convincing than anything I could put here. So knock yourselves out and go visit Knock. Even if you’re not religious, it is a friendly and not so crowded pilgrimage to take.

 

 

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