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In ‘Roze Reuzen’ we can listen to 5 people being interviewed by Mark Bergsma. It’s a follow up from  a series of articles in ‘Winq’, a Dutch queer magazine, in which elderly people from the queer community told their stories. They all played a significant role for the LGBTQ+ community in the Netherlands. Now, we can actually hear the voices of these legends.


Throughout five episodes,Mark introduces the listener to Maaike Meijer, Twie Tjoa, Lionel Jokhoe, Corine van Dun and Marty van Kerkhof. All people, who had their own struggles,but nontheless tried to make the lives of other LGBTQIA+ people better as well.They are all elderly people now, who want to tell their stories and are guided by Mark along the way. Mark sounds like a patience grandson who helps his grandparents talk about their lives. When they get lost in detail, he kindly directs them back to the original tale.

They talk about their youth, about their sexuality or identity, their activism and everything that happens in between. About work, love and ordinary life. Nowadays, it still feels difficult to be openly queer at times. Not only are there many opinions, but it can actually be dangerous. Violence against LGBTQIA+ people still occurs. But hearing the stories of the interviewees made me realise that, even though it may be tough, you still can have a great life. And that any kind of activism can help make the world a little bit better.

The podcast was launched during Queer History Month, together with an exposition in Amsterdam, where you can learn more about the LGBTQ History in the Netherlands. It’s a part of history that is often overlooked and, if mentioned at all, it mostly focusses on the negative. But this podcast and these incredible people show us that there is so much more to tell and to be proud of.


- Rosa den Oudsten -

Mark Bergsma as a grandson who's letting his queer grandparents tell their stories


this book shows a completely different Elizabeth Stuart than has been handed down before

We are talking about something highly recommended here. The biography about Elizabeth Stuart (1596-1662), also known as the Winter Queen because she was queen of Bohemia for a year. The title of the book refers to another contemporary nickname: the Queen of Hearts. The book was written by Nadine Akkerman based on years of search and study of primary sources.

Unfortunately, it often happens that biographies about women talk more about the men than about the women themselves. As an example, you can read this (as tragicomic entertainment) in a recently published biography about Wilhelmina of Prussia ('Oranjeprinses op drift'). 'Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Hearts' is another piece of history writing, based almost exclusively on the letters or logs of Elizabeth herself. Primary sources! We like that. 

This book shows a completely different Elizabeth Stuart than has been handed down before. Akkerman explains how persistent prejudices have been and substantiates that the opposite is often true.

A good example is the prejudice where she would love her monkeys more than her children. Throughout the book, Akkerman explains historical events based on primary sources and if there is no clear explanation, she always opens up several explanations. Where speculation and prejudices were previously used as explanations, there is now room for substantiation thanks to her research. 

The reader who is not well versed in British history may have difficulty getting into the book. Perhaps more background information about the Stuart family would have been a nice way to start the book. A family tree is also missing, which is very useful for understanding all family ties. 

Still, you automatically start to love Elizabeth after a while. There is admiration in the text, often supported by contemporary eulogies from various poets. And that admiration is certainly not misplaced for a person like Elizabeth, about whom we now finally have a complete biography. This really makes the book a pleasure to read. 


- Sebastiaan Coops -

Netflix recently released 'Scoop', a film adaptation about the making of the BBC Newsnight interview that took place with Prince Andrew in 2019, about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. In my opinion, the film has a very strong start with the young photographer (Connor Swindells) having to take pictures of Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein together in New York in 2010. In this way, as a viewer, you get sucked straight into the story.

I also watched the actual interview and I must say the similarity is great and the highlights are well chosen. Some call Gillian Anderson's performance as Emily Maitlis “Tatcheresque”, but I think that is unjustified. She portrays the character faithfully, while it is actually Rufus Sewell who makes a caricature of Prince Andrew – made more creepy than the real thing. The huge make up process the actor had to go through doesn't help either.

In addition, what I dislike about 'Scoop' is the focus on Sam McAlister (Billie Piper). She is portrayed as a woman who doesn’t play by the rules, but in the end she gets the job done. A tiresome character we have seen before. Because of her enormous dedication to work, she also loses sight on her young son, but this storyline is soon abandoned. I think the point of this was to show that Sam had to make sacrifices, but this did not come across properly.

Despite these flaws, I am positive about 'Scoop'. Common criticism is that it gives the BBC excessive praise, but I think it is good to draw continued attention to this long ignored abuse of underage girls and praise those who have shone the spotlight on it.


- Juliëtte Ronteltap -


deserved praise for those who shone light on the ignored abuse of underage girls


Perhaps it was Ronan Farrow’s connection to his famous mother Mia Farrow or his gender, that we sometimes forget it was not just him who uncovered the Weinstein scandal in 2017. New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, unaware that Farrow was researching Weinstein’s conduct, were able to uncover the truth about the now notorious producer separately. Their article ‘Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades’ was published on October 14th 2017, for which they won a Pullitzer Prize, shared with Ronan Farrow. Like him, they released their book She Said in September 2019, which is an account of their reportorial journey. Only theirs has been turned into a film.  
After receiving tips from Rose McGown, Ashley Judd and Gwyneth Paltrow, about the abuse they have suffered at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, journalist Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) enlists colleague Megan

Twohey (Carey Mulligan) to look for further sources.

As they find former female staff members of Weinstein’s, the sheer scope of his sexual misconduct

becomes clearer and clearer: they go back many decades, were aimed at actresses and employees working for his company Miramax, whose careers depended on him, and he covered them all up with a strong legal team and countless NDA’s.  

'She Said' gives viewers a clear insight into the journalistic work of Kantor and Twohey, the numerous crimes Weinstein committed, and how his power as a Hollywood mogul protected him for a long time. However, despite Weinstein’s bullying the New York Times to drop the article, there is very little excitement, surprise or shock. Farrow spoke in his book, 'Catch & Kill', about being followed, hounded and harassed by Weinstein. It would make a much more thrilling film.  



- Jasmijn Groot -

In a fictional Middle European nation, an increasingly paranoid and narcissistic chancellor (Kate Winslet) has ruled her people like a dictator, after overthrowing her capable and reasonable, but boring predecessor.

A new member of staff (Matthias Schoenaerts) quickly wins her favour, when he showcases his devotion to her. Their tightening relationship, that symbolises the love and hate affair between tyrannic power and blind idolatry, boosts the chancellor's confidence, but at the cost of the country.

'The Regime' both satirises and dramatises the hysterical nature of extremist politics. Its story does not possess an overarching, deeper meaning, which to some viewers may be disappointing, and its sometimes manic nature may prove too erratic for some. However, its goal is simply to entertain, mainly by ridiculing the extreme left and right. Kate Winslet's chancellor showcases many traits of the great despots of the past and the present: Marie- Antoinette, Trump, Thatcher, Putin, Kim, Stalin, you name them.

Like these real life examples, she is petrified of the most preposterous things, speaks in a weird accent,

lashes out in anger against everyone around her, acts arrogantly and vain, needs unconditional love from anyone she can get it from, believes she has it, while despising many of her subjects - not to mention her weird daddy issues, arranged marriage, and need to pose as a mother with a child that is not even remotely hers. There are numerous references to current and past political affairs that audiences will recognize, make them think, and giggle. 'The Regime' truly makes politics look like an absolute ridiculous business, without losing sight of reality

Many around the world would love to see Winslet pair up again with her friend Di Caprio. We say: forget Leo! It is more collaborations between Matthias Schoenaerts and Kate Winslet - who starred together in the Alan Rickman movie 'A Little Chaos' back in 2014 - that we want! We cannot help but think that this enthralling pair had a lot of fun on set, and it is their onscreen chemistry that draws you in and gets you hooked.


- Jasmijn Groot -


forget Leo!
more collabs between Matthias Schoenaerts and Kate Winslet


The new television series 'Mary & George' tells the story of a downtrodden woman using her son to win the king's favour, gaining titles and wealth for both of them through various schemes.

The story begins with the scene where Mary (Julianne Moore) seems to reject her second son George (Nicholas Galitzine): 'Perhaps I should have left you on the floor to rot.' Later, it turns out she was wise to have kept him, as he can help her get what she wants as "eye candy" for the king (Tony Curran).


In flashbacks, you see how George's father was abusive towards his mother. However, in my opinion, this in no way legitimises the way she subsequently behaves towards her children. Mary is portrayed as an independent, free-spirited woman, but in reality she only continues the cycle of violence. Nor does the character go much deeper than her antics. Unfortunately, this also applies to her son George, who joins her and wins the king's affection. Even when he later manages to break away from his mother, in the end he needs her help to survive.

Besides the characters having little depth, there is another problem with the series. Within half an hour of watching, you know about almost every character what their sexual preference is. Now it is true that King James I is historically known to have had male lovers, but in this series it is openly accepted, his affections are displayed in front of the court and even Mary starts a lesbian relationship with a prostitute – which people don't seem to think too much of. This does not seem accurate to me, but nice to queer the past for our entertainment.


What I do want to compliment the series on are the beautiful settings, costumes and attention to detail. Also, the last few episodes focus a bit more on court intrigue, rather than just the excesses (describing the king’s lovers as “semen-guzzlers” and so on). In addition, Tony Curran's acting deserves praise, for the way he portrays the king's erratic behaviour. However, these positives do not manage to save the series for me. It is too on the nose and not what it could have been.


- Juliëtte Ronteltap -

In 'Kapitalisme is seksisme', Doortje Smithuijsen describes the situation of women in their thirties. It’s a pamphlet that is nice to read, makes you think and puts your mind in dispute between recognition and dislike.

Smithuijsen begins her story in a yoga class in an upper-class neighbourhood, a situationship with which I absolutely cannot identify. But along the way, there are more and more points of recognition. These are mostly frustrations that I have discussed often in the past few years with my thirty something friends.

The title of the pamphlet may be very rebellious, the text is like a warm and well substantiated blanket. It surely has something many young women can relate too. Whether they are single, married, mother or in any other status. An absolute recommendation to every woman who wonders why you always keep going back to expected gender roles and if maybe there is more to life.

Doortje tells her story from her own point of view, the ladies of the wealthier classes. But despite this, she is certainly aware of the effects of the capitalist system on the lower classes. For instance, she very clearly points out that by trying to meet all the demands that her class feels, problems are placed on the less fortunate, such as daycare and interior care workers, who are poorly paid and are often women.

I myself am not affluent, completed my secondary education, have always worked and I come from a working-class family. But I could still identify with Smithuijsen's story. She will not be able to account for every woman in her story, but that is the challenge of feminism: to listen to all the stories and all the struggles women face. Because the problem is not with a group of women or all women, but with the system that does not work. Not for women, but not for men either.


- Rosa den Oudsten -


When women’s history is lost to us, then rediscovered 
decades later by a historian, turned into a book, that then draws the interest of a filmmaker, the end-product does not necessarily need to dwell on the tragedies 
that came with being a woman in the past. Especially 
not when the subject material is so fucking hilarious as it is in ‘Wicked Little Letters’. 

Christopher Hilliard, a professor in history at the University of Sidney, Australia, published his book ‘The Littlehampton Libels’ back in 2018, about an early 1920's row gone completely awry. Littlehampton native Edith Swan started receiving letters, in which she was called “an old cow”, “a whore”, and her family “a dirty drunken lot”.

Swan immediately suspected het neighbour Rose Gooding, who was not only knwon to have a temper, but who had also just received a visit from the

the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), who she in turn believed were tipped off by Swan. Rose Gooding was charged with libel and sent to prison, before the evidence against her had been investigated thoroughly. As a mother of an illegitimate child, who often swore, Rose was already guilty in the eye of the public. Especially in comparison to the respectable and God-fearing Edith Swan.  

Hilliard’s interesting messages about class, language 
and society after the First World War have not made it to this movie. Instead, director Thea Sharrock has narrowed its focus directly to the silliness women had to deal with in a male dominated world and makes you laugh out loud at it. With performances of a star studded cast, including Olivia Colman (Swan), Jessie Buckley (Gooding), Anjana Vasan, Joanna Scanlan, and Eileen Atkins, ‘Wicked Little Letters’ will have you wee your dirty shit drecnhed knickers.


- Jasmijn Groot -

What is feminisme exactly? Is it just for women? Or would men benefit from it too? And what about other creatures? Philosopher Frank Meester philosophises about these and other questions in his book ‘Feminisme voor mannen en andere wezens: een handreiking’ (‘Feminism for men and other creatures: a helping hand’).

Like a true philosopher, Meester delves into the many possible meanings of the term: how others have defined it, how he defines it; how many have discussed it, as well as the many ways in which people think it would be succesfully applied in everyday life. In what ways it has succeeded. And in which ways it has not (yet). Meester's book is not only a very practical guide, the author also introduces the reader to many great thinkers and cites a wide array of scientists and pieces of popular culture to make his point why feminism would be a good thing for all men. And other creatures - after all, feminism is about equality of beings, so why not stand up for those we cannot understand verbally,

but who we have trodden down from a position of superiority, like animals.

The title mentions that this book is meant as a helping hand. What does Meesters mean by that? His words scour, joke, push you to the edge, and back again to the core. There will come passages where you will wholeheartedly agree with him, and them some where you completely disagree. They give you a helping hand to clearly see all the options and possibilities of feminism. But most importantly, they encourage you to engage in discussion. With the trend of tradwives and masculine types aggressively screaming into their podcast microphones, all of whom abuse the meaning of feminism, more discussion is needed. And oh! After reading his book, what a joy it would seem to discuss feminism with Frank Meester himself!


- Jasmijn Groot -


“What is wrong with Black people?” It is the first question being asked in the new Netflix documentary ‘Stamped from the Beginning’, based on the book of the same name by Ibram X Kendi, a professor in African American Studies, and one of the narrators in this production. “What is wrong with Black people?” As the narrative of the documentary unravels, Kendi and other experts explain, that there is nothing wrong with Black people themselves. They have just been stamped from the beginning. 

‘Stamped from the Beginning’ relates the origin of the myth of a white race being superior to an inferior black race, its perseverance throughout American history, until this very day. On its way, the documentary breaks away multiple other myths that have sprung from it, such as white abolitionists still very much believing that they were superior to black people, the myth of the black male criminal and of the black female Jezebel. The feminine experience of American slavery and racism is highly centralized by the speaking experts, who are almost exclusively

women, and by historical examples, like Harriet Jacobs and Ida B. Wells. Our historical woman of the week, Philis Wheatly, is prominently featured, so is Maya Angelou, whose story we told a few years ago, and trailblazers, such as Angela Davis and Amanda Gorman, are there too. The documentary makes use of beautiful animations that explore the fine line between black people enduring institutionalised racism from the early days of the colonial United States, and their common sense of self, as well as their beauty and pride in their blackness. 

Sometimes the documentary tends too much to the left and does lose its historical perspective. However, the speakers are not only academics, but also activists. And after watching ‘Stamped from the Beginning’, you will not be able to deny that this subject is still one that needs activism today.


- Jasmijn Groot -

When I saw the trailer for the new ‘The Color Purple’ movie online, which made it clear that the new version would include song and dance, I immediately wondered: “’The Color Purple’ and musical, do they go well together?” I was very skeptical, well until I sat in my cinema seat and the movie was about to start. Of course, my love for the 1985 adaptation with Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Avery, Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover played a part in my skepticism. What adaptation could possibly beat the version that includes that moving scene in which the phenomenal Goldberg as Celie screams the name of her long-estranged sister from the top of her lungs before taking her into her arms again?

Well, nothing, I concluded, after the almost two-hour debacle that is ‘The Color Purple’ version 2024 was over. But not for the reasons I had expected.

I had thought that the sad story of Celie, a poor African American woman from rural Georgia, who is forced to give up her children, married off to a brute of a man, and separated from her much beloved sister, would be too somber to fit the musical genre. But that is not what is amiss. It is the length of this new version that is way too short to build up the tensions and emotions that are so central to the story, while the songs are not strong enough to add anything to the highs and lows of the plights of the main female characters. Only one or two scenes will pull your heart strings.

Author Alice Walker was not happy with the 1985 movie version. I can only imagine what she is thinking of this one.


- Jasmijn Groot -


it's a shame this movie has not gotten more coverage, because it is so relatable

Judy Blume's 1970 children's book 'Are You There God? It's Me Margaret' is a classic in the American lexicon. After more than fifty years, the book has finally been turned into a movie. The story follows 11-year old Margaret Simon (Abby Ryder Fortson), who goes through what seems to be the most eventful year of her young life. Her father Herb (Benny Safdie) has gotten a promotion, prompting him and Margaret's sweet kind-hearted mother Barbara (Rachel McAdams) to move the young family from vibrant New York City to suburban New Jersey, leaving doting grandmother Sylvia (Kathy Bates) behind. Margaret makes new friends quickly, with whom she starts a secret club, sharing experiences on crushes, bust size increasing measurements, as well as periods. And she makes a journey of religious self discovery. Margaret's father is Jewish and her mother Christian, the latter not being in touch with her parents due to their interfaith marriage.

Margaret has been kept out of her parent's religious traditions so she can make a choice about religion when she grows up. It all comes to a head when Barbara's parents decide to visit. It is an absolute shame that this movie has not gotten more coverage in the Netherlands, 'cause it is such a relatable feel good movie for women of any age. The praying for periods, the all having a crush on the same guy, the bragging about the changes your body is going through, but in reality being quite scared of them, as well as disappointments with the grown-ups in your life. They are all recognizable staples for any woman who has gone through puberty. I'm sure that if I show this to my mum, who was actually about Margaret's age in 1970, she would probably say: "oh yeah, I remember going to the mall with your grandmother for my first bra."


- Jasmijn Groot -

In the revised edition of ‘Feminism is for Everybody’, bell hooks invites you to consider the importance of feminism on a personal and systemic level. I picked up the English edition a couple of years ago when I first started out with my feminist book club. Recently, its Dutch publisher was so kind as to send me this wonderful translation.

This book is basically an introduction into feminism for dummies. It presents feminism, not as an ‘anti-man’ movement, but as a fight to end sexist systems of oppression. hooks shares snippets of her personal journey as a feminist and radical thinker in this highly accessiblebook. She enriches our feminist understanding by taking into account an intersectional approach. Understanding systems of oppression like capitalism, colonialism and patriarchy, is vital in understanding the feminist movement today. Touching upon topics like sexuality, working women, reproductive rights, love and childcare, the book is surprisingly concise, yet complete.

What makes bell hooks an extraordinary thinker is her ability to critically reflect on her own growth process

as a black feminist, while taking it full circle: feminism is vital to all of us. Rereading made me realise how far I have personally come in my feminist thinking. Fans will see the linking pin to her other classic ‘all about love’: practicing feminism is the only way we will ever be able to love in equal relationships. Her work is an invitation to deepen your thinking and broaden your horizon.

All the while, I’m not sure if anyone would pick up this outwardly ‘niche’ book if not already interested in feminism, but I genuinely hope that her short think pieces on the various faces of feminism will reach an audience outside our little feminist bubble. Please pick it up in your local bookstore, the translation is excellent.

‘Feminism is for Everybody’ by bell hooks is now available in Dutch by Mazirelpers. Foreword by Mandy Woelkens and Dutch translation by Meritha Paul and Anne Marie Koper.


- Liang de Beer -


hooks presents feminism as a fight to end sexist systems of oppression

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