Sexually liberated or slutty? The harm of slut-shaming

By Hanna Eisen Are you a prude, a good girl, or a slut? It seems like these are the only categories women can fall into regarding their sexuality. While women learn from a young age that they have to act according to societal standards, none of the possible decisions seem to be good enough. One should be flirty, but not too sexy; being a virgin is something to be embarrassed about, but enjoying casual sex is shameful. It seems impossible to walk the fine line of being a “good girl”, especially if that does not fit with the (secret) desires one has.

Women, violence, and war: “It’s the unexpected”

by Catarina Vila Nova Western societies aspire to ideals of equality but it’s in moments of crisis that the reality of where we still are comes to the fore. When it comes to war, gender norms are almost as rooted as they’ve always been. Even with catchy stories of female soldiers in the early days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine flooding our timelines, traditional gender roles still take hold.

Gender stereotypes in children’s clothing

You are what you wear, or rather you become what you wear. Despite the wish of certain companies to promote gender neutral clothing for children, differences between boys and girls clothes still persist. The determined ideas that garments communicate about what being male or female means are dangerously limiting for the children and encourage them to follow a path marked by a long history of gender stereotypes.

Why so many prostitutes in recent Dutch novels?

Which types of characters populate the fictional society of Dutch literature? When thinking about literature in terms of demographics, questions arise with regards to the literary representation of certain social groups. Why are certain professions for characters in recent Dutch novels so popular? And what does that say about the potential emancipatory and progressive powers of literature?