I’ve decided I’m going to spend today’s blog unabashedly bragging about the men in the country I have adopted as home. I’m sure there are great men everywhere. In fact, I’ve had the pleasure of checking out a lot of great men all over the world. I may be just a teensy-weensy bit prejudiced, but I’m convinced the Dutch are the best. Allow me to try and convince you.
Gentlemen. I’m a feminist (and no, that’s not a nasty word), but that doesn’t mean I insist on opening my own doors and generally turn away any effort of a man to be a gentleman. I’ve been married for 20 years now – 21 in a month! – and my husband still opens doors for me and gives me a hand up when I’m seated. He also helps carry my luggage as well as the luggage of his female crew when he’s working. If I see one more man in an airport just walking along while his wife struggles to carry a baby and luggage …. Well, I won’t actually do anything, but I’ll probably curse you in several languages under my breath. Take that!
Safety. I’m not afraid to walk in my neighborhood in the dark – or anywhere else in the city center for that matter. I am, however, a woman and as such am always aware of my surroundings. If a man is walking behind me, I know and pay attention. Every single time I have been walking my by myself in the dark and glanced back to visually let the man know I knew he was there, he has either crossed the street or slowed his walk to indicate his awareness of my unease as a woman by myself. Every. Single. Time.
They know women run the world and don’t mind. We may have now have a King, but for the entire 20th Century, the royal family was ruled by a Queen. There was no need for a change in the royal succession laws. The oldest child would reign. End of. I can’t help but point out that the King has managed to produce only daughters thus far.
Women’s equality. In less you’ve been living in a hole (if so, do you have room for me and my dog?), you’ll have seen the women’s marches happening around the world. Several news reporters remarked upon the amount of men at the marches. My husband’s – as well as every other Dutch man I’ve queried about this – response? Of course, the men are there. That’s it. No qualifiers or explanation needed. Of course. Of course, the men support women and their freedoms. Of course.
I know a lot of women who believe Dutch men aren’t romantic. In fact, I know a woman who wrote a book about it! The biggest complaint? They don’t flirt. I don’t know who these women are talking to, but Dutch men flirt. My husband is a HUGE flirt. As am I, actually. Perhaps the flirting is subtler than those Mediterranean men who come off as sleazy to me. And I’ll admit if you don’t speak Dutch, you may not fully comprehend that the man is trying to chat you up. But flirt they do.