Critical Sass was founded on a rainy summer’s day in 2010 by Gina and Dieuwertje de Graaff, two sisters who felt they should share their growing feminist obsession with the rest of the world instead of agreeing empathically with each other in bars.
Our initial ambition was to bring the Dutch perspective on (inter)national issues to the feminist blogosphere. Holland has no shortage of great blogs that write about everything from ableism to sexist advertising to our deeply screwed political situation, but a lot of this blogging happens in Dutch. While a deeply poetic and amusing language, Dutch is also understood by only about 28 million people worldwide, hence our decision to stick to English.
It used to be quite difficult to keep your eye-rolling to a minimum when you introduced yourself as Dutch on holidays. You’d brace yourself for the requisite gushing about “prostitutes” paying taxes and legally purchasable weed and tolerance and social security. This has become progressively more awkward because of the fact that while this gushing took place, the situation in the Netherlands was rapidly deteriorating. For about a decade, anti-Islam sentiments have been hijacking any discussion about immigration, nationalism, crime, culture and women’s rights.
Due to a marriage of convenience between the conservatives and certain Christian factions (which seems to be working quite well for them both), such issues as abortion periodically find themselves under fire. A small but prominent Christian party, the SGP, Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij, bans women from being elected as political representatives, and this issue forces the Dutch to decide what they find more important: freedom of religion or the right not to be discriminated against?
Some time ago, Dutch women made their sisters worldwide jealous with how happy they are. Content with part-time jobs, some women in the Netherlands are able to enjoy long lunches with their girlfriends, raise their kids, practice their hobbies and exercise. It’s great that our women are so happy, but it also shows that in Holland, choice feminism is still very much prevalent, and this slows down actual equality as well as keeps gender stereotypes alive.
There’s a lot to discuss, and that’s why Critical Sass was founded. We, Gina (28) and Dieuwertje (25), are the editors and main contributors, but we have a great team of men and women that offer their perspective on a regular basis. We also want to cover events from a variety of countries; most feminist blogs tend to concentrate on one particular country, which is understandable, but leaves us wondering what is happening everywhere else. Feminists from all over are most welcome to submit posts on the situation in their own country: the more, the better!
Our concept of feminism is fairly broad – we don’t just focus on male/female issues, but are also interested in other manifestations of oppression and marginalization. Therefore, we write about matters such as LGBTQ rights, animal rights, race-related topics, religion, immigration and ageism, and how they intersect. In a no-holds-barred expose of contemporary mores, we bring you pop culture, politics, reviews of books and film, academic questions and ad-busting and more. Stay tuned.