I am a woman who lives in Holland. I love to write about topics that touch my heart and amaze me and hope I can inspire people by doing so. The text is supported by my own pictures and ofcourse my own songs. A theme that for example often comes back is freedom. I also wrote a song 'Protect our Freedom'. I am thankful that I can live in freedom. It means a lot to me. But ofcourse I also write about 'ordinary' human emotions like happiness.
Thanks for all your nice words. It warms my heart.
I consider myself a newcomer in blogging. I am very pleased and grateful that my circle of blogfriends is getting larger and larger. But…. The downside is that it starts to become almost impossible to answer all your remarks or read them. I have to think about another way in which I can honour your kindness. To all who ask me whether I have a newsletter. No I don’t have one yet but I have deceided that I will start one soon. Also as an answer to this ‘problem’.
Let me enhance one point. I don’t mind when you don’t agree with what I write. We all have such hasty lives and not much time to ponder about the things we daily experience. I just hope that some of my blogs will make you think about the issue I write about and will help you to form your own opinion. I am happy when it – if just sometimes – inspires and helps you.
I write my blog more frequent than in the beginning and last months I try to write a new blog once every 2 weeks. It’s still a hobby of mine and consumes more time than you might think. And ofcourse I am not insprired all the time either ha ha. But I try to keep this rhytm.
I’ll end with this funny picture I made. It really made me smile! Wonder whether you know what it is!
In my previous blog I wrote about freedom and universal women’s rights with a focus on Holland. I was stunned when I studied the information about this issue on internet. Even I didn’t realize how few rights women (my mother) had before 1956 even though they were entitled to vote and to be elected since 1919. It surprised me even more that it took 37 years (1919-1956) before things really started to change for women and they got a lot more freedom. As a reminder only in 1956 a law has been adopted that has significantly improved women’s rights in Holland. Women did not have to ask permission to their husbands anymore when they wanted to go away and were entitled to do their own banking. Besides they didn’t have to quit their job anymore when they got married.
I have been pondering why women did’t grab the new power they got in 1919 and used their votes to change things for the better immediately. I can only guess but think society was not ready for this. The right mindset for this major change was not there at that moment. As I already mentioned in my previous blog, the church had a lot of influence and women who lived a ‘free life’ f.e. because they were not married, were considered non-respectable, also by women. Women were not encouraged to study because it was a waist of money ‘since they would not work anyway’. And ofcourse it was the duty of a married couplet to get a lot of children.
I became more aware than before that it needs more than votingrights to guarantee quick changes in society. Family and tradition play a large role. There are f.e. many democracies where women may vote, but where they are not free nor protected.
I don’t understand traditions or interpretations of religions who just denie women the right to learn, to be (well) treated (in hospital), to have her own life etc. And it are not just men who are to blame but often also our mothers and sisters. It’s a big challenge for all those brave women and men who dare to not only challenge society but also their family. Often they are even banned from their family.
I reject violance against women as well against children and men. Therefore I wrote this song ‘I say no’. Inspired by a national fundraising against domestic violance and the movie ‘The Accused’. It’s still a demo which I made in my attic room for a contest. It needs a gospel choir. So if anybody knows one?
I grew up in the sixties and seventies and have never experienced what it means NOT to be free. Oh yes when I started to work as a legal advisor in the 80’s, there was an economic crisis, there were – often older – men who acccused me of taking a place of a man because there was in that period a lot of unemployment and ‘there was no need for women to work at all’ as they angrily said. I didn’t build pension rights at my first job for that was not necessary for women. This is only 30 years ago!
I must say my father and mother were always proud of my indepent nature and encouraged me to study and to go my own way.
So as you know I don’t take my freedom for granted. Being a woman I am also grateful that I was born in Holland. Not only because I have the same rights as men but also because our society and fathers, mothers, brothers and husbands, support these rights. But what many people don’t know is that our mothers had for a long time almost no personal rights at all!
So my song ‘Protect our Freedom’ is also written from the perspective of the protection of the freedom of women.
In this article I want to place some facts in order about women’s rights. And I am not talking about the wages which are still not the same, the same chances for jobs etc. Now I just give the dry facts.
It’s hard to imagine know but our mothers were fired from their work the day they got married until 1956. Because of a ecclesiastical law ‘ so that she could be a dedicated mother and housewife’. Only in 1956 married women were allowed by law to work, open a bankaccount and to travel without the permission of their husband. In our law they were before 1956 aligned with childeren, weak-minded people and criminals.
So women who married made until 1956 a big sacrifice. They lost their job, had nothing to say anymore about the kids and (also her) money. They had to ask their husband for money or permission when they wanted to buy anything a car, house, clothes, groceries etc. They could not get any insurance or money from the bank. The only freedom she had, was that she could walk outside and buy groceries for which she got pocketmoney. Quote in a famous newspaper ‘a man can hardly be expected to stay all day at home to pay the baker and milkman. He really has something better to do…’ to justify the pocketmoney. I find this almost funny now but it also makes my blood boil grrrr..
Until 1971 our Civil Code still had this stipulation ‘that the man was the head of the matrimonial union and the woman owed him her obedience!’
After a long period of demonstrations in 1917 women in Holland were allowed to be chosen for Parliament and in 1919
they also got the right to vote. To compare: the equal right to be chosen and to vote was introduced in England in 1928, Spain 1931, New Zealand 1919, Canada and India 1950, Syria 1953, Australia 1962, Switzerland 1971, Portugal 1976, Lichtenstein 1984, Kuwait 2005. And I want to emphasize that this does NOT mean that women had no rights at all. But the rights were not equal. Sometimes like in Holland they could already be chosen but not vote, or they were only allowed to vote to start from age 30 where men could already vote at age 21 etc etc.
What is surprising, is that it took 37 years – from 1919 till 1956 – to further change a lot of laws in favour of equal rights and especially our marriage law. Maybe an explanation is that it was a society where people controlled each other in small communities and in which the church had a lot of influence. A Catholic was not allowed to marry a Protestant and vice versa, birthcontrol was a no go etc etc. I have to mention that the introduction of ‘the Pil’ or other anti-conception ofcourse also meant a major change for women and was very liberating!
In 1975 a law was accepted for equal payment of women and men. In 1980 there came a law for equal treatment in general. This made especially on the point of Labor law a lot of difference. F.e. it was before 1980 a lot easier to terminate a contract of employment for women than for men. Even in 1980 there was a lot of protest against this law for equal treatment.
1981 the Women’s Treaty on the Elemenation of all forms of discrimination against women was adopted by the United Nations.
Lucky me that I have been brought up in an open minded family in Holland and that I am a child of the sixties and seventies.
For now I want to make my last point. To become a strong and independent individual – man or woman – means that the education has to start when you are young. Like my brothers I am used to walk freely on the street and deal with daily concerns. It’s like womens’ football: it’s getting better now because it’s taken serious and the scouting starts when they are young. Well I am proud that our ladies became yesterday first in the European Championchip!
Warm greetings Jellaso
The Dutch magazines with pictures of the national women’s football team!
thanks for all your nice comments and feedback. I must say I experience for the first time a certain pressure to keep up the standard ha ha!
Well today I want to write about DOS? What DOS? Well, I’ll explain.
I love to write songs. When I started my adventure I did not know how much time it takes to make and market music these days. I would never have guessed that most of my time I would be busy behind the computer learning how to handle it, doing my own marketing and pr, learning how to make videos etc. etc. The bright side is that I am learning a lot. But it also means that I am most of my time busy doing other things than making music. I am a follower of Graham of the Music Revolution who helps people with homestudios and he wrote this article about the moment he did’t like to make music anymore. As it turns out many musicians experience this at a certain moment. It was funny to read and I recognized a lot. So I made a big decision. To me it means that I will cut down my time behind the computer and perform more with other people. Bring back the fun!
I am part of the Do It Ourselves society. Whether we buy our groceries or make music. The government and companies do less and less for us and we have to do more and more ourselves. It’s not only their fault. Sometimes the reason is because the companies earn less than they used to. The music companies f.e. earn less because of streaming. So they only support the people who are already very succesfull. DIY-companies also thrive because they make it possible for people to buy cheaper goods and do more themselves to cut down the costs of their house or garden. But sometimes it seems to me they just use it as an excuse to earn more money.
The story of a marketeer made me realize that there’s also another side to the story. Not only the companies are to blame. It seems consumers also love to be ‘fooled’ by the companies and want to do a lot themselves. For example many people love it to wrap up, weigh and scan their purchases themselves. He also told this funny story.
They produced a ready-made package for pancakes. Only water needed to be added. Thinking the ‘housewife/-man’ would be happy because it saved time. Nobody bought this. Because it appeared that baking a cake is also about this feeling of making something homemade. So they changed the recipe for this package and left out the egg. Really. So job done. After that the package for pancakes was a success and the people who baked their cakes were happy again because their cakes were ‘homemade’. Who is fooling who ha ha.
the more I think about it, the more I realize that my blog is getting the shape of a kind of collumn. A journey through my life and subjects that amaze me. Today I want to write a bit more about computers and cybercrime. As I told in my blog “love, love, hate my computer” I am convinced that most of us are not able or lack the time to perform all the essential actions necessary to keep our computers working and up-to-date! So how can we safeguard our interests!?
Last week a lot of newsitems concerned cybercrime. One of the large terminals in the port of Rotterdam was hit by a ‘side-effect’ of a cyberattack from a country far away. A big wake up call for the authorities. And it seems that many hospitals and other institutions can’t guarantee the safety of their data either. This is not a national but a global problem! And not only companies are under attack but also citizens.
We recently got a notice of our bank (a large well rated bank!) that they don’t take care anymore of the fire walls etc. and that we have to look for a good fire wall ourselves. I think this is the …. limit. They earn a lot of money, the wages are skyhigh, they have large departments where qualified ict employees work who are well paid and they don’t want to take the responsability anymore to protect our financial interests. My interpretation is that this means that they are not convinced that they can protect our private financial interests against cybercrime. So they cover themselves against future claims.
So how can anybody expect that laymen can protect themselves against a cyberattack! This is not okay.
We have made ourselves too vulnerable. Almost nothing works without computerprogramms including our locks who protect us against the sea. It’s the task and duty of the government and the creatives amongst us to deal with these problems and come with practical solutions. For this can only go wrong. I have been counting and I alone have at least 40 passwords. Besides I have on the average 6 updates every week (computer, programms, phone etc.) One device has more updates than the other so I was already obliged to buy a new midi interface because it did not work anymore after the last update of my computer. I have to make backups all the time. It’s consuming more and more of my precious time. Thought computers were also made to make life easier. It feels like a big blurr of different interests.
Again I don’t have the answer. Maybe there should be more standalone computers, more certified institutions who provide help with the computer etc. I am not the professional. This is a problem we have to tackle and solve jointly as citizens, as companies and as governments. It’s a global issue. We can’t do this alone.
Well as I stated, I also love my computer. For if there had not been internet and computers I would not have met you!
So I end with a warm computergreeting to all of you.
I have been quite busy these last weeks. But today I thought: now I am just going to do it and write a blog again. Although it’s 28 degrees in my office at home. I work on the attic and our house is not built for these kind of temperatures. So I am really sweating now! Happily it’s fun to do!
A lot has happened in the meantime. I have finished in the studio two songs which I am going to release on Spotify, Itunes etc. For people who don’t make music I will explain. I work on Logic Pro and I write and arrange songs. But when a song is released it has to meet certain standards. Loudness, the way it is compressed and so on. So this was done in the studio. Now I am facing my first release and this is a jungle again of almost uncomprehensible sites and regulations. But well, my motto is keep smiling and don’t give up.
In Europe a lot of things have happened in the meantime too. In Holland, like I predicted, the parties find it hard to form a government. Many parties are equally small and none can rule without at least two other parties and they have in general different goals. Happily the country is also governed well without government…. The elections in the UK and France were thrilling and the outcome astonishing, at least for me! Not to speak of the directions one of our largest allies the US is taking, the incidents with our ally Turkey, the refugeeproblems, the climatproblems. Really the list gets longer and longer. And ofcourse there are these terrorist attacks of extremists. What a strange times it are. No idea where this is going to lead us all. Like I stated before, I think it’s exceptional that I have been living in peace for my whole life until now. Maybe because of the aftershock of the horrors of both World War I and II. To me the world seems very unstable at this moment. I Hope that ‘castle Europe’ will remain firm in the storm.
I sometimes feel ‘flooded’ by bad news and terrible stories every day. Sometimes I long back for the days when there were no social media yet and the only news came from the daily newspaper and television (twice a day). The ‘days of innocence’ I use to call them. But maybe I’m just getting old… Nevertheless this week I thought this is the limit. There was this terrible incident with the appartment complex in London and they showed a video from the smartphone from within the building with people watching down below the fire brigade coming and the anxious people in the room. They did not survive. I found it hard to sleep that night and was angry I didn’t turn the television off faster. Which is ofcourse my own responsibility….
Happily good things happen too. I was moved to see that leaders of all religions are standing together with a joint message to let not divide us by these attacks. I think it’s all about respect. And I fully agree that we most not let the fear poison our hearts. We have to join hands to face all the challenges that lie ahead of us.
“….So I appeal to every woman and man, raise your voice as loud as you can, close the ranks to protect our legacy, of freedom and equality….” Part of the text of Protect our Freedom! (Protect our Freedom last version song by Jellaso)
My computer drives me crazy. It’s a daily annoyance. Almost nothing makes me as angry grrrr – as my computer when it doesn’t work or do what I want. Because I know it’s not sensible I will not smash it, but sometimes I have to hold back the urge to do this ha ha!
I most admit, I am of a generation which didn’t grow up with computers. Furthermore I am, what we call in Holland, an ‘Alpha’ person. This means I am not good in mathematics (‘Betha’) but in f.i. languages. Math was always complete abracadabra for me ha ha. I was glad I could drop it after 4 years at high school (12-18 years).
That I have managed to learn to work on windows was a huge personal victory. When I got my Apple computer, at the beginning working on it drove me crazy. Everything was different from what I was used to. To me there was nothing ‘organic’ about it. I even considered selling it again in the beginning…. Really…. Okay, I learned to manage it. Then came Garageband and now Logicpro as musicprogramms for my computer. Being a ‘computerdinausaurus” I learned to work with these systems with pure perseverance. But there it did not stop. All these programms have updates in general to make things ‘better’ or ‘easier’ . Well not for me. These updates simply drive me crazy too and really sometimes desperate. Does anybody out there recognize this????
Happily my husband helps me out, but without him I would often not know what to do. Especially when the programm gets stuck. So I apologize to everyone who asks for help in my blog when they have computerproblems because in general I have no clou. I really wish it was different. Please forgive me.
I see that the government and companies are all changing the business from personal contact to digital contact. Our whole society is being digitized. Taxes, insurances, all the information of the government and hospitals etc. I think it’s unstoppable, but also think that measures have to be taken. We have to protect all these people who are not good at using computers. For some people it’s just impossible to learn to handle a computer. And what about all these people with less chances for education or people who become more and more forgetful because of a disease or just because they get older. There are so many criminals out there. I get so many fishing-mails! I know already a few people who suffered from ‘ransom blackmails’. They lost all their peronal data including pictures of the children. Ofcourse back-up, back-up, back-up, but still….
There is so much private information on our computers. We do our banking on our computers. Who will help when we are not able anymore to track all the changes. When we forget our passwords or lose the people we trust to help with the computer when it’s f.i. stuck or new software has to be installed. This is not something we must leave to nice volunteers who want to help. I love people but when it comes to money I am less convinced of the good intentions of everyone. How can we safeguard our interests. For I am convinced that when we are lucky enough to reach a high age, most of us will not be able to remember all the actions to be performed.
Maybe it’s an idea to establish certified institutions where these services are offered for a reasonable price. Bad things can always happen but at least the chance of fraud is smaller and there is an organisation which can be sued in court??? It could be a public-private cooperation where the government sets the legal frameworks.
Well happily my computer is working now.
Hope you have a beautiful day!!!!
Warm greetings, Jellaso
P.S. I am working on a subscriberslist. But as you will understand, this is also a big challenge for me ha ha.
Tomorrow we celebrate that we live free of oppression and in freedom. It’s the day our country was liberated in 1945 from our occupiers and the end for Holland of the Second World War which lasted 5 years. May 5 is also a day to reflect on the importance of freedom and to realize us how vulnerable and precious our freedom is and to reflect on the lack of freedom in other parts of the world. We must never take our freedom for granted and have to continue to Protect Our Freedom Song Protect our Freedom
May 5, means a lot to me. It’s important to never forget the horrors of war. The number of people who died (civilians and soldiers) are estimated between 50 and 70 million and approximately 60 countries were involved! I start to believe that it’s very exceptional that we already live in freedom for 72 years. I wish mankind had learned a lesson of this war but well, what can I say.
On May 4, today, we always commemorate with several ceremonies, all the people who died and the brave men and women (Dutchmen and Allies) who fought for our freedom and even gave their lives to free our country. This evening at 8 o’clock there are 2 minutes of silence. An impressive and to me emotional moment. I will not forget!
I dance, I sing
I feel free
The wind in my hair
The sun in my face
Happy I can be
Who I want to be!
This is a difficult subject. People always say the minority has not to be overruled by the majority when it comes to decisions and the execution of these decisions. But this is just too simple. Right now I have this feeling that the minority with their opinions are starting to overrule the debate. Ofcourse we have to guarantee that people are free to believe what they want or may say what they want. But it’s impossible to govern a country when no decisions are taken. And for that reason we need good legislation to prevent us for bad decisions and people who want to manage the country with bad intentions. But before I go on I want to seperate two things.
There are ‘technical’ minority and marjority issues and there are issues coloured by f.i gender and religion.
This time I talk about the ‘technical’ majority and minority issues. Ofcourse there are many ways in which decisions can be taken in a democratic environment. I narrow it down to 4 common types:
1. Normal majority of votes
2. Absolute majority of votes
3. Weighted majority
4. An extra weighted majority for far-reaching decisions
1. Normal majority of votes
The majority is 50% of the votes plus 1. But it doesn’t take in account the people who f.i. did not vote or neutral voters. I would never recommand this for far-reaching decisions. As I will also explain at point 2. You should think this is a no go for decisionmakers. But this is actually almost always the fundament of a referendum!!!! As a simple calculation: If there are 100 voters and f.i. 60(%) of them will vote, the decision is taken by half of 60(%) plus 1. So actually only 31(%) have deceided and not 51(%) of the hunderd as is often suggested. So in my opinion in this case ‘the people have not spoken’. Ofcourse we can say all the people should have voted. And you know I think they should. And it’s a must when there are elections. But asking people to vote on all these subjects in referenda, and make time to go and vote and understand what the issue really is about, is just too much demanded.
2. Absolute Marjority of votes
The difference with point 1 is, that it’s also 50% plus 1. But it takes in account people who abstain from voting, neutral voters and – if so determined – the absent voters, to determine whether half of the votes have been reached. This is sometimes used in large companies with shareholders for important decisions. This is better than option 1 but I won’t recommand this either. And it’s unenforceable at country level.
I tell you why I don’t recommand options 1 and 2 unless it’s used for decions which are not far reaching. Whether you deceide to go on holiday (sailing or this resort) it’s asking for half of the people to sulk or to feel confused and neglected. It devides the community. Also as a manager it’s important to create extra time to improve consensus for major changes like f.i. an intended reorganization. Because without enough consensus people are just silently going to sabotage or just not going to carry out the decisions made and it will not benefit the atmosphere between the colleagues either. The more people approve of the changes suggested, the better. This is on microlevel but on macro level the same happens in society. Ofcourse it’s impossible to please everybody but all the same, I would never recommend this option. There simply is not enough support. So you understand that I really think it’s not okay when decisionmakers deceide to ask the people by referendum!!! to f.i. leave the European Union (Brexit) and that with a normal majority of votes!! Only 51,9% were positive to leave. This is – in my opininion – not a solid basis for the future.
3. Weighted majority
This means in general that more votes are necessary before a decision is taken. Often is chosen for 2/3 of the votes but it can also be a form of step by step decisionmaking with several clauses to assure a decision will be taken with more support of the people or members. This is much better. Ofcourse there is a balance. Decisions can never be taken quickly when many people are involved. So 80 or 90% would make the country unmanageable. But I want to hold a plea for 2/3 at least for major decisions. Especially because non-voters are in general not taken in account.
4. An extra weighted majority
In Holland this is f.i. for changing the Constitution. It’s an extra secured procedure where the Parliament has to take a desicion twice. We call it the first and second reading. This is because our Constitution is the fundament of our society and contains the most important principles and assumptions/rules of our nation.
There are 7 steps which have to be taken to change any aspect of the constitution:
1. The Government or 1 of the members of the Parliament (2nd Chambre) submit an amendment.
2. The Second and First Chambre (I wrote about this before in my blog about Elections, my song Protect our Freedom, Spring
and my song Just Lazy) will vote about this with a normal majority.
3. The 2nd Chambre is being dissolved and there will be new elections. By this way the people/voters can have their say
about the proposed changes.
4. In the new 2nd Chambre this amendment will be treated again.
5. The Second and First Chambre have to agree with this proposal with at least 2/3 of the votes.
6. The new amendment will be ratified (administrative part).
7. The new amendment is published in a special State magazine “het Staatsblad” and will come into force of law.
What I also want to emphasize is that whatever votingsystem is used, it’s not only important to be a good looser but also to be a good winner!! An important condition to get more support for the measures taken.
It’s not only a difficult subject but also difficult to translate. So I sincerely apologise for the mistakes I probably made in my English ha ha.
As I started my blog I had this idea of a kind of travel through my life just like I do with my music. My song Fighter (text ‘Don’t give up’) is inspired by the story of a suicide attempt of the owner of a shop I used to visit. But ofcourse it’s also written for everybody having a hard time in general as is my song Win or Loose (text ‘Know behind fear hope always shines’). One of my latest songs which I’m recording now is about Alzheimer. When you’ve read my last blog you understand why.
Writing this blog made me realize more than before, that freedom is a powerfull thread in my life and has a lot of impact on the choices which I made and make.
When I was young I ‘wanted to break free’. I had no money so I didn’t run from home was sensible and knew the only option for me was to finish school. It felt like a liberation and a new start when I went to the University and had my own living. I finished University and always loved to have my own job and my own income. So having a job became leading in my life. This feeling of being able to leave when I want and – another important word – to be independent has always been a strong guide. It was hard when I lost my job because of just bad luck. This period without a job, I still work a lot… and the fact that I am getting older, throws me back to the question what I really want to do with the rest of my life. I worked very hard, travelled a lot for work and had not much time for other things besides my work. I never played the piano, I did not work on the songs which were in me because I have always chosen for the security of a regular income. For the first time I am doubting. I have greatly undervalued the ‘child in me’. I see now how much the creative side brings and am thinking about writing a book again. I started writing a book 15 years ago but didn’t finish it. I have more perseverance with my music now and have this drive to have my music heard. But I also have more time to do it! As I said before I am standing at a crossroad. Never thought it would be so hard to change the usual ways in my life. My old life is still pulling on me.
So, and that’s the point I want to make today, it’s not freedom either when we choose for a job out of fear! And ofcourse we have to pay the morgage, have a responsability towards our children and partner etc. I hope for you, that you have found a good balance in life between your dreams and obligations! And that you sometimes dare to change your destination!
Song Fighter mp3 (Soundcloud)
Song Win or Loose mp3 (Soundcloud)
Enjoying the wind and waves on the beach of Scheveningen