sun 10 feb 2008 05:42:01 witte de withstraat
transport biz: what boerka problem?
apparently balkenende thinks women wearing boerkas (dresses that veil the body head to toe) are disturbing. he's in favor of forbidding women to dress that way on trams and trains. but says it should be up to the transport companies to do that.
today a spokesperson for the transport industry association "mobis" says the government is trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist.
of the 700000+ amsterdammers, maybe 100 women wear boerkas, very few of whom even ride the trams at all, and those few never cause any problem.
so it looks like the fuss is over a personal problem, not a social one.
in five years living in amsterdam i have *once* seen a woman in a boerka get on a tram. i found it a bit unsettling because i'm used to people having faces.
but if we're looking to ban disturbing behaviors in the netherlands, personally i would start elsewhere:
• street fireworks around new year's
• raucous sports fans
• commercial radio
• playing with switchblades on the tram
• santa claus and his alter ego sinterklaas
• hanging giant fashion ads on scaffolding
• the giant TV blazing ads over "escape" in rembrandtplein
• people who impose a "samenscholingverbod" (ban on gathering) because today's teenagers make them nervous
• people who propose to ban other people's scriptures
• jehovah's witnesses ringing my doorbell
• parking your bike so as to make the sidewalk impassable
• nul-negen-nul-zes commercials
• attempts to "clean up" the red light district
• the singing of frans bauer songs in public
see if you think about it, there's a bunch of serious antisocial behaviors that would keep law enforcement busy for many years before they get down to messing with people who wear veils.
meanwhile i think somebody should buy poor balkenende a car, so he won't have to keep taking the tram to work and exposing himself to all these disturbing phenomena.