Netherlands: outrage over trivialised rape

On Tuesday evening on Dutch TV talk show Vandaag Inside, the prominent and controversial football commentator Johan Derksen admitted amid laughter that as a 22-year-old he raped a drunk unconscious woman. Faced with the indignant reaction from the public, the next day Derksen gave a less incriminating version of the events. The public prosecutor's office now plans to investigate the case. The Dutch press is appalled.

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De Volkskrant (NL) /

Revolution against old men's world

De Volkskrant columnist Sheila Sitalsing is delighted over the outraged reactions:

“Today it is Johan Derksen who thinks he can pass off raping an unconscious woman as a 'youthful sin' with impunity in front of hundreds of thousands of TV viewers. Tomorrow these same moronically chanting viewers will find out that they too are standing on a sheet of ice in hot water. Support for the morals of the old man who has long felt unassailable in his universe where racism, homophobia and abuse of women are things to joke about is rapidly dwindling. It will take a long time for the ruins to be cleared away, too long perhaps, but when you zoom out you realise: we are experiencing a revolution.”

NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

Failure to take action unacceptable

NRC Handelsblad finds it incomprehensible that the commercial TV station Talpa did not intervene immediately:

“At first it sounded like [the broadcaster] had been dawdling, trying to smooth things over and wait for the storm to pass. In this matter, that is too little. Derksen and co. have made themselves unacceptable and should have been sent away long ago. ... The fact that the public prosecutor's office has now opened an investigation into what Derksen has confessed to shows that this is serious. Such behaviour is (and was) unacceptable, punishable and must be vigorously combatted.”