Women of Amsterdam

Statue of a strong working class woman who weathered the 1930s crisis.

 Women’s history and Feminist history in Amsterdam, through the Ages

An interesting 1.5 to 2 hour walk.

Various women lived in Amsterdam: Fishwives, Feminists, Housewives, Mothers, Killers, Maids, Spinsters, Nuns, Sex Workers and Swindlers.

Themes are quite varied: Nuns going berserk when nunneries were forcibly emptied on May 26, 1578, the day of revolution, when the Catholic city government was deposed.
Social oppression of men and women pushed to the edge of the economy:
Screaming fishwives, selling the fresh catch of their husband or brother.
Rags sellers, offal sellers, move at the bottom of society. Sex workers.
Some women in the Middle class have the better, as wives in fashion shop, pottery shops.

Cafe ‘t Mandje’, The Basket, a lesbian/gay chapter.

Authors Betty Wolff and Deken Aagje, hundreds of letters; lesbian or not?
First feminist movement (suffragettes, health, position of women).
Dolle Mina. Second wave of feminism (abortion, new position in society).
The Amsterdam All-Female History. Well researched, with eye witness texts, told on the right spot in the city.

Scientifically sound, entertaining, fun, enticing, a tour with Drs. Kees Kaldenbach* Also announced in the feminist OPZIJ magazine, April, 2010

Metsu, Woman reading a letter. This is widely considered one of the finest Metsu Paintings in the world.

Amsterdam boasts a rich and eventful history with women who were much more dominant or  “manly” than women in the surrounding countries.

In the Republic, women took over a good deal of daily trade while their men were working elsewhere; sailing, trading or fighting. They were fishwives, maids, nuns or upstanding mothers running a household. Other women sold rags and furniture in shops, were swindlers and perpetrated murders, yet others scrubbed the house and the “stoop”, offered their bodies for paid male pleasure, and finally, there were women who climbed the barricades as feminists.