Friday, March 19, 2010

I'm so sheltered!

 photo by Amsterdamize--Definitely not me in the pic, though!

The things I don't know about because I'm a girl. Honestly . . .

I hopped over to Amsterdamize today to find that warm weather in Amsterdam has him eagerly anticipating Rokjesdag, an tradition upheld quietly but earnestly by civilized Dutch men.

Last year, he commented, "‘Rokjesdag’ means ‘Skirts Day’. Or ‘Short Skirts Day’. Most literally, ‘Little Short Skirts Day’. This is a once proclaimed and poetically described day by a Dutch writer. It’s the day when women en masse get rid of their pantyhoses or tights and leave the house with bare legs."

I can tell I'm getting older, because I'm more amused than offended by this phenomenon. Guys really get excited about this? The feminist in me can't help but wonder if the women have a day celebrating the first day when men hit the streets in shorts. Short sleeves? Shirtless? Ok, maybe leave the shirts on.

We've had a few gorgeous days here lately too, but today, it's actually snowing. Maybe I should take the time to find my bike-worthy skirts, just so I'm prepared to do my public service of flashing a little leg on a warmer day.

Today's weather, as seen out my door.


  1. Hopefully you'll still think of me as civilized ;))

  2. Nothing wrong with enjoying the beauty of the human form!

  3. Being pedantic: rokjesdag was coined by Dutch columnist Martin Bril in 1996. He had noticed that there used to be a day in early spring when women all got rid of winter trousers and changed into skirts, as if it were a conspiration. Something like Ground Hog Day, only not tied to a fixed date. The expression stuck and made it to Dutch dictionaries. Bril himself was grilled about this by feminists but always maintained that there was nothing sexist to it, just an inexplicable fact for everyone to see. A women's thing, so utterly uncomprehensible to men.

  4. Frits--The clarification is more than welcome. Of course, there's nothing sexist about witnessing a phenomenon, and this info on rokjesdag just has me thinking about what other unofficial signs of spring we all witness. To an observant person, I'm sure it's pretty dramatic to see women's legs all covered up one week and then bare the next!

  5. LOL. No weather warm enough for bare legs yet.

  6. Wow, I don't think I've ever looked that hot on or off a bike! Have you noticed in a lot of the photos of the "hot girl commuter" variety that they're often not wearing helmets? Wonder if it's less common to wear helmets while commuting in Europe...

  7. @minor catastrophes: people just dress for the occasion (work/school/etc) and then get on a bike. And by people I mean the young & old, whatever bracket it is. I always say 'you look better on a bike' :). To us (Dutch & most Europeans) helmets are very alien, as 'normal' cycling is not dangerous (far less than crossing the street or driving a car), helmets won't 'save your life' and are counter-productive with regards to cycling rates (more people on bikes = safety), emphasis here is on safe infrastructure, education, legislation (pro-bike) and positive promotion.