Cisca Dresselhuys is the main character of Women’s Liberation. However, I love men.

Luxurious villa in Hilversum. The hostess is taken care of to the smallest detail: elegant clothes, thorough make-up. instant atmosphere. Tea and cake on the table.

But no, don’t start talking about Opzij right away. So painful. After she left, the feminist magazine she ran for nearly thirty years struggled with editorial grumbling and a great loss of readers. “Shall we talk about something else? I prefer to keep the good memories,” she says in this episode of “Lifeline,” about the standards in her life.

1943 pastor

He was born in Leeuwarden. It’s an afterthought in a family with two older sisters and a brother. Her father is the pastor of the Reformed Church in Aldeboarn, Friesland. Her mother worked as a teacher before her marriage. After her marriage, her job was at home. “Once you get married, it was over for women in those days to work outside the home. Disgraceful, but true.”

1947 Solex

When she is four years old, the family moves to Roermond, where her father works, as she is called. “He found it interesting to work as a Reformer in such a Catholic environment. It motivated him to work with opponents and to make connections with colleagues in Germany and Belgium. We used to stay there during holidays. And when he went with Solex to visit members of congregation outside the city, I was often allowed to go with him. I was a father real.”

1955 Smith

She was eleven years old when her father died of a pulmonary embolism. “After that, my childhood abruptly ended. My parents were well married and the death of my father plunged my mother into deep sorrow. I missed my father so much, but I also felt I had to console and make my mother happy. Not because my mother asked, but I imposed that duty on myself. He threw It cast a shadow on my childhood.”

1956 nuns

To the Sint Ursula Lyceum, a girls’ Catholic school. The school was run by nuns with difficult names, such as Recrex Edeltrodis. They were strict, but well trained. It was crazy of course that I sat there, as a reformer girl, and took religion lessons, but it was simply the best school in the area. At first I went to grammar school, but because I didn’t feel like science subjects, I went to girls’ high school. There I got high marks in languages ​​and even ten degrees in history.”

“The nuns loved me, but I was not happy at that time. At home there was grief for my father and at school I did not fully belong. I did not speak Limburg, and as a reformist girl among Catholics I was always an outsider. Always different from the rest. Also because I did not fall On my mouth. I had a missionary impulse and I opened my mouth when I didn’t like something.”

Since I was 12 I’ve known three things: I wanted to be a journalist, I would never marry and I didn’t want to have children. And so it went.”

1961 to make tea

At home, they read Trouw, a newspaper that grew out of the Protestant resistance during the occupation years. So it made sense that she applied there after school. She began her work in the editorial office in Utrecht, behind the telex. “I started my day by making tea for the whole team. That’s just what they expected of me. Silly, but I did. I was lucky because one day five of my six teammates were sick. Then I had to step in and write some pieces.”

A few years later, she switched to the editorial team in Amsterdam. There she begins a relationship with her colleague Koos Groen. “She didn’t come from me. He laid eyes on me and I was happy with my choice. I think he liked me because I was smart and always had ideas. Very special, because a lot of men are afraid of women who open their mouths. It makes them insecure.”

They never married, but she calls him “my husband.” At the same time, she cherishes her independence: “We live together, but we each have our own house. The ground floor and garden are mine, and the second and third floors are his. We each have our own mortgage. And our email address. Isn’t it ridiculous that there are spouses who only have A shared bank account and a shared email address? You wouldn’t bother your partner with your money and emails, would you? As a woman, you should never hand your finances over anyway.”

1974 liberation wave

She started a women’s page on Trouw and became an employee of the monthly feminist magazine Opzij. “I wrote out of my passion for a noble cause. We were the mouthpiece of the second wave of feminism in our country. This was a real struggle, because many women were frustrated at home. They are well educated and have a lot of talent, they have a lot to offer but they didn’t succeed because society imposed They have to take care of their families at home.So: Forget your talent and your degree and start cooking, washing and ironing.Women were small, not only by their husbands, but by society as a whole.They were not masters of their own accord nor were they given any serious opportunities to rise through the ranks.No Swallow. So I wrote about it.”

1981 sex papers

Opzij appoints her editor-in-chief. “It was the time when some women read the magazine, but didn’t dare say it in public. So they hid it behind the cover of a dragonfly. Just as if they had sex magazines delivered to Veluwe in an empty envelope.”

“At that time I traveled across the country giving lectures everywhere. Then there were always men in the room trying to take me down. Or accusing me of trying to persuade women not to be satisfied. They said, ‘My wife is happy at home and then you come and tell her she has to work. on divorce. Then I cried again that I could not make anyone dissatisfied, but that I could bring something that lived under the skin to the surface. Because of course there was so much dissatisfaction among women.”

2000 ruler

She received the Anne Vondeling Award for Political Journalism for her series of interviews “Along the Feminist Measuring Lattice” in which she measures leading men in politics, business and the media when it comes to their feminist leanings. Like Kees van Kooten, who scored high after assuring her that he hated “Normal People II”: “How dare you fall in love with a girl who would have been your daughter.” and Jan Mulder, who got away after comparing sex to eating pastries. Don’t you eat this with someone else? OK then.’

Did the interviews change her view of gentlemen? “Ah. Knowing a lot is understanding a lot. That is why I love men. But at the same time, I also have objections to types. Most of them are not that bad, but you also have Johann Dirksen’s types.”

2008 Opportunities

retired و. Meaning: the termination of her permanent employment at Opzij. Did she achieve what she wanted to achieve? She is hesitant. Weigh her words. I’ve accomplished a lot as a journalist. As a feminist, there may have been more. But let me not grumble, women have more opportunities than before.” Is that Opzij’s credit? Of course Opzij contributed to that. In the heyday of our era, we sometimes had a paid trade of 120,000 units. Then you have leverage, right?”

For her, the pension is a flexible concept, because she continues to work at her own pace. First for Trouw, now with interviews and columns at Nouveau. “Work and life for me. I still enjoy meeting interesting people. Then you don’t stop because you have reached a certain age, right?”

2022 audio notation

Together with Jan Slagter, President of Omroep Max, she makes the podcast “Slagter and Dresselhuys Wills”. Both have turned their backs on the church, but their reformist upbringing remains under their skin. Jan’s father was an organist in a church in The Hague. He used to go every day with his father. He still memorizes many psalms by heart. As the daughter of a priest, I realized a lot in the nostalgic stories about his youth. Each week on the podcast, we talk to a guest from a similar background about faith and how the church has affected their lives.” Their reformist traits sum up like this: “Jean is like an evangelist motivated to help people. Calvinism forces me to have a firm sense of duty. Always hard working. Don’t miss any deadline.”

Every week they record an episode at a church in Hilversum. “You can hear the echo of God’s house in it. This is good for atmosphere and recognition.”

2027 the mother

What will you do after five years? “Then I will be 84. As long as my health allows, I will continue to work. I am very optimistic about this health. My mother was 92 years old and remained crystal clear until her death. I hope to follow this example.”

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