Candidate councilor flooded with sexist messages after viral video
A video that went viral on Dumpert, showing candidate councilor for Kansrijk Winterswijk Paul Hijink kicking a chair after a disappointing election debate, resulted in a flood of sexist message sent to D66 candidate in Winterswijk Loes ten Dolle, who can also be seen in the video.
"They are just dirty and nasty messages", Ten Dolle said, according to the Telegraaf. She hasn't received any threats.
Under the video on Dumpert, which has been watched over 565 thousand times, responders don't only comment on Hijink's behavior, but also on Ten Dolle's appearance. "I'd do Loes", one of the less explicit comments reads. Some responders also linked to the D66 website, where Ten Dolle's telephone number is listed. Since then she's received a whole series of sexually explicit messages. Her number has now been removed from the site, according to the newspaper.
In a post on the D66 Winterswijk's Facebook page - also signed by the local factions of the CDA, VVD, GroenLinks, SP, PvdA, Winterswijk Belang, and the mayor - the local politicians denounce these messages. "Many reactions were written anonymously and cowardly. Sometimes with the intention to hurt or intimidate, sometimes carelessly. But with whatever intention, such reactions are not normal and will never become normal. Know that. And also know that we do not tolerate this. Not in our municipality, not in our province and not in our country!"
"Every politician wants to be approachable. This is essential, because your local council member is also the one who speaks for you, who stands up for you. For that reason phone details, Facebook details and email addresses are online. As it should be", the D66 writes. "Every politician also knows the downside. Often anonymous persons, who find it necessary to write hurtful, discriminating or sexually harassing texts. And unfortunately: that also happens in Winterswijk."
"The samples of a film placed on Dumpert triggered a stream of intimidating and line-crossing texts towards the Winterswijk D66 list leader Loes ten Dolle. These texts also reached her privately. Posters of (candidate) councilors are also vandalized and disrespectful remarks are made to council members. We do not tolerate this in Winterswijk!" the statement continues. "Every citizen must be protected against discrimination, against border-crossing texts and behavior, against violence, against threats. This also applies to the people who represent us in politics. We must never allow our politicians to be threatened or intimidated in such a way that thresholds need to be raised to protect them. Because that touches the heart of democracy."