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Five differences between Dutch and British girls

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Five differences between Dutch and British girls

The Shallow Man when commenting on the fashion sense of the Dutch often receives comments like the one below.

“Shallow Man, being from the UK how dare you comment about the way the Dutch dress?  You should look at the state of British girls before making jokes about us Dutch women”

I assume that the purpose of making such comments is to reduce me to tears by taking a swipe at people from the country of my birth. Such messages leave me as cold as a Dutchman’s apartment in the middle of winter.

There are many differences between Dutch and British girls, which brings me to the subject of today’s post.

For the purposes of this piece I will yet again generalise (somewhat) and I’ll focus on the ladies of both countries of whom I know well.

Don’t shoot the exceptionally well dressed messenger. Freedom of speech is allowed in both the UK and the Netherlands.

1. Hen night/vrijgezellenfeest

Forget all the nonsense about taking the Dutch civic exam and attending integration courses. The best way to learn about any culture is to witness how they celebrate getting married. The major differences between Dutch and British girls can be seen in the traditional British hen night and the Dutch vrijgezellenfeest.

The British Hen Night

When a group of British women get together to celebrate the imminent marriage of one of their friends, the following often occurs:

  • Grown men burst into tears
  • Battle hardened army veterans run screaming in terror from bars frequented by such women
  • The air is turned blue with swearing, screaming and shouting
  • Innocent men are groped by drunken women
  • ‘funny’ costumes are often worn by the ladies, in fact if there are three of them together one could point at them and say ‘let me guess what you’re dressed as, ho, ho, ho’.

Vast amounts of alcohol is consumed often accompanied with the emptying of stomach contents onto a busy street or into the handbag of a close friend. A really fabulous hen night ends with at least one of the group in a police cell, and the bride to be impregnated by a complete stranger.

The Dutch vrouwen vrijgezellenfeest

When Dutch women decide to celebrate the marriage of one of their meisjes, it’s a thrilling and exciting affair. In fact, if as an expat lady, you’re invited to attend such an event, (don’t hold your breath as it probably won’t happen) then standby for excitement!

What’s important for a Dutch hen party is that it’s gezellig and leuk. This is achieved by organising one of the following lovely events:

1. High Tea

What can be more thrilling than getting a group of ladies together and having an authentic high tea? There are event organisers up and down the country that will charge 39 Euros per person for the pleasure of showing ladies how to prepare a high tea themselves. Leuk! If you have high blood pressure or a weak heart, I’d suggest that you decline the invitation to such an event as the excitement might kill you.

2. Glamour photoshoot

Extremely popular with meisjes from the provinces is the glamour photoshoot event. At this workshop, Dutch girls who have never worn heels, skirts or makeup before, get to learn how to look feminine. Followed by a photo shoot to prove it. Thirty years from now Mariska will tell her children “I remember the only time in my life that I wore makeup and a skirt, and I have photos to prove it.”

The women do have to sign a disclaimer that if they fall over and break their necks while wearing heels for the first time that the organisers can’t be held in anyway responsible.

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3. Pole Dancing workshop

Time for the ladies to let go of their inhibitions and do something wild. Anouk has been on a pole before, after one repainted her apartment, but pole dancing is something new. It’s a chance for the meisjes to be wild and learn how to do something echt sexy hoor! Having witnessed such an event once, the Shallow Man can confirm that the sight of a pair of Ugg boots wrapped round a pole is quite an arousing sight indeed.

4. Dildo making workshop

The friends of the bride to be have probably slept with the groom already, so have a clear idea if his sexual prowess will live up to expectations. When this isn’t the case, the meisjes get together and arrange a dildo making workshop. It’s lots of fun, and will be useful for the bride on those nights when the smartphone might not be working and she can’t arrange a bit of temporary relief.

"I've slept with your man, you're going to need these"
“I’ve slept with your man, you’re going to need these”

2. Feminism

British girls

British girls believe that feminism involves the following:

  1. Sleeping with as many men as possible while on holiday in Spain to prove how ‘liberated’ they are, after all men would do the same if they could.
  2. Getting pregnant while still at school
  3. Waking up with complete strangers after having consumed enough alcopops to kill a sailor
It's ok we're British feminists
It’s ok we’re British feminists

Dutch girls

Dutch women are the most liberated women in the world. I know this to be the case as they say this all the time, therefore it has to be true. There’s no point disagreeing with them or pointing to the fact that only 42% of British women work part time as opposed to 76% of the Dutch. Financial independence has nothing to do with feminism. What’s important is that you can shout in a loud voice about how liberated you feel compared to women in other countries.

3. Style

British girls

British girls are natural optimists and believe that being stylish involves the following:

  1. Wearing skirts so short that even blind men look away in shock and disgust
  2. Putting one’s cleavage on display like puppies in a pet shop window
  3. Squeezing into a pair of micro hot pants several sizes too small, regardless of the effect this has on passersby, who often have nightmares and require psychiatric counselling to deal with what they’ve seen

Dutch girls

I’ve said enough about the dress sense of the locals. Now that the sun is shining in the Netherlands, Dutch fashion sense is on display in all of its peculiar glory.

4. Sarcasm

British girls

Just as being obsessed with traffic. Queuing in shops, and loving the misfortune of others, sarcasm is part of the British DNA. Never take anything they say literally. Here are some helpful examples aimed at Dutch men who might be enjoying the pleasure of dating a British lady.

British antelope:

“Jeroen, those bright green jeans you’re wearing are………a brave choice. Perhaps though you should only wear them on very special occasions”

“I love a man that’s careful with his money”

“A weekend away in a caravan? How romantic”

Dutch girls

Sadly, in spite of lots of classic British comedy being shown on Dutch television, sarcasm appears to be beyond the abilities of most of the locals. Instead of sarcasm, a primitive combination of rudeness and bluntness is deployed like a caveman wielding a club.  Some actual examples are below.

“You must love it here in Holland, I’ve been to your country and it’s quite backwards”

“It’s nice that you made the effort to learn Dutch, but you speak it so badly that we should just speak English”

“you expats always go out and drink after work because you have no real friends here”

5. Marriage ceremonies

Dutch girls

Following the thrilling vrijgezellenfeest, the typical Dutch wedding can be a bit of anti-climax. The no nonsense Dutch woman, relieved that she’s actually got a Dutchman to agree to marry her, will be quite happy with a quick civil ceremony, followed by some cheese cubes, cocktail sausages on a stick and some cheap beer and plenty of bottles of wine from Chateau Migraine.

British girls

The Shallow Man like many people all over the world loves Downton Abbey. I’m pleased to say that even in 2015 that the traditions of the British aristocracy are still practiced. Decorum, manners and grace are all on display during typical weddings in the UK.

Sponsored by the local sunbed salon


The cream of British society turned out to attend this wedding
The cream of British society turned out to attend this wedding


The divorce lawyers could hardly wait till the wedding was over
The divorce lawyers could hardly wait till the wedding was over


To summarize:

British and Dutch girls have about as much in common as Friesland does with Montego Bay.

Till next time, hou je bek!

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About Simon Woolcot

Infamous blogger, annoyance and self confessed Shallow Man . Simon is a British expat who has lived in Amsterdam for over 11 years, and due to Brexit may soon be applying for asylum. As well as writing this blog, Simon also has a YouTube channel of the same name, writes and directs videos, and hosts seminars about life in the Netherlands

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  • “Such messages leave me as cold as a Dutchman’s apartment in the middle of winter.” pmsl!!! – this one was pure genius! I was in the station and had tears in the eyes readying this – probably the Dutch were wondering why I’m laughing :))

  • Teodora Kralcheva

    Thank you! The one about the cold in Dutch apartments is soo accurate, I’ve come to the conclusion that these people have a distinct nervous system that makes them feel temperature differently from normal people and allows them to thrive in cold temperatures.

    • mindpower

      Nah, they just don’t like to spend money on unnecessary things like heating.

  • Phantom

    The posts are hilarious because we all know they rest on a firm basis of truth!

  • Marcel

    The one about the part time work though is looking at the statistics inaccurately. If you would look at both men and women, you will find that in this respect the Netherlands is more emancipated then the UK. True, almost twice as many women work parttime in the Netherlands compared to the UK, but in the UK less the 10% of men work parttime, compared to 23% in The Netherlands, so if you look at parttime workers only, the Dutch probably have a lower percentage of women working parttime then the UK.

    • Marcel, I disagree with your interpretation of the statistics. Here is a more detailed breakdown of the stats by the Economist. http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2015/05/economist-explains-12

      I fail to understand how you’ve drawn the conclusion that even though almost twice as many women work part time in the Netherlands that when you add the number of men working part time this means that there’s a lower percentage of women working part time than the UK. I simply fail to understand your logic.

      The stats are crystal clear. 76% versus 42% and the highest number of women working part time in Europe.

      • Selon Nerias

        If we assume the total amount of men and women is the same and equal to n. That means that in the netherlands 0.76n women are working parttime and 0.23n men are working parttime. So 0.76n/(0.76n+0.23n)*100=~77% of Dutch people working parttime are women. If we do the same for the british stats we get 0.42n women part time and 0.1n men working parttime, so 0.42n/(0.42n+0.1n)*100=~80.1% of british people working parttime are women. So the female percentage of parttime workers is larger in the UK than in the Netherlands, sure a larger percentage of our (Dutch) women work parttime, but that is because a larger percentage of our workforce works parttime not because Dutch women are less liberated.

        • That’s the most convoluted and desperate justification I’ve seen yet to justify the high percentage of Dutch women working part time. LOL!!! Yes ok so Eurostat, the EU and the OECD have all got the formula for calculating the percentage of women in the workforce wrong. You’ve got it right. Applause!

          • Marcel

            Nothing convoluted about this. If you want to post about gender inequality, you have to look at gender differences. The numbers for number of women working parttime that you use, look at differences between countries, not between genders.
            What we are saying is that a person who only looks at the number of women working parttime, while not looking at the number of men working parttime, fails to look at the differences between genders.
            In The Netherlands the difference between the genders in part time workers in smaller then in the UK, this indicates that when it comes to feminisim and part time work, the UK is worse then the Netherlands.
            The organisations you quote have the numbers correct, you are however interpreting the numbers wrong.

          • rcoenen

            That doesn’t mean Selon isn’t right. Also factor in labour productivity: the Dutch are done on Thursdays with the same amount of labour delivered in a week as the Brits on Friday.

      • rcoenen

        It also happens to be the *highest number of women working*… Part-time mum in the UK isn’t really an option is it? You either work fulltime and are not simultaneously a mum – or the other. The Netherlands offers much more flexibility here.

    • Kay

      I don’t know how emancincipated part time work is. The last time I worked part time, I was 16 and selling old lady clothes in my local shopping street.. Maybe, JUST MAYBE, that’s possibly the (sarcastic) point he is trying to make?

  • Blind Babe

    Another brilliantly hilarious post. Oh I miss London soooooooo much !

  • belaroo

    Shallowest man of Amsterdam, I assume you a now a local of Amsterdam yes? As a brit who is a local of Utrecht, I’d say you are a bit like all those antipodeans living in London, the rest of the country is theoretical.
    Living in Amsterdam is a bit like living in Soho, maybe you like witnessing this end of the social spectrum. It is, however a spectrum, with many delightful colours you have yet to cover.
    Go find some women you don’t despise.

    • Belaroo, what a barrel of laughs an evening with you must be. Can you remember the last time you laughed? Or is the world a serious place with no time for such frivolities as humor and sarcasm? If you don’t get the jokes, fair enough, but don’t come on here and accuse me of despising women. FYI the majority of my followers are female, which means that most of them have a sense of humor, unlike your oh so right on self.

      • belaroo

        There’s gonna be more hello magazine readers out there than decent satire. You pick your audience. I thought you were quite funny, but you are starting to bore me now.

        • Belaroo, obviously I’m devastated that you don’t find me funny any more, but somehow, I think I’ll get over it. Thanks for whining though, hope it made you feel better.

  • PeteH

    Another great posting and so true! Maybe explains why I haven’t had a relationship with a British woman since 1985 and since arriving in the Netherlands in 2008 have never been tempted by the local offerings! 😉

  • Nadia

    You saved me from a near life of depression. Thank you for making me smile while living in this hellhole

  • José Sousa

    No Brits or Dutch girls for me, thanks.

  • Marion Mayger

    I cant even argue with it !