Culture, food for though

On being a woman in Amsterdam

In Portugal, where I grew up, there was an un-written code of conduct for “decent women”: whatever you do, never. make. the. first. move with a specimen of the opposite sex. It didn’t matter if that move was nothing other than trying to keep in touch with someone you had found pleasant, interesting, or just worthy of having in your social-circle. Never. make. the. first. move. was not something to be argued against, and by this I mean the reasoning with yourself. The “we live in the 21st century, for god’s sake” argument wouldn’t be of use. The experience of having attempted a first move in the past (or giving the impression you were making one) had been powerful enough to teach any girl that, in such a situation, whatever could go wrong, would.

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