Women Barred From Serving Dinner At Nuclear Summit

Nuclear Servers

For some bizarre reason that nobody seems to be able to adequately explain, women were barred form serving dinner at the recently concluded nuclear weapons summit at The Hague:

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — It was just a little thing that the Dutch media noticed: all the people serving lunch to the world leaders at the Nuclear Security Summit on Tuesday were men. Then it was picked up by the British newspaper the Independent.

Turns out it wasn’t an accident.

According to Daphne Kerremans, the spokesperson for the Nuclear Security summit, the NSS requested two things of the company that catered the event:

  • The servers had to be experienced and older than 25
  • And they all needed to be of one sex and wear the same uniform.

Van der Linde Catering took full responsibility for the decision to go with all men and the owner tweeted an inside look at their cadre of male servers.

Owner Hans Van der Linde told NBC News that male servers “had an additional practical advantage” because unhindered by aprons, they would “find it easier to navigate the stairs while carrying plates.”

The only word I can think of to describe this is bizarre. 

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Tyrell says:

    That round table and room looks like the one in the “Dr. Strangelove” movie.

  2. Tillman says:

    Why do they make the women wear aprons but not the men? Those outfits they’re wearing are fairly unisexual.

    I figured before reading that that they went with males because they had more male servers.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    For some bizarre reason

    It’s all about the breasts.

  4. Neil Hudelson says:

    …were the aprons sewn onto the female waitresses?

  5. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Mr. Carson would approve heartily.

  6. Franklin says:

    The policy isn’t actually discriminatory to women. It may be to transgenders, however.

  7. grumpy realist says:

    Uh, what?!

    This only makes sense if a) women servers regularly wear skirts and b) aprons on top of the skirts. There’s nothing to keep a woman from wearing pants and climbing stairs.

    I chalk this up to pompous formality and dumb arguments rather than evil conniving. It does show, however, how seemingly rational arguments can result in discriminatory effects (somewhat along the lines that since women have smaller brains than men ergo less brainpower ergo keep them out of law/medicine/whatever.)

  8. rudderpedals says:

    All male servers makes sense when Dominique Strauss-Kahn is there.