A Psychologist Was Forced to Give Up Her License Because Her Instagram Was Too Sexy

The Belgian Commision of Psychologists suspended Kaat Bollen's license, so she gave it up entirely.

Apparently psychologists can't be sexy on Instagram.
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Today in sexist news from around the world, a Flemish psychologist has reportedly given up her license after the Belgian Commission of Psychologists scolded her for being too sexy. After the Commission suspended her license, Kaat Bollen, a Flemish media personality known for sharing and promoting sex-positive content online, simply gave it up instead.

According to Vice, Bollen’s troubles began in early 2020, after an unknown colleague reported her to the Commission, resulting in an official warning. Bollen appealed the decision, and ended up getting her license suspended instead.

In addition to a social media presence deemed “indiscreet,” Bollen also raised eyebrows for directing an erotic film and operating an online sex toy shop — all of which ultimately led to the Commission’s decision to suspend her license. According to Belgian national broadcaster VRT, the Commission’s verdict notes that Bollen “must at all times be aware of her profile and dignity,” and ultimately found that “the dignity of their profession is being affected and their image damaged” by Bollen’s online presence.

In a Saturday post to her allegedly offensive Instagram account, Bollen slammed the decision and announced she would be giving up her license altogether.

“Why is sexy and/or feminine not worthy? And since when do we psychologists judge the dignity of others? Shouldn’t we have an open mind and encourage authenticity?” Bollen wrote in the post. “If being a psychologist in 2021 means that I cannot be myself (not even in my private life, because that is what this is about!), then I would rather not be a psychologist,” she continued. “Therefore, I have decided to terminate my membership with the psychologist committee (and therefore also surrender my title of psychologist). That hurts and is difficult.”

A community of supporters have since rallied around Bollen, blasting the Commission’s suspension as sexist and regressive. Among Bollen’s supporters, largely consisting of women on Twitter and Instagram posting photos of themselves with the hashtag #istandwithkaat, is Flemish Minister of Equal Opportunities Bart Somers.

“Unheard of that in 2021 women in Flanders are still being told how they should or should not dress,” Somers tweeted. “As Minister of Equal Opportunities, I’m going to discuss this with the psychology committee next week. We don’t need a clothing police here.”

Psychologist Lotte De Schrijver has also spoken out publicly about Bollen’s case, posting her concerns to the website of the Flemish Association of Clinical Psychologists.

“The threatening thing about this decision is the message it gives, namely, that self-expression is only possible as long as it complies with ‘coloring within the lines’ when you wish to pursue a certain career path,” she wrote, “How can we work ethically with clients and patients who struggle to reconcile potentially conflicting professional and personal attitudes and partial identities when we fail to maintain an open and non-judgmental attitude towards our own colleagues?”

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