Non Nobis has plans for a 'humane' brothel
A 'humane' brothel, that was the headline of one of the newspaper articles yesterday about Non Nobis their plans to open up brothels in the Netherlands in several cities. The foundation which has primarily been operating in real estate, wants to renew the prostitution industry in The Netherlands. According to them this is necessary because right now 'many prostitutes are caught in a web of of pimps, brothel owners and slum landlords'.

Their idea is to open up a brothel where the sexworkers can be more independent, and less depending on pimps, brothel owners and operators. How exactly? Well, with the revolutionary idea to have one building where brothel operators can rent space to rent out to sexworkers. A 'humane brothel' as it was called in the newspapers. Isn't that a nice idea? Well, here's a newflash for you people, this already exists! This is nothing new, this is exactly how the prostitution industry works today. For example, my brothel operator rents the building from the owner, and they rent workplaces out to us as well, so what else is new? So this humane brothel, implying that the current ones wouldn't be humane, already exists in every brothel right now!

According to Non Nobis however this brothel will be different because sexworkers will be less dependent on brothel operators, owners and pimps. First of all I hate the fact that they put brothel operators and owners on the same level as a pimp, because those two things are completely different from each other. What people don't seem to realize is that the relationship between a prostitute and a pimp is something that happens in someone's private life, it's something the brothel owner doesn't see or know about, and certainly doesn't participate in. So putting these two on the same level is just a disgrace for all the brothel operators. Brothel operators aren't pimps, they don't exploit or force us, they just rent places out to us, that's it. So there's really nothing to fix when it comes to the brothels or the people who run the brothel, since that was never the problem. If you want to fix the problems of trafficking and pimps, you should look at the cause of those, and those are often that pimps and traffickers take advantage of victims who have trouble finding a way into prostitution.

But how exactly does Non Nobis thinks they can make sexworkers less depending on brothel operators and pimps at the same time? Well, because the sexworkers will deposit their income at an office of Non Nobis (who will be the brothel owner), and the money for the rent will be send to the brothel operator, and the rest of the money will be send to the account of the sexworker.
But wait a minute? Doesn't this make sexworkers more depending on Non Nobis than other brothel owners? After all, in the currrent situation I only have to pay the brothel owner/operator my rent, and all my earnings I can keep for myself. But if Non Nobis is my brothel owner, than I have to give them all my money? Doesn't that make me more depending on Non Nobis, if in stead of just relying on them for a place to work, I also have to rely on them for all my hard earned cash? That would make me way more depending on them, than with any other current brothel owner.

So, no, this will not make sexworkers less depending on the brothel owner, in this case Non Nobis, but even more than in current situations. Above all, it still doesn't solve the problem of pimps and trafficking. After all, what happens to the money after the sexworker has received it is still not transparant. A sexworker can still give her earnings away to a pimp after she received her payment from Non Nobis, and they wouldn't know. So it doesn't solve anything. And neither does it solve the problem of how women can enter this industry without having to fall into the hands of pimps and traffickers.

All in all the intentions of Non Nobis seem good, but as always the ideas they came up with, which they think are very different from how things are right now, are usually pretty much how things are already at the moment. We already pay for example for our workplaces at a central office, that of the brothel operator. So this is nothing new. I can already deposit my money on a bank account if I'd want to do that, so that's also not something new. Plus if I'd do that, my brothel owner won't have any access to my money. However giving all of my earned money away to one single company, in this case Non Nobis, with the promise that I'll get it back from them sounds an awfull lot like how a loverboy works, and certainly doesn't make sexworkers less depending on them as a brothel owner!

It's interesting to see how people always seem to think their ideas about prostitution and how things should be arranged are so new and revolutionary, while in reality most of those plans come down to exactly how things are currently arranged. In short, this just proves how little people really know about the realities of prostitution. They think they come up with a new idea, but in reality it's exactly the same as how it is now. And if they come up with new ideas, they're often worse or don't solve any problems.

But what really worries me is how Non Nobis is offering themselves up as a replacement for existing workplaces, in stead of offering themselves up as new additional workplaces for those that have been lost in recent years already. For example, they're now offering themselves up as replacement for red light district areas in several cities, such as Amsterdam and The Hague. But Non Nobis should offer themselves up as new workplaces that replace all the legal workplaces prostitutes already have lost in recent years, meaning it would increase the amount of legal workplaces in stead of maintaining a status quo.

All in all, a perfect example of how people seem to think they can reinvent the wheel. But the real problems won't be solved by Non Nobis their plans, since the problems weren't being cause by brothels or their owners in the first place. It just shows how little people know about the realities of the prostitution industry, but I also already told them about that before.

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    Romanian prostitute working in the Red Light District in Amsterdam (De Wallen), speaking out for the truth behind prostitution. Blogging about prostitution, human trafficking, forced prostitution, politics and all the myths surrounding it. Member of PROUD, the Dutch union of sex workers.