Amsterdam putting another 135 prostitutes out of a job
I haven't written anything for a while anymore. The reason? I'm tired of it. I'm tired of politicians talking with sex workers but not listening to what they have to say. I'm tired of doing interviews with students, which in the end doesn't achieve anything. I'm tired of constantly being reminded of the fact that they city doesn't want us anymore, but claiming to 'help us'.
The constant claim people make on us is that they are helping us, but really what they're doing is just dumping more shit on us. They don't really listen, they just talk with you so they can say they talked with you and listened to you. But in reality they don't listen. If they really would've listened to us, the city government would've immediately stopped buying up more windows than the more than 100 workplaces that we've already lost. But they don't. In fact, they're still continuing.

Yeah, sure, now they claim they're closing down 'less' windows. Woohoo people! This solves everything! Because closing down less windows is completely different from euh... closing down windows...? Wait, not really!
Yeah, they're closing down less windows. In stead of 83 windows, now the city decided to 'only' close down 37 windows. Yes, it saves 46 windows. It's like getting a discount on how many workplace we will loose. But that doesn't mean those women in the 37 other windows won't loose their workplace anymore! In fact, the 37 windows they want to close down is pretty much the busiest and most prostitutes filled part of the entire Red Light District, called the St. Annenkwartier. In fact, based on clients reviews on which visited girls in the past few months in this area, there are at least 135 women working in this area, including myself! And many girls I know that work there don't even have a review there, which would bring the number of women loosing their workplace even higher.

So sure, it's only 37 windows. But those 37 windows does give work space to at least 135 prostitutes, and is the busiest area in terms of prostitutes working there. These 135 women will come on top of the estimated 375 women that already lose their workplace, bringing the total to more than 500 women. At least the brothel owners get a thick paycheck for it when they sell the windows. But what do we get? Nothing! We loose our workplace, without any compensation. We don't get any money. We don't get a new workplace. We can't work elsewhere, because all over this country they're closing down legal workplaces for prostitutes. In fact, between 2006 and 2014 in total 40% of all the legal prostitution businesses closed down. Between 2000 and now, 729 prostitution windows alone closed down. That's more than 1/3 of all the prostitution windows in this country! And than they're still surprised that illegal prostitution is a growing problem?!

Here's an overview of all the windows that we had back in 2000, how many there are now left, and how many closed down in Holland:
Today an article in the Guardian gave some attention to this 'gentrification project' we have in Amsterdam, mentioning myself in the article. And although the article is really good, you can still see how little people understand about real human trafficking and what's really going on. The city's move to try and criminalize brothel owners as the traffickers, or at least as those responsible for trafficking, apparently paid off.
In the article for example they talk about Eastern European brothel owners who moved into the area during the 1990's. I was puzzled when I read it, because there are no Eastern European brothel owners, and there never were. It took me a while before I realized the article was talking about pimps that moved into the area, but these people aren't brothel owners.

It's a testament to the brainwashing the city of Amsterdam did in order to gentrify this area. People can no longer tell the difference between a legal business and a criminal. Brothel owners who run the window brothels in Amsterdam are all legitimate business owners, all of them Dutch. None of them are Eastern European or ever where. But the brainwashing of Amsterdam worked so well, that people can't even tell the difference anymore between a brothel owner or a human trafficking. So the goal of Amsterdam, to brand the brothel owners as criminals who allow and even support human trafficking, has worked well. It has worked so well, that everyone now believes the brothel owners are the traffickers, and that's why the windows have to close down. But that's not true.

But the success of this lie worked so well, that other cities starter to adopt it. Alkmaar closed down 60 windows using human trafficking as a reason to close it down. Utrecht lost more than 160 windows with the excuse of human trafficking. And more recently Groningen closed down 50 windows down, 1/3 of the total amount, using again human trafficking as an excuse. Meanwhile also Amsterdam closed down last week more windows, 11 in total. The women that worked there I knew personally, as some of them were working directly in front of me. These women now don't have a job anymore, not a place to work, nothing to do, no income. I'm sure that helps those women a lot! And we still have 37 more windows to go, 135 more girls to loose their workplace, including mine.

Meanwhile more businesses that have nothing to do with the Red Light District are moving into the neighborhood. An 80's style arcade game hall has taken over where Sexyland used to be. I'm sure all those kids feel right at home between the prostitutes! A 'Hangover Information Center' opened up a while ago a few windows next to my own window. Hardly any people go in, as nobody takes this scam serious. And now they're opening up a lunchroom where they closed down 6 windows last year. Great, because Amsterdam didn't have enough of those yet!

A map of the Red Light District as it stands today. The red windows are going to close down. The windows with an X in them were closed down after August of 2012, before already 66 windows were closed down in recent years.
In one of the smallest allies in the neighborhood, which used to be an all prostitution area, a small shop opened up a while ago in the middle of the street. I don't know what kind of shop it is, but not many people go in there, since nobody's going into that ally, because it's a prostitution area. The business owners who run those places complain in the newspapers that they get less customers then they expected and were promised. Jeez, I wonder why? Couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact that you're completely out of place in an area like this, right?
And while those businesses are complaining about the lack of customers, the same is happening to us. Less and less customers come into this part of the Red Light District anymore. The bright lights from the other shops shuns them away. All the girls are complaining the work is getting less and less, and for me it was a reason to move from there after having worked there for 3 years.

The busiest area for a prostitute to work in the Red Light District is loosing customers quick, while the other businesses which scare away our customers, are complaining about not having many customers as well. In short, both aren't happy with it, and it simply doesn't work.
Ah well, at least it will be over soon, and the entire area will soon be a place of small shops, to which few people go into. After all, the allies are narrow and dark, and doesn't feel exactly like a safe place to be. Not really the kind of place you'd like to go shopping, but perfect for customers of prostitutes who like to avoid being seen going inside with a girl.

Soon another 135 women will have lost their workplaces, with thanks to the city council. They won't have a place to work anymore, they aren't being offered a new place to work, or any compensation whatsoever. They're simply putting these women out of a job. While at the same time they're subsidizing small businesses which open up shops, which without their subsidies would never be able to survive because of the lack of business for them in this area. But it's not just the area that kills these businesses. Look at most of the boutiques, 'designer' shops and other crap they opened up. It's no wonder these businesses get few clients, they're selling garbage as 'fashion'.
What I don't understand, is why the city keeps subsidizing these businesses which are clearly out of place, and without subsidizing would never be able to survive, simply because they're selling stuff nobody wants. After all, if you want a high class establishment, as the city has as a goal for this area, you'll go to the famous P.C. Hoofdstraat in Amsterdam, not to the Red Light District!

Dutch version
5 Responses
  1. PLEASE don't give up hope and your hard work!!! We are doing the same here in Canada, and yes it is a continual struggle!! OOXXX

  2. Violetta V. Says:

    Reading your blog has been eye-opnening for me in the matter of prostitution. I understand your reasons for being tired of all of this, but at the same time I feel like it would be a shame after all the hard work you've been doing.

    As I said, reading this kind of blogs was one of the things that completely changed my vision of sexwork (and sex), and at least I would like to thank you for that :)

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I agree with Jerry and Violetta. Great work. Your blog is an exceptional source of information and insight. Unfortunately, you are up against organised interest groups and institutions. It was never going to be easy.

  4. MigGames Says:

    Don't give up the only way to chnage things is to speak up and if you give up then other will as well.
    Things is they aren't shutting the 2 windows in Bethlemsteeg but they might as well as people aren't going to go down there for 2 windows a covered area and a lap dancing club!

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