Christian youth club Exxpose does failed attempt at Swedish model
This week it was big news apparently. A small Christian youth club called Exxpose managed to get 40.000 signatures to try and get the Swedish prostitution model implemented in the Netherlands. It took them 6 years to get all of the 40.000 signatures, which already points out how little support they got, as they’ve been desperately trying to hide the fact that they're a Christian club, because they know this will work against them.

Some media however where smart enough to uncover they are a club of Christian people, which for most Dutch people already tells them enough. But even without mentioning that, most people simply don't support this idea in the Netherlands, because they are smart enough to figure out that if something is out of sight doesn't mean it doesn't exist, but is simply less easy to help victims and forces sex workers underground which creates more violence towards sex workers. Two separate polls pointed towards 75% and 87% of the population being against the Swedish prostitution model. 

What many people don't know however is that this club is heavily supported by several people with a lot of influence. People like Christian party leader Gert-Jan Segers, who tried to be very casual about it but failed in that. He tried to casually say that if the evidence supports it he is in favor of this idea, as if he’s basing himself on evidence and as if he’s being unbiased about it. Yeah…. Maybe you shouldn't say that if your face was on their website prominently in support for years, that might have worked better, Gert-Jan! And guess who the petition was offered to? Not so very subtle Gert-Jan!

Other people they get support from are for example public prosecutor Jolanda de Boer, writer and feminist Renate van der Zee, christian savior Frits Rouvoet and former national Rapporteur on Human Trafficking Corinne Dettmeijer among many others. If some of those names sounds familiar to you, that's because I've mentioned all of these people before on my blog. All these people have tried in the past to influence the debate regarding prostitution towards the Swedish prostitution model.

Jolanda de Boer was not so subtle in her role as public prosecutor on human trafficking cases, about exaggerating how many victims there where. Renate van der Zee is basically the mother of the Swedish model support group in the Netherlands. Frits Rouvoet is talking with sex workers to gain intel from them, to try and figure out a way how they can manipulate it. And Gert-Jan Segers is the grandmaster behind all of this, as this is his second attempt at the Swedish model in the Netherlands, after his last one failed a couple of years ago.

And for those that are still doubting about for example Corinne Dettmeijer as being biased in this case. The new Rapporteur on Human Trafficking, Herman Bolhaar, is not biased for example. You may also notice how last year I haven't wrote anything last years about the new numbers on human trafficking like I did other years before when Corinne Dettmeijer was still the Rapporteur. That's because his focus is on human trafficking, whereas Dettmeijer was heavily trying to make it about prostitution in itself. Every year Dettmeijer claimed human trafficking numbers went up, even when they didn’t, always blaming it on how many victims in prostitution would be invisible and a new and better policy was needed. Look back on Gert-Jan Segers his twitter timeline through the years to see how many times he was the first and one of the biggest tweeters of her reports on human trafficking, and how little Gert-Jan Segers has retweeted for example Herman Bolhaar, That’s because Bolhaar is not focusing on getting rid of prostitution, but on fighting human trafficking, like he should.

And for those that are thinking that those young girls from Exxpose are just being young and naive. They might be young, but they're definitely not naive. They have talked with sex workers, i’ve seen many people claiming they haven’t, but that’s not true. But they just don't want to listen to sex workers because they ‘believe’ their opinion is better than those of sex workers.. They're not naive, they're just very much against prostitution, and therefore get a lot of support from the people mentioned above to get this info the mainstream media. They’re not looking for evidence, they’re not looking for reasoning, they’re basing themselves solely on their own christian moral judgement.

But yeah, it took them 6 years to get these amount of signatures. And getting 40.000 isn't really that extremely hard, because most of their signatures come from strict Christians, the more evangelical type that also want gay marriage to be banned and are against abortion. You'll always be able to find a small portion of the population to be in support of extreme ideas. I'm actually quite surprised it took them this long to get this many signatures. I thought there would be more people supporting them. Maybe they would have gained more support if they wouldn't have used such obvious lies. Lies about sex work that might work in other countries like Sweden, but for which the Dutch are way too much down to earth for.

But I'm not worried about them. Even though they get much support from some powerful friends, in parliament there simply isn't enough support for this. So why should I worry about something that's such a long stretch? I don't. It's good that other organisations spoke out against them, just to give off a clear signal, but they'll never pass this anyway. I'm therefore working on more important matters at the moment, and hopefully soon I'll be able to tell you more about that.

I just have one message to those girls from Exxpose: Go get a life! There are so many important things you could be focusing on that could actually improve the world, instead of wasting your time trying to achieve something just because you don't like it. I also think something should be done about the sexual abuse of children in the church, but you don't see me starring a petition to get churches or religion banned. Maybe you should go help those children, who really do need help and leave us alone!
Sex workers against ban on Red Light District tours
In december the city of Amsterdam announced to be banning tours in the Red Light District of Amsterdam after 7PM, and last week alderman Udo Kock announced plans to ban all tours completely in the Red Light District from 2020. The ban came to everybody as a complete surprise, mostly to us as sex workers.

According to alderman Kock the reason for banning tours in the Red Light District is because we as sex workers should not be seen as a tourist attraction, and 83% of the sex workers would be against tours in the area. Also many locals and local businesses would be against the tours, because they would cause too much trouble. The main reason being mentioned is over crowding, tourists being disrespectful and taking pictures of sex workers.

Funny enough, neither me or any of the colleagues I know, have been involved with this so called 'research', or been involved with designing this policy. We're not the only ones that have not been involved though, the association of undertakings on the Red Light strip, the OVOA, says that none of them have been asked as well, and they oppose these measures. As well as the union for sex workers, PROUD, and the Prostitution Information Center (PIC), who went yesterday to speak to the city council about why they disagree with this measure.

The research, which was supposedly conducted by the PIC, is far from reliable. Because of the very simply fact that the PIC wrote on their Facebook that they didn't conduct this research, or where involved in it in any way. Which makes things really interesting, because that begs the question how come that the organization that conducted this research among sex workers, doesn't know anything about it themselves?

This research, by the way, was only conducted with 4 companies in the sex industry and 10 sex workers. In short, it's not a very reliable research if you're only interviewing 10 sex workers. In fact, it's laughable. There are 400 sex workers in the Red Light District, so this is only 2,5% of all the sex workers. But how can 83% of these sex workers be against something, if you only asked 10 sex workers? 

In short, something fishy is going on here. The research is not reliable at all, especially not because me and most of my colleagues completely don't agree with the new policies of the city and also have not been consulted. Banning tours in the evening only leads to more tours in the day time. While the sex workers in the day time work more with locals, and especially for them tours scare away customers more. For sex workers in the evening these tours only bring in tourists into the Red Light District, and considering the fact that our clientele are mostly tourists, we don't mind that.

What we do mind is the complete bullshit some tour guides tell. Some tour guides tell the biggest lies, sometimes completely fabricated stories. But there are also good tour guides, who tell the right stories, and also inform people not to take pictures and to be respectful to us. We love those good tour guides, because they help raise respect for us, and tell people not to take pictures of us, something I haven't seen the city doing so far. 

Speaking of being respectful to sex workers. Udo Kock, the alderman who came up with these new rules, claims he's doing this out of respect for us. Really?! You are taking away our clientele! And what have you done so far to be respectful to us? Not talking with us? Not listening to us? Not responding to the many tweets I send you on Twitter, about how these rules don't help us at all? Not making pictures of sex workers illegal? But, oh wait, you are banning every tour guide in the Red Light District that tells people not to take pictures of us! How is that suppose to help? 

The tour guides in the Red Light District actually can even get a fine if the people in their group take a picture of us. This rule does not apply for tourists themselves, only for tour guides. So by banning tour guides, they're taking away the only people that are not allowed to take pictures of us. And wasn't our complaint that so many people where taking pictures of us, according to mr. Kock? Then how is this supposed to help?! You're taking away the only people you can hold responsible for taking unwanted pictures of us!

This ban on tours helps nobody. It does create more problems for us and everybody else. It brings in less tourists for us, which is our main clientele. It bans tour guides who tell people not to take pictures, so we'll end up with more people taking pictures of us. From april till the end of this year the girls in the daytime will be packed with tours, because tours are only allowed in the daytime. And those people doing a tour in the daytime will come back in the evening to see the Red Light District come to life. So in terms of how crowded it is, it doesn't change anything. Basically you're making it worse for the daytime girls now, and from next year you're taking away our clientele and people telling their group that it's not allowed to take pictures. So in stead of making our circumstances better, Udo Kock is making it much worse. 

But what angers me most, is the fact that Udo Kock is going to tell us if we as sex workers can be seen as a tourist attraction or not. He's literally saying that we shouldn't be seen as a tourist attraction. Uhm... excuse me! Can we decide for ourselves if this is a problem or not for us? Because we know this! This is part of the job here. If you don't like it, you're in the wrong place! There are 2 other red light areas, without tourists if you don't like it. But guess what? None of the girls want to move away from here. Because we don't mind being seen as part of a tourist attraction. Because this tourist attraction brings in the money.

But wait, we can't be seen as a tourist attraction, by alderman Kock? So we should only be seen by locals? What kind of xenophobic bullshit is that? Like only locals would be allowed to see us? Are you ashamed that your city has a Red Light District, mr. Kock? Are you trying to hide it from the world? And what, those local people are better? Many of the local people are much more disrespectful than these tourists! I hear on a daily base Dutch slurs being thrown to my head like 'kankerhoer', 'vieze hoer' and many other things. Almost 3 weeks ago I was almost punched by a Dutch guy, because 'how dare I ask 100 euro for my services'. We have a much bigger problem with Dutch people being disrespectful, especially people from Amsterdam, than most of these tourists! All those people always writing it's the drunk English tourists that cause trouble. That's such bullshit! 

And the work already isn't very good at this moment, because there are simply not so many people on the street to work with. In fact, most of the sex workers including myself don't think it's that crowded at all. We actually think it's much less busy then years ago. This whole story about the Red Light District being too busy is a lie! It's a hoax! It's just a frame used to try and finally destroy the Red Light District, by hitting us where it hurts, by taking away our clientele. They've tried closing down the brothels for 10 years. It didn't work. Their Project 1012 failed. This is just their new excuse to victimize us in the media, so they can try and get rid of us. That's what this is really about!