February 19, 2013
THE WAR ON WOMEN:
Why even Amsterdam doesn't want legal brothels : The Dutch experiment in legalised prostitution has been a disaster (Julie Bindel, 2 February 2013, The Spectator)
Posted by Orrin Judd at February 19, 2013 8:57 PMTwelve years on, and we can now see the results of this experiment. Rather than afford better protection for the women, it has simply increased the market. Rather than confine the brothels to a discrete (and avoidable) part of the city, the sex industry has spilt out all over Amsterdam -- including on-street. Rather than be given rights in the 'workplace', the prostitutes have found the pimps are as brutal as ever. The government-funded union set up to protect them has been shunned by the vast majority of prostitutes, who remain too scared to complain.Pimps, under legalisation, have been reclassified as managers and businessmen. Abuse suffered by the women is now called an 'occupational hazard', like a stone dropped on a builder's toe. Sex tourism has grown faster in Amsterdam than the regular type of tourism: as the city became the brothel of Europe, women have been imported by traffickers from Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia to meet the demand. In other words, the pimps remained but became legit -- violence was still prevalent but part of the job, and trafficking increased. Support for the women to leave prostitution became almost nonexistent. The innate murkiness of the job has not been washed away by legal benediction.The Dutch government hoped to play the role of the honourable pimp, taking its share in the proceeds of prostitution through taxation. But only 5 per cent of the women registered for tax, because no one wants to be known as a whore -- however legal it may be.