Open letter: Ruin Amsterdam? Yes, we can!

In Uncategorized on November 22, 2014 at 1:22 pm

It is with disbelief that I see the politicians of Amsterdam are doing what they can to ruin the safe work places (i.e. windows) for sex workers in the Red Light District. The crusaders of moralism have marched into this former liberal city, and moral panic reverberates in the city hall corridors. The politicians, led by the mayor, have closed down window after window and sold them off to property investors. The reason? Unsubstantiated allegations and speculations of sex trafficking. Sex workers are thus deprived of the safety that these places provide. Why are people just accepting this reckless foolishness? Are they basically turning a blind eye to what is going on?

To close the windows is not only bereaving workers of safe working spaces, but moral panic is also devouring a pulsating, genuine trademark of the city: what has made Amsterdam so unique. True, not everyone likes to see that sexual services can be bought, but a moralistic viewpoint should never trump personal choices and security. Besides, the Red Light District is one of the major tourist attractions of Amsterdam; isn’t it then peculiar and paradoxical that one tears apart a major landmark of of tourism, tolerance and tax income?

Here is an idea for the city council: to provide the workers with good working conditions and work places that lie within the heart of the city, re-purchase the rooms and reinstate the Red Light District as it once was. Conflating trafficking and sex work helps neither sex workers nor the real cases of trafficking.

The city has also let moralism and discrimination lead the way when raising the age limit for sex workers in Amsterdam to 21. The absurd logic that workers between 18 and 21 are not mature enough, i.e. they are vulnerable and need “saving”, is just another stigma-infused blow to sex workers. Why are politicians – and the citizens – not working towards less discrimination of the occupation? Are they not interested in general welfare and freedom for everyone? Do they think that making such highly discriminatory laws will improve the general safety of sex work? Do they think that workers between 18 and 21 will magically disappear from sex work and “safely” be funneled to other types of jobs, when they wish to continue selling sex, anyway? That is an extremely naïve and dangerous attitude. Nothing, and especially not a law like this, can make conditions better. Not only will this criminalizing lead to further stigma, but it will also lead to a less transparent, black market, and furthermore increase risks for those that the politicians are so eagerly trying to “protect”.

This law fails to comply with logic: The age of majority in the Netherlands is 18. You are allowed to make independent choices and you are responsible for your own life including making a living. If one is to assume that the “immaturity and vulnerability” of an age group is the driving force behind this law, then why are people drafted for military service, where you are potentially forced kill in the name of your country, at the age of 18? Are we to believe that sex work is potentially more dangerous than protecting your country with arms? If you are less able to make conscious, reasonable choices at the age of 18, then why not raise the age of majority to 21 for all occupations? Unless, of course, personal opinions and moralism are the foundation for such a discriminatory law…
As a matter of fact, intolerance is indeed the driving forces behind this narrow-mindedness and it is very, very sad and disturbing. It goes to show how much politicians are willing to sacrifice in the name of moral panic to control individuals.

Finally, I have just a couple of questions that need to be answered:
When will the politicians realize that they have passed discriminatory, bigoted legislation, and repeal this age-limit law? When will the politicians realize that the Red Light District needs to be preserved and cherished instead of ruining sex workers’ working conditions? How on earth can the politicians of Amsterdam get away with this?

The only way to make sex work safer and less stigmatized is to stop this lethal conflation of trafficking and sex work, and remove any unnecessary hinder for transparency. The way it is now, the politicians are doing what they can to cement prejudice and harm to the field of sex work – and freedom in general.

– MJF-


The Sex Purchase Law: «But he isn’t wearing anything at all!»

In Uncategorized on February 21, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Have you ever read the fairytale «The Emperor’s New Clothes»?

«The Emperor’s New Clothes» is a short tale by Hans Christian Andersen about two weavers who promise an Emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, a child cries out, «But he isn’t wearing anything at all!».

An increasing number of people in Norway are starting to see through the evil and say to the Norwegian moralists the same words as the child dared say to the naked emperor in the fairytale: «But he isn’t wearing anything at all!».

Year after year, people have been listening to the Norwegian moralists´ propaganda and bigotry. With help from religious communities and the media, they have managed to create a scary illusion for a numb and helpless Norwegian people. Citizens have become an audience to the moralists´ misleading scaremongering about “victims” of sex work.

It is in the nature of a moralist a desire to remove something he or she doesn´t like. Recently, this moralistic mind game has become more and more unmasked. And like in the fairytale, their arguments are left with no clothes on – naked, embarrassing and fraudulent.

The philosopher Penny Gelder has described the Norwegian sex ban (the so-called Sex Purchase Law) as «a wicked and surreal modern time castration and a mental genocide».

Did you know that children and young people in Norway grow up in a society in which they learn that consensual sex is prohibited? The damage of such education is mind-boggling. More and more people are becoming extremely angry and feel that their private sphere is violated. It is very easy to explain, in a factual and logical way, why this law is one of the greatest assaults on humanity ever. When moralists and their arguments are revealed in the media, a lot of Norwegian eyes are forced open.

So, why doesn´t Amnesty International or the United Nations take solid action, demanding the Sex Purchase Law to be removed immediately? I know people around the world who refuse to eat food from Norway because they get a bad taste in their mouth and they deny to support a country that violates 12 human rights openly.

The Sex Purchase Law violates absolutely all citizens in a country where it is in effect. Not only sex workers, because any kind of sex is in fact a trade or transaction. Thus, any consensual sex would logically be illegal.

Google Translate is a great thing, especially if the international community can be informed about what is happening in smaller, unsophisticated societies. Not long ago there was an article in a Norwegian newspaper in which the reader could observe the human faces of evilness, two parochial feminists (also government politicians) representing those behind this abusive law exposed their fanaticism and horror openly. Without spending time on details, I can say for sure that it was easy to see a connection between complacent looks and the malice behind such laws. I assume this phenomenon is found all over the world.

That Norway reportedly has to wait for a change of government to remove a mental genocide, is not easy to understand – and even harder to accept. The conclusion here must be that both democracy and the UN are a failure since these institutions do not prevent laws based on moralism or unfair brainwashing.

As Penny Gelder says; every second of this law´s existence is a disaster. You actually get harsher penalties having consensual sex than breaking most traffic laws in Norway. Yes, it is true.

When it comes to something as serious as mental genocide, the “new Norway” after the change of government must make several arrests in order to limit the damage as much as possible. I take it for granted that those behind this law shall be punished exactly in line with people who commit physical genocide: with the strictest punishment possible in Norway or, alternatively, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. This is only just, because the consequences of the Sex Purchase Law are both of a physical and mental nature, and can be extremely post-traumatic for a number of young and old people.

If politicians can play with human fates as they wish, without repercussions; why should we trust Democracy or Society? Of course, we cannot trust anything based on fanaticism, moralism or religion.

Though, I cannot help but be surprised that abusiveness such as The Sex Purchase Law can materialize in a supposedly enlightened world.

Still, people have been fooled before like in the fairytale «The Emperor’s New Clothes».

A vote for the current Norwegian government in the upcoming election is a vote for a general sex ban

In Uncategorized on January 20, 2013 at 12:25 pm

This is a fact: a vote for the following Norwegian parties – “Arbeiderpartiet”, “Sosialistisk venstreparti” and “Senterpartiet” (the current government coalition) – is in reality a vote for the continuation of the general sex ban in Norway (the so-called “Sex Purchase Law” / “Sexkjøpsloven”).

What political subject could be of more importance than being able to have consensual sex without the interference of moralizing politicians – for yourself, your family and friends?

All people in Norway should be aware of this fact before the election in the autumn of 2013.

I am not especially occupied with politics, and definitely not with specific political parties. However, I have done some research about the political situation in Norway, and I have to let you know.

I hope this fact will be distributed to schools, organizations; well, the whole people of Norway. Because, from an international perspective, a sex ban for a nation is not especially sympathetic.

Of course, the government can follow an obvious recipe to remove a tragic law or read this open letter before it is too late.


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