Jojanneke in de Prostitutie: The review
Well, I could say a lot about the program of Jojanneke, but mostly I'm dissapointed. She didn't show any of the things she claimed before the show, which mainly seemed to be aimed against the Red Light District in Amsterdam. To protect the identity of some of the girls in this video I will not post it here, a concept that's apparently difficult to understand for Jojanneke.

In this first episode she asks the question if prostitution is a normal job. First of all Jojanneke seem to be under the impression that if you don't like your job,you must be forced or something must be wrong with that profession.She doesn't call that a free choice, but if we can't call that a free choice, a lot more people are forced also outside of prostitution. So many people in the world don't like their job, that doesn't mean their job is abnormal, or those people are forced, just that Jojanneke has problem accepting it as a normal job.

Jojanneke claims that it's legal for a pimp to put a someone in prostitution, as long as she agrees with this. This is absolutely not true. A pimp is someone who profits from prostitution, and that's called exploitation, and exploitation is human trafficking according to the Dutch law under article 273F. I'm surprised to find out that even after 2 years of diving into prostitution, she still hasn't learned this.

What Jojanneke does show however, is that prostitution is still not an accepted job. Her claim that so many people in Holland regard prostitution in Holland as a normal job, is an idea that she created in her own mind apparently. Because reality is, and I'm speaking from my own experience, that people don't accept it. Banks still refuse you most of the times because you do this job, as is also shown in the documentary, even though it's legal. People don't consider it normal, which creates a stigma.

What Jojanneke proved with her documentary is that prostitution is still not accepted. Not that the job isn't normal, but that people still don't consider it to be normal, of which she is the biggest example in her own show. This is the stigma we daily face. People think we're not doing a normal job, so or we must be sad victims or we must be dirty, crazy sluts. Jojanneke tries to show that we're mainly sad, while in reality we're no different from other people, they just look at us different because of this job.

When Jojanneke for instance tries to find out what the prices are, and if girls do it without condom, we see all girls answering the price that is common for those areas. 50 in Amsterdam, some other places in Holland 35 and 25 in Den Haag. Some girls will do it without condom, but not that many. One girl responds that many girls have AIDS, of course that's not true, that's a trick some girls use to scare clients off not to do it without condom, but of course Jojanneke uses it to frame it in a negative way.
In fact, at the last AIDS conference in Melbourne, they even stated that legalizing prostitution helps in the fight against HIV and AIDS, as you can ready here.

Jojanneke also keeps saying by the way that 'we sell our bodies', a common mistake many people make. I've written it before on my blog, and I'll say it here again. Selling your body means someone owns you and can take you home, that's not the case. We don't sell our bodies, it's not a product, we offer a service, a sexual service, just like a dentist offers his services for your teeth, or a psychologist for your mind. You also don't say a masseuse is selling her hands, or a psychologist is selling his brain or something like that.

When asked by Jojanneke if a brothel owner would let his ow daughter do this work, his response is quite natural negative. After all, prostitution is a tough job that's not for everyone, that doesn't mean we're forced, but like going into the porn industry or the army, I think many parents have trouble with that. It's only natural, but doesn't mean prostitution cannot be a normal profession, just because the parents would object to it.

I think the blonde Romanian girl talking in the show is a very good representation of the average Romanian and Bulgarian sex workers. They're independent, they do this job simply for the money, and they have no problem to have sex with their clients. Jojanneke obviously kept trying to make things look sad for that girl, because she's working to support her daughter, but which parent doesn't work for his or her children? It says nothing about the job, but simply about the motivation a lot of women in this business have to do this job.

Jojanneke seem to be primarily obsessed with the fact that we have sex with our clients, as she keeps calculating how many men we have sex with in order to pay for things. But again, it's a job that revolves around having sex, if you don't want to, clearly you're in the wrong line of work. Jojanneke can't accept that, but as you saw in the documentary, we girls don't think like that, we think about the money. If there are girls that have trouble with having sex for money, they should look for another job, after all, that's what the whole job is about! What else did you think you were gonna do in prostitution, sell flowers? There are many exit programs to help with that help prostitutes to exit, so if you don't like to have sex with clients for money, use those!

Also Jojanneke still seems to be under the impression we have to let every client inside. When she asks a client how he would like it if he would have to satisfy dirty, smelly, even menstruating women. Jojanneke uses a video clip made by the European Woman's Lobby to demonstrate this, the same lobby group that was one of the people responsible for the European parliament to accept a resolution to accept the Swedish model, in which clients of prostitutes are criminalized. This already shows on what side Jojanneke is with her documentary, even though she claims to be objective. She keeps forgetting that prostitutes also have the right to refuse customers, and also do this(!) as the Dutch woman explains when she says she refuses 70% of her customers. By the way, the video clip also seems to forget there are condoms for women as well, but apparently Jojanneke and the European Women's Lobby are not aware of that? I think it's important to raise awareness about safe sex, so please people, use a condom, also the women!

Jojanneke ends her documentary by stating that often girls are forced. But as we saw in the documentary, all these women choose to do this job by their own free will. It may not be there dream job, or the best job in the world, but it does pay the bills. She has not proven the things she claimed.

I'm wondering though about one thing. For her documentary she showed a pimp, apparently it was easy for her to find one. Makes you wonder why the police can't find this man, if this pimp is a real pimp? The things what this pimp said are ridiculous. I'm working now for 5 years here, 5-6 days a week, and nobody ever came to my door to become my pimp, like how this man claims, and also none of my colleagues. That also doesn't seem wise, because the police is walking around in the area and there are always other people walking around. Real pimps keep their distance to the windows, the risk is simply to high.
He claims we need protection, but we already have protection from the police, that's the whole idea why it was made legal over here! We have an alarm button we can press in case of emergency, so what more protection do we need?! Also he claims that only 5-10% are not forced, but I highly doubt the authenticity of this man.
The way in which he speaks about women, is not something that would attract women, which in his line of work would be kinda problematic, because he needs to attract women for his job. This also goes in against all those stories they always tell about loverboys and pimps, that they're charming, none of that could be found in this man.

Also she tried to show that underage girls without a passport would be working behind the windows. I cannot speak for the rest of the country, but as you've seen, nobody accepts that here in Amsterdam, which again proves claims about girls working without passports or underage girls are absolutely false.

The question about whether or not prostitution is a normal job seems to have been answered in the documentary by people's opinion about our profession, which is mainly based on prejudices. Like with gay people, as long as people have prejudices about it, it will not be accepted, and therefore not be seen as 'normal'. But are gay people not normal because there are prejudices about them?

We all know there are things wrong in prostitution, some girls are being forced, others are being exploited. We know this already, this is nothing new. The premiss however that '70% would be forced' was not proven, in fact, there was very little proof of that. Most of the 'proof' seemed to be existing out of Jojanneke judging if she feels those girls are forced or not, not by a pimp, but by economic circumstances, which in regular speech is just called kapitalism.
Yes, people have to work to make a living! Yes, people have to work to give their sons or daughters a better future! That's nothing new, that goes for almost everyone, and prostitution is no exception on that rule. That doesn't make us forced, that just proves our job is just as normal as any other job in the world, people just don't see our job as normal.

The ironic thing is that there's a huge stigma on prostitution. That stigma causes victims to be shy to step out, it causes a lot of problems to lead a normal life for all the rest of the prostitutes, and the documentary of Jojanneke just increases that stigma. So, in stead of helping all those girls Jojanneke claims to 'want to help', she just made it worse for both victims and sex workers by increasing the stigma. Thanks a lot Jojanneke!

Update 17:56:
The mayor of Groningen confirms that there is NO minor behind the windows like claimed by Jojanneke in her documentary. 'Claims from the broadcasting are not based on any reality', according to the mayor himself.

Dutch version
7 Responses
  1. Rootman Says:

    One of the meanest things was a morning shot on the Achterdam, Alkmaar, of a shabby looking man with a mustache, leaning against the wall.

    This is no client, but a very gentle, handicapped person (almost unable to talk, etc.), who likes to run errands for the ladies to the nearby convenient store, for snacks, coffee etc. He is very well liked by the ladies who know him.


  2. Felicia Anna Says:

    @Rootman
    I know him as well, he used to bring me coffee when I was working there. Nice man indeed, doesn't hurt a soul.


  3. Frans Says:

    You remain amazingly polite, objective, and professional in your critique of Jojanneke's first installment (and the EO's because it is ultimately responsible for it. Jojanneke is just doing the dirty job).

    Don't forget the purpose of this 'show.'
    The EO press release and other publicity state and suggest this:
    (1) prostitution = trafficking;
    2) the series shows "in particular to politicians and legislators" what is really going on in the world of paid sex (trafficking, of course).
    Why to politicians and legislators?
    Because before too long parliament will discuss TWO prostitution bills:
    (1) the amended prostitution regulation bill and
    (2) the new one meant to punish clients of forced prostitutes, a variation of the "End Demand' measure. This is the one introduced in November 2013 by two Christian parties and the Labor party together.

    The EO series tries to confirm the existing general public opinion and stigma, and to secure more public support for these bills that both will harm sex work and sex workers. I think that's what politicians want to achieve, and they found the EO willing to collaborate. I wouldn't be surprised if some political parties have helped to pay for this expensive series.

    This first installment was good at doing everything you've said. From the EO's and policians' point of view it did it strategically very well. From our perspective this product is so dangerous not because of all the lies, suggestions, and innuendos, but because these lies, suggestions and innuendos are presented here as provable facts, so that they WILL reinforce public opinion and stigma, and the agendas of those parties who do everything to straight-jacket or even eliminate sex work and sex workers.

    This first program was a prime example of subjective and selective 'agenda journalism.' It's a common method that abuses all interviewed people and what they say as 'a verifiable source' for 'proving' their dogmas "prostitution = trafficking" and "all prostitutes are victims, one way or the other" so let's get rid of prostitution.

    That's is the message of program one and will be the message of the other three.

    According to her biography, Jojanneke has studied communication science, so she knows all these dirty, unethical tricks. She chooses to (ab)use them, and she can to get away with it because the ignorant public and agenda-politicians want to hear it.

    By the way, Asscher is a lawyer who wrote his PhD on the topic "Fundamental laws of Communication." He masters the dirty tricks better than Jojanneke and also how to get away with his unethical, immoral use of them. He thinks he is untouchable. Very Dangerous Politician, as we know.

    Good luck with letting yourself be raped by those 25 dirty clients today. Poor Romanian girl! Jojanneke herself may be willing to help you to get out. And be nice to your pimp who puts you behind that window. ;)
    Grrrrrrrrr...


  4. Another great article by Felicia Anna! We have translated it to Portuguese and it is available now at http://www.mundoinvisivel.org/nao-vendemos-nossos-corpos-eles-nao-sao-um-produto/.

    And a great comment by Frans. Thank you for the information about the 2 abolitionist bills before the Dutch Parliament. (although I fear some readers won't get the irony at the end...)


  5. Cliente X Says:

    There is a famous prostitute here in Spain called Margarita Carreras Roig (aka "Marga"). U should look for her in the web. She works in street prostitution in El Raval, Barcelona.

    She says that her work (prostitution) is normal. And that if some people dont see it as normal is not because it is, but because those people are not normal. And that is not her or the prostitution what needs to change, but the intolerant people that dont accept prostitution.

    Also, like Mundoinvisivel, I'd like to translate to spanish and publish some of ur articles. Do u agree?


  6. booker Says:

    Read New Ebook PROSTITUTION DIVINE
    Short stories, movie script and essay
    by Mikhail Armalinsky
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OSZVEWG
    Mikhail Armalinsky is the leader of modern Russian erotica. He resides in the US since 1977. He is the publisher of Pushkin's Secret Journal 1836-1837 translated in 25 countries and the author of over 20 books of prose and poetry.
    The main idea of the essay is that the legalization of prostitution must be based on a return of its divine, sacred character, so that prostitution will be considered the most honorable profession, the one closest to God, the holiest.


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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.