Jojanneke in Bulgaria
I didn't respond much on the last two episodes of Jojanneke, since they dealt more with victims from so long ago, that I didn't feel a need to reply to it, or they dealt more with illegal prostitution. But since Jojanneke her complaint is about the legalization about prostitution, I really have no idea why she keeps involving illegal prostitution, with loverboys taking young teenage girls away to make them work on the street. That's illegal, and therefore has nothing to do with the legalization. Actually, it's more of a preview of how things would look like if Holland hadn't legalized it.

So moving on from that into the last episode of Jojanneke, which was about Eastern European prostitutes. Or at least, the girls that used to be prostitutes, because no actual working girls in this episode. The only real working girls we saw were in the first episode, and most weren't even working in Amsterdam, and only one Eastern European girls was spoken to. Because this episode again we only get to talk with ex-victims (again).

You can reason this in both ways. Either there are no other girls to talk to, because they're all victims. Or Jojanneke has only talked with very few working girls, since she wanted to focus more on the missery from the past rather than reality at this moment. It's all fine by me, but than perhaps you should have changed the name of your TV show. Here are some idea:

"Jojanneke in Human Trafficking"
"Jojanneke using the same shit we saw already again"
"Jojanneke, only showing one side of the medal"
"Jojanneke in the EO version of prostitution (meaning censored)"
Or my personal favorite:
"Jojanneke supports Christian politics"

This episode we see: Lina (same girl that we saw already 2 years ago at BNN), some random ex-victims that didn't work in Holland, a real case from not too long ago to show you that this shit still happens today and the police is on it (no need for a pimp ban there), and a pimp so successful he still hasn't fixed his teeth with all those millions and still lives in the shittiest part of Sliven in a shitty house.

Watching Jojanneke is a little bit like how I was thinking to make a show about traffic in Holland. No, not trafficking, traffic, you know, as in cars and freeways and stuff! I call it "Felicia in Traffic".
In this show I will claim to focus on the traffic safety in Holland, interviewing mostly drunk drivers, illegal street racers and victims of car accidents. My music score will exist of the most annoying soundtrack ever with nerve wrecking music even if things aren't that shocking, to make it look more shocking. And I will interview only 4 'regular' drivers, trying to suggest that they drink too much to drive safely.

If I didn't know any better, I swear I would have believed Jojanneke grew up in either China or North Korea, as she has fully mastered the skills of propaganda. Showing only one side of the medal, claiming this is the entire medal. The very little sides she shows of the other side of that medal, quickly gets put away as 'shady' as well, using suggestive questions and voice overs.

What really bugged my about this last episode was two things. Again they try and make it look like Eastern Europe looks like the poorest place on earth, visiting one of the two gypsy areas in Sliven (Bulgaria), and presenting them as 'this is where our prostitutes are from', while in fact most prostitutes at the Red Light District for example aren't even gypsy.
I keep hearing the same dumb shit over and over again, that Holland is full of gypsy prostitutes. Now I don't know about the rest of the country, but in the Red Light District this certainly isn't the case. In fact, from all the girls I know, I know only one girl who is only half gypsy. Now either Amsterdam's Red Light District is the exception on this rule (which would be really surprising since almost all stories about prostitution are usually about us), or this is complete bullshit, and you people don't even know what a real gypsy looks like.
So, to make it clear, these are gypsies:


And these are regular Bulgarian people:

The difference? It's easy to see. Gipsy people are brown. Their skin color is brown, almost like they're from India, and they even have more similarities in facial features with people from India than with people from Romania and Bulgaria. That isn't so weird, since gypsies originated from North-West India a long, long time ago. Gypsies are also easy to spot besides their brown colored skin, as they often have teeth missing (sorry but it's true).
Now go ask 1000 customers from the Red Light District in Amsterdam, and ask them which of both of these groups looks more like the girls they visit? Is it picture A, the gypsies? Or picture B, the Bulgarians, which look kinda similar to Romanian girls? Let me guess: you thought the woman in the picture B looks a lot like those girls from the Red Light District, am I correct? You can comment down below!

So, now that we have this bullshit out of the way. Let's talk a bit about Sliven. According to Jojanneke one of the poorest cities in the country, almost a true hell hole for people to live in. Almost making you believe they have really no other option to escape from this hell, but to go to work in prostitution.
And than again, there's reality. Because the footage Jojanneke showed us of Sliven was very selective. Nice houses were described as 'villa's from pimps', and the two parts of the city where gypsies live were presented as the situation of the 'regular' Bulgarians, including of course the famous 'horse and carriage' that of course had to be in the show. They do the same shit with my country and even the city I'm from in Romania as well. Always find the shittiest places, including that stupid horse and carriage that only gypsies use, and present that as the avarage image of Romania or my city. Always trying to make it look like we're so fucking poor, our houses look more like an African tent than a house, as if we're living in a third world country.

 

 

 

Here are some random pictures from Sliven, not taken in the 'pimp neighborhood'. As you can see not quite as 'poor' as they tried and make it look like. And the exact same thing applies actually for a lot of Romanian cities and villages, as for example also my hometown.

Showing gypsy places as representative to Sliven, or any Bulgarian or Romanian place, is bullshit. Most girls that work here aren't gypsy to begin with, and their homes certainly don't look like that. How do I know that about Sliven? Well, because some of my best friends come from Sliven, that's why! And what the TV show showed us, was yet again finding the shittiest place to shoot, and present that as if that's where they would come from. And subsequently shooting villa's, and claiming that this is the 'Dutch neighborhood', because so many pimps would live here, that bought these house with money they made in Holland.

Funny thing is, that nobody reports about this 'Dutch neighborhood' of pimps, except for the Dutch media. And even the girls I've talked to from Sliven themselves have never heard of such a thing. This is an urban myth. Just because there are villa's there, and lots of girls from Sliven work here, doesn't automatically mean all those villa's belong to pimps. This rumor has been going for a while now, and it's purely a myth.
If this myth was true, there had to be evidence that at least most of those houses are owned by pimps, and payed with money from prostitution. Yet, if they could prove that, these pimps would be in jail already, and the house sold for compensation money for the victim, since it would be proof of exploitation.

Jojanneke is showing a one sided story, manipulated and twisted to make it look like this is representative for our industry. She's using only bad examples to present to people as if this is the reality for the entire industry. Either that, or she named her TV show wrong, and it should have been called: 'Jojanneke investigating human trafficking', because that's all she showed.
This wasn't a show about prostitution, it was a show about human trafficking. And the most annoying part is that there's always so high placed asshole that makes a stupid false claim, like in this case for example Warner ten Kate, who made a claim that 70% of the prostitutes would be forced, even though he has absolutely no good research to base this on and didn't do any research himself.

Yes, human trafficking happens, nobody ever claimed it didn't. There are girls being exploited, and girls being forced to work. We know this already. If you wouldn't have spend so much time making bullshit reports for PowNews back than, perhaps you would have noticed that people in Holland actually already haven't been thinking prostitution is about 'freedom and happiness' ever since the case of Saban B. already. back in 2008.
Nobody is living anymore under the assumption in Holland that forced prostitution and exploitation isn't happening. But you're one sided documentary, which makes it look like almost every (or at least 70%) of the prostitutes would be forced is absolute bullshit.

You didn't bring anything new to the table, but re-hashed the same shit, and the same victims we already saw before in countless other TV shows to show us the same one-sided story Eveline Hölksen from Free A Girl and many other moral crusaders and money grabbing organizations have showed us already. Presenting the world of prostitution as a place of only misery and sadness.
You've failed to start a debate about this, since this debate was already started years ago, after the story of Saban B. came out. Since than we've heard the same record being played over and over again, only talking about the misery in prostitution, but without the voice of real sex workers.
You are just another example of that, using mainly victims to tell your stories and presenting this as representable for the entire industry, while heavily editing the voice of real sex workers in your advantage to make them look sad, hardly letting them voice their own opinion that they are not sad and don't need to be saved.

You've failed at everything you set out to do. Your goal for a pimp ban has already been shot down by the National Rapporteur. Your goal to 'prove' the legalization of prostitution has 'failed', has backfired into giving real sex workers a podium in the media. And your goal to shake Holland awake about the trafficking in prostitution came years too late, as the case of Saban B. already did that in 2008. Your show is nothing new, and I'm truly disappointed, I expected you would take things one step further from what we've seen before, but in stead you repeated the same old shit again in a new show. Still doesn't change the fact that's it's the same old shit all over again, Jojanneke!

What sex workers and victims need are rights! Not more repressive laws that only cause more human trafficking than it fights. Not more moralistic bullshit from moral crusaders, or money grabbing rescue organisations that make false claims and increase the stigma. Not more research for moral purposes. We need rights! Because only rights can fix the wrongs. After all, no slave from the 18th century was saved by rescues, but by giving them more rights!

Dutch version
2 Responses

  1. I read this and it makes me soo angry! Why on earth, when people say Bulgaria or Romania, it comes only to the gypsies, prostitution, pimps, whatever! And why if a girl from RDL fall in love and get a boyfriend, she gets the name a "victim" and he is for sure a "pimp"... I mean, what the hell! Why people make tv shows, write books or either interviews out of their own imagination.... It has been always this way. Nobody actaually faces the truth... Nobody even makes an effort to show what is the reallity.... Its always the story about the big drama, because yeah, drama sells! And I hate that!


Post a Comment

  • My photo

    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.