Jojanneke keeps making false claims
It's good to know that at least a portion of the media isn't dead yet, and have picked up on my message about Jojanneke's false claims that 70% would be forced to work behind the windows, while in fact it is just the conviction rate of human trafficking court cases. Well done Jojanneke, you've proven to be an excellent journalist with knowledge... ahum.
But those are not the only facts that are false. I've picked up another few things that are either completely untrue, or at least highly doubtful. So here's a list:

In HP De Tijd:
Daarover gesproken, ook prostituees mengen zich in de discussie. Je zou vooringenomen zijn, een negatief beeld van het wereldje schetsen en jouw claim dat ‘70% van de vrouwen in de raamprostitutie onder een vorm van dwang werkt’ zou je niet hard kunnen maken.
"Totale onzin. Ik heb me in het verleden alleen negatief uitgelaten over gedwongen prostitutie."

Speaking of which, also prostitutes are mixing themselves into the discussion. You would be predjudice, painting a negative image about their world and wouldn't be able to prove your claim that '70% of the window prostitutes would be working under some form of coercion'.
"Complete nonsense. I have only talked negative about forced prostitution in the past."

I don't know if Jojanneke has some form of early amnesia, but here is a screenshot from her interview with dated 08/08/2012:

Besides that Van den Berge is busy with a documentary. "The plans for my documentary about prostitution is still in it's infancy. Prostitution is so idiotic, it should all be possible just because it's part of it(life). I think that's false liberalism. I want to wake Holland up.

Again facts do not seem to withhold Jojanneke from lying about things. She absolutely did talk negative about prostitution, in fact, in this interview she already shows she already had an opinion about prostitution 2 years before her documentary was finished. This just proves that Jojanneke was already prejudice about prostitution way before she started working on her 'objective' documentary. This also gets proven in this interview from 2012, in which she already claimed that 80% of the prostitutes were forced even before she started working on it. And let's not forget who she's making the documentary for, the EO, a christian broadcast channel of whom we already know they do not approve prostitution because of religious reasons.
It is clear that the conclusion of her documentary was already clear before they started working on it, and that they looked to support their own conclusion with facts that supported their prejudice conclusion, and if not possible with facts, than either twisting facts or completely making them up on some occasions. In regular journalism you look for facts and draw a conclusion based on those facts, Jojanneke however only seeks to find facts that supports her already prejudice conclusion, and if those facts don't exist, she'll just make them up or twist them.

In Opzij:
"Tegelijkertijd mag je hier als pooier vrouwen legaal achter de ramen zetten, als die vrouwen dat zelf willen – wat nogal lastig te controleren blijkt."

"At the same time you can put as a pimp legal a women behind the windows, as long as the woman agrees with it - which is difficult to check."

I wonder if Jojanneke ever looked up the word 'pimp', because what she claims here is false. A pimp, according to the definition given in the dictionary, is someone who let's prostitutes work for him. Assuming that she is talking about a pimp profiting from this girl, her claim is false. You can NOT put a woman behind the windows and make her work for you, this would be called exploitation, which is human trafficking, which is illegal and a crime. If she's talking about something else, I'd sure like to know, because this is the only situation I can think of, which would fit her description. 

Another one from Opzij:
"‘Als een stuk vlees geëtaleerd staan is diep vernederend, het maakt je psychisch in de war,’ vertelde een Bulgaarse me."

"'Being displayed as a piece of meat is deeply humiliating, and it psychologically confuses you.' a Bulgarian told me."

Obviously I don't know which girl said this, and if this was really what was said, since Jojanneke is extremely shy to give away any sources (a problem some other journalists had in the past as well). But I think this quote from a prostitute has been taken out of context. Saying something like 'being displayed like a piece of meat', is a very recognizable quote I've read before from Gert-Jan Segers, Eddy Terstal and Hala Naoum Néhmé in this article over here.
It comes however from something many girls say, and has been twisted around a bit to make things look negative about prostitution. The things we girls say about this is: "Some people treat you like you're just a piece of meat, because they think  just because they're paying you they can do with you what they want".
As you can see, the quotes are quite similar, but when you read the original quote, it becomes clear that it's about how some people think they can own you, just because you do this job. It's not about how we think about ourselves or our job, but how OTHER people view us. And ironically that's exactly how Jojanneke is depicting us here. A typical example of taking things out of context.
Now if you look at the rest of the quote, things make much more sense. Indeed, it is humiliating that people see you like a piece of meat, that doesn't mean however that's how we see ourselves or our job. And indeed those kind of things could confuse people psychological, although that's different for every girl.
Fact is, that in this job you need to be tough. A lot of people have a lot of different opinions about you, especially negative ones. And being so vulnerable behind the windows, exposing so much of yourself (literally), means you have to have a strong mind to do this job. This is why prostitution isn't a job for everyone, it's only for strong women.

Also from Opzij:
"...die uit eigen keuze haar lichaam verkoopt?"

"... that sells her body out of her own choice?"

I'm thinking about writing an entire post about this one, since it's one so many people use. We DON'T sell our bodies!!!!! We sell a sexual service! You can't take our body home with you after you're done with us, our body belongs to ourselves, it's at no point for sale!!! 
Is it really so difficult to understand the difference between a product and a service? Ah, who I'm asking here! Of course Jojanneke doesn't care about that, she only cares about painting a negative picture about prostitution as possible, of course she'll be using this! 
We don't sell our bodies anymore than a beautician selling her hands or a psychologist selling his brain. The difference between a product and a service, is that a product you can claim ownership over, and a service is something someone else provides but you don't own.
Prostitution is a sexual service, not a product. You can't buy us, you can't buy our bodies, you can only buy our services! Of course the whole idea behind the phrase 'selling our bodies', is to make it sound like someone else can do anything with us what they want, but that's simply not the case. Behind the windows we are the boss! If we say no, that means no! And you'd be surprised how shy clients are once they're inside, to claim ownership over our bodies. They don't! And even if they'd want to, they'd have a hard time getting it their way, because everybody that has really talked with prostitutes knows that prostitutes are tough women and not the shy, sad types as how the media often depicts us.

From the EO website:
"Zij staat vanaf haar achttiende achter het raam. Ze heeft zo’n twintig klanten per dag. Eens in de paar maanden voelt ze zich zo vies, dat ze urenlang onder de douche staat met een schuursponsje."

"She has been behind the windows since her 18th. She has about 20 clients a day. Once every couple of months she feels so dirty, that she stands under the shower for hours with a sponge."

Just a little bit of information before I dive into this one. Prostitution in Holland is legal from when you're 18, but in Amsterdam you have to be at least 21 to work in prostitution. I'm not surprised she picked an 18 year old girl as an example, as she's trying to feed into the 'innocent daughter' feeling with this example.
But now the next part. Can anyone tell me where I can get 20 clients a day? Because if so, I'd sure like to work there! Heck, if I would have 20 clients a day, I would have been with pension by now, and so would the rest of the girls.
So if this story really is true, this girl would have to be at least 21 now, which would mean she would have worked here not at least for 3 years. And she's claiming to be having 20 clients a day, we will just assume that will all be for the minimum price (50 euro), which means she will make 1000 euro a day! Just to give you an idea, that's something most girls only make on New Year's Eve, the busiest day (or night actually) of the year!
Now let's say she takes the average two months free for holidays, and works 10 months a year for an average of 5 days a week (that's 5000 euro a week!). That would come down to about 20 days working a month, meaning 20.000 euro a month, and in total 200.000 euro a year! In three years time that would be 600.000 euro!!! 
And this is just the bare minimum, because we're assuming she now has the youngest age possible at the moment she talked with Jojanneke, and only works for the minimum price with every single client (something nobody does, since you can make more money with a single client).
In short, I highly doubt this story. Having 20 clients a day these days is only something that girls can do that have the 'wow pornstar' look. I know most of those girls, and they barely have 20 clients a day, let alone feel so dirty that they stand under the shower for hours to scrub themselves with a sponge. The girls that make these many clients a day, think very highly of themselves and think they're all princesses including the arrogance of one. They would not for one second think of themselves as dirty or disgusting, they think they're the most beautiful women on the planet and they love the attention they get.
Furthermore, if you really feel so dirty about yourself, and you really hate your job that much, you'll never even get 20 clients a day. This job is very much a psychological game, and if you don't feel 100% good with yourselves, the clients will notice that immediately and they won't come in. And I'm talking from my own experience, as well as the experience of many other girls that experience the same thing. You can't make good money if you don't feel good about yourself and your job.
You can only make many clients if you really feel good about yourself. This also explains why those 'pornstar princesses' make so much money, since they think they're the best thing in the world, and therefor they work so much. If you don't feel good, you don't work good, and you'll never make 20 clients a day! Especially not in the past 2 years! Most girls these days even have problem to make enough money to pay their room (about 3 clients), let alone 20!

It should come as no surprise that Jojanneke her documentary will be painting a negative image about prostitution, because it goes against her own personal morals. She will selectively show predominantly negative things about prostitution, and what isn't negative yet, will be twisted to look negative with clever editing or negative framing things in her documentary. The only reason why she will show a few positive things about prostitution in her documentary, is so she can claim that it's 'objective' because it 'shows both sides'.
But I am pretty sure Jojanneke will selectively pick negative things from prostitution and present them as 'the standard' for the prostitution industry, and pick the positive things about prostitution and present those as 'the exceptions'. Which is of course completely in line with the vision of the EO, which is nothing more than a satellite broadcast channel for the ChristenUnie, a political party which is completely against Holland's legalized prostitution legislation, and would rather see the Swedish model being implemented here in Holland.

Update 02/01/2015 22:05:
Newspaper Nederlands Dagblad claimed to have spoken with someone from the Public Prosecution Office, which confirms the 70% in an article. It reads:

"In stead of being upset on the bad situation of many women, there is now - even before the first episode has been aired - a lot of fuss about the exact numbers. 'Seventy percent of the window prostitutes is working under some sort form of coercion. That's what the Public Prosecution Office has confirmed to us', Van den Berge recently said in the EO Magazine Visie. Prostitute Felicia Anna (not her real name) wrote in response to that a blog with the title 'Jojanneke's 70% forced prostitution is a lie', and gained with that the necessary attention. 

'They are not my statistics, this comes from the Public Prosecution Office', says Van den Berge. Public Prosecution Office spokesman Merel van Leeuwen confirms this. 'But even if ten percent would be forced, we are still talking about thousands or hundreds of women a day, and we should still be angry about that', says Van den Berge.

The numbers about forced prostitution vary, because the definition varies. The 70% about which the Public Prosecution Office speaks, contains more types of coercion than just human trafficking and exploitation. 'It can be very subtle coercion', says Van den Berge. 'A friend that kicks the dog of a prostitute if she doesn't want to work. Those things happen.'"

Interestingly Jojanneke is apparently still unaware of the fact that exploitation IS human trafficking. She mentions it like they're two separate things, which is not the case. Coercion and exploitation are both called human trafficking, which is why they are so confusing.
But this brings us right back to my original post, in where I explained that someone who is being exploited is NOT being forced into prostitution, which is the claim that Jojanneke is making, that '70% of the window prostitutes are forced'. This is simply not true!
The fact that prostitutes might be exploited is irrelevant. You can't call exploitation being forced anymore than you can call stealing murder. The fact that they both fall under the same name, human trafficking, for the law makes no difference.

So, now we know that Jojanneke her claim is false, since she doesn't base herself solely on forced prostitutes, but also on girls who are being exploited, which is an entirely different matter. And of course presenting all those exploited girls, by framing them with girls who are being forced, is wrong on so many levels. Especially considering the fact that most prostitutes who are being exploited, choose to do this job by themselves, and often continue their job even after a court case. This has nothing to do with being forced, this has to do with people taking away money they have no right to, it's called exploitation NOT coercion!

But just because the Public Prosecution Office has now come forth to confirm this, that still doesn't make it true. After all, we still don't have any source, a report of some sorts to see where they have based their statistics upon. And I wouldn't be surprised if those statistics in the end would point to the original statistics I pointed towards all along.
Why? Very simple. The Public Prosecution Office doesn't do any field research. They don't go into the field to do research about how many prostitutes are victim of HUMAN TRAFFICKING (not coercion, as Jojanneke claims). So I assume they will have based their statistics on what happens in court, to which the only numbers they have are about how many convictions they get out of court cases. Any other statistics they will mention can only be based on estimations, which are nearly assumptions from people that only deal with one side of the prostitution industry, namely the trafficking part.

So we end up right back where we started, with the question where their source is. The fact that the Public Prosecution Office was the one that claimed it and not Jojanneke, makes no difference to that. But one thing we do know, they don't count how many prostitutes are forced, they count how many are forced, but also how many are getting exploited, which is an entire different matter and says nothing about those women's choice to work in prostitution, like how Jojanneke is framing it.

Dutch version
1 Response
  1. Cliente X Says:

    In Spain our version of Jojanneke is called "Mercedes Milá", popularly know by "la milá". She is very famous bcause she presented "Big brother" for several years.

    Of course with that curriculum u can wonder what a serious journalist she is...

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.