Fake news from Daily Mail about Amsterdam's Red Light District
On the 10th of February the Daily Mail posted an article written by Sanchez Manning about 'the truth of the women in the window'. The article is however strikingly filled with complete lies and fake news beyond what I've seen before. Even simple things that are pretty well known are lied about, even though for the cause of the article it could've been better to tell the reality rather than some of the lies.

The article is clearly aiming to paint an extremely negative picture about prostitution and Amsterdam's Red Light District. But the article is so full of mistakes its hard to take serious at times. The article poses a fake interview with a former prostitute and victim of trafficking, but the stuff that she tells in the article are so obviously fake, it just displays their huge lack of information to write a good fake story.

So, where to begin? I could of course begin with something mentioned in the headline. One of the headlines reads: "Women working in Amsterdam's Red Light District can earn up to 350 pounds a day". If you make as a prostitute in the Red Light District of Amsterdam an earning up to 350 pounds on a 'busy day', you're clearly doing something wrong. It wouldn't even be considered a normal day, let alone a good day, like how it's claimed in the article. A good day a couple of years ago was around 1500-2000 euro, but I even knew girls that made up to 5000 euro on a busy day. Right now 1000 euro or above is considered a good day. But the 350 euro is even considered on a quiet day kind of average.

Then of course we have to come to their claims about human trafficking, Eastern European girls and pimps, and that 'many' are beaten, raped and knifed into it. What a load of bullshit. I'm not going to explain again why these claims are such bullshit, especially since the article also doesn't provide us with any statistics, so I'll let that be. But it's largely bullshit. If you care to read more about that, just read the other articles on this blog.

Then we come to the fake story of Angelica, who supposedly would've spend 5 years here in the Red Light District. The fake tale goes that when Angelica came to Amsterdam and saw the girls in the windows, she cried, because the girls looked horrible. This was the moment I just started laughing out loud. The girls looked horrible? Are you kidding me? Any tourist who visits the Red Light District can see this is complete bullshit. Most tourists are even surprised at how gorgeous most of the girls over here are, since they're not expecting this, I guess based on the experiences and ideas they have in their own country. This is just laughably fake.

The story of Angelica also mentions how her passport was taken away, which would've hold her effectively a prisoner. Well, that might work in London, not in Amsterdam, since you're always required to have your passport with you, otherwise you can't even rent a window. And even in the hypothetical case that she would be able to rent a window without a passport, once the police comes to check her up, which they do frequently (1900 checks on 300 windows alone a year), she can pack her bags and go home, and would immediately have gained the interest of the police to start an investigation. You simply cannot work here without a passport, it's not possible. And let's not even mention the fact that if this indeed would've happened a couple of years ago besides a passport, she would've also needed a permit to work here, since Romanian people where not yet accepted by the Netherlands to work here as part of the European Union. In short, this story is fake as hell.

Then we come to one of the biggest flaws in this article, which really gave away the story was fake. The price she charged. She claims the clients where charged 35 pounds, which comes down to about 40 euro, even though the price has always been 50 euro. Even most tourists know this. It just shows how the writer who came up with this fake story lacks good information about the Red Light District to construct a believable fake story. If a girl charges 40 or 35 euro, she wouldn't last a week before she got kicked out by the brothel owner, because the other girls would start to complain about it.

Then the fictional character of Angelica says she was cut on the face with a knife by her captors when she tried to refuse a client's demand to have unprotected sex. First of all the captor would have to be a huge idiot to cut her face, since it would damage his 'property' and devalue her worth in the market, but secondly it's also obvious not just to customers, but more importantly: the police. A cut in the face sticks out like a sore thumb, and would definitely get noticed by the police who walk by every 5 minutes, let alone that they wouldn't keep a sharp eye on her, since this is like the most obvious sign of human trafficking you can get. If this really happened, this girl couldn't have worked longer than a day there, since immediately she would've gotten the attention from the police.

According to this Angelica, English customers would be the worst. Laughable, since I don't know one single girl who doesn't like English customers. It's actually completely the opposite of what the article claims. English guys are probably the most respectful customers, and even when they get drunk (which happens a lot), they're still very respectful, let alone that they would hurt people. This section of the story is so clearly aimed at scarring off English guys to visit prostitutes. If this article would've been published in the French media, they would've changed them to French guys being the worst.

Then another thing which was sticking out in this story like a sore thumb. According to the story Angelica slept in her brothel in case a punter (customer) wanted sex early in the morning. I laughed my ass off when I read this, since it's so ridiculous. That's impossible, since brothel owners rent out the windows twice a day, so a different girl would be working there in the day time. So you can't actually sleep here. It's so freaking hilarious to read how poorly this writer did their research, if they did any at all.

Considering the story, the 350 pounds a day that this girl could make also doesn't add up to the whole trafficking story. Girls that are trafficked are pushed to work hard and make a lot of money, they would make much more than 350 pounds a day. It's just laughable to read such a fake victim story. Honestly I don't understand why they didn't just interview a real victim, or copied a real victim's story. In stead the writer opted to make up their own fake story, which is so full of inaccuracies and impossible things, you can just see the writer did little to no research at all to create this fake story.

The article also speaks about a protest in The Hague, where 'thousands of protesters' are expected to march to demand the country's brothels to be outlawed again. Again a pure lie. There is no upcoming protest in The Hague to protest against the legalized brothels in 2000. There was a small little protest in The Hague against prostitution in one street there, mainly local residents. Here's a picture of the protest, which as you can see, is not 'thousands of protesters':
The whole story is pretty much a completely fabricated lie, added with some quotes from mostly anti-prostitution activists, such as Renate van der Zee. In these times of fake news, I cannot possibly understand why the writer didn't put more effort in coming up with a more realistic fake story, and how this ever got passed the editor.

I urge you all to report this article from the Daily Mail as fake news. Because that is precisely what it is. Write the editor of the Daily Mail, comment on their article, Tweet about it on Twitter, post it on Facebook. It's about time the fake news about prostitution comes to an end, and the people responsible pay for it.

UPDATE 13/02/2018 18:35
I was just contacted by one of the people interviewed for this article for the Daily Mail. Apparently the journalist, Sanchez Manning, lied about the newspaper they where working for. Manning also lied about the intention of the article, which was supposedly going to be about the tourism in the Red Light District and not about some story exposing the 'myth' of the happy hooker. So apparently the lies in the article aren't the only lies this journalist told people.
The lies of politicians about the Red Light District
About 4 years ago I started this blog to fight all the misinformation and lies spread around in the media by politicians and opinion makers about prostitution, human trafficking and the Red Light District of Amsterdam. Working there myself behind the windows, and seeing all these people talking such incredible bullshit on TV, in newspaper or in other media, just makes me feel sick in my stomach. Especially because the most often claim being heard is that 'those Eastern European women are the victims', because they can't believe someone from East Europe would come all the way here just to do this work as a job, and not be a victim.

In the past 4 years I tried explaining people the truth. I've been working here now for 8 years, and the stories about the Red Light District being some kind of hub for human trafficking are just pure bullshit. Yes, human trafficking can happen, and sometimes does happen. But anyone claiming there are 'hundreds of women' victims here, or being raped, or that's it's more than 50% or all these statistics are just lying their asses of for their own hidden agenda.

Yesterday was another good example. There was a political debate on TV and also an article was published today with the leader of the Dutch christian political party CDA, Sybrand Buma, where he claimed that more than half the women are forced behind the windows. He even claimed that "if you'd ask those women, they'd say they choose this voluntarily, but it isn't the case". In short, he tries to silence our voice, and speaks for us, proclaiming that no matter what we say, people cannot trust our word. And this is coming from a politician, can you believe it? This also begs the question how someone could ever find out that someone is forced if you can never trust a sex worker on what they say? Wouldn't what work both ways?

He continued his argument by stating that 60% of the women come from East Europe, and stated that "they didn't come here with with a train ticket, but are often lured into this under false pretenses, picked out of the gutter in Budapest." Like I said, the claim is often about girls like us from East Europe, which is weird if you think about it, because we have more reason to do this job, considering our counties economic position, than women from The Netherlands for example, so this reasoning makes no sense. And it's also funny to see how poorly informed Buma is, considering the fact that he mentions Budapest as an example. There aren't so many Hungarian girls working in the Red Light District, let alone from Budapest. But whatever.

This is a perfectly good example of a lie. Buma is lying because as a christian he opposes the idea of prostitution, and would rather have it forbidden. His concerns aren't really about human trafficking and forced prostitution, he just abuses terms such as modern slavery for his own political agenda. Yes, I know, what a shocker, a politician telling a lie for a political agenda, who would've thought that, right?

Now of course it's no surprise that a politician with a christian background lies about something to achieve something from being banned which conflicts with his own christian morals. Christians have been doing the exact same things on topics such as homosexuality and abortion. Christians in the US for example claimed for years (and perhaps even today), that homosexuality is a decease. Or that homosexuality is the cause of AIDS. They say these kind of things, because everyone is against deceases and AIDS, so by using it as an argument, they hope to convince people into supporting their cause.

The reason Buma doesn't make such claims about homosexuality, is because it's much too accepted in the Dutch society. It would rather damage his political career, and cost him voters than gaining any. But prostitution is still a debate that's not been decided yet, plus the fact that unlike gay people, sex workers hardly speak out for themselves because they want to protect their privacy. And even if we would speak out, his argument is that we would be lying anyway, so nothing we say could be trusted. So it's kind of like shooting sitting ducks, it's very easy to do, and because there are no hard facts and little publicly known about the reality of prostitution, it's easy to get away with it.

Good thing though that a while ago the Dutch Rapporteur on Human Trafficking published this rapport on the relation between human trafficking and prostitution. In this rapport it also specifies how many suspicions there where from for example the police, city officials and any officials that are part of fighting human trafficking or have any dealings with this. And guess what? They specified how may suspicions of human trafficking they had by region and per prostitution form. So, now we can look up how many possible victims there really are according to the people that report this to the government.

In the rapport "Prostitution and Human Trafficking" on page 177, it is specified that in Amsterdam over a 5 year period from 2011 until 2015, there where 2 possible victims in window prostitution. Not hundreds, not thousands like some video from Stop The Traffik claims, not even dozens. No, just 2. In 5 years! That means one victim every 2,5 year. Not 400 women a day, like the previous mayor claimed, not hundreds of woman a day, not even hundreds of women a month or even a year.

Now I know that people will start claiming that the police doesn't see everything. But then again they don't have to see anything to report it, all they need is a gut feeling, no evidence is required and even than we only come down to 2 possible victims. And trust me, they check things out. Official statistics from the city of Amsterdam show that they do around 1900 checks a year on window prostitution alone in Amsterdam. To put that in perspective, we have 290 windows in the Red Light District.

So 2 possible victims, that's not 50%, heck, that's not even 10%. We have here on a daily base around 400 sex workers working here, so this is more like 0,10%. Not even one percent, but a tenth of that. And yes, around 60% of us are from East Europe. But just because we come from there, doesn't mean we didn't choose to do this job ourselves. It's a pure lie claiming that most of us where brought here under false pretenses. In fact, I've never met a single girl in the Red Light District who didn't know what she was coming here for. Even victims, and I know some victims, even they knew what they came to do here, and they had no objections to it.

Because in the end, even for most victims, the problem isn't the job. Very few girls do this job involuntarily, despite the fact that human trafficking sometimes happens. Not as much as people often claim, as you can see, but it does happen sometimes. But abolishing prostitution isn't the solution to human trafficking. After all, if it was, then how come they never propose abolishing other professions where human trafficking exist, if it's such a good solution?

No, Sybrand Buma is a liar, just like Gert-Jan Segers, Lodewijk Asscher and many, many other politicians and opinion makers often claiming to 'want to do something against human trafficking'. It's not about human trafficking, they don't care about fighting that, it's a scam. They're just using it for their own political agenda. Just look through my blog, there's about 4 years worth of articles with sources. And it's not about denying human trafficking, I don't deny that human trafficking exists. In fact, I wrote plenty of artciles about how human trafficking works in reality, and even how human trafficking in prostitution could really be reduced. But also articles about the reality of working behind the windows in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, which is vastly different from how Buma claims it is. And I should know it, because I work there, and not him or any of the other politicians claiming bullshit about us.
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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.