I take the train to work every day, and although I don’t mind public transport the increased popularity of the trafficking myth and rescue rhetoric often dampens my mood. There’s this extremely offensive advertisement by the Dutch rescue organisation Free a Girl that says “Maya makes 2,15 euro’s per day. We’re proud of that” . The 17-year old Maya works 9 hours per day for awfully low wages, Free a Girl tells us, but she’s no longer a whore. Yay! These advertisements, as well as ‘sexy’ advertisements by the Dutch Police to stop trafficking are found in train stations in the Netherlands. Disgusting. But thankfully, I have the ‘God is not Great’ audiobook (read by Christopher Hitchens himself!) to cheer me up. He’s one of the people I really would have loved to meet in real life, although I guess it’s best I didn’t as I’m quite sure I’d have made a fool of myself. It would probably be like the time I met Dossie Easton in real life, and I had a hard time stopping myself from saying “you’re Dossie Easton! I’m such a fan. Look everyone it’s Dossie Easton! You’re Dossie Easton! I’m such a fan!”.
It’s been an interesting month. After blogging in Dutch for almost 5 years, appearing in various Dutch media and reaching around a thousand readers every day, I’m now trying to connect to the international sex-positive community. This blog has hit a little over a 100 visitors on busy days, but it currently averages around 30. The wonderful Maggie McNeill (such a fan!) linked to my article on bogus trafficking statistics in the Netherlands and my Rescue Rhetoric parody was frequently shared on twitter. I think it’s a good start :).
A met up with Caja van Tolie last week. She was a sex worker at the Zandpad area in Utrecht, and when that area was closed (effectively ending all window-prostitution in Utrecht) she started Freya, an organisation by sex workers who want to become proprietors of the Zandpad area themselves. The major of Utrecht had lied that he wanted sex workers to do this, after which Utrecht repeatedly changed the requirements, rejected proposals from sexworker unions and prohibited sex workers from speaking at counsel meetings. Sex workers from the Zandpad have been without a workplace for over a year, and realisation of a new area has been postponed until at least 2016. It’s maddening. Except for the sex workers themselves and an activist here or there, nobody seems to be willing to do anything. Dutch media has been relatively positive about Caja, Freya and sex workers’ rights, but nothing is happening. I hope I can somehow contribute, help change things.
On Thursday I went to the very Christian wedding of a very dear friend who used to be very poly, lesbian and kinky. I’m not sure where things went wrong :P. She now lives in the Dutch bible belt, a beautiful area where mothers in their early twenties are found on weekdays in playgrounds with children. I was very grateful for Hitchens on my mp3 player and a kinky party the next day to look forward to, but it was a good experience. The wedding was wonderful, it really suited them and I think they will be happy together.