Holland, the land of the famous red light district, has decided that it is time to tame their "dirty girls". To encourage women to give up their lives of prostitution, the state has created a points system for good behaviour. Can you believe that, a point system, isn't that what parents use with children to reinforce good behaviour?
According to The Independent, "prostitutes will receive so-called "street miles" that they can use to acquire free designer clothes or furniture, provided they take up an offer by the city council to take steps leading to a career change and a safer lifestyle. Some of the "dames", as they are known locally, have already been given a makeover involving designer clothes to boost their self-confidence."
OOOh golly gee whiz designer clothing, don't all women just want to get dolled up? It is so easy to achieve as well, as all the whores have to do is keep their legs closed and the state will help them hide their sins by cloaking them in respectability.
It would seem to me that if you want women to stop engaging in prostitution it would make sense to offer them a little thing like job training, or education subsidy. Simply offering women a new wardrobe ignores the reasons why they become involved in prostitution to begin with. How about cracking down on the trafficking that is occurring? Not all women that are working as prostitutes are doing so because they want to. What about counselling for the women that have been abused, or drug rehabilitation treatment for the ones that have issues with substance abuse?
In their desire to police behaviour there is no acknowledgement that some women willingly choose prostitution. They don't feel exploited or abused and in fact enjoy their jobs. Knowing this,. if the state is truly concerned about women it should also be attempting to to make this job safer. It should ensure that all crimes committed against sex trade workers are investigated, as well as working to build relationships between the police and sex trade workers.
Simply rewarding them with makeovers and a new wardrobe reinforces the idea that the only thing that is valuable about them this is their bodies. Sex trade workers deserve better than to be the object in a state plan to discipline sexual behaviour. What they need is to be recognized as human beings with the same goals and desires as anyone else. To be told to be good girls and we'll make you look prettym only serves to further devalue them and reminds all other women that unless they conform to the sexual chastity that society considers appropriate, they too will be deemed persons of little or no value.