I'd like to revisit the topic of prostitution. When I addressed it before, I only listed several interesting factoids. I didn't elaborate with any of my own opinion because I'm not sure what I think about legalized prostitution.
I would never patronize the institution, and I can't help being judgmental of those who do. I am a feminist who believes a woman should never have to sell her body. I am a Catholic who believes sex is a very special, intimate act that should be reserved for someone you love. But who am I to force those values on others? And if prostitution is going to happen whether or not it's illegal, then why not make it legal so that the prostitutes are safe?
I was surprised there were no male prostitutes in the windows. Obviously there is a gender disparity in the institution of prostitution, but what an incredibly stark disparity to have no males?! This must be a reflection of our society treating women as objects to be bought, and society being accepting of men and men only who patronize the institution.
So I'm torn. I don't want prostitution to become more and more acceptable from being legalized, but it will happen inevitably so it's best to make it a safer, legal environment. I don't know which of the above is the lesser evil.
The price difference between African prostitutes (25-35 euros for 15 minutes) and all other prostitutes (50 euros for 15 minutes) is despicable. I would like to do a sociological study of race and prostitution in Amsterdam. Is the price disparity just because of supply and demand? There are more prostitutes from Africa coming in than what is demanded for by the clientele? Or is it completely and simply racist — Amsterdam's society says African prostitutes are worth less?
So what did I think of Amsterdam in general? I really liked it. It was surprisingly quaint and clean (not including the Red Light District). I love how most people get around on bikes using the city's abundance of safe bike lanes. The canals and green parks are beautiful. The international food is great. Most Dutch people look fit, tall, and attractive. Everyone seems to savor the good life — some enjoy a lazy afternoon smoking in a local coffee shop while others stroll through the tulip markets or take their kids to the nearby zoo. It seems Amsterdam would be a great place to raise your kids. While it has a reputation for drugs and sex, not all Dutch smoke weed, and most customers in the Red Light District are tourists.
About This Entry
You are reading "Conclusions on Amsterdam", an entry posted on 30 June 2008 by Jackie Steves.