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De Volkskrant - Netherlands | Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Prostitution is not romantic

Politicians from several parties in the Netherlands have argued that reforms to the law on prostitution should punish those who pay for sexual services. Writing in the left-liberal daily De Volkskrant, the chief editor of the feminist magazine Opzij, Margriet van der Linden, voices her irritation at the resistance to the  plan: "Between 50 and 90 percent of prostitutes are subject to human trafficking. 70 percent of prostitutes admit they've been raped. ... And how does the Netherlands react to the parliamentarians' initiative? With derision, and even with threats. The daily practices of prostitution are portrayed as a romantic world full of mistresses with fishnet stockings and jovial laughs who embody the liberal values of the Dutch, and complaints ring out about the spread of narrow-minded bourgeois values. But not a word is said about the current legislation that has been such a disaster and has contributed to the shocking figures according to which approximately seven in ten prostitutes are victims of violence."

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