Well, goddamn, some names definitely seem to lead you down certain life paths, don’t they? Having a name like Fokken might have had a tad bit of influence in convincing these two feisty broads — twin sister prostitutes — into getting into the biz. Identical twin sisters Louise and Martine Fokken have worked Amsterdam’s Red Light District for more than 50 years, first under the control of pimps and then as independent contractors, running their own brothel. They also helped set up the first independent union for prostitutes, so they’re kind of amazing, no? We can’t wait to see the full-length doc about their lives, but we’ll settle for this trailer clip for now. [Meet The Fokkens]
Human trafficking is the number two most lucrative illegal industry — behind drug trafficking — in the world. Because of its clandestine nature it’s difficult to gauge the extent of its reach, but experts believe that at any given time there are anywhere between 12.3 and 27 million people in forced or bonded labor — and many of them forced against their will into sex work. Promised good paying jobs as waitresses, shop girls and dancers — these women leave their families and their communities and are sold into a life of sexual servitude and abuse.
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The United States could really learn a few lessons from Holland. For starters, they’re all about being eco-conscious—everyone rides a bike, and no one even thinks about going to the grocery store without their reusable totes. Health care. Legalized drugs. And clogs are totally coming back in style. Of course, the Netherlands was also the first country to legalize same-sex marriage. As a result, its citizens have the opportunity to attend awesome events like the Amsterdam Gay Bride Wedding Fair (appropriately happening on Valentine’s Day), where tons of vendors will come to exhibit their wedding wares. It gets better: The event opens with a number by the cast of “Mamma Mia” and attendees get to walk away with a “Gay Bride goodie bag.” So … can we go? [I amsterdam] Keep reading »
It was only a matter of time before we covered a city famous for sex. But Amsterdam is really less about the Red Light District and coffee shops than it is about great Dutch architecture, trendy restaurants, and great vintage shopping. Keep reading »
Although prostitution is legal in Amsterdam, working girls still have trouble getting banks to give them credit and loans. But officials working on “Project 1012″ are trying to change all that. Under this plan, peeps are talking to banks, trying to get them to cooperate with the ladies of the night. They’re hoping that, within the next few months, prostitutes will have more access to the financial support they need. Is it just me, or does this sound a lot like a red-light district bailout? [Yahoo] Keep reading »