Not true: Job-seekers required to work as prostitutes

Many thanks to the readers who let me know this wasn’t true. Embarrassing that I didn’t realise it, but then how implausible is it really when in the UK disabled people may soon be required to work for free in order to receive disability benefits? And jobseekers have already been required to work for free at Tesco? It’s getting harder and harder to tell reality from hoax these days. Still, I do apologise.

A 25-year-old waitress who turned down a job providing “sexual services” at a brothel in Berlin faces possible cuts to her unemployment benefit under laws introduced this year.
Prostitution was legalised in Germany just over two years ago and brothel owners – who must pay tax and employee health insurance – were granted access to official databases of jobseekers.

For more, go here.

11 thoughts on “Not true: Job-seekers required to work as prostitutes

  1. Yes, I was going to also say that this (quite old- it’s from 2005) story was not in fact true. In depressing days it’s often easy to believe every depressing story, but thankfully this one is almost certainly not true (and not new, anyway) so we’d do well to not give it more legs.

  2. I want to comment that this hoax is part of the anti-prostitution campaign of lies that link all sorts of bad outcomes to the legalization of prostitution in Germany, most notably the thoroughly discredited claim that tens if not hundreds of thousands of women and girls were trafficked into the country as sex slaves during the World Cup 2006 which took place soon after the legalization.

    This story does raise a legitimate concern many feminists have, though: if prostitution were to be treated “just like any other job,” as some advocates for sex workers argue, government would begin forcing prostitution as work on unemployed women seeking job or benefits. What’s missing from this analysis is the fact that women at the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder are already being forced to accept jobs that dehumanize and demoralize them.

    I find it hypocritical for feminists to tolerate this ongoing dehumanization of poor and working-class women, while categorically opposing prostitution. If we find so objectionable that women may be forced to “work as prostitutes,” why do we allow women to be forced to work in other fields that the person may find equally distressing and dehumanizing?

    I don’t agree that sex work should be treated “like any other job” because “any other job” that is available to women facing multiple oppressions tend to be horrible. Sex work needs to be treated like how any job should be treated, which is with respect, dignity, and self-determination. Nobody should be forced (either by force or by economic necessity) to work in jobs that she feels is deeply dehumanizing–which for many women, though not all, include prostitution, and may include many other forms of labor.

  3. I absolutely agree with you, Emi, that there are many dehumanising jobs that people should not be forced to work. Which is why I was taken in by this– I really do think it’s of a piece with e.g. forcing job-seekers and disabled people to stack shelves as slave labour for Tesco. I tried to convey this in my note at the top, but I guess I failed.

  4. Jender, I didn’t read the comment as saying you were someone who objected to prostitution but tolerated other ways women at the bottom levels get dehumanized.

  5. Actually, you shouldn’t have been taken in.
    It was reported in the Telegraph; therefore it was false.

  6. In a perfect world we would service each others’ genuine physical-emotional-mental/intellectual needs for physical intimacy without the need for flirting,courting,marrying and other ways of exchanging ‘favours’,but we are genetically,psychologically,religiously,socially,politically and economically burdened by certain modes of operandi which appear,in most people,to be literally burnt into the very soul.We cannot escape the basic rule of natural selection,however it really works(as opposed to how it is supposed to work).Heterosexual men have found a way to make woman serve their sexual needs,sort of,without getting dragged into the mire of women’s demands for sexual physical and emotional satisfaction which,it was determined thousands of years ago,is insatiable,and for economic,psycho-emotional and socio-political security which is also insatiable.The need for women to be satisfied and secure in all these things is not in dispute.The fact is that the nature of universal,natural manifestation drives the different competing entities to always want more.So marriage evolved as a socio-cultural and religio-political construct to solve some problems,and create other problems.Heterosexual men,it is alleged,also can never get enough sexual satisfaction.They like it often,though not all the time.Fact is,most heterosexual men of my age(60)who don’t have a sexual partner certainly never got it as much as they wanted it.I think,for most of us the sixties was hype,nothing more.In Sweden,I think,men who pay for sex are committing an offence.Well,I never paid for sex in my life,never married,never womanized,hardly socialised,was never rich or handsome,…
    The moral of prostitution;only in Utopia will it be unknown.If we give it another name,it will still be that:exchanging ‘favours’.

  7. In fact the OPPOSITE is true: The German Federal Social Court ruled in May 2009 that owners of brothels are NOT entitled to receive data from the Job Centres. The court’s case file no. is B 11 AL 11/08 R. Prostitution is legal, but it is still contra bonos mores.

    I am a German lawyer and I am happy to check these stories for you before publication in the future.

  8. Yes, most of the hyped up articles about legalizing sex work make ridiculous claims like these. The figure I laughed hardest about was the 80 000 smuggled women at the World Cup. Do these people even grasp how much space would be required for these women and their pimps to travel through a given country to make a tight deadline like oh, the few DAYS before a soccer game? Do the math. A parade 15 ladies wide up the middle of a city street, plus one pimp for every 5 ladies (and that’s a VERY generous estimate of what one slaveowner can actually do with the authorities breathing down his neck) is 96 000 people, 15 wide by 6400 deep. Herr Moser, do you remember an anomalous crowd of captive women the size of the refugee column fleeing the Rwandan genocide, moving through Munich in 06? ;-)

    As far as ‘forcing’ women to hook for their welfare checks, the notion is absurd. If my welfare worker tried that crap with me, I’d stop bathing for as many days as possible before the job, and show up in a fat suit with Halloween teeth and plastic scar skin all over my face. Then I’d do my best schizophrenic impersonation, giving the guy the option of paying me to get lost, of course. Honestly… with all the poorbashing in the media these days, that is precisely what the tricks would expect from a welfare hooker. They would NOT pay for that stereotype. Nuff said.

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