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German job-seekers forced into prostitution or they lose their benefits? - My Thoughts Today
An ill-used association of words and pictures
feyeleanor
feyeleanor
German job-seekers forced into prostitution or they lose their benefits?
I ran across this odd little snippet from the Telegraph (Jan 2005) and was wondering if anyone knows whether this law is still in place?

I've no particular moral objections to people working as prostitutes if it's through their own free choice (and I'd be a piss poor libertarian conservative if I started forcing my moral values on other people) but how can anyone seriously think that it's just another job and should be treated as such for benefit purposes. God help us if we ever have a shared legal and benefits system across the EU...

EDIT: Well it seems the original story is a sensationalised version of a German original and that no actual cases of this happening have ever been recorded according to this article at snopes.com. So that's good then.

Thank you to Mr. Anonymous, whoever you are - you've vindicated my belief that allowing anonymous posting overall makes LJ a better place to discuss issues raised in the media.

Tags:
today I am mostly: WTF????

13 opinions or participate
Comments
vorpal_t From: vorpal_t Date: August 31st, 2007 11:17 am (UTC) (permanent link)
Well, it's different in Germany.

They teach people how to pick asparagus using wooden asparagus spears, this is a good apprenticeship for the knocking shop.

Did you ever see Salon Kitty?

On the plus side its easier for 'alternative' lifestyle people to live public lives than it is in some other countries.

I think the journalist is overplaying the story, somewhat. All a job candidate has to do is explain that they have religious sensibilities and the joc centre will back off fast.

Actually, I imagine that an advertiser in Görlitz would be swarmed with applicants, there isn't a ,lot of work there. On the negative side, German customers can be pretty swinish.

There isn't much equality between the sexes in Germany, once you get past the window dressing, particularly i8n areas like Bavaria, where they still have part time schooling so that the mothers cant take full time jobs.

Interestingly, a disproportionate number of 'working girls' have been head girls at their single sex primary school, one of those odd statistics.

Vorp
feyeleanor From: feyeleanor Date: August 31st, 2007 12:26 pm (UTC) (permanent link)
Well I must confess to a permanent bemusement at the way in which German legislators in particular and European legislators more generally approach life: it often feels that the entire continental mainland is locked in some kind of autistic obsession with statutes that - despite the recent British adoption of the same outlook - is still a complete mystery to my traditionally Anglo-Saxon laissez faire morality.

I guess I'm just a reactionary creature of The Right but not only do I find the idea that legislation is a good thing somewhat suspect, I also have severe doubts about welfare models created by technocrats without any reference to human dignity. And no, I'm not saying that being a prostitute is undignified if that's something an individual freely chooses to do for a living, but to many people who consider sexual intercourse a private and non-mercenary affair the mere suggestion that treating the sex industry on an identical footing to other entertainment industries is going to be highly repugnant. I guess that's a form of bigotry and that someone somewhere will make it their personal mission to legislate against it, and much good it will do them!

Thinking about it though, the real problem for me with this particular bit of old news (after all, it does date from January 2005 so hopefully some amendments will have been made to the regulations in question) is that it's indicative of a belief that individuals are nothing more than interchangeable economic units and that the purpose of a welfare system is not to help those genuinely in need to rebuild their lives with the basic human dignity that should be the inalienable right of each and every one of us, but to grudgingly pay back a small pittance of the taxes raised from the community at large (including those receiving that assistance) whilst paying lip-service to the notion of caring.

The State by its very nature only cares about one thing: expanding its control into every messy area of human existence, imposing as much order and tidiness as it can possibly conceive (what we call in physics entropy) and then ensuring that it retains that control through whatever means are necessary. Unfortunately this is rarely what the people who govern intend, but that's how it appears to work in practice.

So whilst it's great that people may feel they can be more open about 'alternative' lifestyles in Germany (I'll believe there's real substance to that claim when they have a Chancellor who's transgendered and married to a critically acclaimed porn star/sex worker) and a number of other countries that have removed the moral/social stigma attached to the sex industry in all its many forms through legislation and state imposition, that comes at a steep price.

I don't think it's a price I'd personally be willing to pay, but I'm much more concerned about the anonymous violence of The State than I ever have been by the very personal and unpleasant bigotry of the individuals living within it: at least I can engage with individuals and attempt to overcome their prejudices...

On the issue of equality of the sexes, one of the things I noted during my numerous business trips to Cologne is that the women I worked with put up with far more crap from their husbands and male colleagues than their British counterparts. That may be something specific to the technical side of their television industry, but it appears to be the women that hold everything together whilst the men all slack off at the first possible opportunity. I found it a most irritating city to get anything done in, but I resolutely refuse to tar the whole country with the same brush. Still, as I'm going to be in Berlin in a couple of weeks' time it will be interesting to see if the same holds true there.
vorpal_t From: vorpal_t Date: August 31st, 2007 01:01 pm (UTC) (permanent link)
I think you are beginning to understand Germany.

It's the appearance of things that counts rather than the substance.

German women are badly treated, those who have had non-German boyfriends rarely go back to German men.

Köln is one of the more liberatred and enlightened German cities, but still boring. I do have some amusing subbie lesbian friends there, if you wish to lead girls astray.

Poor you working in German television, abdsolutely dire, though you in a dirndl has possibilities.....

I know you want to see a TS German chancellor, well not just yet, but the German military has always been keen on cross dressing, they don't get nearly as hung up on these things as the average or even odd anglophone. I do think that their entirely animalistic approach to sex causes them to miss out on a lot however.

I don't believe that the individual is valued in Germany, its a corporatist society. As far as life's refinements go, when they threw out their history, they threw out a lot of culture and manners. However, I am relieved it didn't involve dumping the opera or classical music.

I do recall one German friend who dated a black American girl without noticing she was black, this drove her crazy, she liked being black.

Running projects in Germany I soon learned that you had to ask p0eople you had given tasks to if they were planning on any holidays or sick leave, they wouldn't volunteer this information.


Vorp








From: (Anonymous) Date: August 31st, 2007 02:15 pm (UTC) (permanent link)
It was a newspaper hoax.
Yes prostitution is legal in germany but there are no bureaucrats forcing unemployed woman into prostitution, so get over yourselfs.
vorpal_t From: vorpal_t Date: August 31st, 2007 02:28 pm (UTC) (permanent link)
What a shame you discovered so quickly, there was some real indignation coming across there ;-))

Vorp
feyeleanor From: feyeleanor Date: August 31st, 2007 03:32 pm (UTC) (permanent link)
Well I could easily be indignant on the subject of cucumbers, bananas and sausages - all areas where mainland European legislators seem to have that aforementioned autistic tendency...
feyeleanor From: feyeleanor Date: August 31st, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC) (permanent link)
If that's the case then I'm very pleased to hear it. However, as you're posting anonymously would you care to provide a citation: bold statements from unidentified sources are less compelling than compelling evidence...

I will of course edit my journal entry to include the citation.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 1st, 2007 06:33 am (UTC) (permanent link)
I don't have an account at LiveJournal so I'm Mr. Anonymous, it doesn't matter anyway, here is your link:
http://www.snopes.com/media/notnews/brothel.asp
feyeleanor From: feyeleanor Date: September 1st, 2007 09:10 am (UTC) (permanent link)
Thank you very much, I'll amend my journal entry accordingly.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 1st, 2007 05:00 pm (UTC) (permanent link)
Nothing to thank and off I go riding into the sunset.
A stranger to anyone but fighting for truth and against boredom.
feyeleanor From: feyeleanor Date: August 31st, 2007 11:10 pm (UTC) (permanent link)
We were always falling foul of the German approach to public holidays which would often see all the vital staff missing from Thursday or Friday right through the following Tuesday: this is not ideal when trying to deploy a system!

Now what is this strange fascination people have with the idea of me in a dirndl? Admittedly I did once see a rather fetching example in black leather and red silk but I could never get past the tweeness factor. Mind you, if it were a choice between that or public nudity the dirndl would win every time ;p

My impression of Köln is probably much worse than the reality as my chance to explore was limited to restaurants, a few bars, and various television transmission facilities! It's odd to think that I probably know Oslo much better, even though I've only visited it twice whilst Köln was a regular destination for three years. I really should make up for that at some point...
feanelwa From: feanelwa Date: August 31st, 2007 03:57 pm (UTC) (permanent link)
As far as I remember it was a real job-centre-type arrangment, but people can refuse appointments of that type with no bad consequences - the person who got the offer was so outraged she conveniently forgot to mention that part.
feyeleanor From: feyeleanor Date: August 31st, 2007 04:05 pm (UTC) (permanent link)
Well I must admit that if I was on the receiving end of an offer like that from a job centre it would give me definite pause for thought: for one thing, unless I already had relevant experience on my CV I would wonder what the person at the job centre who suggested I have sex for money was thinking...
13 opinions or participate