Dutch Government Taxing Prostitutes

20 Mar


I just read a story on BBC News about the Dutch government is looking to tax prostitutes.Apparently, Amsterdam has built quite a reputation for having an interesting red-light district. These days, it’s not just about servicing clients; it has become a tourist attraction. Now, the government wants a piece of the action.

There were a few things in the story that threw me off a bit due to contradictions.  The story reported that “Prostitution was legalised in Amsterdam in 2000 and sex workers are now classed as self-employed businesswomen.”  But earlier in the story it was stated that, “Officials have traditionally treated prostitutes with a little more leniency on taxation than other workers, seeing them as victims of pimps and people traffickers.”

Some women are there by choice.  In fact, the article stated that women from Africa, Asia and other parts of Europe came to Amsterdam just to work the red-light district for a couple months and fly back out.

Here’s a statement from one of the workers interviewed: “It’s hard to be a sex worker, not the job itself, but the way society is treating you. So it feels like a little bit of a double standard to pay tax to a society that doesn’t accept you.”

Honestly, I don’t know what made me read that article or write this story. I think it’s the mistreatment and the lack of respect toward women and girls these days. It has gotten worse over the years, and everyone –  especially women – act like it’s okay.

And, we know that this tax will be mostly be carried on the backs of women since, generally speaking, this is a predominantly female profession.

As I think about the ramifications of this tax, I have to wonder: are there any male-dominated professions that are being sought for taxation? I know that the government is looking at the industry as a whole, but I’m looking at the group of people that will have to pay most – women. And what about those women that are there against their will?

I may have to keep track to see how this plays out.


Image: Legal Juice

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