Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Experiencing technical difficulties since 1999

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Red Light District Money Exchange

scarcely clad tellers
  (+6, -3)
(+6, -3)
  [vote for,

Living in Amsterdam I am quite embarrassed by the Red Light District. It has proven to be difficult to get rid of though, for various reasons. Let's hack it and at least organise a way out for those working there.

A few minutes ago at Central Station I saw a money exchange office with employees behind bullet proof windows. 1 + 1 = 2. Open a branch of offices in the Red Light District where tourists can exchange their money, withdraw cash or whatever they do there against a substantial commission. But replace the employees behind the bullet proof glass by former-prostitutes from the neighbourhood. Scarcely clad.

The service might be slow because they have no training in it, but the clients won't mind probably and regard it as 'value for money'. Imagine groups of drunk tourists laughing, taking pictures of each other when they are being handed their cash by a scarcely clad teller. Seemingly a reversal of roles. Socially accepted, a picture to show at co-workers after holidays (free advertising!), confirming their dream that money can buy you anything. A powerful ideology to exploit (but difficult to get rid of).

Eventually, some of the more talented employees in that money exchange office will become too professional/efficient to work there and can apply for a job somewhere in the countryside in a real bank where they appreciate her skills. Trustworthy, counting money and dealing efficiently with difficult clients.

This concept appeals also to the myth of the prostitute client helping the prostitute, which can serve to attract more clients.

Let it be a pragmatic way to get money from the huge numbers of 'window shopping' (in French: 'lèche-vitrine'! licking windows) tourists spending their money only in souvenir shops, hotels and so on, making it difficult to get rid of the exploitative embarrassing Red Light District.

There used to be a lot of money exchange offices in Amsterdam, until it turned out they were for money laundrying. Police raids and the arrival of the euro killed most of those.

I bet this idea will attract a lot of hits, proving the bakebility.

rrr, Mar 31 2006

Prostitutes' union The Red Threat http://www.rodedraad.nl/
English & Spanish texts under 'De Rode Draad' button in the horizontal navigation bar. [rrr, Mar 31 2006]


       Great idea, although which union would they join?
miasere, Mar 31 2006

       hi Braubeaton, do you have a source for your knowledge about their background? Each has a different story for as far as I know. What you describe is the one most common dramatised in fiction and the popular press.   

       Each person I know who lived or lives in that district has completely different, but always fascinating, stories to tell about their neighbours there. Makes great conversation material.
rrr, Mar 31 2006

       Miasere, there is already a union for them. See link. Very interesting to read by the way, a proper response to BrauBeaton's anno. Unfortunately most of the pages are in Dutch. If you throw a page in an automated translator, start with the 28 demands under 'eisenpakket'.
rrr, Mar 31 2006

       Isn't this baked by the ATMs they reportedly have in strip clubs?
theircompetitor, Mar 31 2006

       Not baked, because of the A and the M in ATM.   

       A scarcely clad ATM would arouse the attention of hackers only I guess. Unless there is still cash in it...
rrr, Mar 31 2006

       I had a choice of money changers a few months ago, and chose the booth with the young ladies over the booth with old men. +
baconbrain, Mar 31 2006

       //If they had self esteem they would not be protitutes in the first place.//   

       Again, there are many, many different stories and situations. At least over here. It is a pity the Red Threat website is largely in Dutch.   

       You say they lack self esteem, I say there are structures for exploitation. Damage to self esteem is one of the methods to that end, next to violence, blackmail and all other kinds of intimidation together with drugs, anonimity and promises.   

       A structure that is difficult to beat. Criminalising prostitution is the best way to ensure higher profits for the exploiters, not the way to go. It is better to amend the exploitation, empowering the exploited.   

       If you can't beat them, join them. Offer a somewhat more civilised way of exploitation on the side which eventually might lead to 'a normal way of exploitation' for some, like working in a bank as a teller. The concept certainly won't hurt anyone as much as current practise would do.   

       //It is your view I find idealistic and unrealistic.//   

       Hence the Halfbakery.
rrr, Apr 01 2006

       > Be careful what you say, please. It is your view I find idealistic and unrealistic.   

       In Holland? Or in a country where this stuff is illegal. Let me guess you're an american. Also telling people to be careful of what they say is a little off-putting.
lowbot, Apr 01 2006

       No, [Breaubeaton] said please and meant it, obviously some emotional history deserving respect.   

       And being a prostitute is a job like any other. I would guess that if you compare the percentage of protitutes who like their job to the percentage of cubicle workers (you know like Dilbert, I have no idea what they do) who like their job, I think you might be surprised by the outcome.   

       Prostitution is not "easy money" it is a difficult job, like being a police officer.   

       I think and speak now only of legal, voluntary prostitution. The other kinds are a crime.   

       I don't like this idea. I think it is degrading to put naked women in an exchange office like I think it is degrading to use pictures of women to sell products. It is dishonest, it distorts our vision of the world as it is.   

       I don't think the red light district is an embaressment, I think it is great.
zeno, Apr 04 2006

       //it is a difficult job, like being a police officer//   

       interesting choice.
theircompetitor, Apr 04 2006

       Zeno, I see a contradiction between:   

       > I think it is degrading to put naked women in an exchange office like I think it is degrading to use pictures of women to sell products.<   


       >I don't think the red light district is an embaressment, I think it is great.<   

       So when they sell themselves as a product it is not degrading? Even more so, I would say!   

       Why is it then that you think the red light district is great? It is degrading, distorts worldview and so on. That is why it is embarrassing.
rrr, Apr 08 2006

       I mean if you choose to sell a car, sell it for what it is worth, point out how great the dashboard is, don't sell it by using a woman to atract attention. If you choose to sell your body, point out how great your rear end is. That's honesty right? Imagine a hooker trying to get attention to her body by luring you with a picture of a car, see why it doesn't make sense?   

       I think prostitution is great because a lot of men (and women) really need it. I think it is a respectable profession, I really do, that's why I compared it with being a policeman. You need really good people skills and to be able to stand your ground and much more. The red light district is to me the same as an entire street for selling hardware with power tools in all the windows. I think that would be great.
zeno, Apr 10 2006


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle