This article was written by Madhuri for, and posted on, Osho News.
Life in the Amsterdam Red Light District, told by “a young British woman, a newly-qualified nursery nurse who was lured by an advertisement to work in a crèche.” The reflective review by Madhuri concludes with “If Yin was honoured, meditation would become possible for humans.”
by Sarah Forsyth, with Tim Tate
John Blake Publishing, London, 2009
You’ve been to Amsterdam, right? Quaint, picturesque town? Kinda edgy? Might have poked your head into the Red Light District, gawked a bit at the shop-windows surrounded by coloured lightbulbs, crammed cheek-by-jowl into the narrow lanes; where women in bikinis or skimpy underwear pose tiredly, lewdly?
You probably thought, as I did, that they were voluntary sex workers, no doubt with hard lives behind them but there by choice, more or less; and making pretty good money? Protected by the City; lots of doctor visits?
Wrong. At least 80% are simply slaves – stolen or bought from all over Europe, Thailand, Africa; funnelled through various cities, and kept prisoner, forced to let themselves be raped by 15 or 17 men a day, 7 days a week. It’s always done doggy-style, with a condom, and each punter has 10 minutes for the whole operation. He pays 100 euros – or whatever is the going rate – all of which goes to the pimp. The woman is not fed food, but drugs – she has no lunch break. The only food she gets might be some greasy thing after her shift is over, before she goes to sleep in a filthy dorm somewhere with other girls, on a dirty, bare mattress. She is watched every minute, kept locked in always, and in some cases is guarded by ferocious dogs.
What are these dogs fed? Well, the great draw in these hellish acres is “new meat” – young girls – so when they are used up, broken, or when they don’t bring in enough revenue, the owner gets one last lucrative payoff from them when their murder is filmed in a huge warehouse; and then their meat is fed to the dogs.
Take a deep breath. There’s more.
The slaves are quickly hooked on crack, with hash to mellow it; all their tips go for this, and runners bring it to them where they gyrate in their windows.
The slaves do get VD sometimes, even with condoms; and are often left untreated for months as the owners don’t care if the disease is passed around.
The city, the police, are on the owners’ payroll; gangs of police sometimes visit a particular slave to get a freebie, gang-bang-style. The whole infernal business suits the powers-that-be, because the tourists bring in billions of Euros per year, renting shocked, miserable, traumatised, freaked-out vaginas to rape.
All this we learn from a young British woman, a newly-qualified nursery nurse who was lured by an advertisement to work in a crèche. When she arrived at Schiphol she had a strong intuition something was wrong and she should flee – but of course her mind argued her out of it (as minds do). Next thing she was in a car with a gun to her head. She was told again and again that she was now going to be a prostitute – there was no choice. This is how it was going to be.
It all reminds me of slaughterhouses – terrified creatures funnelled to an abattoir, chopped up and presented for purchase, with people casually consuming, picking their teeth, walking away. Couples stroll in these lanes, the woman lingering with an indulgent smile while her husband hurries into one of the cockroach-infested little chambers to push his whatsit into a wretched vagina, then emerges, abashedly proud of himself.
The young woman who wrote this book eventually escaped – which almost never happens – and was taken back to England by special police. But she was drug-addicted, starving, and so broken that it has been taking many many years for her to find any semblance of balance again.
Think about it, whenever you think of charming Amsterdam. Some slaves, some places, at least get fed, to give their owners longer wear on their investment. These girls, like concentration camp victims, are simply used up and then murdered. (The author witnessed such a murder.) Human lives, human love and poetry and freedom and consciousness and hope and all the little idlenesses and busy-nesses of a life – are never lived. Just the body used like a machine – forced to leer provocatively at all the penises walking by, window-shopping. Zoo animals – with armed keepers who come around not to bring food or clean out cages, but to harvest all the money the penises have paid.
One of my family’s ancestors was Wyatt Earp, the Sheriff of the OK Corral. He had a beautiful daughter, Ottavesta, who had curly black hair and blue eyes. When she was 17 she met a man who wooed her and charmed her and finally managed to bed her. As soon as he was finished he got up and disappeared. Ottavesta lay in bed bewildered – where had he gone? The Wild West town was small; it didn’t take the man long – back he came with a string of men behind him. The men used Ottavesta, and she was “ruined,” as they used to say. (Her betrayer made some nifty money.) Since rape of a female violates her very spirit, the seat of her soul’s residence (see Vagina, by Naomi Wolf) – yes, the ruin can be terrible – not in a moralistic sense, but in an actual one.
This story was told me by my mother; it was not in the biography I read of Wyatt Earp. My mother didn’t know if Wyatt had avenged his daughter. I hope he did.
I was pondering all this on one of my long, wild, clean-aired walks in the hills of Northern England. I was wondering what it is about human beings that makes this sort of intrusion and violence possible, usual, almost normal.
I think it comes down to this: Fear of Yin. All of us are taught to fear Nothing, loss, lack, gaps, secession, ebbs, absence. Male or female, we hustle and push and poke and Do, fidget and twitch and elbow life constantly. We are terrified of boredom, fatigue, rest, death, disappearing. Void.
This creed is being upheld and born anew worldwide, generation after generation. The men who enslave those girls are often from Slavic countries, where a masculine ethos pervades everything: be tough to survive. But nearly every nation on Earth teaches its men some version of that.
Yang cannot be very sensitive; the molecules stream off the end of it, and it does not receive.
Receiving means feeling. We are all taught to avoid feeling… especially men.
You can do anything if you are determined not to feel.
If Yin was honoured, time itself would expand. All of us would find ourselves inside a lake of abundant, beautiful time – nothing to hustle for, nothing to grab.
If Yin was honoured, meditation would become possible for humans.
I’m not just preaching here – this has been my journey. There are different levels of pushing, shoving, trying too hard, seizing hold of things. Letting that go can be terrifying.
It’s the journey. That journey leads to astonishing beauty, wonder, surprise, miracle. Subtlety, above all… the very thing the rapists miss; the reason their lives are futile, and they are grumpy and mean.
Listen up, world.
Postscript: I googled Amsterdam Red Light District, and saw that the city has a new mayor – female, Green Party – who vows to clean up the district and return Amsterdam “to the kind of tourists we want – those who go to art galleries.”
I wish her luck!