"window shopping" in Amsterdam

(38 Posts)
chocoluvva Thu 04-Apr-13 22:27:04

DD (16)'s male friend - who seems lovely: kind, affectionate, unpretentious, hard-working, fun - is planning to go to Amsterdam in the autumn with his mates to celebrate their 18th birthdays.

He told me this when I asked if he was doing anything special for his birthday next week. "Window shopping" is his phrase. He also joked about bringing me a special cake back. I didn't make much comment at the time, but I was in two minds about expressing my disapproval.

Any thoughts on what an appropriate response would have been?

chocoluvva Sat 06-Apr-13 21:41:39

That's really interesting MTSgroupie. Thanks for the info.

I'm not "Morally Outraged" - and my point about being liberal was that DESPITE the fact I don't think it's immoral for girls to have underage sex per se and I don't judge young girls who are blatantly trying to look sexy (actually, I feel sorry for them) - I don't like the thought of one my DD's friends choosing a holiday destination so that he can have easy access to the 'sex industry' in the flesh, for want of a better description. (I wasn't happy about DD's BF staying over anyway, but I let her make her own choices after giving her advice as best as I could, without making her feel she was doing something immoral).

The Amsterdam thing makes me question this lad's attitude to women and unexplainably threatened/disrespected. I don't know much about prostitution/porn. Both make me very uncomfortable.

DD's friend chose to tell me this - he must have thought I was going to be alright with it. It's confusing.

I'll ask him about his plans next time I see him.

MTSgroupie Sat 06-Apr-13 22:42:36

You are fine with your DD having underaged sex in a bedroom a few feet from yours but you aren't happy for her current boyfriend to visit Amsterdam???

Sorry OP but I just can't summon any further interest in your 'dilemma'. <reaches for HIDE button>.

yousankmybattleship Sat 06-Apr-13 23:35:38

Well said MTS. You are making HUGE assumptions about this poor boy. You think your own 15 year old is old enough to have sex but you don't credit this young man with enough sense to make his own informed decisions. He's 18, he's intrigued and he's actually chosen to go to one of the few areas where prostitutes are afforded a degree of protection. Who are you to question his motives? You need to back off and allow his own parents to talk to him about such things.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 06-Apr-13 23:46:05

He's a 'poor boy' when he's using phrases like 'window shopping' for human beings? hmm

He needs educating.

yousankmybattleship Sun 07-Apr-13 01:30:14

He needs to mature, that's all. He's not actually window shopping, he's just used a slightly unfortunate phrase.

GoshAnneGorilla Sun 07-Apr-13 01:42:24

Sabrina - That is such a good video, thanks for that.

BOF Sun 07-Apr-13 01:47:38

I suppose that all you can really do is talk to your daughter about the issues around the sex trade and all its attendant objectification etc. You have kind of missed the boat with making a remark to him, and it isn't necessarily your role to do so. I agree that it is a bit depressing though, but I can't say I'm surprised.

Lessthanaballpark Sun 07-Apr-13 07:52:02

OP, I don't think you need to be too worried now. It's natural for kids to be curious about Amsterdam, I know I was; at that age it seems such a liberal place, so different from our own and therefore intriguing.

His use of the phrase "window shopping" is awful yes, and he is probably being influenced by lad culture which is somewhat lacking in empathy when it comes to women as human beings and not sex objects.

I think what you could do is talk to him when he comes back and ask him how he found it. Actually visiting there may change his viewpoint. I know it did mine. I remember walking down there and my "sex positive" liberal views dissipated when I saw how tacky and tawdry it was and when the reality of human beings for sale finally hit me ( and no, they didn't look in the least bit happy).

Talk to him about it when he gets back. But be prepared for the argument "they choose to do it". Good luck.

chocoluvva Sun 07-Apr-13 08:59:13

Well MTSgroupie lets hope the women in the Amsterdam windows are all of legal age to be there to keep your conscience clear. Being okay about my DD having (only just) underage sex with her boyfriend of several months doesn't mean I have no right to have reservations about anything to do with prostitution or porn. They're different issues.

I like to think I'm liberal, but knowing that prostitution usually involves desperate women and knowing from following current affairs that porn involving violence against women is prevalent and probably having a damaging effect on its viewers makes me uncomfortable with a 17YO lad casually telling me he's going to Amsterdam.... and will be doing "window shopping". Even the prevalence of soft porn disturbs me.

I don't have a 'dilemma'. And my DD isn't going out with this boy (despite his best attempts to win her over) but it's difficult to know whether I ought to call him on this trip. My reaction might influence my DD. If I don't bother will she think it's an accepted part of boys growing up? Does it matter anyway? Some posters think not, which reassures me a bit. Like her peers, she doesn't seem interested in feminism; perhaps I owe it to her to demonstrate my values. But the consequences of speaking my mind to her friend might backfire - and I find it hard to put in words why I don't like the thought of it. That's why I posted on this forum rather than teens, chat or AIBU.

Bunnylion Mon 08-Apr-13 00:19:21

Underage sex and prostitution are totally separate issues. You're fully entitled to have opinions on both - and as her mother are in a better position to form the opinion of how appropriate it is for your DD to be dong than anyone else here.

Talk to your daughter and even if she doesn't talk to her male friend about the problem with "window shopping", hopefully it'll open up her thinking about the role of women in the world.

eventer1 Mon 08-Apr-13 13:37:17

I've been to Amsterdam's RLD. It actually feels safe just like the rest of the city.

There are a lot of trafficking scare stories about Amsterdam which have turned out to be false.

http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/dutch-threat/

"It was claimed a whopping 90% of all Dutch whores are coerced, exploited or otherwise harmed. A massive police raid in search of “trafficking victims” was launched in April 2011 and found…none. "

vesuvia Mon 08-Apr-13 14:02:07

eventer1 wrote - "I've been to Amsterdam's RLD. It actually feels safe just like the rest of the city."

Amsterdam tops the list of homicide rates for major cities in Western Europe, according to a study by the United Nations, reported in The Guardian's Data Blog: Where are world's deadliest major cities?

eventer1 Mon 08-Apr-13 14:16:36

Well my point was I felt safe.

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