Annemarie Jorritsma, former government minister and now mayor of Almere, has come up with an interesting suggestion to help Dutch soldiers let off steam while on missions abroad.
It might be a good idea to consider sending prostitutes with the troops, she told tv programme Goedemorgen Nederland, because ‘if there are no female colleagues close by, the soldiers might go astray with local women, and we don’t want that.’
Jorritsma is chairman of the Women, Security and Conflict taskforce, which makes her comments even more bizarre.
The Volkskrant did a ring-round to find out what the military thought of the idea. Wim van den Burg of the soldiers union said his wife would not be happy and the prostitutes union pointed out the army would then be guilty of trafficking in women.
The defence ministry said soldiers were professionals who could behave themselves without prostitutes. ‘We want to attract more women to join the military but not for that reason,’ the spokesman said. A former major general was blunt. ‘This is the most women-unfriendly idea you could think of… and what would a country like Afghanistan think if the Dutch army turned up with a mobile brothel?’
You don’t often see such united bafflement. Congratulations Annemarie.