Example: [The Telegraph, 2005]
A 25-year-old waitress who turned down a job providing "sexual services" at a brothel in Berlin faces possible cuts to her unemployment benefit under laws introduced this year.
Prostitution was legalized in Germany just over two years ago and brothel owners
The waitress, an unemployed information technology professional, had said that she was willing to work in a bar at night and had worked in a cafe.
She received a letter from the job centre telling her that an employer was interested in her "profile" and that she should ring them. Only on doing so did the woman, who has not been identified for legal reasons, realize that she was calling a brothel.
Under Germany's welfare reforms, any woman under 55 who has been out of work for more than a year can be forced to take an available job — including in the sex industry — or lose her unemployment benefit. Last month German unemployment rose for the
The government had considered making brothels an exception on moral grounds, but decided that it would be too difficult to distinguish them from bars. As a result, job centers must treat employers looking for a prostitute in the same way as those looking for a dental nurse.
[Rest of article here.]
Origins: A news story about a 25-year-old German woman who faced cuts to her unemployment benefits for turning down a job providing "sexual services'' at a brothel was carried by a variety of English-language news sources in January 2005. It has struck a chord in many
We were initially skeptical about the literal truth of the version reported in the English press, however, because the issue seemed to have received scant attention in the German press. In fact, the origin of this story was evidently a
The Tageszeitung merely presented the concept of brothel employment as a technical possibility under current law; it did not provide any actual cases of women losing their benefits over this issue. The article also quoted representatives from employment agencies as saying that while it might be possible for employment agencies to offer jobs as prostitutes to "long-term unemployed" women, they (the agencies) could not require anyone to work in a brothel. (The agencies noted that brothels used "other recruitment channels" anyway.)
As an example of how a hypothetical has been manipulated into a truth, consider the following paragraph from the Telegraph article cited above:
Mr Kueperkoch said that he was confident of demand for a brothel in the area and planned to take a claim for compensation to the highest court.
Last updated: 6 February 2005
von Appen, Kai. "Ein Job Wie Jeder Andere." Die [Berlin] Tageszeitung. 18 December 2004. Chapman, Clare. "''If You Don't Take a Job as a Prostitute, We Can Stop Your Benefits.'" The Telegraph 30 January 2005.