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Home » Jenny Künkel: Jenny Künkel: Sex, Crime and Real Men

Conferences, 2006, Security, Urbanization

Jenny Künkel: Sex, Crime and Real Men

"An influx of up to 40,000 prostitutes, mainly from Eastern Europe, is expected during the World Cup" - this message circulated by newspaper reports since April 2005 alarmed women's organizations and local politicians alike. Particularly the city of Dortmund gained media attention for its subsequent proposal to install "sex-garages" ("Verrichtungsboxen") to keep sex workers away from the city center. On the other hand, the national council of women in Germany (Deutscher Frauenrat) launched a campaign against trafficking and forced prostitution.

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Missing picture of: Prostitution
Copyright: Watz. The sign says: We have new girls

The paper traces both debates, thereby connecting two scales of control policies: national border control and control of city spaces. First, it will analyze what  interests are pursued, and how the issue is framed by the heterogeneous actors supporting the campaign against trafficking - e.g. (religious) womens organizations, the police union GdP, and the national association of employers in the sex trade (BSD). Drawing on existing empirical and theoretical literature about "trafficking", especially two aspects will be problematized: 1. the demand-side approach of the campaign, omitting above all the question of creating ways of legal migration (as demanded by sex worker's rights and migrant organizations), and 2. the conflation of "trafficking", "smuggling of illegal migrants" and "prostitution" in the media debate surrounding the campaign which constructs Eastern European women as naïve passive victims - and only as such eligible to support and (temporary) residence permits. The campaign's goals will then be contrasted to the control measures aimed at prostitution in host cities of the World Cup.

 In 1997, I started studying urban and regional planning at the Technical University of Berlin (and Madrid). Within urban planning I specialized in "international context " and "urban renewal ", which I completed with two short theses on the genesis of post-modern planning during the Spanish "transición " and on the spatial regulation of sex work on Berlin’s Kurfürstenstraße. During my studies, I have worked as a tutor at the department of "gender planning " and for different private planning companies. In 2004, I finished my studies with a diploma thesis on exclusionary practices shown in the planning policy "Quartiersmanagement ". Within the transatlantic PhD program "history and culture of the 20th century metropolis " I will concentrate on urban discourses and the regulation of sex work in Berlin and Chicago.