The other day I was reading an old news report which referred to the owner of an escort agency as a pimp. Now according to Webster, the shoe fits. A pimp is a man who is an agent for a prostitute or prostitutes and lives off their earnings. And if this owner’s subcontractors actually did have sex in exchange for money, the definition applies. But that’s an ivory tower point of view which doesn’t really play in the real world. Allow me to explain.
A pimp is a man or woman (why Webster cites only one gender speaks a lot in and of itself) who houses, feeds, controls and sometimes physically beats his or her girls. He or she takes care of all their needs in exchange for hijacking all the money they earn. That’s a pimp! Often, the pimp will wear outrageously flashy clothing and ride around in a $100,000 car to project his or her image…though not always. A pimp can look raggedy and ride around on a bike. Just so he or she takes all the girls’ earnings…that’s a pimp.
Calling an escort agency owner a pimp is uninformed and provincial in my view. If a man or woman splits the proceeds with a willing business partner (the escort him or herself), runs all the ads, hires the drivers and phone girls, and pays for all this in a mutually beneficial arrangement, I don’t call that individual a pimp. He or she doesn’t provide room and board…doesn’t control the lives of his business partners…and doesn’t beat or force them into the occupation. All individuals are willing participants.
I think what I’m trying to say is that there should be some element of coercion for anybody to use the pimp moniker. And I see less of it in the escort business than I do say…in the corporate world! Consider the following two scenarios: First in the office. Person A (we’ll say a woman for our purposes) toils 9 to 5 for a boss (a guy for example) who treats her unfairly in some way which could include lewd commentary and general sexual harassment. She hates the mother fucker with a passion and dreams of beating the crap out of the guy. The abuse goes on because the office worker needs that job. Quitting could involve a long period of unemployment or taking some work with a lower rate of compensation.
Now to person B. She works for a male owner of an escort agency. The situation is more or less the same. He’s constantly abusing and sexually harassing her. What happens? She looks in the help wanted section of Backpage and finds another job which pays the same. Simple! Takes about two minutes to replace the old job. Now tell me! Who’s getting pimped? Woman A or woman B?
As for the abusers themselves…actually, both are pimps exercising some sort of coercion. Unfortunately (for him), the escort service owner has almost no power over the woman…while the guy in the office does! Yet, he goes to prison while the fat slob of a middle-manager gets off scot free. So whaddaya think of Mr. Webster now? Yup! Ivory tower dude. Clearly, he never worked providing companionship at an escort service.
Anyway…enough of my obtuse observations. Here’s my message to people unfamiliar with the escort business: Broken down to its lowest common denominator, here it is: Pimps control their girls…provide for their every need…take all their money and yes, often beat them in the process. Escort service owners enter into mutually beneficial contracts with their employees. If you want to call them pimps, then call the corporate harasser a pimp…or McDonald’s and/or Burger King Inc. for making zillions while not paying their counter people a living wage a pimp. Be consistent. And don’t discriminate based on the service or product any pimp sells to the public – be it widgets manufactured by a big corporation…heart disease-inducing garbage disguised as food served at a fast food chain…or sorely-needed and therapeutic companionship provided by a subcontractor of an escort service owner! That’s all I’m sayin’.