Re: Influencers

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Victoria Marinelli (vmarinelli@hotmail.com)
Thu, 08 Oct 1998 22:51:19 PDT


John Davies,

My statement "a person who lives off the earnings of someone else's
prostitution is a pimp" was not intended to describe dependent children,
and I apologize if this was among the conclusions you drew from my post.
Although I was fortunate enough to be out of prostitution before I had
my daughter, I have lived for a long time with the threat that she could
be taken from me, based on the mere fact that I had been previously
prostituted, the State's laws and prejudices being what they are. I
have no doubt that your mother loved you/ loves you, and I would never
describe you as a pimp based on the situation you have described.

As I said before, my former lover was inappropriately targetted with
suspicions that she was abusing me, pimping me, etc. The anti-pimping
laws, as Kathleen Barry succinctly notes in "Female Sexual Slavery", can
function so that prostituted women are prevented from having any
friends, lovers, contact with family, places to live, etc. This is part
of the segregation aspect of organized sexual abuse. I am not ignorant
of these factors (also stressed by Carol Leigh) and they trouble me
terribly.

I don't think we will reach an impasse, as you state that we might,
because there is too much at stake here. We simply can't AFFORD an
impasse. Many in organizations like PONY, COYOTE, etc., whose goals and
beliefs differ from my own, are absolutely correct in certain of their
criticisms about some abolitionist tactics, and indeed about some
abolititionists themselves (Evelina Giobbe being an excellent case in
point on both counts). (I don't want to elaborate on my definition of
abolitionism right this minute, but I also don't want listserv members
to assume they know what I mean by abolitionism, so I'm just going to
have to leave those words dangling...)

I want to respond to this criticism more thoughfully than I have the
time to do as yet. But I will not stop hearing it, as I hope you will
also not stop hearing me out. The pieces of the puzzle we most
desperately need to solve are strewn on both sides of our peculiar
divide. I will not throw my pieces away, into the divide, nor will I
run away from this struggle. I hope we are all strong enough to resist
that impulse, which is born of fear.

-- Victoria Marinelli

>From stop-traffic@solar.cini.utk.edu Thu Oct 8 12:21:01 1998
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>From: "John Davies" <Tanya@tesco.net>
>To: Multiple recipients of list <stop-traffic@solar.cini.utk.edu>
>Subject: Re: Influencers
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>Dear Victoria,
>
>Your dismissal of my assessment of sex work managers as not credible
unless
>I had been managed by such a manager, was premature and prejudicial. I
am
>neither naÔve or simplistic in my engagement with such managers. Your
>suggestion that I have been duped by such a group appears to be an
>illegitimate attempt to discredit my observations, rather than having
to
>apparently accommodate a part of the debate that doesnít appear to fit
with
>your own assessment. As a 13-17 year old child of a sex worker I was
legally
>a pimp, it is possible that while I was 18-19 adult and at University
that I
>also received income as a legally defined pimp, from my motherís sex
work. I
>do not believe I abused my mother as a pimp. I do not usually
self-identify
>as a pimp.
>
>Labour laws have been used to effectively address some of the greatest
>social ills that related to exploitation and abuse in every sort of
work
>place. Slavery like practises in any form should be unacceptable and
the
>laws that eventually allowed elements of social justice to be afforded
to
>other abused workers should be extended to sex workers so that they
might
>also access such redress against abuse. Effective labour law and
>organisation is not a Band-Aid, it is also not a panacea, however it
does
>offer a proven framework that should be available to sex workers.
>
>Prostitution is not always systemised sexual abuse, some prostitution
could
>be considered systemised sexual abuse, other forms of sex work are not
>necessarily abusive. If your view requires all prostitution to be
considered
>by default to be abusive, we will quickly reach a philosophical
impasse.
>
>If pimp was really just a technical term that was widely understood and
>applied only as a legal definition I would be happy to use it, but
because
>it is so contentious I must wonder at the motives of those who insist
on
>using the word in a way that only appears to add unnecessary fraction
to the
>debate.
>
>I do not believe that sex work manager carries the same opprobrium or
>rhetorical weight as pimp and your suggestion that by substituting SWM
for
>pimp in part of my original message the same result could be effected
does
>not convince me.
>
>The North American concern regarding a racist note to the use of pimp
is
>mirrored in Europe by the myth surrounding ethnic minority SWM. However
my
>concern has not root in that matter, it is that the basic dictionary
use of
>pimp is distorted and devalued by other baggage that has been attached
to
>the word. As such it is not a helpful word when considering the role of
>influencers, a pimp is no longer just a pimp for many, many people. Sex
work
>manager eschews the rhetoric and allows us to address issues with
greater
>clarity.
>
>Most people on the list call me John so please write to me as John, and
you
>can be assured that I share your great concern to confront abuse and
address
>it effectively. If we are unable resolve this issue there should still
>remain considerable common ground for us to form effective alliances
against
>abusers.
>
>Yours truly,
>
>John Davies
>
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Victoria Marinelli <vmarinelli@hotmail.com>
>To: Multiple recipients of list <stop-traffic@solar.cini.utk.edu>
>Date: 08 October 1998 16:07
>Subject: Re: Influencers
>
>
>>John Davies writes:
>>
>>"...I have met sex work managers who were very exploitative and
abusive,
>>I have met others who have been very supportive and generous. "
>>
>>VM replies: Pimps are generally on their best behavior for those to
whom
>>they most need to appeal, or at the very least, appear benign. Unless
>>Mr. Davies has personally been "managed" by such a "sex work manager",
>>I'm afraid the assessment is not all that credible.
>>
>>JD: "I believe that sex work's exclusion from basic labour law
>>protection allows abusive managers to continue in their abuse and to
>>engage in more brutal exploitation than if labour law was applicable."
>>
>>VM: I agree that labor laws could have helpful applications in some
>>situations, much as Band-Aids are nice to have on hand when someone
has
>>a boo-boo. A few years back, some strippers at Deja Vu in
Minneapolis,
>>who had to put up with thoroughly abusive working conditions, were
able
>>to use labor laws in order to win a judgement against the management,
>>and I'm very glad they had access to that strategy. I also agree
>>wholeheartedly with Carol Leigh that the criminalization of
prostitutes
>>is a form of state abuse. Unfortunately neither decriminalization nor
>>labor laws satisfactorily address the harms inflicted by systematized
>>sexual abuse, aka prostitution.
>>
>>JD: "I don't think Pimp is a good description when it can apply to
>>someone's partner, mother, manager, agent, etc.."
>>
>>VM: I understand Mr. Davies' concern on account of the fact that my
>>partner was erronously believed by some persons in my life to be
pimping
>>me, which she was not. We were both on the street, and we were both
>>prostituted. On the other hand, bonafide pimps truly count on, and
>>appreciate the fact that they can pass their exploitation off as a
>>benign relationship: "partner, mother, manager, agent, etc." Some of
>>the most exploitative pimps are the ones who ARE family members, etc.

--
>>and because they do not fit a stereotype (because they are women 
and/or
>>white, and/or are related by marriage or blood to the prostituted 
woman
>>or child) they are not seen as suspect.  If anything, I think we ought
>>to be more suspicious of those situations, not less suspicious.
>>Remember, I am saying this as someone who was on the receiving end of
>>INAPPROPRIATE suspicion of just this kind.
>>
>>JD: "I believe Pimp lends itself too easily to rhetoric, and by 
allowing
>>offence to be genuinely taken or imagined it appears to be a 
hinderance
>>to the debate... In conclusion, I do not believe that Pimp is a very
>>useful word in the debate around abuse in the sex work environment and 
I
>>would encourage everyone to consider alternatives."
>>
>>VM: I think you could substitute the phrase "sex work manager" for
>>"pimp" in this sentence and the statement would be just as credible, 
if
>>not more so.  A person who lives off the earnings of someone else's
>>prostitution is a pimp.  This isn't a big, bad, scary postmodern piece
>>of flippant jargon, this is your basic dictionary stuff.  Pimps have
>>been mythologized and glorified by pimps and the result is some 
general
>>discomfort with the term.  Black pimps have been vilified by whites 
who
>>don't want to think about the fact that they are counting on pimps of
>>all varieties to provide the sexual access which they require of a
>>certain caste of women and youth. Black pimps are also vilified by 
white
>>pimps who are very happy to see such inordinate attention placed on 
the
>>former group, since this effectively disguises the fact that the white
>>pimps are making a hell of a lot more money through operations which 
are
>>highly organized, operating with the co-operation of other whites who
>>are established in law enforcement, government, and corporations.  In
>>the process, "Black Pimp" for many has come to be synonymous with
>>"Pimp".  In my experience, THIS is the reason behind the discomfort 
that
>>many people feel about using the word "pimp" -- they are aware of the
>>inherently racist connotations the word can carry, even though those
>>connotations are based on lies and distortions.  A pimp is a pimp. 
"Sex
>>work manager" is a postmodern rhetorical invention/ distortion.
>>
>>-- Victoria Marinelli
>>
>>
>>______________________________________________________
>>Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com
>>
>
>

______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com From s.m.altink@ipr.nl Sun Oct 11 02:29:02 1998 Received: from mail.ipr.nl ([194.151.36.210]) by solar.cini.utk.edu (8.9.0/8.9.0) with ESMTP id CAA22760 for <stop-traffic@solar.cini.utk.edu>; Sun, 11 Oct 1998 02:29:00 -0400 (EDT) Received: from default ([194.151.36.57]) by mail.ipr.nl (post.office MTA v1.9.3b ID# 0-11217) with ESMTP id AAA241 for <stop-traffic@solar.cini.utk.edu>; Sun, 11 Oct 1998 08:45:07 +0200 From: s.m.altink@ipr.nl (Altink s.m.) To: <stop-traffic@solar.cini.utk.edu> Subject: Re: Influencers Date: Sun, 11 Oct 1998 06:21:17 +0200 X-MSMail-Priority: Normal X-Priority: 3 X-Mailer: Microsoft Internet Mail 4.70.1161 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Message-ID: <19981011064506359.AAA241@default>

---------- > Van: Carol Leigh <penet@bayswan.org> > Aan: Multiple recipients of list <stop-traffic@solar.cini.utk.edu> > Onderwerp: Re: Influencers > Datum: woensdag 7 oktober 1998 23:55 >

Hello,

I'll insert my reactions after my initials: SA > >Hello John Davies, > > > >This issue has been subject to a long standing, still undecided debate. > >I'll try to give you some of the results we have come up with. > > > >Pimp: we only talk about pimps when it concerns individuals who use force > >or are violent. In other cases we are talking about partners, sometimes > >business-partners. > > One of the problems that concerns me about the use of the term is that, > given the problematic aspect of anti-pimping legislation, using the word > pimp as a negative without mentioning the adverse way the anti-pimping laws > effect prostitutes tacitly supports the anti-pimping laws. This may be > more of an issue in more criminalized systems than the Netherlands? > SA: I am aware of the stupid anti-pimping laws in anglo-saxon countries. I agree with you that anti-pimping laws - supposedly meant to protect women- turn against them as they forbid the women to have normal relations with partners and family. But you are right that it is less of an issue, or rather a different issue in a decriminalized country like the Netherlands. As it is not forbidden to work as a prostitute and it is not forbidden to have a family or whoever living off someone's earnings, in whatever job, it is not forbidden for prostitutes to spend their money on children, friends, family or charity. I daresay the whole Dutch population would cry wolf if children of prostitutes would be accused of pimping. As soon as decriminalization is transformed from practice to law, it will only be forbidden to extract money from prostitutes under conditions of force and/or violence. Sexworkers don't need pimps to protect them from violence and/or police harassment. In the seventies, when prostitution was officially considered a private affair, this need for protection was relinquished. At the time a lot of foreign observers saw that prostitutes in the Netherlands hardly ever worked with the stereotyped 'protector'. Of course they had 'partners', but I'll come to that later.

> On my local front, my allies at Exotic Dancers' Alliance are asking that > pimping laws be used against strip club owners who are pushing dancers > toward prostitution through demanding $100 - $200 a day to work at strip > clubs. Although the EDA supports decriminalization and is opposed to > anti-pimping laws, they have decided that they want to use whatever is > available to get recourse. It hasn't worked, however, for many reasons > including that the police are paid off by the owners and won't use the laws > against them anyway. There are other avenues for recourse, like labor > laws, but the labor laws are weak in this area. Most recently the dancers > have decided that they need to change state laws regarding commissions in > the sex industry. It seems that various conditions and industries are > regulated separately. > SA: I agree with the EDA. A complicating factor is that the police is pimping as well in this and many other cases. We are still debating the issue of with what kind of industry and regulation of industry sexwork should be compared. >

> >Then there are people who rent out rooms to prostitute, or who operate a > >brothel. Popular opinion would call them pimps, but that is incorrect. We > >call them 'exploitanten'. It is a Dutch word that for a foreigner may have > >the connotation of exploiting, but it does not have it in the Netherlands > >and Germany. The word exploitanten is neutral and refers to entrepeneurs in > >and outside prostitution. > > Exploitation also has (at least) two meanings in English, one being the > above, and another with a more negative connotation. > SA: Good, I always have this problem with translations. Can you suggest me a good translation for 'exploitanten'. Usually I take recourse to phrases like 'brothel-operators.

> People who have a joint where you can have > >pancakes, people who own some attractions on funfairs are also called > >exploitanten. > >We always stress in our negatiations that there are good and bad > >exploitants. The bad ones are the ones who extort money from sexworkers and > >who have them work under 'exploitative conditions'. There are also some > >exploitanten who act as a pimp on a personal level with some of the women > >or men. > > I would not object so much to use of the word pimp as a negative if the > anti-pimping laws were not so problematic for prostitutes. I know in the > Netherlands, they have similiar laws, but I don't know how often they are > used, and I hear there is an effort to change the laws in order to regulate > businesses. > > SA: Anti-pimping laws are rarely used in the Netherlands. Even when a sexworker wants to sue a pimp', it is unlikely the police will start an investigation: too much work, too expensive and there is a change that women might come back on their statements. So, contrary to another country, a sexworker may have a hard time to convince the police to enforce anti-pimping laws. Only when trafficking of migrant women is involved (with force, violence and preferably with other crimes like money-laundering, arms traffic etc) the police is likely to take action.

> >The chief criterium to distinguish between good and bad 'expliotanten' is > >the respect for a sexworkers' sexual, psychological and physical integrity. > >As in other non-sex business an exploitant should see to maintainance of > >this respect during working hours. > > What do you think about the laws re: owners who employ workers who may be > forced by others, etc. This has also come up around clients in questions of > ethics. How does and could legislation best work around these issues?

SA: I''ll start of with the clients. Most clients don't want to know if a woman is forced or not. But as far as I can see, the majority of clients want a sexworker who is not forced, they prefer a kind of 'happy hooker'. 'Traffickers' know that and are known to force women to smile on the job. When she is working under bad conditions, she will not complain to clients. That's because clients won't pay to listen to complaints and sometimes a woman is lead to believe that the client is really a spy of a 'pimp' or 'trafficker'. Still some women complain to clients. In my days at STV Foundation against traffic in women and now at the Red Thread, there were quite a few examples of clients who took risks to help a woman. Some of them were severely threatened or physically attacked. Believe it or not, in the Netherlands there is an association of clients of prostitutes. They want to develop a code for a 'decent prostitute-client' contact. This association is part of the official and semi-official political goings-on that have to do with the changing of the law. Managers or brothel operators. They also have their associations and they also participate in the 'social prostitution framework'. There are different associations of window-owners and club-owners. These associations claim a certain respectability. That is a bit difficult, since they come and go, accusing one another of stealing money and fraude. There is one thing they don't want: to be accused of being an accessory to traffic in women because that may jeopardize their future license for a legitimate business. I have seen quite a few examples of brotheloperators who would call the police to help a woman who was forced. But this is quite a small minority of the operators. When I was monitoring court cases regularly, it was quite shocking to see how some brothel operators 'bought women from traffickers - or in some cases were forced to buy women from traffickers- and how they saw to it that the 'share' of traffickers was deducted from the women's earnings. And there is a large middle section of brotheloperators who claimed not to have known that force and violence was at stake. And as soon as a sexworker is forced by a person who is not involved in operating the brothel, let's say a pimp, they may rightly or not rightly claim that the private lives of sexworkers are not their business.

> > > As sexual harassment is liable for punishment in for example an office, so > >it should be in a brothel. When is a person considered to be a victim of > >sexual harassment: > >1. When he/she has a sexual contact with a person he/she doesn't like: so > >prostitutes should be able to select their own clients. > > What about discrimination issues in this regard? > SA: You'll find that quite a few prostitutes in the netherlands, and elswhere, as far as I can see, refuse (traditional) men from islamic countries. That doesn't really have to do with discrimination, because most of these women entertain private relations with them- but with the reluctance of these men to use a condom. Besides they resent their tendency towards bargaining about prices. We discussed this issue with the committee of Equal Treatment and with a (liberal MP). The upshot was that it is okay to refuse certain men for private reasons, Scandinavian and English clients are also often refused: they are usually too drunk.

> >2. When a person is forced to perform a sexual he/she doesn't like. So > >sexworkers are their own agents in deciding which acts to perform or not. > >3. When a person is forced to have sex at a time or against conditions > >he/she doesn't want. So a sexworker should be his/her own agent in choosing > >the time and conditions. > > >So this means it is all right just to rent out rooms, as long as the > >exploitant does not interfere with the contacts with clients. > >Now, there is a problem: in most brothels women work on a fifty-fifty > >basis. That means the exploitant gets 50- or even 60% of the money a client > >spends. > > I would think that that is a very important frontier re: labor regulations. > 50% seems like too much. Are there precidents anywhere for regulating > commission amounts. There are in the US for other aspects of commissions. > SA: Yes. It is an important issue. Recently a judge said in a case about taxation of a brothel that if a brothel takes 50%, the women working there are not entrepeneurs but employees. That should entitle them to for instance to social security. Unfortunately the judge backed out and only imposed a fine. But it is a beginning. The percentages is the one big bone of contention with negatations with brothel owners. But decriminalization may help. I hope that in the future brothelowners must choose: they either become employers and pay social security or they relinquish this 50-50 business and have the women pay rent for facilities, no matter what the turnover is going to be. By the way, most organizations prefer the latter: Prostitutes because they don't want to be employees because they don't want brothel operators to exercise authority over them, brothel owners because social security is expensive. But in that case: brothel owners have to step back: they can't tell the sexworkers when to appear, what to do and what to wear. Neither can they say, you can't work here because we already have enough blondes, blacks or reds or whatever. We don't know how this will turn out. There are quite a few snags.

> So this exploitant has a financial interest in how long a sexworker > >works, how many clients she takes and the price of the services she > >renders. We think this percentage-system should be - excusez le mot- be > >abolished for this reason. > > > Our stand is: as long as a person has a financial interest in the amount > >of work a sexworker performs and the time she/he invests in sexwork, there > >is the danger of abuse or 'pimping'. > > But I would think that some financial interest is reasonable? What about > regualtion of percentages. Although I don't like a licensed system for > reasons currently demonstrated in Taiwan (ie the workers had their licenses > pulled and are suffering greatly, denied international travel, etc.) in > Taiwan the owners were limited to thirty percent and the dates were 15 > minutes long....if I remember correctly... > SA: Of course, when you rent out a room, you are entitled to cash rent. If you rend a service: like giving insurance, you are entitled to a certain fee. But there is no reason why it would be a percentage. As soon as you are talking about a percentage, then it may mean an infringement of autonomy. By the way, in window prostitution, most prostitutes are independent. They just pay the rent, regardless of the number of clients and the expense of the services rendered. At the time when aids became an issue, the women complained that some brothelowners would not let them use a condom because it was more expensive for a client without a condom. 50% of without a condom, was more than 50% with a condom. Or more favourable: 30% of a cheaper service is less than 30% of an expensive (but not desirable) service. I see no reason why someone should set a timestandard for a date, however favourable. By the way, the 50-50 arrangement seems universal: whether it is India, Thailand or the Netherlands. I am told it was common as far back as 17the century Dutch prostitution. Does anyone have a clue why?

> They should come in > >and do their job and be paid for their time, without making extra money on > >the selling of medicines and payment of individual prostitutes. > >Unfortunately we have seen incidents of medical doctors who prescribed > >medicines to perfectly healthy women, just to make some extra money on the > >side.In another case a doctor turned a blind eye to abusive conditions > >because he got paid for every individual who worked under those abusive > >conditions. To our disappointment we have seen there is thin line between > >servicing and a subtle way of abuse or 'pimping' . > > This would be the same for any severley marginalized population, I would > imagine. The word pimping would be stigmatizing the sex industry, then...

SA: Yes, as far as we are talking about abuse on the job. But, because there is hardly any labour regulation activated, people can go about and blackmail women. Don't you think that blackmail (emotionally or financiallY) is more liable to occur in sexwork than in other jobs, because of this stigmatization. It may also occur in other stigmatized jobs, but I can't think of another good example. Anyone has an idea? > > >So servicing prostitutes by outsiders is all right, provided the services > >rendered are not dependent on the nature of the sexwork, the amount of > >sexwork, and the amount of sexworkers. > > I don't understand what types of relationships would be outside the above. > Is this related to current efforts to regulate third party management in > the Netherlands? If I recall, several years agao there were efforts in > that direction, but sex workers withdrew support because of problematic > regulations? What options are proposed in this new context? > Sa: Other relationships would be with taxidrivers, medical persons, insurance companies, bookkeeping service. This fall, we hope the new law will be passed. This time the Red Thread lends her support because this law explicitly states decriminalization and better position of prostitutes. But we told the politicians that we want to see these conditions fulfille.d This is a complicated matter, but I'll keep you posted.

> Carol Leigh > Prostitutes' Education Network > http://www.bayswan.org/penet.html > From Tanya@tesco.net Sun Oct 11 19:35:03 1998 Received: from trolley (trolly.tesco.net [194.73.73.166] (may be forged)) by solar.cini.utk.edu (8.9.0/8.9.0) with SMTP id TAA02753 for <stop-traffic@solar.cini.utk.edu>; Sun, 11 Oct 1998 19:35:02 -0400 (EDT) Received: from eayqwndo [62.172.25.131] by trolley with smtp (Exim 1.70 #1) id 0zSV5p-00026u-00; Mon, 12 Oct 1998 00:40:06 +0100 Message-ID: <001f01bdf571$7a2e34c0$8319ac3e@eayqwndo> From: "John Davies" <Tanya@tesco.net> To: <stop-traffic@solar.cini.utk.edu> Cc: <penet@bayswan.org>, "Lacey Sloan" <lsloan@UH.EDU>, "erato" <erato@sprynet.com> Subject: Re: Influencers Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 00:46:04 +0100 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit X-Priority: 3 X-MSMail-Priority: Normal X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 4.72.3110.5 X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V4.72.3110.3

Dear Victoria,

I will post this in reply to your post.

Dear Jyothi

Please post this after Victoria's recent message is posted. I received it privately but would like to reply on-list.

Many thanks

John

Dear Victoria,

I was very grateful to receive your most caring reply. My mother died just over two years ago and as such I inherited many small sentimental items that were gifts made to her while she was a sex worker. Also included was the old valve, short-wave radio that she bought from her sex work earnings so I could listen to the various world-wide radio stations. It was her intention that I should always have a balanced view of current affairs. I remember often listening with her to the Voice of America and immediately afterwards Radio Moscow, as well as many other stations, she wanted me to understand that there was always at least two sides to any issue. I hope to enjoy listening and pimping/benefiting from that radio for many years to come, to me it is a symbol of my motherís courage and determination free her children from poverty and ignorance through personal responsibility and deliberate action.

Dependent children and certainly dependent children over 18 are pimps they are part of that basic dictionary defined group, and if a pimp is just a pimp, as you say, they are pimps. We can't change that. You can't unilaterally exclude me from the pimp definition and if a pimp is just a pimp, why should we be concerned about identifying children dependent or otherwise as pimps. I was therefore a pimp, maybe as I listen now to that old radio I become a pimp again.

You had written: "A person who lives off the earnings of someone else's prostitution is a pimp. This isn't a big, bad, scary postmodern piece of flippant jargon, this is your basic dictionary stuff"

You have either got to go with this and say I was a pimp and other children dependent or otherwise are pimps or we have to say that this definition is inadequate and doesn't deal fairly with some of the people who associate with sex workers. Neither of us can use Pimp and present it as a well-defined dictionary term and then apply arbitrary exclusions that donít appear in the dictionary etc. In some places minors are not pimps in other places they are pimps but they are not prosecuted by the grace and favour of the State.

The only reason for seeking to exorcise children from the pimp label is if we consider such a label to be undeserved. If pimp really only means a person who lives off the earnings of someone elseís prostitution then these child associates are rightly declared pimps. However if pimp carries an opprobrium that is real and is compelling in redefining the appellant regardless of any dictionary or legal declaration, we should seek to protect innocent or benign associates of sex workers from such a disabilitating designation.

Should we exclude children from pimping ? Then the elderly, the infirm, the mentally handicapped, other incapacitated people, the legally insane ? By what convention or consensual process can we effectively rescue the innocent and benign from such degradation ?

I think that this has clearly demonstrated the limitations associated with the word pimp. I further think that pimp is ďbig, bad, scaryĒ and is very well qualified as a devastating idiomatic character assassination, rightly or wrongly deserved by the various associates of sex workers. As such it has no legitimate place in the reasoned discourse that we should pursue regarding the nature of sex workers and their associates.

I really look forward to finding a more common cause with you and I am grateful for your comments and contributions.

Best regards

John


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