Pimponomics 101: Why is “pimp” a household word?

Posted: January 26, 2016 in Human Trafficking Is...
Tags: , , , , , ,
“Pimp” is a dangerous word. Misuse it enough and it loses its true meaning—it’s a human trafficker.


People use “pimp” to describe something cool or awesome or, worst of all, to make something better. (For example, rapper Xzibit had a show called “Pimp My Ride,” meaning boring cars were made into something desirable.)

So why use the term?

A decade ago, pimps (human traffickers) didn’t have to worry about law enforcement to the severity they do now. Women and children got arrested, charged, and put in prison. Rarely, the pimps were caught.

Those same pimps strut around flashing their stacks of money, flashy cars, and expensive jewelry, behaving as if they are above the law as if they are untouchable. The pimps promote themselves and their way of life, evoking a sense of envy in wannabe pimps…tons of money and very little work.

Unfortunately, society has adopted the “awesomeness” (the perceived glamor of having limitless money and control of someone else) of the pimp culture and promoted it through television, movies, books, and social media.


Abuses of the Term “Pimp”

Below are some examples.




Music groups such as The Pimps, Sneaker Pimps, The Pimps of Joytime, and The Goodyear Pimps… Really? That’s the best name you could come up with?

Song Lyrics such as 50 Cent’s “P.I.M.P” or 2Chainz “Pimps” actually glamorize the trafficking and exploitation of young women.

How many people have belted out these lyrics while driving down the street oblivious to the actual meaning behind the words?

Takeaway: Teach the young people in your life to think about the words of the songs they listen to or sing along with. Even take a popular song and unpack it together.



As mentioned above, MTV had a program called “Pimp My Ride.” The format for the program appeared interesting enough— the crew take a plain car and turn it into a hot ride. But why use the term “pimp”?

In fact, some of the customizations actually had to be removed as they violated traffic laws, compromised federally mandated safety features, exceeded noise ordinances, or exceeded the vehicle’s ability to handle the modifications. So much for a “hot ride.”

Also, TV characters who exploit others sexually are also held up for admiration.

At ranker.com I found this: “The biggest pimps in television history are those lucky fictional characters who are notoriously promiscuous, making viewers around the world incredibly jealous.” states Ranker. “They manage to get all the babes, almost as if they were God’s gift to women (or in some cases, men). They might be hated by some for their tramp-tastic ways, but surely, they are also secretly worshiped by aspiring pimps as well.”

Takeaway: Be mindful of what you watch on TV. That doesn’t mean you have to only watch squeaky-clean programs, but be aware that of the behaviors being touted as desirable. When discussing shows with friends, mention how people are being portrayed and how the show writers are presenting those qualities as good or bad.



The cinematic universe is no better in its presentation of pimps. At ifc.com, you can read its list of pimps featured on the big screen.

I found this quote at watchmojo.com regarding their list: “Although they’re criminals, there’s no doubt that they are cool cats.” This quote is exactly what I’m taking about. Yeah, they’re doing horrible things to innocent people, but hey, they look good doing it!



Visit amazon.com and type in the word “pimp” and over 53,000 results appear. From books on how to be a pimp, costumes and clothing to look the part, to accessories to tie it all together, it’s a one-stop shop at Amazon.

Most of the books either document how a pimp became a pimp or advice from said pimp on how you can become a pimp, too.


Social Media

Pimps on social media are doing one of two things, they are either mentoring or training other wannabe pimps  (how to keep their stable in line, how to avoid law enforcement, etc.). Or they are using social media, such as Craigslist, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to recruit young women and children, take pictures for ads, and make appointments with johns.

Takeaway: Be cautious when sharing information on the internet and do not share personal information (home address, passwords, school name or address, etc.) on social media. Once something is released on the internet, it can never fully be erased.


What You Can Do

See pimps for who they really are—criminals, sexual exploiters, human traffickers. Educate your children, your family, and friends about the realities of pimping. Pimps are not people we should aspire to be.


Read past articles on Pimponomics…

Part 1: Real Life Pimps Are Nothing Like the Ones on TV

Part 2: Do You Fit the Criteria to Become a Pimp’s Next Victim?

Part 3: Why is the Sex Industry Thriving?


Jimmy Carter: Why I Believe the Mistreatment of Women is the Number One Human Rights Abuse



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