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Big Pimpin – Demi M vs. Kim K. on the Term “Pimp”

I received this e-mail from about the use of the term “Pimp” in our every day culture as being glorified, while in reality it is a profession (if you can call it that) which subjugates women. I found the story very interesting and have chosen to share the email with you below. Also, I applaud Demi Moore and the new Foundation she created with her husband Ashton Kutcher called “The Demi & Ashton Foundation” or “DNA” (not incredibly original, but its the cause that counts), which works toward the elimination of sex slavery worldwide.

Demi Moore vs. Kim Kardashian*

Who would have thought that a Twitter exchange between Demi Moore and reality TV star Kim Kardashian this past week would have provided a teachable moment on the subject of sex trafficking?

The exchange surrounded the word “pimp,” which Kardashian used when she linked to a photo of her and some girlfriends out on the town, and labeled it “Big Pimpin’.”

Moore, an advocate against sex slavery who recently donated $250,000 with her husband Ashton Kutcher to help the survivors of human trafficking, responded:

“No disrespect. I love a girls night out but a pimp and pimping [refers to] nothing more than a slave owner! If we want to end slavery we need to stop glorifying the ‘pimp’ culture.”

The result? A slew of celebrity tabloid headlines pitting Demi vs. Kim.

But as Changemaker Rachel Lloyd, founder of the anti-trafficking organization GEMS writes on this week, the glaring omission from all the articles and commentary that resulted from the exchange is any real analysis of Moore’s point “” that we glamorize and glorify pimp culture, use terminology that seems to legitimize the practice, and in doing so ignore the fact that pimps are modern-day slave-owners.

Of course, Ms. Kardashian didn’t intend to glorify real pimps any more than most people do when using the word as slang. But this slang desensitizes us to the terrible reality of pimps and the sex trade, and has a very real impact on the psychology of young girls most vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

The median age of entry into the sex industry in America is between 12 and 14 years old. And partially because of the use of the word “pimp” to glorify men in music videos and popular culture, many girls grow up thinking of a pimp as someone who is cool, rich, and sexy, rather than someone to be feared. Rather than as someone who might kidnap them. Or rape them. Or beat them for failing to bring home enough money one night.

This is the awful reality of pimps, who sell more than 100,000 children for sex in the United States each year.

It’s unfortunate that it took a celebrity squabble to bring pimp culture to the nation’s attention. But now that it’s arisen, let’s take this opportunity to have a real conversation about how to address a very real issue. For more information on the dark reality of pimping, click here.

*This entire text are the words of a email.

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