Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tragically Hip Misogyny

I was eating lunch today at work and listening to the music that was playing.  Since it was in the back employees can choose any sort of music they want.  Playing today was some sort of electronic dance music.  It incorporated some sort of repetitive electronic music and repetitive lyrics sans melody.  If you haven't gathered by the repetitive use of the word repetitive, I'm not a huge fan.  However, it wasn't the music that got me so angry today.

I can't exactly remember the lyric exactly though I should, since it was repeated for an extended period of time.  The lyric went something like, "I'm a pimp and you my ho."  If that isn't the lyric it certainly is close to being the theme.  It was a sort of boastful claim.  Now I know that music needs to push the limits in order be considered new and edgy.  I also know that the limits have been pushed to a great extent so not much is taboo anymore.  However, I found myself being incredibly offended by the song.  

I know that the term pimp is roughly synonymous with "cool" but I find it to be nothing more than shockingly ignorant and callous; because of course, the word is also a word to describe a man who controls prostitutes.  I am of course, woefully ignorant of the world of prostitution and pimps.  I wouldn't hesitate to say, despite this ignorance, that the relationship between pimps and hoes would best be described as master and slave.  

If some artist wrote a song bragging about having black slaves picking cotton for him he would be severely castigated, and rightly so.  Why then is there absolutely no censure for bragging about what I can only see as fleshmongering?  Maybe I am missing so new definition of the terms pimps and hoes, but I don't think so. 

What is so cool about the pimp and ho lifestyle?  Why is that when dance clubs have their pimp and ho nights, they are widely attended and enjoyed?  Do the guys not see how offensive it is to dress as pimps?  Do the girls not see how degrading be the mindless, trashy dressed, property of the guys?  Do they not care?  

I don't think that I will let the term pimp slide by in conversation anymore.  So unless you're desiring a diatribe on the evil of pimping, I would avoid using the word in my company in anything other than the original, contemptuous context.  I'm not the most ardent of feminists, but I think this is one place that I draw the line.  


Meera said...

I agree - I've definitely yelled at friends for thinking it's cool to be called a pimp. It's not just guys who sing about it either - female singers also glamorize prostitution as part of a subculture. And the saddest part is how much it influences real people - how many teen girls have been lured into prostitution because they thought it was cool to have a pimpin' boyfriend. *sigh*

P.S. I have a book for you.

Nadezhda Krupskaya said...

Well said. It is perhaps another word to add to the long list in our de-sensitized culture. I cringed twice, watching both Food Network ("We're going to make this a pimping meal") and Family channel, ("He's pimping the place up!"). The word that gets me the most is "bitch" and "sexy", especially among kids. It is now, alongside the word hell, allowed on both radio and most channels. It is so disappointing and makes me worried. Since when has it become acceptable to call your fellow females "bitches"?

Not to sound like a prude, maybe it is only reflecting how little people actually think about what they say.

Nadezhda Krupskaya said...