As a long-time devotee of the English language, I find myself with my own pet peeves about how words are used. And one of the biggest irritants I have right now is the transformation of a truly ugly term into a popular (and positive) buzzword.
That word is “pimping.”
Let me make it abundantly clear: I find that word truly offensive. A “pimp,” to remind everyone, is “1. a person, esp. a man, who solicits customers for a prostitute or a brothel, usually in return for a share of the earnings; pander; procurer.
2. a despicable person.”
Let’s not polish this turd, folks. A pimp (“Doctor Detroit” and other similar fantasies notwithstanding) is a person (usually a man) who takes money from prostitutes in exchange for (at best) providing them with customers and protecting them, and (at worst) not beating and killing them. It’s a man who exploits and uses women in the crudest, most debasing fashion. It’s the walking equivalent of a bottom-feeding scavenger, a parasite on two legs.
A pimp is this scumbag — a man who persuaded a handicapped young woman that she could make some “easy money” by selling her damaged body on the streets. Luckily in her case (reminiscent of the opening of “V For Vendetta”), her very first would-be customer was a police officer, who arrested her — and then authorities dropped the charges against her for her testimony against her panderer.
That, people, is what “pimping” is all about.
It is, by no stretch of the imagination, something to be considered complimentary. It should be considered the crassest form of insult — not something to be celebrated to the point of having a hit TV show named after the cultural trappings it has inspired.