The Trivialization of the Pimp in the News

Mar 08, 2011 • Culture, The Media on Sex

Jomo Zambia tried to recruit an undercover police officer to work as a prostitute for him. He’s since been convicted of pandering, the act of encouraging another to join the sex trade. His lawyer has come up with a crafty loophole and is arguing that pandering only applies when an innocent victim is targeted, and not someone already involved in sex work.

Pimp costumeThe California Supreme Court will be settling the matter in 90 days. In the meantime, the media has had a field day with the case, offering up images of fur-wearing, bejeweled, usually African American men to make the point that we don’t seem to have a working definition of the word “pimp.” Because that’s really helpful.

Per CBS Los Angeles: “Is it the fast money and flashy cars, or is it the fish tank platform shoes? Whatever your personal opinion, the issue of when exactly someone becomes a pimp has reached the highest court in the state.”

Over at LAist, Lindsay William-Ross writes: “Is it the neck laden with big, blingy gold chains? The omnipresent sunglasses, walking stick, or dapper hat? The animal print mixed with bold-colored garb?”

What makes a pimp? The floss! Not his or her position in the sex trade or the coercion and abuse that occasionally accompany it. No, not that. It’s a look, yo! And never mind citing the law and talking to more attorneys. That kind of reporting is hard. Besides, blogs and web publications these days do much better with silly snark.

Great job, everyone!

Image via LAist.