That title is not altogether accurate. It refers to this week’s amazing episode of Mad Men (aka the best hour of TV, ever) which raises the issue of prostitution. If you don’t watch the show, here’s a brief summary of the storyline in question: the advertising agency that Mad Men is about are trying to get Jaguar to sign as one of their clients. During drinks, one of the representatives of Jaguar mentions how much he likes Joan and suggests that spending the night with her would help get their business. Joan does this and is made voting partner with 5% shares per her request. Now, this is why the title for this blog post is inaccurate – it implies Joan is the ride/Jaguar, right? ‘Pimp my ride’ suggests ‘pimp out my ride’ but it could also mean ‘pimp to my ride’ since a pimp sells the product to someone. But ‘pimp my ride’ suggests ‘out’ not ‘to’. Why? Because the focus is on what he’s pimping not to who. A prostitute is being pimped to…a man. The thing is, I can’t think of the word for ‘man who uses a prostitute’. I strongly suspect the reason for this is there isn’t a word. Other than something generic like customer. Even if there is, it’s not commonly used but why is this?
My theory, and this is something I’ve thought about before, is that it’s because society doesn’t see the customer or buyer or employer or whatever you want to call him as in the wrong. He doesn’t need a label to define him as a prostitute-user because he’s not the one at fault. He’s just paying for a service. The service may be immoral but that’s not his fault.
Of course, it is his fault. If there was no demand for prostitutes, there would be no supply. It seems unfair to me that a woman who sells herself gets called a variety of derogatory names: whore, call-girl, tart, street-walker, pro, harlot, fallen woman, woman of ill repute, hooker, slut, etc, etc but the man ordering another human being for sex like she’s a pizza is just a man paying for something.
So yes, perhaps we are disappointed with Joan for going through with it and yes, Pete Campbell is definitely a slimey git for putting the offer to her but you know who the real bastard is? Herb.
P.S. Anyone else notice how when Joan was trying to explain to Pete what he was asking of her, she said ‘Imagine how you would feel if they asked this of Trudy’ not ‘of you’. Yeah, I know…