Tuesday, October 24, 2006

What are your children dressing up as?

I have noticed in the past few years while shopping for hallowe'en costumes that there are more and more "Pimp" costumes lining store shelves.
I remember being in my early to late teens and looking for any excuse to dress provocatively, I think we were rockers or groupies or something. We wore mini skirts, piled on the make up, crimped our hair. I don't recall ever actually trying to look like a prostitue (not that it makes it a whole lot better).
Now right on the shelves are accesories like canes, rings, big chains, glasses and goblets that all have the words "PIMP" emblazoned in amongst large fake jewels.
I remember watching Pretty Woman and thinking how much fun it would be to work the streets, now we are encouraging our kids and women to become fordder for flashy pimps, this doesn't seem right.
Diane Sowden makes a valid point when she says that dressing up as a pimp or a ho is as appropriate as dressing up as a kkk member or a gay basher. I agree.

"When someone dresses up like a pimp", she said, they may not figure they're dressing up as "a child abuser, a rapist."
But in Sowden's mind, that's exactly what they are.
Music videos have glamorized the lives of "pimps," she said. The word's now so acceptable, that it is often used as an adverb to describe something that's been tricked out and desirable.

"We are glamorizing people being bought and sold and physically abused," she said. And making this behaviour acceptable, she said, is only making it easier for predators to exploit children.
Sowden says she's worried that children might not understand what all this can lead to. Sexual exploitation, she said, comes in many forms and creeps up very skillfully on victims.

She goes around to various schools and organizations educating youths and their parents on what sexual exploitation is. Often, she said, youths are taken by surprise by her information.
"Sometimes it's ladled as partying - people exchange sex to get a ride from one place to another, or sometimes they'll exchange nude photographs over the Internet."
Sometimes, she said, exploitation comes when children exchange sex in return for intangibles - like popularity.
"There are all sorts of things that people need to know."
To find out more about the Children of the Street Society, visit www.childrenofthestreet.com.

I hope that the parents of these kids, the kids themselves, and adults dressing up like this, will have the opportunity to see what they are promoting in this way.
In reenforces that this is a glamorous lifestyle, something to strive for and that is so dangerous.
A lot of focus is spent on keeping Hallowe'en safe for kids, I think it's a good pattern to follow.


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