The Brand of Freedom
The important thing to remember is that prostitution is a matter of individual choice and freedom. Right?
Although the atmosphere [at Cheaters] is often chaotic, Ruth said that the pimps had a very strict “system” of unwritten rules that the girls have to follow. For example, new girls have to be careful not to sleep with other girls’ pimps.
Many of the women are branded with the pimp’s mark. Ruth said the women have tattoos which “dubbed them as prostitutes.” Their tattoos depict different sexual acts or positions, literally creating “advertising on their bodies.” Service providers in other states say that up to 80 percent of girls controlled by pimps are tattooed or branded with marks of ownership, according to Donna Hughes, professor at the University of Rhode Island.
When new girls arrived at Cheaters, Ruth characterized them as “vulnerable, young, and with no other options.” Many of the women have a troubled past which create emotional and substance abuse problems. Ruth said the dancers “almost never get on stage sober. While they get dressed, they snort a line of coke together.”
The pimps prey on the young women’s vulnerabilities. The girls are tightly bonded to their pimps, who they call their “daddies.” Ruth said “their ‘daddies’ may be the only ones who pay attention to them and they convince themselves that the pimps care about them.” Some of the women say they have a “nice pimp,” which Ruth says is an oxymoron.
On further thought, this might be just the sort of business that the Rhode Island government ought to target as a profit center. Who could doubt that most members of the General Assembly would prove to be “nice pimps”?