myrna balk, artist
etchings, woodcuts, and monoprints sculpture photographs artist statement and bio fiber arts

If there were not a demand to buy women, there would be no pimps.

from The Demand Factor: Buying Despair
Woodcuts, etchings, and collages by Myrna Balk

The Demand Factor

"Pimp with Bag of Girls" - Woodcut 12" x 16"
"Pimp with Bag of Girls"
Woodcut 12" x 16"
"Give it Back" - Woodcut 12" x 16"
"Give it Back"
Woodcut 12" x 16"

A woman is being pimped by a man when her relationship is contingent on her engaging in prostitution and relinquishing all or part of her earnings to him.

Pimps have a strong emotional hold over the young women they sexually exploit:

  • A 17-year-old who was sold by a pimp on the street refused to testify against him and visits him in prison.
  • Teenagers covered with bruises and cigarette burns remain loyal to pimps.
  • A typical pimp has six girls and refers to them as "family." The girls are instructed to call the pimp "Daddy."
  • Each girl earns approximately $500 per night for the pimp.
  • Although selling a child for sex is a felony that carries a maximum jail term of 15 years, that sentence is rarely imposed.

(New York Post, 23 February 1998)

Women in prostitution are routinely subjected to repeated beatings from their pimp, and have likely been coerced into pornography, topless dancing and/or prostitution in order to support him or his drug habit. Every woman who has been in the Dignity House jail program stated she has been raped, robbed, kicked and beaten with fists, knives, guns, coat hangers, baseball bats, and boards - either by a trick or her pimp. Each girl knew someone who had been murdered while working in prostitution.

Sources: -Sarah McNaught, The Boston Phoenix, 23-30 October 1997 -New York Post, 23 Feb. 1998 (look under "pimps")


contact Myrna Balk for permission to reprint
June 8, 2008
Contact Myrna Balk
site designed by joan schwartz