Stop Pimp: The Backhanding

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Would you buy or play a card game that:

* condones the subjugation of women through violence and addiction?
* refers to women exclusively as ‘hos’, ‘hoochies’, ‘poontang’, and ‘whores’
* is racist, classist, sexist and ethnically stereotyped?

White Wolf Game Studio and Arthaus are releasing Pimp: The Backhanding on February 14th, 2005. The game offers the chance to “…experience the dizzying highs and soul-bending lows of exploiting women, pushing drugs and dodging undercover cops. Will you become a Mack Daddy, leasing out high-priced call girls to discriminating clientele, or a lowly fishmonger making a sticky bankroll off the diseased crackwhores you’ve gotten hooked?” The point of Pimp is simply to turn women to prostitution by any means necessary – and beat them to keep them in line. Each woman is given a monetary value. One card refers to ‘owning’ the woman in question; another card causes a pimp to slap his own ‘ho’ due to her interest in a higher education. Pimp cards seem based on racist and ethnic stereotypes, and one pimp card has the quote ‘She may not know she’s a ho, so you better take a couple of these wine coolers’. Women around the world are preyed upon in the ways portrayed in the game.

I don’t believe that the creators of this game intended to send the message they are with Pimp. However, as a long-time customer, I know the kind of work White Wolf can put out and in light of that, this is simply disappointing and incredibly frustrating. There are ways this could have been entertaining without relying on the device of women as commodities to be bought, sold and used. Reality is shaped by perceptions, and if the problem of violence against women is seen as entertaining, it will –continue- to not be taken seriously by the public, by the police and by governments. Sexual subjugation isn’t funny. One of the great barriers to human rights in the last two decades has been turning serious issues into jokes. Doing so removes the moral outrage that gives many people impetus to effect real change, and can (even when unintentional) cut the legs out from under a movement before it even has a chance to start. Please, check it out for yourself so you can make your own decision: www.white-wolf.com/pimp/index.php?line=intro

Please remember:
* Every week, at least one woman in Canada is murdered by a boyfriend or spouse
* Every year, over 90,000 Canadian women and children are admitted to shelters for battered women.
* Experts estimate that approximately 50,000 women and children are trafficked annually for sexual exploitation into the United States.
*Women in Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Kosovo, and Bosnia and Herzegovina reported brutal rapes, sexual assaults, sexual slavery, and mutilation committed by male combatants. Those who survived the attacks suffered from psychological trauma, permanent physical injury, and long-term health risks, especially HIV/AIDS.
* Serial killers such as Robert Pickton target prostitutes – In the past two decades, 69 women have vanished from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
* Many women have lost their lives because of rage and violence specifically aimed at sex-trade workers.
* In the time it took you to read this, a woman or girl somewhere in Canada was sexually assaulted.
(Sources: Government of British Columbia Women’s Services: http://www.mcaws.gov.bc.ca/womens_services/a-minute-of-silence/weq_print.htm, Human Rights Watch, http://www.missingpeople.net/home.html)

Violence against women must not be turned into a game; something to be enjoyed – even in a card game. As consumers of White Wolf product, we must ensure that they know how we feel. If you agree, please:

* Sign the online petition at: http://www.petitiononline.com/ptb/petition.html

* Contact White Wolf to explain why you don’t want to see Pimp on the shelves.

White Wolf Publishing, Inc.
1554 Litton Dr.
Stone Mountain, Ga 30083
http://www.white-wolf.com/ContactUs.php

Visit this page for FAQs and letter-writing tips, and more information: http://www.noizangel.com/ptb/

*Forward this to any friends, family or organizations you think might be interested. Tell fellow gamers, get them involved.