Malcolm's referring to his days working as a pimp and a street hustler. He notices that the prostitutes who work for him are keenly observant of men's behavior due to their regular contact with them. They effectively study the men that they sleep with, learning quickly that they are too easy to push around. In the women's experience, the men who come to them do so because they feel as if they've been ridiculed and humiliated by their wives, despite giving them everything they could ask for. The prostitutes have internalized the retrograde, sexist attitudes toward women that Malcolm expresses candidly throughout the Autobiography. They think, as he does, that men need to be more forceful and controlling towards their wives; that men are supposed to be strong while women remain weak and subservient.