To be really offended and infact mighty pissed off!

(159 Posts)
chubbymomie2012 Tue 30-Jul-13 07:23:41

I have a beauty therapist who comes to my house to do waxing nails etc ( because i have 4 kids, saves me taking then all with me) she has only been coming a few months but last month she requested me as a friend on facebook so I accepted, she seemed nice enough.

Last night I was havng a flick through it when I saw a post she had on. It was a Photo of 4 Coke bottles. 3 bottles had girls names on them including Aoibhe and orlaith. Obvious Irish names. the fourth had the word Fenians on it. her comment was "Ha Ha True!"

AIBU to be insulted and to think even if she holds these bigoted outdated opinions, she is in a profession where she shouldnt be broadcasting them, and AIBU not to have her near my house again!

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 30-Jul-13 07:26:38

Oh dear, she's a twat. At least you know now. YANBU

MrsWolowitz Tue 30-Jul-13 07:31:25

What does Fenions mean?


JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 30-Jul-13 07:32:34

It's a derogatory term for a Catholic

NutcrackerFairy Tue 30-Jul-13 07:33:50

I don't get it confused

Is 'Fenians' an Irish name [hence it's appearance on a coke bottle]?

Or is it a term for something else, obviously it's insulted you and you say it's a bigoted term... so why would 'Coke' have it on their bottle???

Sorry, if I seem a bit thick but I am not originally from the UK and have never heard either the term or name 'Fenians' before. I have no idea what it means.

MrsWolowitz Tue 30-Jul-13 07:34:38


I'd get a new beautician (and be tempted to te her why).

MalcolmTuckersMum Tue 30-Jul-13 07:35:06

I've never heard of that expression. In what context would it be used?

MrsPresley Tue 30-Jul-13 07:35:48

MrsWolowitz I think it's a derogatory term for catholics sad

It used to be shouted quite a lot when I went to football matches with my ex DH 30 years ago, and sadly probably still is angry

I'd imagine it's a spoof bottle

NutcrackerFairy Tue 30-Jul-13 07:35:53

Ah, X post with Mrs Wolowitz and Jamie.

But if it is a derogatory term for a Catholic why would Coke have it on one of their bottles?

And why did the Beauty Therapist post "Ha, ha, True!" about it? It doesn't make much sense to me.


MalcolmTuckersMum Tue 30-Jul-13 07:37:34

Or me Nutcracker. Was it some kind of spoof picture? I just don't get it - would someone with those names absolutely definitely be Catholic? Is this an Irish thing? <<<just doesn't get it>>>

MrsPresley Tue 30-Jul-13 07:37:36

Sorry chubbymomie2012 should have said YANBU, as a non catholic mum to 4 catholic children, I would be livid at this!

ThePowerof3 Tue 30-Jul-13 07:37:39

Maybe she didn't know what it meant but wanted to seem like she did

Roshbegosh Tue 30-Jul-13 07:37:42

It isn't a derogatory name for a catholic, it is to do with Irish independence and associated in some minds with the IRA

WipsGlitter Tue 30-Jul-13 07:37:47

Well, she's a beauty therapist not the minister or equality so it's not like she's passing laws that affect equality. Just unfriendly her.

According o Wikipedia it's not insulting.

claig Tue 30-Jul-13 07:39:13

I don't understand it. But I don't think that Fenians is a derogatory term.

Eyesunderarock Tue 30-Jul-13 07:39:39

It was a term created by the Irish for the Fenian political movement, which believed in independence for Ireland through armed struggle.
It them became linked to the IRA and became an insult aimed at Irish Catholics.

MalcolmTuckersMum Tue 30-Jul-13 07:41:30

Thanks Eyes - and would those names automatically be connected with the word?

chubbymomie2012 Tue 30-Jul-13 07:41:36

Nutcracker. i suspect it is a photoshop job.
It used to bena derogatory term used for Catholics here in Northern Ireland and I think because 90% of the pple who live here have moved on it makes it even worse that some pple still use it.

her comment Ha ha true suggests to me she agrees. the Irish names are used to represent Catholics and indeed anyone with Irish roots or affiliations and shes saying they are all Fenians.

I am really shocked someone who deals with the publics has been so openly bigoted!

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 30-Jul-13 07:41:39
claig Tue 30-Jul-13 07:41:57

I think some people use it as an insult, but presumably others don't. Is the Fein in Sinn Fein from the same word root as Fenian?

bamboostalks Tue 30-Jul-13 07:41:59

What offends you exactly?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 30-Jul-13 07:42:27

What's the Coke bottle thing about though?

chubbymomie2012 Tue 30-Jul-13 07:44:21

Wipsglitter and rosh take it from an Irish Catholic (a covert one at that) that it is most definately an insulting name.

Eyesunderarock Tue 30-Jul-13 07:44:29

The names are traditional Irish Gaelic names, so highly unlikely for a Protestant to be called that. For me, Fenian is an indication of political alliance, and linked to the past.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 30-Jul-13 07:45:21


All sorts of thickos deal with the public. If Not Being Prejudiced were a condition of working with the public there would be no doctors, nurses, taxi drivers, hairdressers, receptionists, etc etc etc etc

WipsGlitter Tue 30-Jul-13 07:45:25

I'm assuming you're assuming she's Protestant?

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 30-Jul-13 07:45:44

Claig - you're wrong.

WipsGlitter Tue 30-Jul-13 07:46:06

I am an Irish catholic!!

Takes a lot to offend me through...

Happypiglet Tue 30-Jul-13 07:46:15

Why did you friend her? She is not your friend she is your beauty therapist....I personlly have no idea of my hairdressers views on Catholics and don't need/ want to know....either way she does a great hair cut.
Unfriend her and go back to your purely professional relationship....or find a new therapist...

chubbymomie2012 Tue 30-Jul-13 07:48:23

bamboo, i am offended that still in this day and age when we are pushing for peace and unity that idiots like this still broadcast bigoted views and hatred because believe me thats what this is!

The best of it is this wee doll isnt even old enough to have experienced the crap that went on here! She is as someone said previously, trying to appear cool anmong her peers!

Im offended for all her other Catholic clients who she ckearly feels are beneath her yet is happy to take our money!

pissed off to the Max!!!!

SJisontheway Tue 30-Jul-13 07:49:07

Yanbu. That's offensive.

bamboostalks Tue 30-Jul-13 07:49:14

Are you in Northern Ireland?

MrsWolowitz Tue 30-Jul-13 07:49:49

Happypig the OP already said that the beautician requested to be her facebook friend.

Presumably the OP accepted to be polite to someone who she has in her house on a regular basis.

WandaDoff Tue 30-Jul-13 07:50:45

I'm a fenian bastard, apparently.

I never reaslised that until I moved to Glasgow.
I mean you get bigots everywhere, but that one was new to me the first time I heard it.

chubbymomie2012 Tue 30-Jul-13 07:51:10

Mrs Wolowitz thats exactly the case

Bamboo yes I am

Roshbegosh Tue 30-Jul-13 07:52:24

I wouldn't say it is linked to the past, I visited Belfast recently and all that shit is still very much alive and kicking. I would interpret the picture as some kind of anti-English comment, joking that they are Fenians, definitely Irish catholic names there.

wigglesrock Tue 30-Jul-13 07:53:25

It's a pejorative term where I live (Belfast) I've never been called a Fenian in a nice way smile .

Just defriend her if it bothers you, some people I'm FB friends with have shockingly narrow views on a wide number of subjects - I do a cull, they're the first out.

claig Tue 30-Jul-13 07:53:34

"Claig - you're wrong."

OK, thanks. I've just looked up "Sinn Fein" and it means "We ourselves".

It also seems that Fenian derives from Fianna

"The name Fenian was first applied by John O'Mahony to the members of the Irish republican group that he founded in the United States in 1848.[1] O'Mahony, who was a Celtic scholar, named the American wing of the movement after the Fianna.[2][3][4][5] In Gaelic Ireland these were warrior bands of young men who lived apart from society and could be called upon in times of war."

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 30-Jul-13 07:59:31


read the Urban Dictionary definition. It's clear what the origins are but people are telling you that it's derogatory

wigglesrock Tue 30-Jul-13 07:59:44

Oh, is it an injoke? Are they her kids names and is she making a point? I'm not sure if she's using Fenian to describe names of family or to describe other people, if you see what I mean.

I know people who use words to describe themselves like Taig etc - sort of a reclaiming. I suppose a bit like women using bitch or cunt affectionately.

Fakebook Tue 30-Jul-13 08:00:12

After your subsequent posts I think yanbu. But you say she's young, so perhaps you can pull her up on it next time you see her? I would.

RedHelenB Tue 30-Jul-13 08:00:54

Maybe you could explain to her why it is so derogatory - as others have suggested, it is unlikely that she understands the full implications of her comment!

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 30-Jul-13 08:01:09

You are wrong when you say it isn't an insult today. It is. Most of the people who use it (especially in Scotland) have no idea of the historic political connotations of the term. It's usually used in conjunction with the word 'bastard' and some death threats. sad It's a very loaded term these days.

chubbymomie2012 Tue 30-Jul-13 08:03:38

wiggles. shes only early 20's has no children and lives in a very "protestant" estate which has been on the news recently for their rioting. I have good friends from this estate who do not hold these views so I am not in anyway saying she obviously has to have them but, id say this was meant in a "kick the pope" fashion as the locals say.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 30-Jul-13 08:05:42

OP do you live in Ireland? If so then why on earth are people suggesting you explain it to the hairdresser....anyone knows it's derogatory if they're Irish.

People who don't understand it, RussiansOnThe Spree puts it well when she says it is a very loaded term indeed.

claig Tue 30-Jul-13 08:06:03

I think wigglesrock may be right about this

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 30-Jul-13 08:07:45

Ah I see....well Chubby ignorance is no excuse....I would unfriend her and tell her why you won't be using her again. That will be a valuable lesson and she won't be so stupid or unprofessional again.

Eyesunderarock Tue 30-Jul-13 08:07:57

I think you have to be a part of the sectarianism and prejudice that is still ongoing in many areas to understand why it's an insult.
For those not involved, it's a historical description of a political movement, but I'd only ever use it in that context.

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Tue 30-Jul-13 08:07:59

I am nowhere near Northern Ireland but I would read Fenian as an insult.

Unless it is one of these bizarre 'celebratory' things - 'ooh, look at us, we're all Fenians'? Unlikely though if she is not Catholic.

WandaDoff Tue 30-Jul-13 08:08:51

RussiansOnThe Spree has it ^^

wigglesrock Tue 30-Jul-13 08:08:51

We'll then, she didn't mean it in a nice waysmile . It's a horribly loaded term, I would get rid. If she used that term in a physical workplace she'd be fucked so really why should it be any different?

It's happened to me, it was horrible - a fellow worker launched into a tirade about taigs stealing our houses etc, I was so shocked, I couldn't move. I'm almost 40 and it was a real kick in the stomach to hear someone almost half my age talk about me and my kids like that.

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Tue 30-Jul-13 08:08:59

Just seen wiggles' post which makes the point I was trying to make, but much more eloquently!

Eyesunderarock Tue 30-Jul-13 08:10:03

There's a number of Fenian songs, anti-British.
Very popular in some pubs.

claig Tue 30-Jul-13 08:11:39

The Wolfe Tones are an Irish band and some of their songs are Irish Nationalist and one of their songs is called "Bold Fenian Men"

I don't think they believe that the word 'Fenian' is an insult.

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 30-Jul-13 08:11:53

Wiggles - I do know people who use both the F term and the T term in a defensive 'say it before they do, turn the blade of the verbal knife' way. I think they are foolish to do so, I don't think it helps them or anyone else but yes, like you, I do know people who self refer in that way. Never about others though. And certainly not about (as someone else suggests) their kids!!! shock

There are words which it is no longer acceptable to use outside of a history lesson. Fenian (and Taig) are two of them.

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 30-Jul-13 08:15:16

It's like the parade thread all over again. sad

These threads have certainly opened my eyes a bit, I must say. And not in a good way. There's ignorance and then there's willful ignorance. sad

Roshbegosh Tue 30-Jul-13 08:16:45

They are catholic with those names yourallabunch

Roshbegosh Tue 30-Jul-13 08:17:33

Exactly claig she is owning the term, proud of it.

chubbymomie2012 Tue 30-Jul-13 08:18:03

Thank you, I am going to phone her this morning to cancel my future appointments. I will explain why I am doing it and that I will not be making any more appointments.

TheYamiOfYawn Tue 30-Jul-13 08:20:01

I'd unfriend her and get someone else to do my nails. If someone has work contacts as facebook friends, they really shouldn't be making sectarian posts.

For people who don't get the point of the pictue, It would be like someone from the US posting coke bottles with three typically African-American names and one bottle photoshopped to have the N word on it.

Fenian is ok when used to talk about a specific historical movement, but was being used there as a highly offensive term. When I was growing up, it was the sort of word that if it was directed at you, you expect physical violence and fear for your life. (Am from NI and technically Protestant, but due to divorce/remarriage grew up with culturally Catholic parents.

pianodoodle Tue 30-Jul-13 08:20:40

Going on your last post I don't think she was making a joke about herself!

OP - I'm N.Irish too and I hate hate hate that some people are still being taught this ridiculous bigotry.

I definitely understand you feeling annoyed about her comment. I personally avoid people with that mindset.

I've been in England the past 5 years and am looking at a lovely Irish boys name for my second child (don't know sex yet). I'm from a "protestant" background but I can call my child whatever I like plus at least here no one will be asking "why did you call them that?!" smile

I miss N.Ireland but not the few who carry on being ridiculous and making the place look bad.

I've been a bit shocked by some of the ignorance where I live about N.Ireland. We did English history in school as well as our own but don't think it goes the other way round! Not malicious ignorance mind, just blank looks.

chubbymomie2012 Tue 30-Jul-13 08:23:28

TheYami, thank you for explaining the core of my annoyance in an easy understandable way!

Piano i totally get you.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 30-Jul-13 08:23:59

I was horrified to learn that my Great Grandfather was a Black and Tan and I can't quite understand it because they were an Irish Catholic family. Why would he have jo

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 30-Jul-13 08:24:12

joined if he were Catholic?

chubbymomie2012 Tue 30-Jul-13 08:26:45

Neo, the black and tans were origionally supposed to help the Irish police keep law and order. and to deter any IRA attacks. So possibly he was just trying to maintain a peaceful world. Do you think?

pianodoodle Tue 30-Jul-13 08:29:18

In a way I feel sorry for the beautician because she's young and has clearly grown up in an area where this sort of nonsense is still rife and thus harder to break away from if you've grown up being so exposed to those attitudes and not been taught that it's wrong sad

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 30-Jul-13 08:30:44

Chubby I hope so. I remember being shock when my Mum told me about him...

Roshbegosh Tue 30-Jul-13 08:31:38

The Black and Tans were notoriously evil bastards recruited out of prisons etc. It is possible than English Catholics were among them, they hated the Irish not catholics per se. Mind you the Irish specials were supposed to be even worse as they were like collaborators against their own people.

Belchica Tue 30-Jul-13 08:32:12

Fenian is an insult. End of.

OP, if I was in your shoes and it was bothering me, I would just quietly defriend and not book her again. No need for an explanation or to make it personal. There will be plenty of other mobile therapists keen to come to your house.

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 30-Jul-13 08:32:18

Piano - part of the problem of course is that people who use these terms can point to the people who swear they are perfectly innocuous and effectively use that willful ignorance (or worse) as justification for continuing to use those words.

Roshbegosh Tue 30-Jul-13 08:33:06

Don't mean to dis your great GF neomaxi, people sometimes end up in the wrong group and no one realises until afterwards.

chubbymomie2012 Tue 30-Jul-13 08:33:45

Aaahhhhh Rosh, that explains the derogatory "Tans" term used by my southern cousins about our local friendly rioters.

Roshbegosh Tue 30-Jul-13 08:35:32

Who TF are the friendly rioters?

auntmargaret Tue 30-Jul-13 08:37:50

Shocking, sectarian behaviour, I'd be offended too. Good for you to stand up to it.

TalkativeJim Tue 30-Jul-13 08:37:55

I am neither Irish nor Catholic, but I lived in Glasgow for a long time.

I've heard the word Fenian many times... and NEVER without the word '...bastard' being appended to it.

Definitely a massively offensive, loaded description for anywhere which has suffered sectarian hatred.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 30-Jul-13 08:37:55

Rosh I know, I just feel confused about it because I remember my Nan, his daughter singing songs which were most definitely not on the side of the English. It's odd. Ny grandad apparently had shellshock in the war...maybe that influenced him.

TalkativeJim Tue 30-Jul-13 08:39:17

...and no, the origins may not be offensive, but that's a bit like arguing that 'Paki' just describes where a person is from...

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 30-Jul-13 08:40:33


You seem quite determined to see the best in this. Wonder why?

If you read your own definition from Wikipedia, and the definition I linked to earlier you'll see that something can originate in one way but then be appropriated by other people as an insult.

Pagwatch Tue 30-Jul-13 08:43:18

My grandfather was abandoned and raised by an ageing catholic couple. The black and tans stopped them all one day and beat the couple severely. No reason. He was just a caretaker/handyman, they were all heading home.

My grandad would still get upset sixty years later.

I am reading sarcasm in that comment "local friendly rioters".

Wow. I am really surprised that someone living in NI would broadcast that amount of twisted thinking for the world to see.

Fenian is definitely used as a derogatory term (it's one my mil uses in the same way that she talks about The Gays) but in England we aren't exposed to it and it passes us by.

chubbymomie2012 Tue 30-Jul-13 08:46:45

sorry yes, i was being sarcastic when i said friendly rioters. And before i get flamed for that I am fully aware both sides of the fence riot etc. i believe ALL rioting is wrong!

I am worried now that you thought I was referring to you being twisted chubby - which I wasn't . <ties self into knots>

claig Tue 30-Jul-13 08:55:17

"You seem quite determined to see the best in this. Wonder why?"

Oh dear. I am just trying to understand it.

The Wolfe Tones are an Irish band who have lots of nationalist songs and I don't think they believe that Fenian is an insult, just as Roshbegosh said also as far as I can understand. I'm not Irish, but Rosh may well be and so will know much more about it.

Of course, some people use the term Fenian as an insult, but those people never invented the term Fenian, it was not their word, they just used it derogatively. Fenian was an Irish word, used by Irish people and is in Irish nationalist songs sung by nationalists such as the Wolfe Tones, which makes me think that Irish nationalists would not find it offensive.

As far as I understand it, the struggle for Irish independence, was one for freedom from foreign rule rather than a purely religious struggle. There were protestants who were Irish republicans too, because it was a battle for Irish independence rather than a religious struggle.

therumoursaretrue Tue 30-Jul-13 08:59:58

YANBU at all OP. I wouldn't have her back near me after that.

chubbymomie2012 Tue 30-Jul-13 09:00:05

Scone i prob am a bit twisted given i have lived here for almost 40. yrs lol. no I didnt think that. I have no political affiliations in fact am guilty of apathy! (almost worse that being nationalist or unionist in some ppls eyes)
I think having gone to a Catholic grammer and spending those 7 years having 50 shades of shite kicked out of me by the kids who went to the protestant high school accross the road, I am a reasonably rounded individual lol. (you have to laugh or you would cry lol)

treaclesoda Tue 30-Jul-13 09:05:37

You're definitely right to be horrified. I'm in NI too and probably about the same age as you and it really depresses me that 20 year olds, who didn't even live through what we did, seem to be so much more bigoted than our age group. I know that's a sweeping generalisation, but its just what I have witnessed in recent years.

pianodoodle Tue 30-Jul-13 09:05:46

The Wolfe Tones are an Irish band and some of their songs are Irish Nationalist and one of their songs is called "Bold Fenian Men"

I don't think they believe that the word 'Fenian' is an insult.

I play a piano piece by Debussy called "Golliwog's Cake Walk".... What's your point?

Lol local friendly rioters I phoned my Nan a while ago as there was rioting near her she said "I'm fed up - they're a lot of bad rascals!"... Typical Irish/N.Irish understatement I think!

chubbymomie2012 Tue 30-Jul-13 09:09:21

LMao Piano, like my mother said, If it was raining they'd be in watching Eastenders hehehe they make me laugh

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 30-Jul-13 09:09:43

I think this is a really sticky area actually.

OP, of course YANBU and I think you're doing the right thing in cancelling her and telling her why.

BUT imagine if she'd never invited you to be her FB friend. Would this have come up in conversation while she did your treatments? Let's assume not. You might have gone on having perfectly nice (and useful!) sessions with her for months or years and been completely unaware of her bigoted opinions.

I have a nice relationship with my beauty therapist/Zumba teacher/boss but am not FB friends or similar with any of them. I've no idea if any or all of them hold dubious opinions or political positions.

I'm not sure what my point is really, but it seems to me that finding out things about people inadvertently, or via a medium through which these things wouldn't have come out in the past, brings up a lot of questions.

pianodoodle Tue 30-Jul-13 09:10:11

Sorry Claig didn't mean for that to sound so curt!

The term obviously has history but it also used in the context of an insult.

claig Tue 30-Jul-13 09:10:50

'I play a piano piece by Debussy called "Golliwog's Cake Walk".... What's your point?'

I fail to see what that has got to do with Irish nationalist songs and the use of the term Fenian, which according to wikipedia was first used by the founder of an Irish republican group, and not by some protestants who now use the term derogatively.

"The name Fenian was first applied by John O'Mahony to the members of the Irish republican group that he founded in the United States in 1848.[1] O'Mahony, who was a Celtic scholar, named the American wing of the movement after the Fianna.[2][3][4][5] In Gaelic Ireland these were warrior bands of young men who lived apart from society and could be called upon in times of war."

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 30-Jul-13 09:12:49


It's frustrating that you seem to have known nothing of this apart from what your read on Wikipedia and yet are studiously ignoring what people on here are saying.

I'm not in the mood for arguing the toss today.

claig Tue 30-Jul-13 09:14:31

"The term obviously has history but it also used in the context of an insult."

Yes, opponents of Irish nationalism use the term derogatively, but it seems that it is used with pride in Irish nationalist songs as sung by bands such as the Wolfe Tones, who are Irish Nationalists.

And browsing wikipedia, I have just learned that Wolfe Tone himself, whom wikipedia describes as "the father of Irish republicanism", appears to have been a Protestant.

Pagwatch Tue 30-Jul-13 09:16:42

The history of conflict in Ireland is centuries old and incredibly complicated.

Tbh I think quoting wiki and presenting that as more informative than those who have lived amidst/with knowledge of the violence, prejudice and conflict for decades is pretty unhelpful.

treaclesoda Tue 30-Jul-13 09:17:12

Wolfe Tone was a Protestant because the United Irishmen movement dates bacl to the times when the only church accepted by the British rulers was the Anglican church. So at that stage it wasn't seen as a Protestant/Catholic issue but an Anglican/ Non Anglican issue.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 30-Jul-13 09:17:45


I get what you are saying. But once it's out there, it's hard to ignore, isn't it? the beautician chose to friend the OP so it shows stupidity and a lack of respect to her "friends" to put her dodgy views out there

pianodoodle Tue 30-Jul-13 09:18:22

sorry yes, i was being sarcastic when i said friendly rioters. And before i get flamed for that I am fully aware both sides of the fence riot etc. i believe ALL rioting is wrong!

Too late for apology chubby I've just gone out to the driveway and set fire to my own car. That'll teach you! (won't it?)

I'm sure Dh will understand when he gets home to the flaming wreckage that it was the only reasonable course of action grin

claig Tue 30-Jul-13 09:18:38

Good point, treaclesoda, thanks for explaining that.

treaclesoda Tue 30-Jul-13 09:18:57

and its not a Catholic/Protestant issue now either, just before someone, quite rightly, corrects me on that. Its more about identity, perceived identity etc.

dontwannasaywho Tue 30-Jul-13 09:22:10

chubbymomie2012 If u live in N.I that doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

Tbh it isn't the worst joke I've heard and I am Catholic, don't be insulted just ignore that sort of stuff because there is plenty of it out there and a lot worse than that.

And no I dont think its right but whats the alternative, ask her about it and it turns into her accussing you of being bitter.

Plus would you really want her waxing you after pulling her up about that!

claig Tue 30-Jul-13 09:24:57

"Tbh I think quoting wiki and presenting that as more informative than those who have lived amidst/with knowledge of the violence, prejudice and conflict for decades is pretty unhelpful."

The OP in this thread thinks that her hairdresser is a bigot and she intends to stop doing business with her because of what she perceives to ber her bigotted views. At the heart of her concern is teh use of teh word "Fenian".

Do we know whether teh hairdresser is protestant or Catholic and are we sure that she used teh term Fenian in a bigotted way?

From reading this thread, I am not sure, and it is possible that the OP may have misunderstoodf the hairdresser's motives about the use of the word 'Fenian'.

That's why I think it is important to understand whether teh term Fenian is definitely bigotted or not, and it seems to me that Irish nationalists such as the Wolfe Tones would not use Fenian if they believed it was bigoted, and it may also be teh case that the hairdresser is not a bigot either.

Neitheronethingortheother Tue 30-Jul-13 09:25:00

I live in the South and I wouldnt see anything offensive about the term fenian but thats because the troubles havent affected me in a personal way at all. I guess those living in NI know best how the term is used and the intent behind it. I couldnt believe it when I heard a newsreader on the BBC news calling Derry, Londonderry. I was about 20 at the time and I hadnt realised that it was called Derry by the Irish and Londonderry by the English.

pianodoodle Tue 30-Jul-13 09:27:52

claig I was letting you know the reality of how the term is applied in an offensive way and is not acceptable. Even songs including it can be considered by some to be less about "pride" and more about incitement. It depends on context.

I know my own culture. The history lesson is not necessary and a little bit patronising sad

treaclesoda Tue 30-Jul-13 09:28:48

You often find newsreaders alternate between Derry and Londonderry, so that no one is offended. Or everyone is offended, depending on how you look at it wink

I was just chatting to someone recently about this. In a way it would be lovely to rename the whole place with something everyone can get behind.

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 30-Jul-13 09:28:48

It's actually officially Derry/LondonDerry. But most people call it Derry not just the Catholics - it's shorter. And historically accurate. Most people don't call Kingston on Thames KoT - they call it Kingston.

Pagwatch Tue 30-Jul-13 09:30:28

I understand Claig and I am not trying to argue with you.

I just think those best placed to determine if the op is right to be offended are those grimly familiar with the local everyday usage of the word rather than someone who has never contemplated it's history or meaning before.

Belchica Tue 30-Jul-13 09:31:44

Claig, I understand you are trying to educate yourself, but I think you are distracted from the OPs question.

Just to be clear, in this context, the use of the term Fenian on coke bottles, next to Irish girls names, posted on FB, is undoubtedly intended as an insult to Catholics. I very much doubt the idiots who repost and laugh at this 'joke' have any idea of the origins of or history behind the word.

sashh Tue 30-Jul-13 09:33:08


Sometimes black rappers call themselves 'nigger', does that mean it is not offensive when shouted by a racist with the word 'bastard' after it?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 30-Jul-13 09:33:45

I apologise for my earlier tone. Although not the content.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 30-Jul-13 09:34:20

Jamie, absolutely. Of course I condemn these abhorrent views (I really hope I made that clear!). I also said that I agree the OP should cut contact with this person and tell her why.

All I'm saying, and I guess it's a bit off topic/general musing for this thread, is that events like this raise questions about finding out things about people that might not come up otherwise.

HooverFairy Tue 30-Jul-13 09:34:30

Ignorance is not an excuse, I have never heard the term but the explanations on here show that the photograph and comments were bound to offend. Good for you OP, get her off your Facebook and out of your house. She might appear lovely when she's providing her beauty service but she's obviously not that 'lovely' if she can make prejudice jokes, anyone working with the public should keep controversial views to themselves, airing them on Facebook not only shows her true colours but also implies that she's a bit thick. She's actually done you a favour really, you're no longer going to be giving your money to someone so disrespectful.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 30-Jul-13 09:35:45


It's FB I tel you!! Nothing but trouble.

claig Tue 30-Jul-13 09:37:48

"Sometimes black rappers call themselves 'nigger', does that mean it is not offensive when shouted by a racist with the word 'bastard' after it?"

Yes of course it is offensive, and Fenian is offensive if used by protestants to denigrate Catholics and Irish republicans, but I don't believe the use of teh word Fenian is offensive when used in Irish nationalist songs as sung by Irish nationalists and republicans such as the Wolfe Tones.

It is all about context.

If the beauty threapist in this thread is Catholic (and are we sure that she is not) then I don't think the use of 'Fenian' will be derogatory.

pianodoodle Tue 30-Jul-13 09:38:26

Do we know whether teh hairdresser is protestant or Catholic and are we sure that she used teh term Fenian in a bigotted way?

Sigh... Yes and yes. The OP points that out very clearly. What the Wolfe Tones have to say about the matter is irrelevant in this case.

This may be one of those times where you just won't understand (no offence at all) but may have to just trust the opinions of those familiar with this sort of thing who know that it is not acceptable any more.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 30-Jul-13 09:39:35

Yes, it's a funny one isn't it, Jamie? I'm not sure whether it changes the way people behave and what they think and say, or if it just reveals what was there already. And it does raise the question of, if you find out things about people that you otherwise wouldn't, what does it mean and does it matter? And if it matters, how?

I think anyone who blurs professional with personal on FB needs to be very careful – not just to hide whatever vile views they have but also to keep some sort of professional distance.

BMW6 Tue 30-Jul-13 09:40:25

Well speaking as an English non religious person, I understood immediatley that the post was meant to be derogatory. To me the word Fenian connects to the IRA bombings.

You are VDNBU OP. The hairdresser is an ignorant twat.

claig Tue 30-Jul-13 09:43:54

OK, well I said I didn't understand it, and I don't understand what this facebook comment with the coke bottles means, so I can't say whether the OP is being reasonable about stopping doing business with her.

If the beauty therapist is a bigot, then by all means stop doing business with her, but I don't know if she is for sure.

mamalovesmojitos Tue 30-Jul-13 09:44:56

Claig. I can tell you, along with many other posters, that it is a derogatory term. Why can't you accept that? It is great that you are researching more around the subject and have questions but this is not the thread to explore it. If you don't understand the very basic concept that 'Fenian' is regularly used as an insult, I don't see how you can make a helpful contribution to the op.

claig Tue 30-Jul-13 09:46:55

mama, try to read my posts

"If you don't understand the very basic concept that 'Fenian' is regularly used as an insult"

Of course I understand that it is regularly used as an insult by some protestants.

treaclesoda Tue 30-Jul-13 09:48:09

BMW6 I think your point illustrates something that is so hard for people outside of NI to get their heads round. It really really isn't about religion. Its about being perceived as belongong to one group or another. Fenian, in this context, is clearly an insult but Fenian refers to Irish Republicanism, not the Catholic faith. The people here in NI who hold the most entrenched, bigoted views, the most bitter people, are people who have probably never passed through the door of a religious establishment. They call themselves Protestants or Catholics because they identify themselves in that way, but its not about the religion.

claig Tue 30-Jul-13 09:48:17

And if the beauty therapist is one of them, then YANBU in stopping doing business with her.

pianodoodle Tue 30-Jul-13 09:49:02

Also OP I forgot to say YANBU smile

If I thought someone held this type of view about me or engaged in that kind of silly talk I wouldn't want to give them my money.

skylerwhite Tue 30-Jul-13 09:50:34

Roshbegosh The idea that the Black and Tans were recruited out of prisons is common, but inaccurate, I'm afraid. About 0.6% of Black and Tans had prison records. That this perception has persisted demonstrates the effectiveness of Irish republican propaganda around this time.

Mind you the Irish specials were supposed to be even worse as they were like collaborators against their own people. What do you mean by this? Who do you mean by this?

wigglesrock Tue 30-Jul-13 09:52:57

claig I think we established a while ago that the beauty therapist was probably not reclaiming the word.

Look, with the best will in the world, it is something that is very hard to explain - how hurtful a particular phrase/word can be especially to someone and I don't mean you in particular that hasn't really experienced it.

I'm almost 40, I have lived in around Belfast for most of my life. I was in my 20s when the Good Friday agreement was signed, I voted for it, I fought for it. I don't want my kids lives to be harder because of their religion - bandying about the word Fenian on FB brings me back - it's ugly, sectarian, hatefilled. Yes, there is a difference between the bloody tweeness that is the Wolfetones and someone referring to someone as a Fenian in reference to their name. I wouldn't think Wikipedia to tell you that.

chubbymomie2012 Tue 30-Jul-13 09:59:11

Girls ye are all great! I was feeling really shit when i posted this this morning but for some odd reason im now cheered right up! (probably my warped norn irish humour)

I have phoned the wee doll in question and told her i wanted to cancel all apts and explained i saw the facebook post and felt it was unprofessional and rightly or wrongly i am insulted! she actually waffled about it being her opinion and wouldnt affect her ability to do her job and really if i didnt like it i was right to cancel the apts!

so seems she only wants like minded peeps as clients, its nice in these times of austerity she can pick and choose clients.

claig Tue 30-Jul-13 10:00:30

wigglesrock, you said early on

"Oh, is it an injoke? Are they her kids names and is she making a point? I'm not sure if she's using Fenian to describe names of family or to describe other people, if you see what I mean."

I don't understand the facebook comment and said that I thought maybe you were right. I don't know the beauty therapist's religion or whether she is a bigot.

But if we have established that she is a bigot, then obviously the term was used offensively and the OP should stop doing business with her.

claig Tue 30-Jul-13 10:02:19

OK, that clears it up. She was being offensive and the OP was right all along.

treaclesoda Tue 30-Jul-13 10:04:44

can't believe she tried to say 'yeah, I do think this way, but hey, I can still wax you!'. Although I suppose its probably much better to be open about her bigotry than to be all nicey nice to your face whilst secretly despising you. angry

pianodoodle Tue 30-Jul-13 10:06:55


I'm actually shocked I thought she would back pedal or apologise or at least say it wasn't meant to offend! To say it's her opinion is! You have definitely made a good decision there what a silly girl!

BMW6 Tue 30-Jul-13 10:10:44

Good for you chubby - this sort of shite needs to be wiped out, and it starts with challenging people who use these terms as you have done.

pianodoodle Tue 30-Jul-13 10:13:19

People like this make me cringe in embarrassment I'm so proud of where I come from it's a beautiful place with so many great qualities with an enviable education system.

You wouldn't think it to see the scenes that crop up on National news programmes

My uncle went to one of the peace rallies at the City Hall along with thousands of others and I was sorry to report back that I missed it on the main news channel because it probably wasn't as exciting as showing a few hundred people with bricks and bottles making a laughing stock out of the country...

SacreBlue Tue 30-Jul-13 10:17:59

I would unfriend & not use her services again. You can hold whatever beliefs you wish but respect the rights of others to hold different ones.

I have friends who have beliefs not in line with me - they know my opinion & we can joke about differences but I would not use a service where the person was openly bigoted.

FWIW I had to move out of an area (of same religion to my parents) because I attended an event for children sponsored by (amongst other businesses) a football club from 'the other side'

I actually now feel more more comfortable living in an area of the 'other' religion just because I don't get harassed for holding my own views.

Thankfully my DS, given as much info from GP, me & his own research as he can get, is of the same opinion that - believe what you like but when you are insulting or bigoted - live with the consequences

TheYamiOfYawn Tue 30-Jul-13 10:25:24

Claig, firstly, the facebook post was clearly intended to be offensive, and would be understood that way by anyone from NI, and secondly the OP explained very early on in the thread that the beautician was Protestant and from an area known for Protestant extremism.

claig Tue 30-Jul-13 10:27:22

I missed the bit where she said that the beautician was Protestant.
I wasn't sure that it was offensive, like some other posters thought too, but I was wrong and it turned out it was offensive.

TheYamiOfYawn Tue 30-Jul-13 10:27:47

Sorry to any protestants about the phrase "protestant extremism", btw, but I reckon that introducing distinctions between religion and politics would be far too confusing for some of the people on here.

milktraylady Tue 30-Jul-13 10:30:57

Well done claig on listening to the people posting on here & trying to inform you.

A great big lesson on why NOT to rely on Wikipedia (or a pop band) for historical/ cultural facts.

I am also from NI.

Well done OP on calling up your therapist & calling her on her views. I certainly wouldn't want someone like that in my home.

I'm now fed up of the whole NI thang. Moved away in 1995. It's just embarrassing on the news. I wish I was southern Irish, but I'm not.

Confuses my English in laws. 10 years later they still don't understand.

And I call Derry- stroke city. grin

pianodoodle Tue 30-Jul-13 10:32:47

BMW6 - Good for you chubby - this sort of shite needs to be wiped out, and it starts with challenging people who use these terms as you have done.

Absolutely and fair play for not just making an excuse and telling her the real reason you were cancelling!

GrumpyRedhead Tue 30-Jul-13 10:36:59

Chubby, I wish I was surprised at her response! I think you did the right thing in deleting her, I have done similar recently. The whole Ardoyne thing brought some interesting posts in my news feed from family members who I knew were a bit hard line, but didn't realise the level of bitterness involved. I deleted them too, and I'm glad I did.

I just wanted to post because of your use of "wee doll", i haven't heard that in ages grin I used to call my sister that when we were fighting as kids because we weren't allowed to swear in our house!

I'm Protestant, DP is catholic. He still lived with his parents when we first got together, right on a flashpoint area - think one street Protestant, next street catholic. As I got out of the car, a couple of wee fellas on bikes shouted 'fenian!' at me. It gave me a giggle, because I wondered what they would think if they knew that, technically, I was 'on their side'. But, at the same time, it was very sad to think that people get called names when going about their day-to-day life just based on where they live.

As an aside, I occasionally call DP a dirty taig when we're keeping each other going. I think maybe the offense caused kind of depends on the offense intended?

Sorry for the disjointed ramble post!

claig Tue 30-Jul-13 10:37:11

'Well done claig on listening to the people posting on here & trying to inform you.'

I always listen to the wisdom of MNers. Occasionally I am wrong and learn from the wisdom of MN.

TigerSwallowTail Tue 30-Jul-13 10:38:39

Yanbu, I'm from Glasgow and have never heard the term used in any way other than to offend.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Tue 30-Jul-13 10:39:02

Wow, what a ludicrously contrived thing to do - photoshop names and insults onto coke bottles. confused

That takes someone with way, way too much time on their hands, and with the sort of petty, small-minded mentality that is actually quite mind-boggling.

I am <cringing> on behalf of whoever came up with that.

You did the right thing, chubby.

treaclesoda Tue 30-Jul-13 10:40:31

milktraylady you don't have to have moved away to find it embarassing on the news. Its embarassing for those of us who still live here too!

When I was younger I was so idealistic and thought that my generation were different, and that when I was an adult things would be better. Its ironic that as the 'troubles' ended, the relationship between the two communities actually grew more distant. The town I grew up in was very mixed, there was no such thing as a Protestant or Catholic area, and now it is completely polarised with one side almost entirely Catholic and the other side almost entirely Protestant. Hate crimes against those who find themselves in the 'wrong' area of their own town are a regular occurrence. Ironically in 30 years of 'troubles' the town was almost untouched, and community relations were good. confused

mirren3 Tue 30-Jul-13 10:43:10

I'm from near glasgow, my husband and sons all support rangers, none of us would use that word even in a football's definitely a massive insult, as other Scottish posters have said. If it was me I'd post on her page a short version of why you will not be using her again.

FeegleFion Tue 30-Jul-13 10:44:31

Although the term Fenians isn't deemed derogatory on Wiki or in fact wasn't initially used as such, I can attest to the fact that it is used to insult Catholics in Glasgow, at least.

I grew up in the poor East End of Glasgow and it was very much used as an insult. It was meant as a slur and to identify Catholics as poor and somehow 'less than' others (specifically Protestants).

In terms of the names on the bottles, they would easily be identifiable as Catholic names. That will be how the beautician was able to make her very 'humorous' joke.

When I was a child, my family lived in the ground floor flat in a tenement block. Above us, lived a very staunch Protestant family.

The shared backyard was where the residents of the tenement block would hang their washing to dry.

I remember my mother in tears on numerous occasions after the woman above shouting insults at my mother, when she was hanging the washing out. All of those insults would be in relation to Religion and included being called a 'dirty fucking Fenian bastard'.

LadyBeagleEyes Tue 30-Jul-13 10:49:47

Don't get the coke bottle reference, but it is definitely an offensive term.
Used widely in the west of Scotland, and usually with bastards attached.
I think you can be charged for using it at Rangers/Celtic football matches, it is a bigoted term of hate towards Catholics.

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 30-Jul-13 10:52:03

The well known Rangers song (the Billy Boys - maybe it's Billy Boyz these days) makes it quite clear. sad

FeegleFion Tue 30-Jul-13 10:55:34

Yy Russian angry

For those who don't know, there is a particular line in the song that says:

'We're up to our necks in Fenian blood'.

VenusSurprising Tue 30-Jul-13 10:55:37

Well, I'm not sure that I'd ring her up and read her the riot act tbh.
I mean at least she didn't say Fenian bastards, or taiges! But I'd get another beautician. Just drop her.

Claig, you're being really annoying. Are you a bloke? You sound like one! (Figure that out if it's an insult)
After that, if you've nothing better to do why don't you look up "having a Paddy", or how calling someone a Paki might be an insult, or if you prefer, an intellectual challenge? Wiki a gogo, knock yourself out.

MCos Tue 30-Jul-13 10:59:47

I'm in Republic of Ireland. That usage of the word is new to me.
I know what Fenianism is, who they were, etc. It was an important time in our history.

If somebody called me a Fenian, I wouldn't have known to be insulted! But from what people are saying the clue would have been in the tone of voice used...

claig Tue 30-Jul-13 11:00:34

No I'm not a bloke, and I don't believe in insulting antyone or calling them names, so I'll pass on the insults, unlike you.

SarahAndFuck Tue 30-Jul-13 12:07:46

OP I wouldn't have understood that at all, I'd have thought it was a name the same as the others.

But obviously you do understand it and if it has left you feeling offended and pissed off then cancel your appointments and tell her why if that will make you feel better.

Or comment under the picture and ask her what she means.

Coca Cola were doing a sort of tour where you could go and have names printed on coke bottles. They said they wouldn't print offensive terms but it's possible that someone had it printed elsewhere, where it wouldn't be recognised as an insult. I think here it would have been taken as just another name.

I'm sorry she has upset you.

Nassau Tue 30-Jul-13 12:31:41

For those who don't get the coke bottle reference:

Thought Coca-Cola UK were doing it as well?

claig Tue 30-Jul-13 12:44:35

Thanks Nassau. that explains it. Yes I seem to remember some of their adverts for this on TV.

After reading from TheYami:

"For people who don't get the point of the pictue, It would be like someone from the US posting coke bottles with three typically African-American names and one bottle photoshopped to have the N word on it."

I have never ever heard this word before, so to me, I was a bit confused. In the context given, YAsoNBU!

I'm from the Republic of Ireland and I would have read it as an insult too. I can't believe that she didn't seem to care that she lost business.

chubbymomie2012 Tue 30-Jul-13 16:26:50

I suspect she will care when she trys to get insurance for her car or house insurance and its inflated because she is livng in a flaspoint area. Perhaps then she wont be so picky aout where her business comes from.

WipsGlitter Tue 30-Jul-13 17:23:21

She wasn't being picky about where her business came from, in fact that she felt ok to come over to 'your side' shows that things have moved on in a way.

chubbymomie2012 Tue 30-Jul-13 17:24:37

true. she wasnt being picky. I apologise for that.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Tue 30-Jul-13 19:41:24

I'm surprised people aren't familiar with the term. I'm Antipodean and am aware it's a pejorative word.

Even Lord Grantham used it in a derogatory way in Downton Abbey, when referring to his son-in-law!

Words become greater than the sum of their parts. In theory, they're not necessarily insulting; in practice, they very much are.

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