Big fat gypsy christmas

(56 Posts)
Bessie123 Fri 28-Dec-12 22:44:05

I just caught 20 mins of this when I was channel surfing. There are loads of little girls trussed up in disgusting heavy but tight dresses with diamonds all over them. It looks so inappropriate, I don't understand how sexualising 7 year olds can be a cultural aspiration. Can anyone explain?

Booyhoo Fri 28-Dec-12 22:45:28

you are the one seeing it as sexual.

Bessie123 Fri 28-Dec-12 22:50:14

Well yes, me and I should think the vast majority of people who see it. That is, the dresses (and the dancing but that is a separate issue) conform to western sexual norms usually followed by adult women as an expression of their sexuality.

Bessie123 Fri 28-Dec-12 22:52:12

I do understand that the traveller community may see it as a way of taking part in some consumerist competition but I do think that if you must do that (yes, I am judging) there are other ways of doing it.

Booyhoo Fri 28-Dec-12 22:54:39

good for you. does it make you feel better to have gotten that out in the open?

Bessie123 Fri 28-Dec-12 22:56:16

It seems self evident to me - already out in the open. I was more interested in an alternative view, do you have one?

Chanatan Fri 28-Dec-12 23:00:40

I have a view,its all a load of bollocks,Romany gypsies would hate to be linked with the image this show is portraying,its not a true representation of the Gypsy and traveller communities,just trash tv made to appeal to the judgemental masses.

Bessie123 Fri 28-Dec-12 23:11:13

It's not very appealing, I've switched over to Friday Night Dinner.

Booyhoo Fri 28-Dec-12 23:15:57

i agree chanatan

i know 'country girls' that dress in similar outfits and i know irish traveller girls who never would.

it's made up bullshit focussing on the behaviour/lifestyle of a very small section of a group of people. it isn't representative of traveller culture. it's just representative of those travellers who very clearly want attention (and so will embellish a bit to get it)

Bessie123 Fri 28-Dec-12 23:29:06

But there are loads of kids at the parties who look like little hookers. Where are the 'normal' travellers, do they not go to the parties and is that why they are never on the show? It's a genuine question, tell me how the lifestyle is different, I am interested.

Bessie123 Fri 28-Dec-12 23:30:46

Sorry, I was also interested in how travellers really assimilate or don't, ie do they tend to go to school more than suggested etc etc. I don't know any travellers in the uk

Booyhoo Fri 28-Dec-12 23:43:05

hookers? you haven't spent much time with prostitutes have you? are you basing that comment on a film by any chance?

what do you mean by 'normal' travellers?

yes most traveller children go to school at least until around 12/13. some go on to do gcses and A-levels.

Bessie123 Fri 28-Dec-12 23:53:39

You're right, I haven't spent much time with prostitutes, in fact, very little (though some, as a naive teenager). But I'm sure you know what I mean.

By 'normal' travellers, I am referring to chanatan's post, where she said that the programme is not represenative of 'most' travellers.

Tbh I am shock at the idea of a child leaving school at 13/14, it is pretty much denying them the opportunity to be independent because they will struggle to make their own money. Of course, this won't always matter but what happens if a wife is being abused? How does she leave her husband and support herself? Does she go back to her family? Is she ever allowed to be independent?

I suppose what I getting at above is that women do not seem equal in traveller culture, they seem like sexualised servants. That is my impression from the programme. I am interested in how the programme misrepresented the culture and what the real situation is.

I should add that my assumptions of traveller culture comes from the tv only, I have no actual knowledge.

Booyhoo Fri 28-Dec-12 23:57:21

no i dont know what you mean.

Booyhoo Fri 28-Dec-12 23:58:09

"I should add that my assumptions of traveller culture comes from the tv only, I have no actual knowledge. "

you didn't need to add this.

Bessie123 Sat 29-Dec-12 00:00:26

Sigh

I mean they look cheap and inappropriately sexual

I added the bit about the tv to encourage you to tell me your experience of traveller culture

Booyhoo Sat 29-Dec-12 00:04:22

again, you are the one who is seeing 7 year old girls as being sexual.

Bessie123 Sat 29-Dec-12 00:07:50

Are you not reading my posts at all? I keep explaining my comments. Do you have anything interesting to add?

Booyhoo Sat 29-Dec-12 00:11:31

nothing you would want to hear.

Bessie123 Sat 29-Dec-12 00:24:50

FFA, what a lame cop out. You have given no information at all. So you can't articulate your position, you can only criticise others, without using a rational argument.

chanatan please come back

Bessie123 Sat 29-Dec-12 00:25:10

FFS, stupid auto correct

Booyhoo Sat 29-Dec-12 00:28:30

you want to hear more 'proof' that these girls are little 'hookers' and that they are uneducated, cheap etc. well i'm not going to do that. sorry, get your fix elsewhere.

nailak Sat 29-Dec-12 00:29:17

but they dont seem to be short of money, they seem to have more money then most of us!

If you have watched the programme you will have seen they wear revealing outfits but also have strict moral rules, they cant go on dates without a chaperone, girls dont drink, they dont have sex before marriage etc, so just coz they wear revealing outfits doesnt make them prostitutes, they dont think of it as sexual. In Thelmas programme when she hired apprentices you can see the girls were shocked by some words such as dick etc as that is what they viewed as sexualised!

There was also a traveller girl on there that wouldnt wear the revealing dresses saying that is not how she had been raised.

sleeplessinsuburbia Sat 29-Dec-12 00:32:35

I get you Bessie! I have no idea if the show portrays the norm, the point is the women they do show discuss often how common it is to leave school early, get married and be a housewife in the community and the clothes are,in my opinion, terrible regardless of their culture.

Bessie123 Sat 29-Dec-12 00:34:31

Yes, nailak, that is true. But what it looks like to me is that the women are completely controlled, used as sex objects and servants. If a young woman is not educated about sex (not educated at all) and is not allowed, because of a strict moral code' to discuss it, but is rather taught to think of it as shameful and disgusting, that is another way of controlling her, isn't it?

The girl who wouldn't wear the revealing outfit was a Romany, not a traveller.

booyhoo maybe if you'd attended school past the age of 14 you would be able to put an argument together, instead of responding like a petulant teenager

Booyhoo Sat 29-Dec-12 00:41:42

you are pissed off because i called you on your judginess. fine, i understand that isn't pleasant but there is no need to start insulting my level of education. that makes you look like the teenager tbh. fwiw i left school at 15, but i learnt enough to know not to judge anyone based on a channel 4 shock doc. there's being educated and then there's being intelligent. not the same thing, obviously.

Bessie123 Sat 29-Dec-12 00:47:42

You're coming across as neither, booyhoo

You can't 'call me on my judginess' but not explain why you think it's wrong - it doesn't mean anything.

Booyhoo Sat 29-Dec-12 00:53:00

ok.

nailak Sat 29-Dec-12 00:57:05

no she wasnt a romany. she was an english/irish traveller.

nailak Sat 29-Dec-12 00:59:25

who says that they are taught sex is shameful and disgusting? seriously not wanting young people to have sex before marriage is not the same as saying it is disgusting, it is saying that it is beautiful within marriage!

it probably looks to them that "country" women are all totally controlled and used as sex objects and servants! lol

Bessie123 Sat 29-Dec-12 01:00:42

The dark haired girl who was bullied? She was of Romany descent, that was given as one of the reasons why she didn't 'fit in' with the other girls. Although actually, it seemed more about her social skills, I thought she could have done with a bit more support in dealing with other people, what did you think?

Bessie123 Sat 29-Dec-12 01:01:40

They said that the word 'penis' was shameful and disgusting and refused to look at a representation of a naked man in an art gallery

Chanatan Sat 29-Dec-12 08:19:08

If you really are interested in "normal"travellers,have a read of this,this young man puts it very well.
I have no doubt that there are small sections that live like this (but also wonder how much of this was hyped up for the cameras) but despair that huge sections of people watching these programmes think that this a typical view of these communities.

Santasapunkatheart Sat 29-Dec-12 08:35:59

Agreed, Chanatan. So many people do base their opinions on this crass documentary. Most do not even know the difference between Roma and Irish travellers. It is not a documentary that enlightens or informs - it simply presents extremes.

That said, sexualisation is in the eye of the beholder. Do you watch a docu about a remote African tribe, see the women dancing without bras and think 'Phwoar, they are asking for it?' No of course you don't and their fellow tribespeople don't have that view either.

Also, it is not on to attack someone's level of education in an arguement. It's a low blow and not a great way to engage with someone if you wish to hear more about their culture. Personally I would like to READ more about the gypsy culture, rather than be dazzled and angered by a bad Channel 4 'docu.'

So please read this: pipopotamus.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/open-letter-to-chanel-4.html

Otherwise you continue to perpetuate ignorance and infuriate a race of people.

Bessie123 Sat 29-Dec-12 15:45:26

punk I will read the link; however I actually do know quite a lot about Roma (particularly in Romania and the way the Roma culture clashes with mainstream culture) but next to nothing about travellers. I do think the poster's school leaving age was relevant - she can't seem to think properly or formulate an argument (which is often a result of a lack of education) and she provided next to no information (This is a problem with gypsies all over the world, many are taken out of school or the parents prefer them to be in remedial classes for less able children, because they are easier then the gypsy children miss out on an education and remain at the bottom of the socio-economic pile). She wanted only to say over and over that I am judgmental and wrong which may be, but that statement needs some information to back it up or it is meaningless. She wouldn't engage anyway despite my asking for information and opinion, her contribution to the thread was pretty much nothing.

The little girls dressed in tight, adult style, sexualised dresses are quite different from a traditional cultural style of eg African tribes. I think it is disingenuous to suggest they are not following patterns of westernised sexuality because they clearly are.

Chanatan Sat 29-Dec-12 16:00:24
nailak Sat 29-Dec-12 16:14:33

i thought that girl was a bit arrogant and thought she was better then the rest of them coz she had an education and stuff.

Santasapunkatheart Sat 29-Dec-12 16:20:57

Very very good article, Chanatan. Not a great deal that I didn't already know but a few things that helped fill in gaps. The odd thing is when someone has any negative exchange with a gypsy, they brand all of them the same. If this is done with black or Asian people, it is called blatant racism.

I had a friend who as part of her job visited traveller sites to weigh their babies. Yes they do have a suspicion of people but when my daughter's headmistress told her school that 'Please don't talk to the gypsies - they smell and steal' one child threw stones at them. What a charming way to interact with a different race.

That said, I think that communities do need to talk, to understand one another. Some tolerance and more journalism like this article, might help.

Sexuality is, as I said, in the eyes of the beholder. Channel 4 have picked extremes of colour, costume and behaviour. Many Roma and Irish Traveller do not recognise this stereotype. I am from an Indian background and I might react just as strongly if there were stereotypes presented to me to which I could not relate. I have seen my little niece gyrate to a Beyonce video - the sexualisation that pop stars push psuh push is far more worrying that a couple of innocent children at a wedding, separate from the men, having a good time.

Chanatan Sat 29-Dec-12 16:32:35

I have heard it said that racisim against travellers and gypsies is still the one form of racisim that people still find acceptable,however it is still racisim and needs stamping out,its no fun when you or worse still your children are on the end of such racisim.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 29-Dec-12 17:09:54

chanatan thanks for posting that pdf link.

GrrrArghZzzzYaayforall8nights Sat 29-Dec-12 17:51:31

Clash isn't really the right word, it is not about a difference in cultures, it is about the issues remaining from the Roma being enslaved by the people of what's now Romania and Slovakia (Roma do not come from Romania, my close friend who is Roma gets that all the time and it frustrates her to no end - she doesn't want to be equated with people who enslaved and killed hers). The capturing and holding them in pens like animals through enslavement and this treatment went on into how the Nazi's treated them. These issues come into the modern day.

Channel 4 really needs to end these shows, it's just fanning the flames of bigotry and the fact they refuse to listen to the communities they are affecting is horrible. They've now sold them to the States where it is just getting worse.

Booyhoo Sat 29-Dec-12 18:19:42

i am not a traveller

i left school at 15 because i could

i didn't 'enlighten' you because some of the references you made to children disgusted me quite frankly and i felt that anyone who could think of children in such a way clearly didn't have the intelligence and/or inclination to want to truly understand their culture as opposed to just getting more fodder for their ignorant prejudices.

i did provide information that opposed your assumption about traveller girls. i gave you my experience. this may not be in the form of a clickable link but it is information from a person who has met and interacted with travellers as opposed to a collation of data put together by officials who tick boxes.

my opinion is that you need to have a rethink about your views on young girls and some of the things you have called them on this thread.

feel free to continue to try and intimate that i am stupid.

Bessie123 Sat 29-Dec-12 18:54:22

Actually, there is a big clash in cultures. For example, the government in Romania had a huge demand for housing from the Roma community. But the Roma community tended to see the allocated housing as a place to live in but not maintain because it was not theirs. There were big issues with eg graffiti and other delapidations caused by Roma not 'looking after the properties' (as we might call it). Instead of treating this as a problem with individual tenants, the government saw it as a cultural problem and stuck a group of Roma in shipping containers instead of finding and allocating them proper housing. The Romanian government thought it had found a solution because the shipping containers didn't need maintaining. However, obviously, shipping containers are not a great or comfortable place to live and the housing needs of those housed there were not being met adequately.

Another problem is education and trying to ensure all children are educated to a minimum legal standard. This received strong opposition from a number of Roma parents, who did not find education to be necessary (especially for girls) and who live largely by a philosophy whereby you should find the easiest path in life. This philosophy often equated to parents trying to get their children into special needs classes because they were the least challenging for their children. The parents did not see the education as relevant to them or as something they should engage in.

The above are just 2 examples of where Roma culture clashes with a more mainstream one and where problems have arisen in Romania.

Santasapunkatheart Sat 29-Dec-12 20:36:54

If you read the article properly you will see exactly why some members of the Roma community (and travellers) do not value education. It is not to choose the 'easiest path in life' (what nonsense) - it is in fact because many of them become self-employed rather than deal with bigotry in the workplace. So education becomes less important than going out to work. To say that they choose the easiest path simply is another way of saying they are lazy. Also they may distrust non-gypsy people in schools because of bullying. They are also nervous about being corrupted by things like drugs in schools. They are rather protective of their own.

Please read the article before posting such generalised nonsense.

Bessie123 Sat 29-Dec-12 20:42:48

I have worked with Roma communities in Romania, helping them to fight for their human rights and I can tell you that is their take on life. You are the one putting the value judgement on it their philosophy is to enjoy life and take the easiest path, your interpretation of that might be different from what I said.

Chanatan Sat 29-Dec-12 22:34:56

The Roma mentioned in the article I lnked to are not Romanian gypsies but English Romany gypsies(may have had their origins to romania) but this article refers to what I would call a traditional gypsy and the difference betwen The Romany gypsy and Irish travellers.In my part of the country most Romany gypsies have realised that their traditional ways of earning a living have now died out and now try to ensure that their children recive a full education and many go on to work in trades.I know a couple of gypsie girls that have gone to uni and are now teachers.

Bessie123 Sat 29-Dec-12 23:07:44

chanatan I was commenting on punk's linked article, I haven't read all of yours yet, will look at it in a min

SinisterBuggyMonth Sat 29-Dec-12 23:53:20

boohoo the posters have commented that the OUTFITS worn by the children are sexualized, NOT the children wearing them.

Just because someone disagrees with you there is no need to insinuate they are habouring Jimmy Savil tendancies.

Booyhoo Sun 30-Dec-12 11:47:55

"I don't understand how sexualising 7 year olds can be a cultural aspiration."

"there are loads of kids at the parties who look like little hookers." - nice hmm

no-one mentioned jimmy saville. i am not alone in thinking that OP has chosen to see a sexual element in the clothing worn by these children.

GrrrArghZzzzYaayforall8nights Sun 30-Dec-12 12:27:43

You are homogenizing, there are hundreds of groups within the Roma with different philosophies, languages and dialects, roots and traditions. The Ursari, Kalderaš, Šušuwaje are not all the same even if they all have roots in Romania and they will all have different communities which react to their oppression differently, nor are they like the Lotfita, Servika, Kovacki and dozens of others in and overlapping rooted in neighbouring countries. And none of these are connected to the Irish Travelers that these shows are about who are not connected other groups with others groups within the Irish Traveler community and they not connected to the many other traveler groups. There is a lot of diversity that is being neglected by these shows and is whitewashed when you say "Their philosophy is X". My Servika friend is currently working on her PhD and she is of great pride - that is not the easy path.

The Roma were enslaved. The issues with that go far beyond differences of culture many of their actions today were created to survive being penned up outside like animals. The issues with education are true across many oppressed groups - in Canada there was a recent study in which a few mainly Black schools put in a controversial curriculum which included such measures like learning about the African diaspora and African history as well as Canadian history, including more Black authors in English and Black inventors and scientists and generally raising the status of Black people that are traditionally ignored. This group of Black children which would normally have a high dropout rate and considered to have a low view on education ended up not only have great improvement but ended up scoring higher than their white peers on the traditional whitewashed curriculum. Making the curriculum relevant is an important first step, and many areas aren't willing to be more inclusive in their curriculum because those in charge still are set in the mindset of those that oppressed and enslaved them in the first place - which is why the oppressed groups rebel against it and have comparatively poor outcomes.

Santasapunkatheart Sun 30-Dec-12 15:31:36

Great points, Grrr. Well said. I just wish people would stop saying 'Well I met a community of gypsies and they were lazy and so that's how all gypsies are.'

It nonsense. As well as being offensive.

I am fascinated by all those different branches, Grrr.

Chippychop Sun 30-Dec-12 22:06:28

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Booyhoo Sun 30-Dec-12 22:17:38

'pykies' ?

original. where'd you think that one up? oh wait. you didn't think did you. hmm

Chippychop Sun 30-Dec-12 22:27:11

No I tuned in after channel hopping. I I choose not to dwell on them otherwise I worry my house insurance will go up smile

bureni Tue 01-Jan-13 20:33:47

Why do people assume that Roma gypsies are from Romania, they are from India and called Chavi which is a word commonly adopted by the English as an insult to the power class, the Irish gypsies are called Pavee with neither group having anything in common with this low budget television show that pays these people to dress up like christmas tree decorations for this tacky and ill informed show.

bureni Tue 01-Jan-13 20:34:13

lower class^

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