Monday, June 27, 2011

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

Have you seen the show My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding? I'm not usually a fan of reality shows, but TLC always reels me in (Sister Wives anyone?).

A typical traveler wedding party

Who are these people? They call themselves "travelers". They typically live in England, and do just what their name implies, travel. They live in RV's, often illegally on land they do not own. The children marry incredibly young, around 15 or 16, and often have very little schooling. The jobs they hold tend to be either dog breeding, collecting scrap metal, or doing handy work. They refuse to talk about money ever, though it's obvious from the show they spend a great deal on the weddings. The episode I watched last night was about an 18 year old girl. She can't really read and write, and didn't think those were important skills to have. The only aspiration the girls have is to marry, which I suppose is the reason they all dress like prostitutes, to attract a husband. If it were just the 16 year old girls, I might not be as completely creeped out as I am, seeing girls as young as NINE wearing things like garter belts and corsets!! They say this is just part of their culture. The other part of their "tradition" is a practice called "grabbing", where a teen boy goes after a teen girl to get a kiss. They literally GRAB the girl and DRAG her out of the view of the cameras and do God knows what. It's nothing short of sexual assault.

I don't want to judge these people, but it's incredibly hard not to. They talked to them about what it's like to be so hated and they equated it to racism. Is it though? At one point does the phrase "this is just our culture" stop excusing this behavior? When the sexual assault and purposely not learning how to read starts.


Sophia the Writer said...

YES I totally do - to both shows. I'm telling you, we have the same (awful) obsession with watching these kinds of shows.

Which Sister Wife is your favorite? I totally want a Brother-Husband. I think it would take a load off my boyfriend. He's hoping our brother husband is a doctor who can be the breadwinner for us (like a Jeanette). He'll be the Christine and stay at home. I'll be the douchebag who revolves houses.

Nicole said...

Racism? No. A person can not help the way they are born but they can help the way the choose to live. Most of these travelers have money because a lot of their activities or illegal and they con people quite often. Ever seen the Tv show "the Riches"? It is about a group of Irish Travelers.

Morgan said...

What! Setting the DVR now. I do love me some Sister Wives... and am in total support of the lifestyle. (Why are we okay with NFL players having 10 kids with 5 baby mammas, but people freak out about the same thing done in a loving environment??)

I'm all for the traveling, low-key lifestyle if that's their thing, but the sex/marriage/age issue is concerning.