[TW: Talk of sexual assault, physical assault, violence and antiziganism.]
I’ve sat here, combating the ignorance individually. I’m done with that. I’m done trying to reach you on a one on one level. You continuously ignore anything from me, you ignore the people I talk to on here who are Roma. You say we’re “Being too sensitive,” that “Gypsy is just a word,” that it stands for “Being free spirited, moving from place to place,” and the best, “I’m APPRECIATING your culture.”
First, gypsy is a slur. No matter what you think, it has been a slur for centuries. It’s where the term “gypped” comes from. It was believed that the Roma would rip gadje (non-Roma) off for money. Roma who escaped the fate of death at the hands of the SS and their dogs, the ones who weren’t killed right away, were branded with a “Z”, which stood for Zigeuner, the German word for “Gypsy”. They were shipped to death camps, where barely any suvived.
It is a slur still used today. Roma are called “Gyppos” while being beaten, forced out of their settlements, forced to move. They are called this when they are assaulted and even raped. They are victims of forced sterilization, forcible eviction of settlements, harassment by both law enforcement and citizens, fingerprinting simply because they are Roma, they are often ecxluded from schools.
I want you to look at this:
This is from 2009. This is a Roma woman being assaulted WHILE CARRYING HER CHILD in Dublin! This is what the word “Gypsy” stands for.
This is Natalka Kudrikova. She is a little girl who was severely burned when antiziganists threw molotov cocktails into her family’s home:
This is also what the word “Gypsy” stands for. This happened in 2010. Systemic violence against a culture, an ethnicity, that just wants to be treated equally, to not have their way of life treated horribly. You can be sure, as these acts were going on, the word “GYPSY!” was being screamed in a way meant to incite fear and terror in those hearing it.
You dress up in flowy clothing, half-naked or naked except for a shawl. Do you have any idea how insulting that is? It contributes to the fetishization and sexualization of the Roma. Women are assaulted physically and sexually, because of this type of thing. They are raped, simply because they are believed to be “Easy” because of these “Positive stereotypes” you’re so quick to buy into.
It’s damaging to the culture when you treat it as a costume. Do you know the meaning behind the long skirts, or the “head scarves” that you’re so fond of donning? Do you know why the Roma wear these? It’s not for fucking fashion.
When you wear these things without a a care, you take away the meaning of these items. You take away the deep cultural roots the have. The skirt is worn because the lower half of the body is traditionally seen as “unclean” due to marime, or the code that’s followed. That “scarf” is known as a diklo, worn by women when they are married.
When you dress like this, you are spitting in the face of that culture, these people that are treated like they’re less than garbage TODAY. Not centuries ago, this is STILL HAPPENING.
So, before you tag that picture as “Gypsy” or say you want to “Lead a gypsy lifestyle,” look back on this post. Think about what that word means, and what you’re saying. Think about how fucking disrespectful it is. Think about the racism involved with that word. And realize that you are contributing to the ignorance that allows violence like these 2 out of countless incidents that occur. You are turning the Roma into a trope. This positive stereotype allows people to ignore the violence and hatred that Roma are still facing, because everyone thinks that being a “gypsy” is all about freedom, when really, they face oppression daily!
You’re not cool when you do this, you’re contributing to racism and violence.