Blog 7: The Gypsy Image in stories, the media, and on the Internet

The UN’s powerful campaign to spread awareness of sexism using Google’s auto complete search function has taken the Internet by storm. What makes the UN’s ads so powerful is that they use real Google searches for the image to highlight popular opinions about women across the web.

autocomplete-sexism4         autocomplete-sexism3

I decided to try a similar experiment using the word “Gypsies” instead of “women” to take a look the mark of antigypsyism on the Internet. This is what I found:

gypsies-should-with-caption (2)

Horrifying, but not entirely surprising. Part of the reason that we’re writing these long research papers about the function of Romani characters in film (other than to satisfy FSU’s Rhetoric and Composition Requirements) is to examine how the representation of ‘Gypsies’ in film relates to popular opinions about Gypsies in the media, on the web, and elsewhere. Frankly, it matters how people, whether they are men, women, Gypsies, Asians, or whoever, are represented. When the same stereotypes are perpetuated in film after film, press conference after press conference, it informs popular opinion. The rising Jobbik party is terrifying confirmation of this.

Luckily, there are people who aren’t swayed by popular opinion and who use their voices to fight for equality and justice, like these French high school students who protested the deportation of their Romani classmates.  And there are y’all, using your blogs to talk about what you’re learning, thinking, and figuring out for yourselves about identity and human rights. The problem isn’t too big to face– what you say matters too.

This week you are assigned to read Chapter Six of We Are The Romani People on the “Gypsy” Image. For this week’s blog, answer the discussion questions at the end of the chapter in 300 words or more (300 words total for all three questions, not 300 words each). Use quotes and examples from the text and cite using parenthetical in-text citation (MLA, of course) to illustrate your points. You can use other sources in addition if you wish. The direct quotes you use won’t count as part of your 300 words— I want to see that you can use your own analysis and ideas to discuss this issue.

Questions:

1. Where does the Gypsy image come from?

2. Why is it so persistent, even though information on the population is readily available?

3. Do Romanies themselves help sustain an inaccurate ‘gypsy image’?

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