Dinosaurs? Roaming free in my neck of the woods!

I woke up this morning amused and appalled in equal measures. Here’s why.

On Twitter yesterday I replied to this tweet

“A senior colleague has praised me publicly saying (twice) he thought my academic papers were so good he’d assumed I was a man.”
“Oh dear”
Another replied…..
“The everyday sexism of academic life”
Then I said ….
“I live a bit of a sheltered life, but I didn’t think there were still Dinosaurs like that :{ “

Sheltered life? Sheltered life! The truth, and I have to be careful here, is that I live in the Jurassic age.

My daughters, I’m glad to say, are feminists. They look at me with a mixture of compassion and frustration.

This is part of an earlier post, describing my life.

“Life as a Wife.

What can I tell you. I come from an old fashioned family. My father was the head of our household. The focal point of our day was when Daddy came home from work. My mother was a wife. An indomitable, funny, feisty, kind woman. She did heaps of other stuff, but she was a wife and mother first and a fine cook.

I am a wife. My husband is the head of our household. He comes from an old fashioned family. The focal point of our day is when he gets home from work…. it’s the focal point of my day too, because, now once again, I work for him and drive his lorry. I do a lot more. I’ve said I like to cook, – that is my daily relaxation. The glass of wine that goes with is pretty relaxing too and he’s a good man to feed – like my father – appreciative! I don’t much care for doing the pots in a six be four shed but needs I must. I clean and keep the place pretty ship-shape because I can’t live in a mess. I keep the yard clean and the pets fed. I do the books, because I can read and write. I manage the work diary and the phone because I still have RP and don’t sound like a Gypsy…. “

I take part in the decision making process, but he has the final say. If he said that tomorrow we were shifting and that I should pack down the trailers; then argue I might, but pack down the trailers I would. Even if I knew we had nowhere to go but the side of a busy road.

He’s an intelligent man, is proud of my knowledge and values opinion; but my identity is, most definitely: ‘Wife’.

8 thoughts on “Dinosaurs? Roaming free in my neck of the woods!

  1. I know this isn’t the main point of your post, but this “I still have RP and don’t sound like a Gypsy…. “ stood out. I wouldn’t have thought that RP was still necessary on the telephone. Do you need to sound a particular way? What does a Gypsy sound like anyway??

    • I don’t say that RP is necessary, but in our particular case, it helps our confidence. (I’m not presuming to talk for all Gypsies, just my own life.) We face a lot of competition in a country in the depth of an economic depression and we have hung on by our fingernails. Everything that can help our confidence and instil confidence in our potential customers, is a tool to be used. I don’t know if you know any Gypsies, but they do have a particular way of talking that, to us, is instantly recognisable. It comes down to idiolect, where the phrasing and cadence are as important as the jargon used. Having been called a ‘Dirty Gypsy’ all his life, my husband feels the need to hide his origins in front of customers. Truthfully, I would say that 95% of potential customers would back away if they thought they were dealing with a Gypsy, so we like to stay under the radar. I explain what that’s like in this earlier post. https://agypsieswife.wordpress.com/2013/10/07 Thank you very much for reading my blog. It is lovely to have a voice, and I hope I’ve managed to make things a little clearer.

      • Fair point. Unfortunately, prejudice is alive and kicking against Gypsies. I don’t know if I would recognise a particular speech as specifically Gypsy, I might wonder if it were regional and I would probably wonder where they were from. Perhaps it’s a subconscious reaction. Thanks for your clarifying post, and I think it’s great that the internet has given you a voice – you and many others, I hope!

      • Your blog is fascinating by the way! I got my love of language from my father, he would have loved it too and no doubt had some comments to make! Have you researched the origins of the Romany language? If not, maybe do – it’s very interesting.

  2. Thankyou! Language is my passion in life. I haven’t researched the Romany language, except where it relates to English (words such as “pal”, for example). It is something I have thought about, especially as I believe it would be interesting to compare different versions of Romany in different parts of the world, to see if the other local languages have had an influence, and if so, to what extent and in what areas of vocabulary, and of course to examine what kinds of Romany words have crept into the other languages too. I would also like to see the structure of the language – is it flexible like Greek? SVO like English? VSO like Welsh? Case based? The list of questions goes on and on!

  3. Pingback: I will always be remembered as a Wife. | A Gypsie's wife's life

  4. omg… My ex husband is an egyptian (not traditional) man, and I never never felt, during 25 years together, only ‘A WIFE’ … sorry

    • No need to apologise Roassana. We all have our own walk in life and this is mine. I don’t ask anyone else to follow my footsteps, least of all my daughters. Thank you for reading, I hope you continue, as Linn B Halton says, mine is a ‘life less ordinary, lived with passion’.

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