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Sluts that Choose vs. Doormat Gypsies: Exploring affect in the postfeminist, visual moral economy of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

Jensen, T; Ringrose, J; (2013) Sluts that Choose vs. Doormat Gypsies: Exploring affect in the postfeminist, visual moral economy of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. Feminist Media Studies , 14 (3)

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Abstract

The UK primetime series My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding (Channel 4, 2010, 2011, 2012) offered audiencesthe opportunity to be armchair matrimonial ethnographers, to reveal the courtship curiosities of ?one of the most secretive communities in the UK.? In spite of claims to social realist documentary,however, we argue that this programme has clearer resonances with ?sexpose� ? reality television, producing and circulating a moral, visual economy premised upon the cultural ?guration of ?thegypsy bride.? The gypsy girl and gypsy bride are marked as victims of male gypsy oppression, of ?backwards? and repressive cultural practices, of age-inappropriate sexualisation and ?excessive? consumerism, and is thus de?ned by her failure to be a good aspirational postfeminist subject.In this paper, we explore the intersecting discourses around gender, sexuality, class, and raceoperative within Gypsy Wedding and analyse online forums responding to the programme. We use psychosocial methodologies and theories of affect to argue that the gypsy bride becomes a ?gureof abjection, desired and despised, and that the (readily accepted) invitation to be appalled by her ?oppression? reveals the strategic potency of postfeminist notions of empowerment and the racist,sexist, and classist agendas it can serve.

Type: Article
Title: Sluts that Choose vs. Doormat Gypsies: Exploring affect in the postfeminist, visual moral economy of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding
Keywords: reality television; Travellers; social class; whiteness; sexualisation; femininity;psychosocial methodology; online discussion forums
UCL classification: UCL > School of Education
UCL > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice & Society
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1511516
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