December 05, 2013

Gypsy Parlor stereotypes Native women

Gypsy Parlor's 'Pocahotties' photo draws Internet ire from Native American critic

By Andrew Z. GalarneauOn Thanksgiving Eve, the Super Bowl of drinking nights in Buffalo, Mattina posted this picture of herself, on the left, and bartender Anna Todaro:They were dressed up as Pocahotties. You know, sexy Pocahontases. (Pocahonti?) "There is nothing sexy about pilgrims," she wrote.

Which drew the ire of Jodi Lynn Maracle, an American Studies PhD student at the University at Buffalo who is part Mohawk. In a post published yesterday, Maracle teed off on the photo:Above we see Gabrielle Mattina, owner of The Gypsy Parlor in Buffalo, NY, posing with bartender, Anna Todaro, dressed as some bizarre mashup of the ever present racist, sexist Pocahottie mixed with a dash of some fabricated notion of the Gypsy, who, much like the Indian, exists more in the mythologized, Disney realm than any where in reality.In response to Facebook commenters posting "Hey, sexy" comments and "I don't remember the Native Americans looking like this in my history books," Maracle dropped the big one, linking the ain't-we-having-fun photo to the rape of Native American women and racist depictions of Roma people. ... [T]o paraphrase, you contribute to rape culture, and you are appropriating poseurs.
Gypsy Parlor owner apologizes for 'Pocahotties' photo, staff backlash

By Andrew Z. GalarneauGabrielle Mattina, owner of The Gypsy Parlor, apologized this afternoon for dressing as "sexy Pocahontas" at her Grant Street nightspot, and the nasty backlash from staffers against a Native American critic.

"I learned yesterday that I offended people because my bartender and I wore braids in our hair and brown fitted dresses the day before Thanksgiving. My intention was not to hurt or offend Native American people, or anyone. I apologize.

"At the time I didn’t understand that it would have this effect on people, and I know not to ever do it again. I also apologize that my crew’s reaction was defensive and off color. We should all think before we act.

"I would like everyone who reads this to keep an open mind and see for yourself that this behavior is not a reflection of who we are here at Gypsy Parlor. I invite you to 376 Grant St. to see that we welcome and respect all people here, and hope you join us to experience our diverse crew, working to make this diverse neighborhood a better and enjoyable place."

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