Author Topic: Assumptions that are actually true  (Read 13873 times)

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Piratelvr1121

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Assumptions that are actually true
« on: July 08, 2010, 11:33:51 AM »
But are still assumptions based on stereotypes or reputations of a religion/ethnicity/nationality.

Not so much anymore, but it used to be that when I'd disclose that my dad is one of 7 kids, people would jokingly ask if we were Irish and of Green religion.   Well, yeah, my grandparents are of that religion, and they are 1st generation Irish-American, but it's still an assumption based on a stereotype.

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Namárië

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Re: Assumptions that are actually true
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2010, 12:12:45 PM »
Ugh. I feel you. My father's family is the same (9 kids, Irish, Green), and I get asked that when I mention my enormous extended family. The worst is when I am asked is any of my dad's brothers are "Irish twins." Double ugh. (And the answer is yes.  :-\)

I wish I knew a good way to respond. 
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ShadesOfGrey

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Re: Assumptions that are actually true
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2010, 12:50:53 PM »
Well, stereotypes are not necessarily a bad thing.  Generalizations exist for a reason - because in general, they are true. ;) 

The only problem with stereotypes or generalizations is when people hold on to them in the face of additional/new/contrary information. 

I wouldnt call that kind of conversation offensive, personally.  It's ok to be "they stereotpycial [X]" - there's really nothing derrogatory about that.  It just is what it is. 
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MommyPenguin

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Re: Assumptions that are actually true
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2010, 12:55:21 PM »
Yeah, I'll admit, when I tell people that my dad was one of 8 siblings, and each of his parents were one of 10, I'll joke, "Irish (Green)."  The thing is that it's a stereotype for a reason, predominantly that artificial means of limiting family size was/is frowned upon among certain groups.  So it's sort of a given that families would tend to be large.  I guess I just don't look upon that sort of stereotype as unflattering, because it's a) true, and b) not negative, just factual.  I suppose it depends on context, though.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Assumptions that are actually true
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2010, 01:33:55 PM »
Well I heard this so much as a kid, including from my dad that "You can count on a family with many kids being Irish Green" that I believed it.   After all, I was a kid and I figured since Dad was Irish Green, he'd know.   He also didn't clarify that it wasn't as common anymore, or that there were any other reasons for people having large families.   

I actually embarrassed myself, when I met someone from a family of 6 in high school and said "You're Irish Green, aren't you?"  They gave me a weird look and said, "Um...no, we're *other religion known for large families*.    :-[   I apologized for my ignorance and kinda sheepishly said "Learn something new every day!"

It was after that that I also learned that, until medical advances reduced infant mortality in the early 20th century, families of all backgrounds and faiths tended to have many children. 
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whatsanenigma

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Re: Assumptions that are actually true
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2010, 02:14:20 PM »
The worst is when I am asked is any of my dad's brothers are "Irish twins." Double ugh. (And the answer is yes.  :-\)

Sorry, what are "Irish twins"? I'm curious now.

Elfqueen13

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Re: Assumptions that are actually true
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2010, 02:17:35 PM »
The worst is when I am asked is any of my dad's brothers are "Irish twins." Double ugh. (And the answer is yes.  :-\)

Sorry, what are "Irish twins"? I'm curious now.

I think it's 2 children born in the same calendar year, from separate pregnancies.  So a January baby and his November sibling would be Irish Twins.
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ShadesOfGrey

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Re: Assumptions that are actually true
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2010, 02:33:35 PM »
I thought it was just within 12 months of each other regardless of calendar year? like, basically you got pregnant right after you gave birth? Hmmm...

ETA: Apparently, it's a slightly derrogatory term! Never knew that... ???
« Last Edit: July 08, 2010, 02:35:21 PM by DigitalPumpkin46 »
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Assumptions that are actually true
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2010, 02:58:58 PM »
I thought it was just within 12 months of each other regardless of calendar year? like, basically you got pregnant right after you gave birth? Hmmm...

ETA: Apparently, it's a slightly derrogatory term! Never knew that... ???

This is what I thought too.   I don't know who coined the term, but my guess is that it probably originated around the same time as "No Irish Need Apply", the term "Paddy Wagon" and the stereotype that the Irish are big drinkers.    ::)   Probably meant as a snark about how frequently the Irish were adding to their families.   

In his eulogy for Grandma, my dad's twin brother (actual twins, not Irish twins!) told a few stories, one of them being when Grandpa announced to his coworkers that he was going to be a father for the 7th time in 9 years.   One of them said "Paul, why don't you just take Kate to the movies next time?"   
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Namárië

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Re: Assumptions that are actually true
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2010, 03:26:15 PM »
I thought it was just within 12 months of each other regardless of calendar year? like, basically you got pregnant right after you gave birth? Hmmm...

ETA: Apparently, it's a slightly derrogatory term! Never knew that... ???

Yes, this is the way I have always understood it. I've always considered it kinda derogatory/insulting.
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HeebyJeebyLeebee

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Re: Assumptions that are actually true
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2010, 03:28:07 PM »
My Pops is the 5th of 7 kids.  Irish-German-Polish Green.  All of them are named after saints too.

Apparently there's a similar stereotype about Orthodox Blues.  A former employer of mine is Orthodox Blue, and he has 14 kids.  A current coworker of mine who is Reform Blue said that large families are very common in the Orthodox Blue community.
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Lady Snowdon

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Re: Assumptions that are actually true
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2010, 10:00:07 AM »
I think in that situation, the best you can do is acknowledge there's a stereotype, and then try to bean dip away from it.  So, if someone says "Oh, Irish Green, huh?" when you reveal that you're one of 8, then you can say something like, "Gee, how'd you guess?  Do you think Spain or Netherlands is going to end up with more broken bones during the World Cup game?"

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Assumptions that are actually true
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2010, 12:02:20 PM »
My Pops is the 5th of 7 kids.  Irish-German-Polish Green.  All of them are named after saints too.

Apparently there's a similar stereotype about Orthodox Blues.  A former employer of mine is Orthodox Blue, and he has 14 kids.  A current coworker of mine who is Reform Blue said that large families are very common in the Orthodox Blue community.

Italians too, I believe.  My maternal grandmother was the youngest of 5, and the first to be born in the states when the family came over from Sicily.  :) 

Been dip is a good idea.  Or sometimes I've turned it into an opportunity to praise my grandma.  "Yeah, Grandma was pretty amazing, I don't know how she managed to keep track of 7 kids, kept house and worked as a nurse!!  I don't think I could do it as well as she did!"
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

HeebyJeebyLeebee

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Re: Assumptions that are actually true
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2010, 12:07:21 PM »
My Pops is the 5th of 7 kids.  Irish-German-Polish Green.  All of them are named after saints too.

Apparently there's a similar stereotype about Orthodox Blues.  A former employer of mine is Orthodox Blue, and he has 14 kids.  A current coworker of mine who is Reform Blue said that large families are very common in the Orthodox Blue community.

Italians too, I believe.  My maternal grandmother was the youngest of 5, and the first to be born in the states when the family came over from Sicily.  :) 

Been dip is a good idea.  Or sometimes I've turned it into an opportunity to praise my grandma.  "Yeah, Grandma was pretty amazing, I don't know how she managed to keep track of 7 kids, kept house and worked as a nurse!!  I don't think I could do it as well as she did!"

I know what you mean.  We sometimes refer to my grandmother as Saint Irene for raising 7 kids and putting up with my grandpa.  One of my uncles teases that when he was younger he thought his mother's name was "Da**it Irene".  Maw maw even once confessed to me that as much as she loved my grandfather, she's was sorta glad that she outlived him so she could do things her way for a change. 
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Assumptions that are actually true
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2010, 12:40:25 PM »


I know what you mean.  We sometimes refer to my grandmother as Saint Irene for raising 7 kids and putting up with my grandpa.  One of my uncles teases that when he was younger he thought his mother's name was "Da**it Irene".  Maw maw even once confessed to me that as much as she loved my grandfather, she's was sorta glad that she outlived him so she could do things her way for a change. 

My mother used to say this about my grandma (her MIL) because she felt sorry for Grandma for sometimes having to host "all by herself while Paul went upstairs to watch a game on the tv in their room!"   

Now, mind you, because we lived 3 hours away from Grandma, we never went for only a day, we usually stayed a few days and we weren't the only ones there, either.   Especially at Thanksgiving when sometimes it wasn't just the 7 kids and however many grandchildren there were at the time (I'm the oldest of 16 grand kids), but also their nieces and nephews and their kids!    (Ever heard Tom Chapin's song "Cousins"?  I swear he must of heard of our family!)

Now, Grandpa was very friendly and loved seeing everyone, but being an introvert, he'd socialize for a while and then retreat to the bedroom to watch the game so the grandkids could have the main tv.    Maybe it's cause I'm an introvert myself, but I totally understood that!   
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata