If you’re obsessed with ridiculous reality television series like I am (Real Housewives of New Jersey, Orange County, New York City… shall I go on?) you’ve probably seen an episode or two of VH1’s new series, Mob Wives. More likely, you’re totally obsessed and too ashamed to tell anyone about it. Don’t worry, your secret’s safe with me.
If you have no interest in reality TV and haven’t seen Mob Wives, here’s a clip to give you an idea:
As you can see, Staten Island is prominently featured on the show. As a native Staten Islander, I feel conflicted. I’m completely obsessed with this show… but I can’t stand the way that it represents Staten Island and the people who live there.
We’re all Italian, and we’re all mobsters
Yes, there is a large Italian population on Staten Island, but obviously not everyone who lives there is Italian. I’m Irish, as is my entire family. There is a diverse population in New York City, including Staten Island. More importantly, the show implies that Staten Island is a hot spot for the mafia and organized crime. While there was a large mob bust in January (as featured on the show), the investigations were focused in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island, Rhode Island and New Jersey. NOT Staten Island. While people in Staten Island were arrested, it wasn’t the focus of the arrests. There is crime and criminal activity everywhere, but this show makes it seem as if Staten Island is the only place where this occurs and that it’s totally normal. It’s not.
Going to jail is okay if you’re from Staten Island
All of the women on the show have husbands or fathers (or both) who are currently incarcerated. It’s depicted that the women on the show find this to be the norm, and it’s implied that this is because they were raised in “this lifestyle” in Staten Island. So essentially, being arrested for racketeering is culturally accepted in SI. It’s not.
Even though the dump is gone, the trash remains
When you talk about Staten Island, a lot of people will think of the dump. Yeah, you can see if from outer space. So what? It’s closed now, but as shown on the show, the trash remains in the form of these spoiled, deluded, and violent women.
SI women have nothing to do but drink, curse and fight with each other
When you’re only filmed drinking, cursing and fighting with your “friends”, that’s all people are going to think you do. Even better, it’s all they’re going to think women from Staten Island do. When you’re on TV, you’re representing where you’re from. Believe me, I wish you weren’t.
We don’t all tawk like that! Okay, maybe we do… Wanna fight about it?