14

Prison Guard talking to Senior prison Guard.

Goddamn it, we're gonna get one thing straight. I don't work for you. You may have worked here for many years and done all manner of things, and I suppose that's because you're a hard worker. Most of you people are. All your women keep your little bungalows clean, sweep off the dirt floors- keep the papooses in order and all- but I'm my own boss, all right?

What does he mean by "all your women"?

  • 4
    Context would help. Does the speaker belong to a different ethnic group that the Senior prison Guard, or from most of the other prison guards? – Colin McLarty May 29 '17 at 17:17
  • 5
    StackExchange sites are meant to be resources not only for the asker, but also for others who might be interested in the question. That is why the questions and answers are kept available on line. You can see @1006a has a rather different view, and that view is pretty plausible on its face. So I would still like to know more of the context of this passage you quote. – Colin McLarty May 29 '17 at 17:35
  • 2
    Please wait at least a day or so before accepting an answer. This meta post explains why this is usually wise. – Ben Kovitz May 29 '17 at 18:38
  • 3
    @ColinMcLarty googling the line about papooses indicates it is from Halloween (2007) movie-censorship.com/report.php?ID=4706 – Martin Smith May 29 '17 at 20:29
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    For a brief moment I read "All your women are belong to us" – Marc.2377 May 29 '17 at 23:22
17

The speaker seems to be implying that the majority of the other guards have a wife or girlfriend at home (and that these women take care of the domestic needs of the household while the guard is at work).

32

The guard seems to be making some kind of racial or ethnic generalization (the phrase you people is the tip-off). The guard's main point1 is

Most of you people are [hard workers].

In this context, the phrase All your women would mean women belonging to the specific racial or ethnic group. Given the use of the word papooses which, as @Mindwin pointed out in a comment, is used to refer to North American Indian babies, it's probably safe to assume the guard specifically means Native American women.


1 To be more accurate, the guard's main overall point is that he doesn't have to answer to the senior guard, because the senior guard is inherently inferior due to his race/ethnicity. The guard makes the point about "you people" (including "your women") being hard working to explain how such an inferior being could have possibly been promoted to senior guard in the first place.


Edit: Just in case my answer isn't clear, I want to be explicit that the guard's entire speech is inflammatory and offensive (he means to insult the senior guard), and not something to model speech on. Phrases like you people and papooses and your women aren't likely to be received well in regular conversation, and should be avoided.

  • 5
    +1 for racial or ethnic generalization. It's also incredibly sexist by many people's standards today, if we reflect on who exactly is the [plural] you being addressed (by implication, only men are counted in that group; the women are effectively just "possessions / attributes"). – FumbleFingers May 29 '17 at 16:11
  • @FumbleFingers Absolutely. The writers really packed a whole lot of offensiveness into a pretty short speech. – 1006a May 29 '17 at 18:34
  • 2
    Also, by mentioning the little bungalows with their dirt floors, he calls attention to the poverty of “you people”. – Anton Sherwood May 30 '17 at 0:18

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