Posts Tagged ‘Gingerism’
A comment I received on Saturday morning from a reader known as “Dillon”:
“I personally hate gingers. the red hair is not pretty, dye your hair please! i live with a ginger and she is the worst person ive ever met. she is mean about everything and never stops complaining. not to mention she smells like tuna. don’t even get me started on the freckle situation. all im saying is that gingers really have no souls, they are heartless little gingers.”
Thanks for stopping by, Dillon! I, too, hate people who are mean! Please don’t ever breed!
I fail at blogging yet again this week, folks, sorry: it’s the same old “Wah! Getting ready for my trip, wah, wondering how the hell I’ll get all that STUFF in my case, wah, workity-workity-work. Wah!” thing again, but I do have this delightful question from Yahoo Answers to share with you:
Wow, Slutty Pineapple fails at LIFE, doesn’t she? Auditioning for World’s Worst Parent Award, perhaps?
The link to this was sent to me by Lucy, who correctly deduced that it would make my head explode. Happily, though, my faith in humanity was restored somewhat by the answers to the question, most of which made the point that ol’ Slutty there shouldn’t really be breeding if this is her approach to parenting. I did get a kick out of this one, though:
This person had also clearly taken a beating from the Stupid Stick:
I’d like to think our friend McPineapple is just your common or garden troll looking for attention, but sadly, barely a day goes by without the question “Can I dye my new baby’s ginger hair?” cropping up in my search referers, so there are actually people in the world who would do this, and that’s why you should need a licence of some kind to have children. I mean, seriously, can you even IMAGINE putting hair dye on a little baby’s head?
Oh a happier note, though, Kristabella sent me this:
Awesome. And also true. So all you Slutty Pineapples better watch it…
EDIT: Since posting this, “Slutty Pineapple” has contacted me to say this question was supposed to be a joke. She says: “Thanks for putting my question on your site. It was a joke, I have nothing against red-headed people. I apologize. I googled my yahoo name, and that was the first thing that came up. Peoples’ comments were rather entertaining.”
So it was a “joke”. Oh, my aching sides!
Last week Terry and I were in the car, on the way to the gym, when we saw a woman with brown hair jogging along by the side of the road.
So we rolled down the car windows and shouted, “HEY! BRUNETTE! F&^%^*$ BRUNETTE! YOU’RE UGLY!” And then we jeered a bit more and drove on. If we see her again, we’ll try and kick her, though, because that would be even more awesome.
Hee! Honestly, it was so funny, you should’ve seen the look on her face! I don’t know why she was annoyed, though. I mean, has she not got a sense of humour? And the fact is, there was absolutely nothing wrong with what Terry and I did, because brown hair IS ugly. It just is. (Especially on men. It can sometimes look OK on women, but on men it’s just butt-ugly. I’d never date a brunette man, never. I would rather eat glass.) Everyone knows it, so why shouldn’t we say it? It’s just a plain fact, isn’t it? Brunettes are ugly. It’s funny to tease them. If they don’t like it, they should either:
a) Get a sense of humour
b) Dye their hair
Actually, come to think of it, they should probably dye their hair anyway. Why wouldn’t they? If I was a brunette I would dye it. Terry’s hair is black, but sometimes I think it can look a bit brunette in certain lights. I worry about it. It’s why we don’t have children, actually: who’d want to risk the chance of having a brunette? It wouldn’t be fair to the child and I just don’t think I could love a brunette anyway. Thank goodness they’re dying out, eh?
Just in case it’s not obvious, I’m being sarcastic here. And of course, Terry and I didn’t hurl abuse at anyone from our car just because they happened to have a certain hair colour – or for any other reason, obviously. Because that would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it? And cruel. And it would make us a couple of assholes. Really.
I’ve mentioned here before that while the street Terry and I live in is as pleasant and suburban as it gets, some of the areas around us… aren’t. Well, they don’t call our part of town “Bandit Country” for nothing, put it that way.
Where we're livin'
Just yesterday, for instance, I met a group of the local Bandits while I was out walking Rubin. The Bandits in question were mostly in their late teens/early twenties, and they were sitting in a little huddle outside the Ghetto Superstore, drinking. You’d think it would be too much of a cliché for me to say they were drinking Buckfast, wouldn’t you?
People, they were drinking Buckfast.
You’d also think it was too much of a cliché for me to say they had a pit bull terrier with them, no?
As soon as the pit bull laid eyes on Rubin, of course, it went crazy. In fact, before I knew what had happened, it was over beside us “worrying” at Rubin. Now, I should say here that it wasn’t barking or growling, or anything like that. For all I know, this might’ve been the friendliest pit bull in all the land, but I didn’t really want to take the chance on that, and because Rubin likes to think he’s a wolf (he completely ignores small dogs, but will often bark ferociously at larger ones, because… well, because he was born without a brain, obviously), I was frightened enough by the dog’s attentions that when it still hadn’t left us alone a few minutes later, I snatched Rubin into my arms and… ran off like a girl.
Only at this point did the Youth of Today dispatch a Junior Bandito (about 8 years old, I’d say) to call off the hound.
So, that’s the kind of thing we’re dealing with.
Because I never learn, though, I decided to take Rubin on the exact same walk today. In my defence, it’s pretty much the only place I CAN walk him without having to get in the car and drive somewhere, and I rarely have time for that, so Bandit Country it is. I was about ten minutes into the walk, Rubin almost hysterical with joy by my side, when I became aware of the sound of a bicycle, directly behind me.
I was on a footpath at this point, and there were no actual roads nearby, but people often cycle on the footpaths round here, so I thought nothing of this, and moved to the side of the (wide) footpath to let it pass.
The bike moved with me.
I moved even closer to the side, until my arm was brushing the branches of the trees which grow along the pathway.
The bike moved too.
At this point it struck me that this bicycle was moving very, very slowly, given that it was able to stay behind me, at my slow walking pace. It could also have passed me at any time: the path is a wide one, and I hadn’t exactly been filling it up even before I moved.
Clearly, then, it was following me. Great.
I glanced over my shoulder, and sure enough, there he was: another Junior Bandito (not the Pitt Bull handler, this time), grinning unpleasantly as the front tyre of his bike almost brushed my heels. I’m no good at estimating people’s ages, but I’d say he was probably 10 or 11. Young, but old enough to know better than to harass people in the street, I’d say.
I decided the best thing to do here would be to ignore him, so I looked away and continued walking.
“HEY! UGLY!” the bandit called.
At this point all I can say is that something snapped in my head. Because, honestly, I’ve HAD IT with people thinking it’s perfectly OK to insult and harass each other. ENOUGH.
So I stopped dead in my tracks (he almost ran into me) and turned round to face him.
“Did you say something? ” I asked pleasantly.
Well, the bandit almost fell off his bike. The look that crossed his face was almost comical as his brain struggled to register the fact that the worm had apparently turned.
“No,” he said, his voice shaking slightly. “I didn’t say a thing.”
“That’s strange,” I said, still calm. “I’m sure I heard you say something to me. What was it?”
The kid quaked. He clearly had no idea how to deal with this, so he decided to go with denial. Nope, he’d said nothing, not him. Why, he was just riding along on his bike, minding his own business!
“Well, there’s no one else here,” I said, “So I’m pretty sure it was you. What did you say?”
“I just said hello,” blurted the bandit. “That was it.”
“Really?” I said, puzzled. “That’s funny: you just told me you didn’t say anything. So now you’re telling me you DID say something: is that right?”
Silence. Pinned into a corner by his lies (I should totally be a crime writer, right?), the bandit had no choice but to get on his hoss bike and get out of town. Unfortunately for me, he managed to do the first bit OK, but, once on his bike (he’d jumped off for our “chat”) he decided to go back to following me, albeit at a slightly further distance this time.
“GINGER!” he shouted this time.
So I turned round and karate chopped him. No, OK, I didn’t. But I did turn round, and, once again, the kid almost fell off his bike in fright. You’d think he’d have learned the first time, no?
“Ah, so you DO have something to say to me!” I beamed. “I thought so! But I didn’t quite hear you. Tell you what, why don’t you come and say it to my face, rather than waiting until my back’s turned? That would be the brave thing to do, don’t you think?”
No, I have no idea why I was talking like this to a child. I mean, clearly it wasn’t exactly my finest hour, and equally clearly, I wouldn’t have been nearly so brave had he been just a little bit older. Of if he’d had The Friendliest Pit Bull in All The Land with him. But, like I said, I’m absolutely sick of not being able to walk my dog close to my own home without being taunted and harassed by idiot kids. This has happened several times now, the worst time being when I was held at branch-point in the woods, and had to phone the police. And although this was a young ‘un, I still think he was old enough to learn that following strange women in the street and calling them names is not a pleasant thing to do. And that sometimes, when you choose to do this, you just might get yourself in trouble.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the words themselves that bother me. I am not so insecure that a child calling me “ugly” will make me feel I actually AM ugly (Sorry, blog commenters who say more or less the same thing!), and the “ginger” thing is just stupid. It’s the fact that people today apparently think it’s OK to taunt strangers in the street IN ANY WAY that makes my blood boil. To follow people, and call them names, and to then try to deny it is stupid and cowardly in the extreme, and I don’t care if you’re eleven or eleventy-one: if you behave like that towards someone, you should expect to get called on it.
I know lots of people would give the old, “Ah, but they’re only kids!” argument, here, but that one won’t wash with me, sorry. If they’re old enough to be out in public unsupervised, then they’re old enough to be taught that it’s not nice to follow people and be rude to them. If your kid ISN’T old enough to understand that message, then you keep him under supervision until he is: simple. Quite apart from anything else, it’s pretty damn dangerous for kids to do this kind of thing, because while the worst thing I’d ever do would be to tell them off, if they pick on someone a little more aggressive, they could end up in some serious trouble.
So I told the bandito all of this. At length. And … he turned and ran away. “Leave me alone!” he sobbed, jumping off his bike a few metres down the path.
“I don’t really see why I should,” I said, reasonably. “I mean, you haven’t been leaving ME alone, have you? You’ve been following me and calling me names, so maybe I’ll just follow YOU now, and call you some names, how would you like that?”
He wouldn’t, was the answer. And he agreed to stop following me if I just stopped talking. So I did. And you know, that little Bandit was as good as his word. I like to think he will grow up to be a better Bandit now: a Bandit with a basic understanding of how to behave in public, and why it’s Not Nice to follow people and shout names at them. And thus, a new era of peace will be forged between the Banditos and the ordinary people of Bandit Country, all thanks to me.
Actually, I know I’ll just be lucky if my windows don’t get broken next time I’m out. Such is life.
(ETA : not that it particularly matters, but in the interests of accuracy, this all actually happened on Saturday -I wrote the post then, but then totally forgot to publish it. Ooops.)
Despite having been born with red hair, I’ve actually been pretty lucky in that I’ve never been physically attacked because of my universally reviled appearance. And come to think of it, although my mum got a lot of “don’t worry, she might grow out of it!” comments when I was a small baby, few people have been rude enough – or brave enough – to tell me to my face that they think my hair is ugly, either. Or, indeed, to kick me on the ass because of it.
(Note: one time in the shopping mall, a teenager did grab me by the collar, thrust his acne-ridden face into mine and scream, “You’re SO fucking ugly!” at me. I don’t know if that was because of my hair specifically, or just a more general observation, though, so I can’t really count it.)
No, most people tend to go for the more subtle, but just as offensive, method of telling me that hey, I’m not bad looking “for a redhead”. Or they’ll try to “comfort” me by reassuring me that I’m not actually a redhead at all, “it’s more of an auburn colour!” (This actually REALLY offends me because I don’t WANT to be “more of an auburn colour”, thanks – I’m happy with the colour I have and I don’t really need people trying to convince me I’m delusional, ya know?) Or, the all-time winner: “it’s OK on you, I guess, but when I see men with red hair I’m physically sick!” Yeah. Good job I’m not planning to breed then, or my offspring might really upset you…
So I’ve been lucky. Much luckier than the kid in this story, anyway, who was assaulted by a group of 13 teenagers, all taking part in “National Kick a Ginger Day”.
Let’s just take a minute to digest that. National. Kick. A. Ginger. Day. Doesn’t that sound fun? I mean, we already know that redheads have no soul so it stands to reason they have no feelings either, and therefore it’s perfectly acceptable to abuse them – whether physically or verbally – and expect them to just take the joke, isn’t it?
Because this is the thing. Almost every time I indulge in a rant about the hatred directed towards people with red hair in this country (or, in this case, in Canada, which surprised me, because it’s normally the UK that abuses its “gingers”), some bright spark comes along and tells me to “lighten up” or “get a sense of humour”.
A quote from the article I linked to above:
“Student Ken Logel said: “I have a few buddies with red hair, you just kind of kick them lightly just as a joke but when it gets carried away that’s not cool.”
No, that’s not “cool”, is it? I mean, a “light kick” is just fine, obviously. Because it’s SO FUNNY when people call you ugly and maybe leave you bruised and battered because of the colour of your hair, isn’t it? And that’s not AT ALL like abusing someone for the colour of their skin, or their religion or race, now, is it? On no, my mistake: IT IS. It is the same. And every time I write about prejudice against redheads, and compare it to prejudice against black people, or Jewish people, or < insert abused mimority group here > I’m told that I’m doing a disservice to victims of racism because what I’m talking about is SO MUCH LESS IMPORTANT, and is a JOKE, and doesn’t actually matter because for crying out loud it’s JUST HAIR.
Yes, it is. But now people are actually being physically attacked because of it. Now there are Facebook groups inciting violence against people with a certain colour of hair. How is this different from inciting violence against people with a certain colour of skin? Oh yeah: it isn’t. It really isn’t. And now I find myself wondering how many more attacks like this there will have to be before people start to admit that no, it’s really not cool. It’s not cool to beat people up for ANY REASON, be it skin colour, race, religion, or even hair colour. The fact that people think the first three are unacceptable (which they are) and the last is “just a joke” absolutely boggles my mind, it really does.
(Oh, and the “you can dye your hair - people can’t change the colour of their skin” argument? I SHOUDLN’T HAVE TO dye my hair to avoid abuse, any more than people with black skin should be forced to try and lighten it, or hide themselves away. People just shouldn’t abuse others, end of story.)
I’m glad to see that the police seem to be taking this incident seriously at least. But I can’t help wondering how much more of an outcry there would be if there was a “National Kick a Black Day” or a “National Kick a Jew Day”.
(Thanks to Emma for sending me the link to the story)
Ginger and proud
So, occassionally I like to amuse myself by taking a look at the things you crazy kids type into Google to find this here blawg. Here are some of this week’s, which provide a handy insight into the wrath behind my last post, about Facebook and ginger-bashing. And, you know, a handy insight into how totally freaky some people are…
forever amber blog
Typing http://www.foreveramber.co.uk will get you here quicker, but hi, hello,
how are you, loyal readers who are Googling JUST FOR ME. Am flattered.
i have red hair, will my baby?
Oh, here we go. I knew it was too good to be true. You had to get started with the whole “red haired baby” thing, didn’t you? Yes, your baby will have red hair. Try not to breed.
how to avoid a ginger haired child
Um, cross the street, maybe? Or no, wait: just don’t go out AT ALL. That way you don’t have to see the ginger children and they don’t have to see you, either. Everyone’s a winner, baby. Also: you’re an idiot – have a nice day, now!
i see stupid people
Yeah, tell me about it, I see them too. In fact, one of them typed the search term right above yours, as a matter of fact…
Can we say “stalker”?
how would a red head with freckles avoid having children with freckles?
Freckles are caused by the sun. You would avoid having a child with them by protecting its skin from the sun. You would avoid having a STUPID child, on the other hand, by protecting it from YOU.
should ginger haired people dye there hair brown or blonde
I dunno: should stupid people maybe learn how to spell before hitting up Google, hmmm?
look back in amber
Hey, lookit what you did there! You made a clever pun! I’m TOTALLY going to use that as a post title one day – just so’s you know. Also: I make the jokes around here, ‘kay?
Who knew the post about the waistband stretcher would still be getting hits, almost a year to the day since I wrote it?
i hate my mirrored wardrobe sliding doors
Oh God, me too! Man, am I glad Terry broke those bad boys, giving us a cast-iron excuse to get new ones.
amber is a spoiled brat .com
Now hold on one cotton-pickin’ minute there: Amber is a spoiled what now? What’re you calling me? You don’t want to make me angry, you know – we redheads have some MEAN tempers…
can’t take my eyes off you mcnaught
Oh, you! Stop it, I’m blushing
there was a big wad of wax in my ear is that normal?
Doctor Amber, she say… No. Not normal. Now stop looking it up on the Internet and go see your doctor.
why do they call redheads ginger?
Because they are stupid. Next!
what do people do on honeymoon
Seriously, dude, if you have to ask, I don’t think I can help you…
Please tell me you didn’t mean “new shoes” when you typed this. Oh, you poor thing.
pretty redhead ugly redhead
I’m not going to tell you about this again, you know
ginger phobic t shirt
I mean it…
ugly red head children
OK, one more jibe about redheads and I’m leaving
mean red haired kids
Hey peeps. Tonight I’d like to talk about how hideously disfigured I am. No, this is not a digging-for-compliments exercise or even a self-indulgent entry focusing on the fascinating subject of how insecure I am about the way I look – I’m way too old for all that jazz. No, I actually am hideously disfigured, and do you know how I know? Why, because the good ladies over at the Handbag.com forums told me so, of course. Repeatedly.
Actually, let’s be fair: they weren’t talking about me in particular, and I’m sure if they were to meet me they’d all be quick to assure me that, of course, my hair is perfectly lovely, and not at all the shade of red – sorry, “ginger” – that so offends their eyes. Yes, folks, we’re talking about hair, here. Specifically, red hair – or “ginger” hair as they like to call it. Why, hair just like mine in fact! Isn’t it awful? Don’t you just pray that your children, should you have them, are never cursed with this particular disfigurement? Lots of people do (pray, that is), and who can blame them?
The discussion I’m talking about was actually pretty tame compared to some of the ones I’ve seen, and some of the comments I’ve heard. Comments like, “Oh, don’t worry, she might grow out if it! It might turn blonde!” (Said to my mother when I was a babe in arms) and, “Tell me, Amber, do you ever worry that your children might inherit It?” (No, do you ever worry yours will inherit your complete lack of intellect?)
The thread in question starts off with … well, with a question. A “very serious” and deeply distressing question. Our protagonist is worried that she might one day have a red haired baby. I know! I mean, aren’t we all! She’s been lucky so far: neither she nor her partner have the dreaded Curse, but – and here’s the kicker – his mum (who hopefully never reads Handbag.com) does, and so did her gran. I mean, you can see their dilemma, can’t you? They could have a redhaired baby! In fact, no, let’s not mince our words here, let’s say what we mean: their child could be an ugly-ass ginger!
Now, personally I’d just get sterilised and adopt, no question. That’s certainly what I’m going to do, because, God, I’m ginger, and so was my gran! And my Great-Gran! I mean, any child of mine would surely be doomed, and I may as well be honest: when I tell people I don’t want children, what I actually mean is “I couldn’t be so cruel as to bring another redhead into the world”.
(Y’all get that I’m being sarcastic here, don’t you? OK, just checking…)
It gets worse, though. Rather than simply suggesting sterliistaion, the women on the handbag forums set about very earnestly working out what the odds might be of this poor girl having “a ginger”. They come to the conclusion that it’s probably around 4:1. The original poster decides she can live with that. What she would have done had the odds been higher is anyone’s guess.
It doesn’t end there, though. Once everyone has shared their relief that our protagonist probably isn’t at as much risk as she might have thought, someone comes up with the idea – and this is a stroke of pure genius, people – that in order to avoid having a baby with red hair, you could first of all have GENETIC TESTING to determine whether you carry the mutant gene. If you do, then presumably your way is clear – you don’t breed.
God, I wish someone had come up with this sooner. OK, I wouldn’t be here, but on the bright side, neither would any of the other “ginger mingers”. We could have a world totally absent of redheads! Oooh! Oooh! I know what we could do! We could make it so that only people who have the type of colouring we deem to be “attractive” – people with blue eyes and blonde hair, say – were allowed to breed, so we had a whole society of aesthetically pleasing people! Now, I know I’ve heard something like that before… Where was it? Never mind, I’m sure it’ll come to me…
(Right after this point was made, by the way? Someone else – someone who actually has red hair herself – posted asking if this type of testing can actually happen, because, and I quote: “I’d never forgive myself if I passed my red hair onto one of my kids.” I swear I’m not making this up.)
Now, I’m not a scientist. (I’ll wait while you stop reeling in shock at that one, shall I?), so I have no idea whether it’s possible for the miracle that is modern science to identify the “redhead gene” and thus rid the world of redheads. (We will be sure to slam the door on the way out.) The fact that supposedly intelligent women are even discussing this kind of idiocy on a public forum, though, leaves me gasping in horror at the depths of stupidity that some people will plumb.
The truly sad thing about all of this? This is about the fifth or sixth time I’ve seen this type of thread come up on a discussion forum, or even, as I’ve said, in normal conversation. Something I learned from a very early age is that people really don’t like redheads, and they’re not ashamed to say so, in the way that most people would probably think twice about voicing the same sentiment about, say, black people. I mean, just imagine it:
“God, I’m so worried: my partner’s mum is black! What if our baby is black too, I couldn’t stand it!”
“Oooh, that would be awful, but don’t worry, hun, the chances are slim, lol!”
Original Poster: “Thank God, for that! Imagine, a black baby – YUCK!”
Bright Spark: “You know, what you could do is you could be genetically tested to see if you carry The Gene that makes people black.”
Idiot Poster: “Can anyone tell me if that’s actually possible? You see, I am black and I would never forgive myself if I passed my black skin onto one of my kids!”
See, it would never happen, would it? No, that would be racist and unforgivable. It’s fine to say the same things about us redheads, though: for one, we have no feelings – none at all – and for two, we’re not a different race or anything. Hell, we’re just ugly. And we all know how much fun it is to hate ugly people!
For the record, I love my red hair, and always have – yes, even when people at school called me “traffic lights”. I wouldn’t change it, not even when it brings out the very worst, most prejudiced part of some people. And, you know, as a wise man once said: I can dye my oh-so-ugly red hair. These people will always be stupid.
I think I’m going to start up a new clothing line. It will consist mainly of t-shirts, and they’ll all say “RED AND PROUD”, or maybe “I’D RATHER BE RED THAN
dead A F*****G MORON”. Stop me and buy one.
Pass the message on, people: the redheads will inherit the earth. And they’re angry.
If you enjoyed this post, please consider following Forever Amber on Facebook!