Monday, 26 September 2011

Redism - Anti Redheads.

This is something that I come back to from time to time, mainly because it is something I've had to put up with for most if not all my life. Thankfully Sophie isn't Ginger... well yet, she has a little gingerish tint to her hair but not like me at her age.

I was surprised that there actually is a term for it; "Redism." It is indeed a full blown prejudice and is on a par with elements of racism for example;

Redheads beaten up at school for no other reason than their hair colour and mocked in the Media for not having souls.

Redheads are referred to by slang names like Ging-er, rednob, carrot top, flame crotch and even the term Ginger itself. These derogatory names hurled at us by passing motorists, people and even friends.
 I want to say for the record that I am fully aware of what colour my hair is so thanks for pointing it out but please do shuffle on.

The fear of Ginger children is a common commedial device, I was worried if Sophie would be ginger! Why should I be worried?!? I'd be worried if she had three heads or might have gills instead of lungs but if she will be a redhead or not?

This whole distrust came from over a thousand years ago when the Normans invaded. To crush the predominantly Saxon culture and replace it with their s they began to mock the locals and single them out as different.
In the middle ages Redheads were often burnt as witches or tried as the bedfellows of Satan for one reason. The hair was the same coulor as fire, hell is full of fire ergo they are evil.

This means that redism that still exists is a hangover from these times? Maybe... But society likes to mock the different, malign the unusual. Less than 5% of the population of England are Redheads, this is even smaller than certain ethnic minorities!
We all shy away from racists who mock people from other origins, from the BNP, we all tut when we hear someone shouting racist abuse at someone as they drive past in their car. We teach our children that it is wrong to mock people with different beliefs and skin colour but what about laughing at redheads?
Even the Vodafone advert last year that talked about having a redparty to celebrate the differences and red culture was mocked by certain sections of the populace and it even went as far as to seperate us further from mainstream society, it made me feel that maybe we were different from everyone else but we really aren't! I don't think of myself as a hair colour, I don't identify myself with someone with the same hair colour I'm still an englishman. (with pro german tendancies)

We are not an ethnic group with one culture or religion. We don't all listen to simply red or Florence and the machine, there is no secret handshake or common solidarity, no secret Red societies (if there are I'm not in one!).

Other examples of Redism by people in the media spotlight include:

During the London Mayoral election Chris Evans donated money to Ken Livingston's campaign. Frank Dobson (Mp) announced publically that: "My mother always taught me Never trust a redhead."

IF he had said he didn't trust someone on the basis of the skin colour the nation would have gone crazy. He woul have been maligned as a racist biggot, there would be enquiries, appologies, he may have lost his seat in the next bi-election.

What was the actual fall out?


Chris Evans gave another million to Ken Livingstons campaign.

That was it.

Enron (I believe) ran an advertisement with a family sat on a sofa with two dark haired parents looking dejected with their two redhead children sat between them. The Tag line was. "You can't chose your children... but you can chose your Power supplier!"


What is wrong with having a redhead child? Its not s random mutation, they don't glow at nighttime or have tongues like frogs. Its just a hair colour like any other.

Our cause is not helped by having some bad eggs... Mick Hucknall for example but then on the otherside you have Jack tweed... so both sides have insufferable idiots.

Likewise there have been many great Redheads in history, Winston Churchill (who was ginger in his youth), Neil Kinnock, Charles Kennedy, Marshall Ney - Napoleon's trusted lieutenant, Elizabeth I, Henry VIII, Marilyn Monroe.. we've made contributions so why are we still maligned?
What can be done to stop this abuse? Not much unfortunatly. It has been raised in parliament several times and each time it has been quietly buried. It has made the news especially when a family in Newcastle were forced to move estates for the sole reason they were redheads. It will never be taught in schools nor in homes. I see no end to this torment and so I shall teach my daughter the same things I was taught as a kid. To ignore it, to have thick skin and to just think yourself better than the biggots who think that just because you are different it is perfectly ok to single you out for victimisation.

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