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Thread: Discrimination against red-heads - really?

  1. #1
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    Default Discrimination against red-heads - really?

    There was an article in the paper today that stated that some English pick on red-haired people. I was shocked. I was also somewhat disbelieving. I can believe that some child would call some other child a name (carrot-top, for instance), but the idea of anything much more serious than that boggles my mind. Can anybody confirm or deny such "discrimination" in either England or NZ?

    Part of the article mentioned particular people and their woes. Even poor Prince Harry was suffering from name calling. Apparently, the guys in his military unit call him the "ginger bullet magnet."

    Personally, I'm not too worried. What hair I have remaining is getting grayer all the time.

  2. #2
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    Hi there,

    I'm from the UK and there's not discrimination per se, but yes, kids can be cruel at times and yourstruely has been called Carrot Top, Ginger and Duracell etc. for as long as I can remember. Fortunately, my hair is less red now and has gone darker, but as far as I am concerned, red hair is the source of much playground banter.

    It seems that in other countries, including US, Canada, Aus and NZ (as they're the countries I have been too), no-one bats an eyelid at a ginger walking down the street. In fact, in Iceland, I had the locals speaking Icelandic to me (they just spoke English to the OH who has dark features).

    I wouldn't worry about it though. And as I keep on telling my mates as I see another red haired person, we're taking over the world!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith C. View Post
    . I can believe that some child would call some other child a name (carrot-top, for instance), but the idea of anything much more serious than that boggles my mind.

    Makes my mind boggle too - the things that are reported in newspapaers eh?....

    Twaddle (I really like that word, so I shall say it again !)

    TWADDLE.........

    Julie

    xx

  4. #4
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    Had to laugh.... I was reading OK and there was an interview with Jordon aka: Katie Price about her new baby & I quote

    "I love her, even though she's ginger"

    Milliemoo

  5. #5
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    One element to this whole thing is that it falls into the category of daft 'prejudices' the comic point of which is that they are more or less just silly parodies of much deeper-running, more sociologically gravitous prejudices (e.g., racism).

    Part of the above concept is that a lot of the humour comes from a kind of self-perpetuating compounding, whereby the fake 'prejudice' is given new comic oxygen each time it is repeated without the perpetuating party really meaning anything nasty. Viz comic, for example, made a point of referring in lots of issues to 'gingers', and it's a bit like one of those things your mates rib you about that everyone has essentially forgiven or dismissed as trivial years ago... but it's still somehow amusing to refer to it from time to time even decades later. The joke is that something is still being apportioned time and conversation when it's clearly not worth that time and attention.

    Yeah, I suppose one or two folks might use any excuse to be genuinely nasty, but I reckon that for nearly (or maybe absolutely) 100% of Brits this 'ginger' thing is all just affectionate or inconsequential.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MB View Post
    the fake 'prejudice' is given new comic oxygen each time it is repeated without the perpetuating party really meaning anything nasty.
    I've just remembered that Eric Cartman from Southpark did a presentation on it. It's on Youtube, but being Southpark, some of the language is coarse. It is very funny (well I think so), but you've been warned!

  7. #7
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    Oh, and for folks who do not know about Viz:
    it's a really funny hard-copy magazine for adults that takes much of its content from:

    a.) absurd or smutty parodies of British kids' comics, especially their picture-strip characters such as the Beano's 'Roger The Dodger' and 'Minnie The Minx'.
    b.) similarly rude or silly parodies of earnest, outraged Brit tabloid-newspaper stories. A typical example of the genius of Viz is that in one issue they did a version of the kind of newspaper article about ordinary folks winning the lottery and then letting the win wildly change their priorities or spending habits. Viz simply removed your generic spendthrift wastrel geezer as the centre of the story, replacing him with Pol Pot... but keeping all the other familiar furniture of such an article (disillusioned pub mates, etc.) exactly intact.

    Sometimes offensive to some, yes, but Viz -- like The Onion, Monty Python or South Park -- is of such quality that there are many moments of brilliance when you'd defy anyone in the world to keep a straight face.
    Last edited by MB; 13th August 2007 at 04:53 PM.

  8. #8
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    Used to be an avid Viz reader, but haven't read one in ages...

    Julie

    xx

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hodges View Post
    I've just remembered that Eric Cartman from Southpark did a presentation on it. It's on Youtube, but being Southpark, some of the language is coarse. It is very funny (well I think so), but you've been warned!
    Now you've got me doing it! I found another Youtube video that is a mix of the Southpark sound track and some Harry Potter footage. Gingervitis2

    BTW, the newspaper article that started this thread hypothesized a reason for the anti-ginger bias. It said roughly 12% of Scots have red hair, while about 1% of English do. Because the Scots and English have not always gotten along, the prejudice arose.

  10. #10
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    There is a theory that Neil Kinnock and Charles Kennedy never stood a chance of being PM because of their red hair!

    I'll let others decide whether it was that or their political viewpoint.

    Cheers

    Tia

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