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Ginger mocking/abuse is it covered by any law

(117 Posts)
havingamadmoment Fri 15-Mar-13 07:05:01

I have red hair as do 3 of my 5 children. I was never bullied as a child but in the last few years especially since dc got hair(!) increasingly we are getting well abuse for it.

Just in the last few months numerous men (and its always men for some reason) have concede ex themselves with the colour of my pubic hair, one going so far as to lean out of the car window to shout this obviously important question to me and my 8 year old dd.

I have had a bottle thrown at me from the top of a bus while some twatty teenage boys rhymes random words with ginge and a man has told me that his wife would have killed herself if she had had a ginger baby.

I mean WTF I am 30 this hasn't been an issue for most of my life until the last 2 years or so - what's going on.

Seriously thinking of starting to make a fuss about it . It's not a joke anymore, I don't mind the people who say things like "won't lose them in a crowd" about my dds but the abuse that turns violent or sexual in tone is too much.

If I report it will it be taken seriously? Most people in real life seem to say that we just need to put up with it - do we?

havingamadmoment Fri 15-Mar-13 07:05:29

Sorry my aibu was aibu to start reporting oy

sashh Fri 15-Mar-13 07:18:05

No you don't need to put up with it.

It is assault, call the police.

sleeplessbunny Fri 15-Mar-13 07:18:18

It is hate crime, and if you report it as such it should be taken as seriously as any other hate crime, e.g. race. I'm sorry you have suffered this, it seems to be on the rise sadly. I am a redhead and I never once suffered from bullying over it as a child, I thought it was something to be proud of.

Over the last few years, as an adult, I have suffered a few incidents similar to yours (although always from women!) and I reported the last one to the police. (phoned 101). It was a grown woman shouting horrid verbal abuse at me in front of many people including her young DCs, just because of my hair. The police recorded it as a hate crime, they couldn't trace the perpetrator though (shopping centre so difficult). They did take it seriously though, and follow up with calls and offers of support. I do urge you to report, it is the only way the scale of the problem will be properly understood.

I also think it's important that your DCs learn this is unacceptable and that it needs reporting.

ChairmanWow Fri 15-Mar-13 07:22:16

I'm so sorry you've had to endure this. It sounds vile.

I agree that there is genuine prejudice out there. I remember when I was on a social work training course and we were discussing adoption and one of the tutors actually said 'nobody wants to adopt a ginger' shock. I pointed out that my cousin is both adopted and has ginger hair and she just laughed and said 'really?'.

I can't help in terms of what you can do regarding these taunts, save to say get details (eg number plates) and report them. I found this news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/6725653.stm which might help.

Rosa Fri 15-Mar-13 07:27:43

That is disgusting and i feel very sorry for you and your family. These people should be ashamed of themselves.

Fullofgoodideas Fri 15-Mar-13 07:30:32

Op I am so sorry to hear you are experiencing this sad
My husband and daughter both have ginger hair and I would be devastated if they experienced this abuse. I am often angered by the ease in which people feel it is totally acceptable to talk about red heads in such a derogatory way and I often feel a need to defend. The thing that annoys me is id anyone said the equivalent comment about race most people would be up in arms. I think we have a big issue here that somehow needs addressing how that happens I am unsure. Big his to you xx

Fullofgoodideas Fri 15-Mar-13 07:31:45

Big hugs sorry!!! grin

NuhichNuhaymuh Fri 15-Mar-13 07:32:40

What? Seriously?People physically abuse you because of your hair? I sickened to hear this. And yes it's abuse so reportable.

I do recall things being said to those with red hair at school alright. Things like ginger minge. Always by total nobbers, and i was going to say not frequent, though i imagine if it was me with the red hair id probably not think that

HeathRobinson Fri 15-Mar-13 07:35:05

That's horrible, red/ginger is a lovely colour for hair.
I've had the 'collar and cuffs' thing though and I'm blonde - thought that was just a man 'joke'.

littlepeas Fri 15-Mar-13 07:51:42

I have bronzey coloured hair, rather than a really bright red/ginger, so I think it often escapes people's notice that I am a redhead. I regularly find myself in the situation where people are having a laugh about something ginger related whilst apparently oblivious! My dd was in hospital as a baby and I remember chatting to the nurse and her telling me about a little girl she'd seen the other day wearing top to toe pink and how awful it had looked with her ginger hair. I just mildly said that having red hair has never stopped me wearing any colour. Or when my friend was talking about her beautiful ginger cat and mentioned that it's funny how desirable ginger is in cats but not in people - i don't think she realised at all! People tell nasty ginger jokes to my dh without batting an eyelid too. No one has ever been really horrible to me about it though.

GreenEyedGirlxxx Fri 15-Mar-13 07:52:46

You should definitely report it anything like that - although i hope nothing like that happens again.

I really don't understand this bullying of people with red hair, it really upsets me. My dad is ginger and his wife makes derogatory comments about his hair all the time - when she was pregnant I remember her saying she would drown the baby if it was ginger - what a terrible thing to say even as a 'joke' - and that was 15 years ago.

It definitely seems to be getting worse in general.

MammaTJ Fri 15-Mar-13 07:57:43

Gingers are taking over the world. I am sure it is a more common hair colour than when I was a child.

I am ginger and two of my three children are too.

We have never experienced the level of abuse you talk about OP. If we did, I would report it, YANBU!!

pingu2209 Fri 15-Mar-13 07:59:40

Why do people not like the bright red/orange ginger hair? What is it in society that we don't like about it?

StuntGirl Fri 15-Mar-13 08:03:04

I have no idea why people hate ginger hair so much. I actually purposefully dye my hair ginger, I've been almost every shade of red going.

It's awful that you have to put up with such an extreme level of abuse over something so silly sad

fedupofnamechanging Fri 15-Mar-13 08:10:10

No advice for you, other than to report it if you can, but just wanted to say that I think red hair is beautiful. Sorry you have come across the few twats who think otherwise!

Toasttoppers Fri 15-Mar-13 08:10:56

Judas was supposed to have been a red head, personally I think it is the usual that is a bit different so let's pick up on it.

Babybeesmama Fri 15-Mar-13 08:11:24

My db has ginger hair & it really pisses me off the way people are so rude about ginger hair - it's hair ffs! If you ask me it's not much different to racism - hair colour/skin colour? Not much difference! I know my db was worried about his ds having the same colour hair because of him being bullied, it's sad.

Def contact police, there are some horrible people in this world. I hope you get things sorted xxxxxx

KatOD Fri 15-Mar-13 08:12:12

I have ginger hair and have received random abuse on several occasions. My DH didn't believe it actually happened until we were together and he witnessed it. It seems to be the last acceptable form of prejudice. Very sad.

Interestingly I just did a training course at work about what "protected attributes" are, I.e. what it is illegal to discriminate against when awarding jobs etc at work and the two examples illustrating what is not illegal we're ginger and overweight (!!).

I've often wondered whether there was anything I could do about the random abuse...

BertieBotts Germany Fri 15-Mar-13 08:18:25

I don't think it matters what they're abusing you about, if someone is abusing you then yes you can report it.

I'm pretty sure it would be illegal to refuse someone a job because they were ginger. That's just absurd. I would imagine it's not illegal if someone is overweight because of certain jobs which require physical fitness (e.g. police) or a physical size (e.g. working on a plane). But being ginger or not makes absolutely no difference to anything.

fluffyraggies England Fri 15-Mar-13 08:19:13

I am so sorry you are experiencing this.

I think i have noticed, over the last couple of years, an increase in offensive 'ginger jokes' in the media actually. Stand up comics, throw away lines in tv programes ect.

My XH was very ginger when he was little, but grew out of it into brown by his 20s. When i had each of my DCs i hated everyone going on about hoping the baby isn't going to have dad's colouring sad Even MIL!

They don't have his hair colouring, as it happens (although DD2 has beautiful pale porcelain skin which probably did came from him) bt if they'd had his hair colour i'd have been fine about it and would have got very angry with any hints that i shouldn't have been angry How bloody ridiculous.

This is something which should be reported IMO OP, and i would hope that somehow this stupid 'laugh at ginger hair' business can soon be treated as being on a par with racism. Which is what it is!

ujjayi Fri 15-Mar-13 08:23:04

I'm disgusted by your awful experiences OP. I would absolutely report it.

I am aghast that adults would engage in this behaviour too. Why on earth would any person think it is ok to shout abuse in the street? Particularly about something so innocuous as hair colour and to an absolute stranger.

INeverSaidThat Fri 15-Mar-13 08:24:45

I think it always happened.?????? My DB had ginger hair when he was a child although it is now mousy. I remember them being teased.
I think there may just be more idiots about or maybe OP is more noticeable to the idiots when she is with her kids.
I suspect if it wasn't hair it would be wieght, skin colour or something else.
You should report it.

i would hope that somehow this stupid 'laugh at ginger hair' business can soon be treated as being on a par with racism. Which is what it is!

No, it is not the same as racism at all. Nowhere near the same.

SucksToBeMe Fri 15-Mar-13 08:28:34

I have red hair OP and have had many experiences like yours. Even here on mumsnet I read a suprisingly large amount of anti ginger comments. hmm
The bullying at school was intolerable and I if I am honest I chose a partner with v dark brown hair/features so DS would not have to suffer like I did.
Only yesterday I was called "ugly ginger minge" while out with My mum and DS. hmm

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