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 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 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

chocoflump Fri 15-Mar-13 08:33:54

I just don't get this. Why are those with ginger hair targeted this way? I don't understand- we all have different colours of hair, surely it's no different than having black, or brown or blonde.

I'm sorry that you have been treated this way by these pathetic people. Definately report it to the police. You shouldn't have to put up with this. sad

bloodyschool Fri 15-Mar-13 08:37:56

People saying unkind things I not a crime unless it is sustained in which case it would be considered harassment
Yes it is perfectly legal to discriminate against someone with ginger hair -it is only racial or sex discrimination that is illegal..

DiseasesOfTheSheep Fri 15-Mar-13 08:46:13

I was reading the title thinking "don't be daft, there's nothing wrong with a litte friendly banter" (in the sense of "oh I'm so blond, I'm so silly" - everybody knows it's daft and it's only a joke). But actually, throwing bottles and that sort of comment is properly vile.

I thought Amy Pond had made ginger cool again anyway? Am I living in a sci fi bubble?

Umlauf Fri 15-Mar-13 08:47:26

My DH has beautiful ginger hair. I've been with him when someone threw a bottle at him from the window of a moving car (in a supposedly posh, well to do area). We've also had nasty teenagers following us swearing, saying things to me like don't I want a real man. It's so, so hurtful and I get so upset about it. Things like the South Park episode don't help matters much at all :-(

I'm pregnant and "friends" have seen fit to ask me if I'm worried it will be ginger. I really hope so, DH has incredible hair, mines just mousey.

Please report it, its hate crime and DH thinks a form of racism, its disgusting we allow it to happen. I'm so glad to read another post about the police taking it seriously, its a start.

It's just in England it seems, we've moved abroad for a couple of years and its a wonderful thing here, people love it.

Katisha Fri 15-Mar-13 08:52:07

Even Tesco saw fit to sell a Christmas card mocking ginger children a few years ago. At least it was withdrawn and a bit of publicity given to the issue.
It's an easy "laugh" for stupid people.
DS2 is very ginger and so far hasnt had too much trouble but I have taught him one or two retorts should he need them...

RaspberrySchnapps Fri 15-Mar-13 09:00:44

no advice re the law but I always think titian, strawberry blonde, red, ginger, whatever is stunning. these people who criticise are miserable pathetic bastards with the brain capacity of a potato and probably the pubes (and genitals) of a taiwan rat.

MissBrown Fri 15-Mar-13 09:02:16

I dye my hair ginger! I have mousy coloured hair naturally and find it very boring so for years I have been ginger! I love it. I don't mean a copper red or similar but a dark ginger!

My husband is also ginger and so is my cat.

I am a ginger lover!!

You are very lucky to have such a beautiful hair colour. Ignore all the silly comments and report any that go beyond.

vamosbebe Fri 15-Mar-13 09:15:20

I'm so sorry, OP, that's just awful. My sister was worried her DC would be ginger and I've no idea why.
My DS's hair started growing strawberry blonde and she made a stupid comment about it, really hurtful. I gave her a right bloody earful, I can tell you.
Luckily we live abroad and people love it - I'm aware that's not the best advice on how to avoid derogatory comments.

¡Vamos rojos!

fergoose Fri 15-Mar-13 09:17:19

I agree - it does feel like a form of racism

My daughter has ginger hair, majority of people are lovely about it, but she does get some vile comments. It has made her very tough and she has some good retorts - but even so, what if that was about skin colour. Why is hair colour any different.

I dye my hair red, but mine will never look as amazing as hers.

SherbetVodka Fri 15-Mar-13 09:22:46

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.

I know what you mean sad When I was pregnant with DS and found out I was having a boy, I worried that he'd have my colour hair. NOT because I think there's anything wrong with it but because I knew he'd have to take a lot of shit for it and it does seem to be far worse for males than it is for females (the abuse, that is).

Whyriskit Fri 15-Mar-13 09:23:24

So sorry OP, that is so shock. My DS2 has a fantastic bright auburn mop (he says its orange but he's only 2!). We don't know where it comes from as no one else in the family has red hair but it's great! He gets a lot of compliments from old ladies!
We're in Scotland so it is more common here but I don't think it makes the prejudice any less.

Einsty Fri 15-Mar-13 09:24:16

WTF? What is wrong with people? My grandmother had glorious red hair and I would have loved for me or my DC to have inherited it. I truly don't understand these ludicrous 'jokes' - and am appalled for you

elah11 Fri 15-Mar-13 09:31:45

I have a dd with red hair and while she has never suffered any bullying or abuse, (she is only 7), I have often heard people make general derogatory comments about red hair. I think its horrible and I dont understand why its unacceptable (rightly!) to bully/pass negative comments about someones weight or skin colour but gingers are seen as fair game. A hurtful comment is hurtful no matter what its about. I live in Ireland where red hair is reasonably common but there still seems to be a growing prejudice thats seen as somehow ok.
I will say it loud and proud for all the redsers out there I LOVE RED HAIR grin

GranToAirMissiles Fri 15-Mar-13 09:33:08

It's not like racism in so far as the targets don't share other features such as being (broadly) in the same social class, income group, etc. In other words, it's not a social category like race. It's more like bullying.

It would make a useful sociology or psychology project to don a ginger wig and record the reactions.

jellybeans Fri 15-Mar-13 09:40:01

It's disgusting so sorry you have had to suffer that. One of my DC had gingerish hair as a baby but it went blonde, I was a bit disappointed as love ginger hair .

1charlie1 Fri 15-Mar-13 09:41:59

I've been living in the UK (England) for the past 6 years, and I have been shocked at the nasty things people say about red-headed people here. From an outsiders perspective, it seems that it just an acceptable form of abuse. I've mentioned it to (English) DH many times, and he agrees. DH and I both have red-hair in the family (and tend to the auburn ourselves), and I have to say it has crossed my mind that I'm glad we will be back in my home country by the time we have DC, in case they inherit the colouring from us! (I love red hair, by the way, and would love a little red-headed DC.)

havingamadmoment Fri 15-Mar-13 10:12:11

Sorry just got back from the school run!.

I actually love my hair and my dcs hair I would never dye it. My father has red hair although he is half white now but he has also noticed an increase in nasty comments. None of us mind the silly little jokes in fact on occasion we probably make them but I think there is a line which some people seem to cross on a regular basis!.

My dh has dark brown hair and my oldest two dc have brown hair but my youngest three have red.

Next time something like this happens I will report it although not sure what good it will do as its never someone I know or even someone who comes up to me face to face its always a comment shouted or at best from a stranger who then leaves!.

FierceBadIggi Fri 15-Mar-13 10:56:26

I would think comments from strangers about pubic hair (especially in front of your dd) would count as sexual harassment, irrespective of the ginger element.

MammaTJ Fri 15-Mar-13 11:18:20

I admit, mine has gone grey, I could be any colour I want now, but dye it my original ginger.

Flobbadobs Fri 15-Mar-13 11:30:48

That's awful OP, report it every time. Whether the'ginger' part is illegal or not you have been physically assaulted. angry
My Dh has lovely ginger hair, half of my family do too and tbh I was more than a little naffed off that not one of our DC's have inherited it! We have blond, brown and light brown but no red heads sadly..

undercoverSAHM Fri 15-Mar-13 11:38:49

Unfortunately insulting someone for being red-headed it is not a hate crime in the same way as race o would be: anti-discrimination legislation covers gender, sexual orientation, race, disability and age only.

I took my DH to task the other day for making a derogatory remark about ginger hair. Personally I love red hair (but accept not everyone does). But whether you like it or not, personal abusive comments are not "funny" My DH told me I had no sense of humour and that I was personally attacking him by asking him not to do it. So I am relieved to come across this thread and find that my instinct is more in line with others than is his. I don't understand how being rude about someone's genetic personal characteristic can be funny or clever, or what the point of it could be.

Fillyjonk75 Fri 15-Mar-13 11:45:57

I hate ginger bashing, just ignorant, stupid and not funny at all. DH and SIL are red heads as are some of my closest friends. I just find the joking and sometimes out and out hatred really weird. Why do people think some hair colouring/skin colouring is superior to others? The sort of treatment the OP has been receiving is very similar to racial harassment.

ophelia275 Fri 15-Mar-13 11:55:49

I just wanted to post this link (in the Daily Mail) that celebrates red heads. Thought it would be nice to counteract all the negative comments about gingers in society in general. I personally think red hair/ginger hair is absolute gorgeous and very special.

Here is the link www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2293747/Anthea-Pokroy-photographs-hundreds-flame-haired-subjects-project-celebrating-redheads-romantic-colouring.html

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Fri 15-Mar-13 13:05:52

I find this anti-'ginger' stuff that keeps cropping up again and again on here (I left the UK as a young adult and had never witnessed it myself) utterly, utterly baffling. Red hair, in all shades, is stunning, ffs.

madamecake Fri 15-Mar-13 13:16:00

My DH is ginger, and I'm pregnant. I'd love for our children to have to ginger hair, it's gorgeous, but he has said he's hoping he or she isn't just do they don't suffer the same bullying and abuse he did. sad

EarlyInTheMorning Fri 15-Mar-13 13:23:10

This is repulsive behaviour and as far as I'm aware it only happens in the UK.

quoteunquote Fri 15-Mar-13 13:25:06

report to the police,

and hope these idiots try it on with my sister, the last time someone did, she reduced them (couple of men) to tears, without violence,

I come from a long line of red heads, and have one of my own, she is always getting compliments on her hair, which is stunning, not sure why I'm proud, all I did was pass the genes on.

Personally I think people who have such boring hair get jealous(I'm brunette with hint of my mother's genes) , no amount of hair dye is ever going to give you such stunning hair as a natural red head, fake red hair looks terrible, you can't recreate it, and no other colour is ever going to be so striking.

OP, these people who were so hateful, will spend their lives as uninteresting unnoticed vile gits, report sad idiots, it is the nearest they will get to being anything.

LadyPessaryPam Fri 15-Mar-13 13:26:10

One of my DDs is ginger and her hair is now a very pretty auburn. I really don't understand why people are horrible about red hair, I think it looks nice (especially on Damian Lewis).

I would definitely report the assaults to the police.

quoteunquote Fri 15-Mar-13 13:27:02
Fillyjonk75 Fri 15-Mar-13 13:36:11

David Oakes is another gorgeous red haired actor- I might start a tumblr page for the appreciation of redheads...

Also Richard Madden - Robb Stark in Game of Thrones - Er, hello!

Snoopingforsoup Fri 15-Mar-13 13:49:18

When DS was in the pram, an old dear leant in and did lots of cooing, asked lots of the usual questions and then ended it with a total killer 'shame about the hair colour though isn't it dear'.
DS was once on DH's shoulders, he was two and a bunch of teenagers started pointing and shouting 'ginneeer' at him.
I don't think he's ever had any stick at school but I wouldn't think twice about reporting any insults with a sexual/threatening tone.
I still see plenty of ginger jokes on FB. I'd love to know where this prejudice has come from, because my Grandmother's red hair was always celebrated. I don't get the impression anyone had ever given her grief about her hair colour and she always said it was what attracted my Grandfather to her. Is it a recent thing? I certainly remember ginger kids getting grief at school.

Snoopingforsoup Fri 15-Mar-13 14:00:05

I also saw an agency casting call out which required a family for a photographic ad.
It had a tag line of 'no ginger hair please'.
I couldn't believe it and still can't!

Jelly15 Fri 15-Mar-13 14:15:00

My DSs (grown up now) have ginger hair and they had some of the usual unimaginative comments but they have always been able to ignore the t**ts who make them or return a comments back on them.

I am a childminder and only a few days ago I was on the school run chatting to a gran with a granddaughter with beautiful red hair. The gran commented that she was disappointed that the child had red hair. I mean if your grandmother doesn't think you are the bees knees and is derogetory about your looks angry.

SueDoku Fri 15-Mar-13 15:23:53

My favourite (& very clever) response to such idiots...
m.youtube.com/watch?v=KVN_0qvuhhw

mum47 Fri 15-Mar-13 15:33:55

I have copper/auburn hair and have never been teased about it, in fact more likely to be complimented - it needs a bit of a helping hand these days, and the redder the better! DS2 is more blonde now but when they were young I got nothing but nice comments about their hair. I find it unfathomable that somebody would be picked on because of their hair colour. It is a cheap shot because it is not perceived as "racism" in the way that colour of skin etc is.

My DS1 has beautiful hair the same colour as mine used to be. I was really worried he would get teased, but he has never been, he has it quite longish, has lovely green eyes, and dresses in a cool skateboardey look, so maybe he gets it away with it because of this. Also we live in Scotland, and maybe red hair is more common here.

I was a bit concerned recently though to see a drink in a supermarket called "Ginger Joe" because guess what DS' name is!

NiniLegsInTheAir Fri 15-Mar-13 15:46:53

I have red hair and have put up with the abuse all my life. It's not as bad now I'm an adult thankfully. I got beaten up on a train when I was a 11 by a group of older kids I didn't know -because of my hair colour.

I'm actually really relieved that my DD doesn't have red hair. Instead she has a lovely shade of brown with red gold streaks that only come out in the sun smile

As far as I'm concerned, abusing someone for the colour of their hair is as much a crime as abusing someone for the colour of their skin. I don't see what the difference is.

Oblomov Fri 15-Mar-13 15:51:47

Makes me very very sad. Ds2 has very very ginger hair. he will have all this to look forward to and endure. Not good.

Oblomov Fri 15-Mar-13 15:58:35

I LUUUURVE the Tim Minchin Prejudice grin. Have seen it before.

mum47 Fri 15-Mar-13 16:55:36

Ooh yes, it is fab - as is he, yum!

TweedSlacks Fri 15-Mar-13 17:48:36

I have had to put with this type of abuse all my life. Im a ginger / red head but do dye it to -- cover the greys-- enhance its shine .
Its been an issue since I can remember , usual nasty 'Ginger Minger' comments and 'Ginger pubes uurrggghhhhhhh' type of thing.
I suppose you become used to the nasty comments but they do hurt are upsetting.
I always wish I was born anything else but a Ginger . Would have made school life / puberty etc an awful lot easier .
Such a shame we live in a Jeremy Kyle enhanced society, with all its entrapments

TweedSlacks Fri 15-Mar-13 17:49:00

Strikethrough fail

LittleEdie Fri 15-Mar-13 18:10:21

YANBU

LadyFlumpalot Fri 15-Mar-13 18:22:04

I genuinely don't understand this! I think proper ginger hair is very, very beautiful! I used to live next door to a lass with very long, bright copper coloured hair and huge bright green eyes. I thought she was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. I hoped my son would have ginger hair, his dad is a kind of strawberry blonde.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Fri 15-Mar-13 18:27:37

My friends little girl, has ginger hair, its just a beautiful colour. Im shocked that people make comments.

I hate the gingers have no soul thing, that really fucks me right off.

Rowgtfc72 Fri 15-Mar-13 18:37:52

Dd is auburn, if I had a quid for every time someone told me it was beautiful. We call her our little ginger ninja which upset nursery as they didnt like the word "ginger" we had to use red head or auburn. Something to do with bullying. DD has never been bullied,shes six, however Dh was a ginger at school and copped for it really badly. We did have contingency plans for karate lessons as shes ridiculously tall for her age,wears glasses, is ginger and has sticky out teeth. Luckily she has the gift of the gab and can talk herself out of bother but I do find it sad we had plans in place to pre-empt any bother. Incidently I dyed my hair auburn for years as I think its a beautiful colour.

Maat Fri 15-Mar-13 18:41:46

More often than not, when a parent or grandparent says they hope their children/grandchildren don't have red hair it is not because they do not like red hair but because they don't want a child to be bullied. Who can blame them?

Unfortunately, this just feeds into the negativity and others pick up on it.

We are an entire family of redheads. I love, love, love having red hair.
I once dyed it dark and felt that I had lost my identity completely. I couldn't wait to get back to being a red head.

DS1 and 2 have had some teasing but I have used the term "ginger" to them affectionately since they were little and so they don't see it as abuse on it's own.

I'm surprised about the casting agency. Redheaded children are often seen in adverts. See how many you can spot.

DS2 has been offered many acting parts without us ever needing an agent.

Reclaim the ginger - that's what I say !! smile

Whathaveiforgottentoday Fri 15-Mar-13 18:51:35

Sounds pretty nasty.
I must admit I have made ginger jokes but nothing nasty and as a blond Essex girl suffered much in return. But, I'm talking about jokes between friends not the abuse you describe. Definitely not nice and yes Yanbu.
Despite the jokes, I like red hair and dyed my hair with a reddish tinge.

Latara Fri 15-Mar-13 19:05:52

I recently had my hair dyed auburn & have had so many (luckily positive) comments on the colour - but i'm considering going brunette now that it's growing out because i don't like getting the attention of a brighter hair colour.

I think red hair of all shades looks lovely but yes, i remember seeing kids getting abuse at school years ago.. it's bad that people still have to put up with it these days too.

singingsoprano Fri 15-Mar-13 19:16:26

My youngest dd has beautiful red hair and was sometimes bullied at primary school. At secondary school (all girls), she was told that if her hair ad been redder, she wouldn't be as popular! shock
Between the ages of 14 and 16, she dyed her hair various shades, but has now decided that being a redhad is much better!grin

thegreylady Fri 15-Mar-13 19:27:50

I love red/ginger hair.My grandma had lovely red hair and I hoped one of my dc might inherit it but no luck-both brown smile

seriouscakeeater Fri 15-Mar-13 19:31:23

Ignorant morons... my dd had beautiful red hair, the hair dresser loves it. Said she couldnt colour like it. DD how ever hated it and lightens it blond sad

There will always be ass holes picking differences out..fat,skinny,black,white,gay dumb blonde ect you just gotta ignore and realise that these people are dick heads and pity them really.

If anybody harms you pysically then report to police x

My DD aged 3 has the most gorgeous auburn hair that naturally falls in perfect ringlets. In sunshine it looks bright red. I get stopped in the street all the time by people saying how lovely her hair is. We get positive comments every day.

Her paternal grandfather has made constant horrible comments about it from day one and never stops. There's no red hair in the last 3 generations of either family so its not from experience of bullying, it's just cos he's an idiot! I have said to him that she'll probably be bullied about it at school and asked him if he'll be proud when his granddaughter remembers that the bullying started with him.

Her hair is truly fabulous though! Nothing wrong with red hair!

sarahtigh Fri 15-Mar-13 20:23:23

Red hair is relatively rare less than 1% world wide but highest incidence is in scotland where it is 10%; 2-3% in UK as a whole

certainly know teasing /bullying etc happenned in England not aware of it when I lived in Northern scotland where it was quite common

really sorry for OP but if anyone throws things it is physical assault and if thye really bother you over a period of time it is harassment, other comments maybe verbal sexual abuse, so though no specific crime in insulting people with ginger hair when specifics happen there are laws to protect you

PurpleStorm Fri 15-Mar-13 21:08:05

The way a lot of people seem to think it's okay to harrass redheads simply because of their hair colour really annoys me.

I just don't get why people think this is acceptable behaviour. Or why they think it's funny. It's not.

bangwhizz Fri 15-Mar-13 22:42:46

I don't like any red hair especially not the carroty orange type, but I would never dream of teasing anyone for it.

tigerdriverII Fri 15-Mar-13 22:57:13

I wonder if this happens just because it isn't obvious discrimination? If someone chucks a bottle at you,or spits at you, that's assault, plain and simple. But I don't thin that there is anything the police etc. can do about the general nasty comments, there is no law abput discriminating against ginger people or fat people for that matter. I bet the people who do this would t contemplate making racist comments (replace ginger with black, for example). Was at a football match recently where one of the players was being barracked for being ginger ("ginger hair and stinks of piss" was the precise chant). That was pretty sad.

WhitesandsofLuskentyre Fri 15-Mar-13 23:03:56

SueDoku - you beat me to it. Truly, that is the only response. And by the way - yum, and thanks!

moodymai Fri 15-Mar-13 23:56:18

I think it counts as antisocial behaviour and verbal abuse. You could possibly take a photo with your phone or even record them , maybe pretend to be texting but hold it up iykwim.

moodymai Fri 15-Mar-13 23:56:50

And then report

ThePlatypusAlwaysTriumphs Sat 16-Mar-13 00:07:49

As a fellow-redhead, I can sympathise totally with the OP. sad. Yes, i get a lot of people complimeting me on my hair, but it doesn't make up for the teasing and harrassment I have had al my life because of it. I hate being a redhead, although don't hate the hair colour itself.

I prayed that none of my children would be redheaded, because I didn't want them to go through the teasing/ harassment/ comments- I've been followed home by a bunch of girls shouting insults because of my hair, have had the "ginger minge" comments, have politely smiled at the anti-ginger "jokes"- I didn't want that for my kids, life is hard enough. Thankfully none of my 3 are redheads. So sad I feel like that, because red hair can be stunning, but to me it felt like a physical handicap sad

Mrsdavidcaruso Sat 16-Mar-13 00:27:19

I have natural red hair and I also love red headed men - thats why I call myself Mrsdavidcaruso (Horatio Caine CSI Miami) in homage to the sexiest man on the planet

Ponyofdoom Sat 16-Mar-13 00:37:17

I really can't see why this type of abuse isn't racism, with the red hair gene being Celtic. It would be interesting to see if someone could be prosecuted under racism/hate crime legislation. It could be a public order offence surely.

Kaekae Sat 16-Mar-13 00:42:48

I am a deep dark auburn but have been a bottle blonde for years. I used to get compliments all the time about my natural colour and even now when I go to a hair salon I get compliments about my natural colour. Because my hair is very dark auburn I have never suffered any sort of bullying because in winter my hair tends to really darken. However, I do like being blonde, but it is like a sin to colour your hair if a red head/auburn etc. "why do you dye your hair?" Probably the same reason you dye your brown hair!?

My mother has black hair and my father light brown. My children have dark hair. My sister has a lighter red shade, her MIL was really wicked to her when she was pregnant and said she hoped her grandson wasn't born with red hair!! He is three now with blond hair.

YokoUhOh Sat 16-Mar-13 01:09:06

I think English people are ginger-ist because of a residual anti-Irish racism in this country. No-one in Scotland or Ireland (or the US) seems to think that red hair is a problem, because it's more common in these places (and Americans love the Irish!). I'm strawberry blonde due to my Celtic connections and it's a gorgeous hair colour, even if I do say so myself smile although I haven't passed on my titian locks to DS, who is dark like his dad.

HandbagCrab Sat 16-Mar-13 01:21:03

I was bullied mercilessly at primary school as I was the only ginger. Now I'm the grandad smile people say I'm strawberry blonde and I often get positive comments on my hair colour. I would say, don't let ginger bullying go unchecked. It was in my case and the fall out effects me today, even though no one has mentioned my hair colour for years.

SherbetVodka Sat 16-Mar-13 09:39:59

I think English people are ginger-ist because of a residual anti-Irish racism in this country

I don't think it's anything to do with anti Celtic racism. Red hair isn't really an Irish trait anyway, Irish colouring tends to be dark hair and blue eyes with pale skin.

And I don't think it's just an English thing at all. I've had verbal abuse in the street from Australians about my gingerness on more than one occasion.

It's probably more that red hair makes people look different and perhaps humans are hard wired to reject physical difference. After all, it's often tough to be the only child in a school who's an ethnic minority. People who are disfigured or obviously disabled are often bullied and excluded.

I'm not suggesting that anti ginger abuse is anything like as serious or damaging as the treatment that many disfigured people have to go through btw! Just saying that I think that many people are instantly repelled by any physical trait that's different to the norm.

Maat Sat 16-Mar-13 09:50:54

I understand what you're saying about people being picked on because they stand out Sherbet.

However, that doesn't explain why, when we visit countries where red hair is truly rare - we have never faced any negative comments.

In fact, quite the opposite, people come up to stroke the DC's hair and say how lovely the colour is.

NuhichNuhaymuh Sat 16-Mar-13 12:10:36

Yoko there's plenty of negative ginger comments in Ireland.

mum47 Sat 16-Mar-13 21:30:54

There was a "gingerist" comment to Bianca in the short Eastenders I saw was on during Comic Relief. It probably is the sort of thing the thugs would have said in the situation but it made me cringe because anything like that just highlights the hari colour to others who are watching, and it can be hard enough for some, as OP has experienced. sad

Crawling Sat 16-Mar-13 21:39:11

I think its disgusting one of my three dc has strawberry blonde hair and I definetly think you should report it. I dont get it personally blonde hair is attractive because its rare but red hair is ridiculed when its even rarer confused

Coconutty Sat 16-Mar-13 21:43:09

My friend is ginger and when she had a row with her neighbour, the police were called and he called her a Ginger Bitch. The police cautioned him for racial abuse and told her if he said it again it would be taken very seriously.

Coconutty Sat 16-Mar-13 21:43:55

Thames valley police btw, in case it makes any difference.

Cuddlydragon Sun 17-Mar-13 00:06:39

YANBU to think the abuse is on the rise. I'm very dark but a lot of my family and my DH are red. I'll admit to thanking my lucky stars that my little boy was born with dark hair, so he wouldn't face the casual prejudice and abuse aimed at red heads. It's the last relatively socially wide spread prejudice.

INeverSaidThat Sun 17-Mar-13 16:35:22

I really didn't think that 'racial abuse' could cover obnoxious comments about ginger hair. confused.

Please correct me if i am wrong.

starlady Sun 17-Mar-13 17:02:29

INeverSaidThat, I think you may be wrong actually. One theory is, it's a hangover from anti-semitism.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/edwest/100197324/why-is-gingerism-so-common-in-britain/

All I know is I have an 11 year old who has had bottles thrown at him, and has been spat at in the street (he does have a disability which makes him look different, so it could be partly to do with that, or his red hair), and he is BEGGING me to dye his hair.

fergoose Sun 17-Mar-13 17:31:10

Starlady that is terrible, your poor son.

I think it is racial abuse - if you substituted red or ginger for black and it was about skin colour it would not be acceptable - I really cannot see how one is worse that the other, both are utterly appalling.

INeverSaidThat Sun 17-Mar-13 17:41:48

starlady. Oh dear, I just reread my post. What I meant to say was that ' legally ' I didn't think racial abuse included ginger insults.

I can see that there can be a racist angle to it sometimes be it Jewish, Irish (or Traveller ?)

I think it is racial abuse - if you substituted red or ginger for black and it was about skin colour it would not be acceptable

Except its not skin colour and red hair isn't a race.

That doesn't mean it isn't wrong.

MrsDeVere Sun 17-Mar-13 18:09:19

It is very wrong, very upsetting and should not happen.
Its not racism though.

Its bloody ridiculous how it is still used as some lamearse joke.
How many times have I heard it on OBEM ffs?

Ooooh its not Ginger is it? as the baby is born.

FFS its a hair colour and a beautiful one at that.

No axe to grind. I have no kids with red hair.

It must be bloody infuriating to have to deal with that level of fuckwittery on a regular basis.

starlady Sun 17-Mar-13 19:44:58

I know it's debateable whether racist. I also know black people often get really pissed off about the comparisons. In some senses I understand it, as in the macro sense, redheads aren't discriminated in the sameway ie jobs or housing or in the legal system. However, for individual cases I think it can be just as vicious. My ds looks older than he is and this chilled my blood
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/watch-moment-man-is-viciously-assaulted-1522743

Maat Sun 17-Mar-13 19:56:06

No,I agree it's not racism.

But when children are turned down by prospective adoptive parents because of their hair colour - it goes deeper than fuckwits bullying.

newgirl Sun 17-Mar-13 20:08:55

It is racism - judging/commenting on a person because of their genetic make-up.

Background if needed are Celtic origins.

Sooner people understand the sooner stupid people might realise their comments are unacceptable.

AuntieMaggie Sun 17-Mar-13 20:15:18

Sorry to everyone thats been treated like this because of your hair colour!

I have been treated similarly to the OP because I have big boobs though it didn't happen when I was 3 stone heavier than I am now. Though 6 months ago some fuckwits shouted obscene comments at me out of their works van when I was walking home from work despite my size 18 figure and modest dress. It really upset me and if I'm completely honest has slowed down my weight loss as I lost the motivation after remembering the abuse I got when I was thinner sad

Anyway my point is some people are assholes and will find a reason to abuse you. Please report it.

jamdonut Sun 17-Mar-13 20:24:17

My daughter is a beautiful redhead. In some weather conditions her hair looks ginger,others it is auburn. I don't believe she has ever been bullied for it,though we gently tease her sometimes, (Her older brother tells her she is adopted because no-one else has red hair in the family - it's ok she knows he is kidding!!) and she uses 'Ginge' as her nickname on certain social networking sites.
Ever since she was a small child,people have commented on her gorgeous hair,saying that people pay to have her beautiful colouring!

It makes me really angry to think that people are stupid enough to be abusive or attack people for their hair colour though.angry

MrsDeVere Sun 17-Mar-13 20:35:05

I would be pretty amazed if a prospective adopter got through the assessment process and then turned down a possible match because the child had red hair!
I think that tutor was talking out of their arse.

That said, a 'perfect' match might be a red headed child with a redheaded parent but matching is not just about ethnicity. Looking like your adoptive family can be helpful when you are adopted.

hamdangle Sun 17-Mar-13 20:41:17

I can't believe you've been treated like that OP! I've never had a negative comment about my hair. I love love LOVE my red hair. It's part of my identity. In work I'm always described as the 'ginger teacher with the high heels' and I love it.

I was never bullied in school either. As a teenager I used to waft around like i was in a Titian painting (admittedly I was a bit of a nob) but I loved looking different

I never had any negative comments when I was pregnant either. One of my students (with beautiful copper hair) said that she hoped I had a lovely little ginger baby.

I even have a ginger dog, a red longhaired dachshund. We look ace together (I am obviously still a nob).

Any comments that are violent or sexual should obviously be reported because it's harassment but I would laugh off any other comments or jokes because I'm very proud to be ginger!!!

Maat Sun 17-Mar-13 20:49:05

MrsDV - I work for an adoption agency and, sadly, I am aware of a case where this happened.

As a redhead, a mother of redheads and an auntie to two beautiful adopted children - this really upset me.

By the way, I look nothing like my parents who both had very dark hair grin

PlasticLentilWeaver Sun 17-Mar-13 20:53:10

What maat said about the reasons people have for not wanting children with red hair. I will admit to being relieved, for their sake, that nether of mine have inherited the ginger on either side of the family, simply to make life easier for them. blush

MrsDeVere Sun 17-Mar-13 21:00:48

I am sorry to hear that maat. Was that at matching stage or when asked what sort of child they would be prepared to adopt? Genuinely interested.

I bet it did upset you!

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 17-Mar-13 21:02:59

This is so weird to me. I actively fancy ginger blokes. My first crush at school had bright ginger hair and brown eyes. Yummy.

Maat Sun 17-Mar-13 22:00:10

MrsDV it was kind of at a pre-matching stage - early talks but not a formal match IYSWIM.

Although it seems quite shocking - people have been honest enough on this thread to say they were relieved their own children did not have red hair due to possible bullying etc. so I suppose the prospective adopters were also just being honest.

I'm glad to say the child is now placed with a lovely family. smile

MrsDeVere Sun 17-Mar-13 23:21:48

I am glad to.

But WTF would you go through all of that to turn down a child because of hair colour?

I wouldn't judge a family didn't think they could cope with a certain disability or condition. Its important to be honest about your limitations. But hair colour?!

They should not have passed panel IMO.

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