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to give MIL a Christmas present which challenges her petty prejudices?

(68 Posts)
redandyellowandpinkand Wed 22-Dec-10 20:37:45

MIL has been in Britain for 30 years. She speaks perfect English and flamboyantly presents herself as a paragon of right-on, PC multiculturalism, assimilation and tolerance. She goes on every anti-racism march in the country, heads up endless campaigns in support of Kurds, Palestinians and Tibetans and sends angry emails to the local newspaper each time the BNP leaflet the town. And she sanctimoniously lectures me on such issues with a great air of superiority at every given opportunity.

Today I bought her a green scarf and hat for Christmas. DP said to me "you cannot give her that. It's green and nobody from her [insert ethnic group] ever wears green. It's what [insert neighbouring ethnic group] wear and MIL would be horrified and disgusted if anyone thought she was one of those."

I have pointed out the irony, or rather the cognitive dissonance, or rather hypocrisy, of such an attitude. But DP still insists that to give his mother a green scarf and hat would be a cultural abomination. I have suggested that a green scarf and hat might therefore be a very useful gift in helping MIL overcome some embarrassingly ingrained ethnic prejudices. But DP is insisting the MIL would never be seen dead in the colour green and thus that I might as well go and change the garments for another colour.

What does AIBU think? Should I give MIL the green to challenge her to live up to her principles, or should I just go and get another colour?

BertieBasset Wed 22-Dec-10 20:39:01

I'm confused. What ethnic group has an issue with green?

Doigthebountyeater Wed 22-Dec-10 20:40:00

Anti Irish brigade?

backwardpossom Wed 22-Dec-10 20:40:03

YABU if you are doing it just to prove a point, tbh. Why bother?

redandyellowandpinkand Wed 22-Dec-10 20:40:10

Let's not go there, lest I get hate mail. Can we just keep this as an "in principle" question?

Doigthebountyeater Wed 22-Dec-10 20:40:48

How awful to spend a life sans green! It's such a nice restful colour!

BertieBasset Wed 22-Dec-10 20:43:55

Oh sorry blush just thought I had missed something.

If she would get lynched, change it. If it is lesser issue then give her a green scarf.

alarkaspree Wed 22-Dec-10 20:44:47

I think it would be disrespectful. It sounds like your MIL prides herself on respecting others' cultures but that doesn't mean she wants to ignore her own heritage. You wouldn't give an orthodox jew a miniskirt, for example, regardless of how right-on she was.

redandyellowandpinkand Wed 22-Dec-10 20:45:56

AFAIK her family is the only family in our town of either ethnic group. So nobody other than her kids would even be aware of the connotations of the colour.

natandchris10 Wed 22-Dec-10 20:46:44

lol @ anti irish brigade

coastgirl Wed 22-Dec-10 20:47:30

You don't even know if she would be offended - that's just what your DP has to say. Maybe he's just projecting because he would be offended?

TheProvincialLady Wed 22-Dec-10 20:47:34

Christmas is not the time to be pointing out the "irony, or rather the cognitive dissonance, or rather hypocrisy, of such an attitude." You are supposed to get people what they like.

redandyellowandpinkand Wed 22-Dec-10 20:48:13

"You wouldn't give an orthodox jew a miniskirt, for example, regardless of how right-on she was."

No, because that's because their modesty rules would tell them that exposing such an amount of leg is wrong. It's about their own intrinsic beliefs and attitudes, not simply a looking-down-upon or disgust towards another specific group.

FakePlasticTrees Wed 22-Dec-10 20:48:42

Did you buy it because you thought it was nice and only found out afterwards that she won't wear that colour? And is it available in other colours?

If yes to both, then give it to her, but say you have the reciept if she wants to change it for a different colour or style.

redandyellowandpinkand Wed 22-Dec-10 20:49:37

Interesting responses, though. Sorry if I'm coming over as defensive. Genuinely listening and challenged by all views.

GooseFatRoasties Wed 22-Dec-10 20:51:00

YABU disrespectful.Christmas is not about having a dig or proving a point.She has only said that she doesn't want to look like someone she isn't.

nurseblade Wed 22-Dec-10 20:51:39

Is she Chinese?

www.lonelyplanet.com/travelblogs/538/66755/Green+h ats+and+Chinese+men?destId=355904

Horopu Wed 22-Dec-10 20:51:52

You bought it and your DP pointed out about the colour. I'd give your DP the clothing and the receipt and let him sort it out.

redandyellowandpinkand Wed 22-Dec-10 20:52:05

"Did you buy it because you thought it was nice and only found out afterwards that she won't wear that colour? And is it available in other colours?"

I bought it because I liked it - I was completely unaware of the taboo. Even in their country of origin, I had never even notices that one group wore green and the other didn't. But then I'm not much good wish fashion and tend not to notice.

I didn't see any other colour in the shop but have kept the receipt so could change it for something slightly different. Will talk to DP.

defineme Wed 22-Dec-10 20:52:37

I'm not sure if a present is the right thing to make a point with, what with it being a PRESENT.

However, I think perhaps your dh should be buying his own mother the gift.

Be honest- you don't want to 'help'mil you want to piss her off as much as she pisses you off when she lectures you. So you're not really on the moral high ground are you?

giveitago Wed 22-Dec-10 20:54:22

Get her something she'd like perhaps?

Oh my mum is also very pc but did insist that IF I wanted my nose pierced it had to be on x side for cultural reasons. No big issue - I did it.

If green aint that great for her then I wouldn't want to waste money on something that will never be used.

EVERYONE has their little prejudices. They do.

redandyellowandpinkand Wed 22-Dec-10 20:54:26

"Is she Chinese?"

No, but what a fascinating article and again, all so totally new to me! Funny how prejudices and taboos migrate across cultures.

redandyellowandpinkand Wed 22-Dec-10 20:56:01

"Be honest- you don't want to 'help'mil you want to piss her off as much as she pisses you off when she lectures you. So you're not really on the moral high ground are you?"

<gulps and shuffles feet>

Probably, um, yes

blush

WinkyWinkola Wed 22-Dec-10 20:57:06

I'd just change the colour.

I don't think it's right to give a gift that you know would cause offence and upset. Regardless of how you feel about the hypocrisy of the issue. What's the point? It will only generate bad feeling.

If you feel she's a hypocrite then feel free to discuss things with her at a later time. Not at Christmas.

Goodwill to all?

amijee Wed 22-Dec-10 21:03:25

I think it's pathetic and petty. Never get a gift in future and always get your DP to get your MIL gifts in future.

PS you are def NOT being unreasonable

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