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To think this was innappropriate?

(50 Posts)
CaramelisedOnion Thu 25-Apr-13 22:39:29

Woman in manchester with 3 year old girl today - my son (2) (who is mixed race) waves at little girl...I say the usual "that´s nice to say hello to the little girl - what´s your name" to the mother - who tells me her little girls name and asks my son´s name....

I tell her she then say "Look (little girl´s name) K´s got crazy hair like RaRa the Noisy Lion!".

I resist deep urge to knock her fucking teeth out. WHY do people think this is ok!?!

its the equivalent of me saying "look K....the little girl has pale pink skin - just like Peppa Pig!" - (which would obviously be totally rude and inappropriate)


Or maybe I´m being over sensitive? huh.

CaramelisedOnion Thu 25-Apr-13 22:42:33

ahem. maybe the "urge to knock her fucking teeth out" part was a bit strong and should be replaced with "felt mildly irritated"

5madthings Thu 25-Apr-13 22:43:59

Yanbu that was massively rude of the mother!

My ds4 went through a phase of being really interested in afro hair, just because we saw a boy with a big afro everyday on our way to school, he would say excitedly 'there is the boy with the big hair' and I explained to him that he just had curly hair and told him it was rude to comment and point, luckily the boy was lovely and didnt mind at all and still waves to ds4 now when we see him.

MildDrPepperAddiction Thu 25-Apr-13 22:44:45

YANBU. She was very rude.

Thisisaeuphemism Thu 25-Apr-13 22:46:07

It was inappropriate. You should have said - this woman does not think before she speaks, like mr rude.

TheseFoolishThings Thu 25-Apr-13 22:48:10

Sounds to me more like stupidity than outright intentional rudeness but I don't know what you could have done about it. When someone is quite that stupid it's probably best just to walk away and feel sorry for them.

CaramelisedOnion Thu 25-Apr-13 22:49:41

Thisisaeuphemism - !!!! hahahaha!

And I agree - she was being stupid not intentionally rude...but yeah I did think "dick!" and yeah....just ignored and moved on

CrapBag Thu 25-Apr-13 22:58:00

YANBU. Why point out something like that!! Young children don't notice race etc anyway generally unless its actually pointed out them, like the dick in the OP.

LemonPeculiarJones Thu 25-Apr-13 23:02:12

YANBU. What a fucking shame. Could have been a nice exchange. She sounds like an idiot.

CaramelisedOnion Fri 26-Apr-13 00:25:55

it was just really weird....because I could see she had no intention of causing offence or harm and genuinely had not cottoned on that she was being in any way inappropriate!

DoJo Fri 26-Apr-13 09:39:53

In fairness, someone has said this to my husband, who is white but just has crazy hair. I don't think there is anything wrong with noticing that other people have different physical features, so long as you don't treat them badly because of them.

LemonPeculiarJones Fri 26-Apr-13 10:00:13

Unfortunately DoJo statements relating to race can be too loaded to just be a nice acknowledgement of a physical factor.

Just as "You've got nice tits" isn't always an appropriate compliment grin

kawliga Fri 26-Apr-13 10:11:43

I agree with lemon. It's not the same thing to comment on crazy hair in a white person and a black person. If you live in a non-racist society then everyone can be commented upon equally but for people who have to deal with racism such comments will always be loaded.

OP, unfortunately dealing with well-meaning and not-malicious racial comments is going to be a common thing for your ds. If you get angry he will sense your anger even if you don't say anything. Try not to get angry so ds doesn't pick up on the anger. There are SO MANY stupid ignorant people about who will innocently make hurtful and insulting comments in an attempt to be friendly and you don't want ds to grow up to be an angry young man.

I just mean for the stupid but friendly comments, I don't mean real racists - obviously you should get very very angry with those and teach ds that it's not ok.

DoJo Fri 26-Apr-13 10:17:02

What I mean is that there will be plenty of occasions where people make intentionally hurtful comments and are overtly racist, so perhaps acknowledging that the intention behind this one probably wasn't malicious would be the best way to deal with it. It may have been inappropriate, it may have been ill thought-out, but that doesn't necessarily mean she might not have said something equally odd had the OP's son be the same race as her and her daughter.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 26-Apr-13 10:52:46

OP Yanbu. Next time someone says something so rude, you should say something to let your DS know that it's not ok.

My cousin is mixed race and people said some shocking things to her when we were growing up...I remember one man said "Your hair is just like little black Sambo's hair" when she had it in little "knots" and she wanted to punch his lights out....instead she said "And your manners are where? Up your arse with your brains?" She is quick with comebacks...always was because she HAD to be. This was in the late 80s and things were "different" but she's never been one to lie down and take the shite.

He was [shock[ but really WHAT A TWAT he was.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 26-Apr-13 10:54:14

DoJo entirely not the point. Her intentions don't matter. What matters is she came out with a comment which was unacceptable and the OP is upset.

LemonPeculiarJones Fri 26-Apr-13 10:54:43

No I'm sure she didn't mean to offend anyone DoJo, agreed. But she was inappropriate, her remark was ill-judged, and the OP is NU to be annoyed by it.

I know what you mean, but saying it isn't as bad as deliberate racist abuse doesn't make it a neutral statement.

christinarossetti Fri 26-Apr-13 10:56:37

I think it was a bit malicious though. It was coming from a place where neither OPs or her son's feelings are thought to be important - it's dehumanising.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 26-Apr-13 10:59:48

Yes Christina...exactly. Who the feck comments like that on a child's hair...and to their own child as though the child with the hair in question is of no importance or not even THERE?

LondonMan Fri 26-Apr-13 11:11:59

In theory you could interpret this as her being so non-racist that she feels there is no difference between commenting on (presumably) African hair than any other aspect of physical appearence that shouldn't be regarded as undesirable.

I say "in theory" because I'm not actually claiming she was reasonable. How she should reasonably have expected you to feel is more important than what super-political-correctness might say is OK.

In other words, she should have taken into account that though she doesn't think there's anything wrong with African hair, you might, or you might think other people do.

DoJo Fri 26-Apr-13 12:13:24

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie I think we'll have to agree to disagree - I think intention does matter but I also believe that the OP has every right to be upset and feel offended. The two aren't mutually exclusive and if my offering an interpretation which might help the OP to feel less upset is unwelcome then I hope that they appreciate that my intention was to assist rather than contribute to their problem.

MarianneM Fri 26-Apr-13 12:31:16


I resist deep urge to knock her fucking teeth out

It is this that is inappropriate.

I think you are oversensitive. I don't think there is anything wrong with saying someone has "crazy hair" - so what? Especially as you didn't think the person didn't mean to offend.

Chill out.

MarianneM Fri 26-Apr-13 12:32:07

I meant "you didn't think the person meant to offend".

havingamadmoment Fri 26-Apr-13 12:37:20

I think your overreacting... I have children with bright red hair we often get comments of that sort I would just ignore it.

Tee2072 Fri 26-Apr-13 12:40:26

"Just as "You've got nice tits" isn't always an appropriate compliment"

Is there a list of when it is an appropriate compliment? grin

Marianne if you read the OP's second post, you'd see she agrees with you.

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