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Parents of red heads, would this offend you?

(26 Posts)
lilibet Mon 15-Nov-10 16:05:52

This is an extract from ds2's match report for his rugby game this weekend, would you have been upset or offeneded if it had been your son?

"Next on the score sheet was Lilibet's DS2, stepping into the attack he took a great ball from Fred Bloggs and crashed over for his first. Shortly after that the outstanding ginger went over again with almost a carbon copy try."

BooBooGlass Mon 15-Nov-10 16:10:54

I'm not the parent of a redhead, but yes it would pee me off considerably unless that was his team nickname iyswim

squeaver Mon 15-Nov-10 16:11:09

Very odd. Would you ever use, say, blond, in the same context? And certainly not the colour of someone's skin. So, yes, offensive I think.

I'm a redhead, btw.

Sarsaparilllla Mon 15-Nov-10 16:12:18

No, it could be just as easily replaced with blonde or brunette and it's not derogatory in any way, just descriptive

BooBooGlass Mon 15-Nov-10 16:13:13

But sars, they would never use haircolour in that context for anyone other than 'gingers'

BigTeuchLittleTeuch Mon 15-Nov-10 16:15:08


Tortington Mon 15-Nov-10 16:15:18

i read it as a term of endearment. married to a ging, though and as dh throws multiple 'dwarf' comments my way for being short - i use ging in many different ways.

whether this would pull my heart strings as a mum though...hmmm i dunno

jollyma Mon 15-Nov-10 16:15:58

I am a parent of a red head. I wouldn't find it offensive but think it is unnecessary. I'm quite used to people commenting on his hair but he's not old enough to have an opinion yet. If he was old enough to play rugby and was self-concious about his hair colour i probably would be upset.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 15-Nov-10 16:16:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SJisontheway Mon 15-Nov-10 16:16:22

DS is a red head. I wouldn't like it - but I don't really like the term ginger. Often it's used in a derogatory fashion.

suzikettles Mon 15-Nov-10 16:16:58

Nah, I'm a redhead and it's a distinguishing feature. In this match report it's being used in a very positive way (imo) ie, identifying a really good player.

Is it the word "ginger" you're not sure about? Would it have been better (if a bit flowery) if the match report had read "outstanding flame-haired player".

I get annoyed when "ginger" is marked as an undesirable characteristic - the whole noone-loves-a-ginger-baby shit - but I think it's fair enough here. Not necessary but I think the person who wrote the report was just looking for some descriptive words and was slightly clumsy.

sethstarkaddersmum Mon 15-Nov-10 16:18:35

I wouldn't be offended exactly, perhaps a bit irritated, but it's a bit naff, it's like a younger equivalent of middle aged people talking about 'that coloured gentleman'. So I wouldn't let it through.

squeaver Mon 15-Nov-10 16:20:29

Hmm, yes I think redhead would be ok.

It IS a very naff report

CuppaTeaJanice Mon 15-Nov-10 16:25:09

I think if his name had already been mentioned in the report, and it had gone on to call him an 'outstanding redhead' then that would have been fine, no different to a lot of articles that say 'pretty brunette', 'sporty blonde' etc. Writers do it to avoid littering an article with the same name over and over again.

The problem is with the word ginger. It has, in my opinion, become a derogatory way to describe red hair, and is often used by bullies or when being negative about the hair colour. Especially when said with a hard G or accompanied by words like 'minger' or 'whinger'.

It's not a problem that one of his physical features was brought up, it's the word used. It's the same as calling someone 'fat' rather than 'large'.

nancy10 Mon 15-Nov-10 16:35:07

'The outstanding ginger?' I wouldn't describe a blonde, brunette or mousey person in that way. It would be a bit different if you were talking about someone with red hair. Eg 'Who just scored that fantastic goal?' asked Peter 'It was the little boy with red hair' said John. I would be offended and point it out.

suzikettles Mon 15-Nov-10 16:41:39

I disagree. Red hair is likely to be a distinguishing feature in a way that other colours are not. Depending on where you live in the country, there's a high chance that a red head will be the only one in a specific group.

So I would equate it with saying "the outstanding New Zealander" (if writing in the UK) or "the outstanding 6 footer"

It depends on your feeling about the word ginger and whether it's always used in a derogatory sense. Personally I alway take into account the context and am fairly neutral(ish) about it. I don't equate it with using the word "fat" rather than "large". Obviously though the important thing is how the op's son feels about it.

motherinferior Mon 15-Nov-10 16:43:40

I have red hair. I would be extremely pissed off. I don't like the term 'ginger'. I do actually like eating ginger, very much. But I do not like it in the slightest when used to refer to my hair, and I don't find it affectionate, and all in all it moves me to want to commit acts of senseless violence blush

anonymousbird Mon 15-Nov-10 16:49:17

I have red hair, I wouldn't find it offensive, but rather I think it is a bit weird and over familiar. Inappropriate, rather than offensive.


How bloody strange!

sarah293 Mon 15-Nov-10 16:50:41

Message withdrawn

JiggeryPoverty Mon 15-Nov-10 16:56:04

Odd but not offensive I think BUT having red hair is often, well not a reason for being picked on as such, but blondes and brunette kids don't get nicknames or their hair colour being used as a term of abuse do they? So I can see why some people with red hair might be a bit touchy about it tbh.

In itself, the comment is strange but not abusive.

PeasPlease Mon 15-Nov-10 16:56:54

I'm ginger and so is one of my kids and I think it is rather cute.

lilibet Mon 15-Nov-10 16:59:02

Hmm, the majority seems to be coming down on the offended side.

I wasn't upset in the least, in fact I laughed at it, had a proud mother moment and it was only when someone else commented on how offensive it was that I stopped to think.

Ds2 is almost 14 and a strapping 5ft 7, he has always embraced his 'gingerness', describes himself as "Ginger and Proud" and now has this has a facebook tag.

His elder brother and sister were always convinced that he would get teased once he reached high school but I think the fact that he loves his hair means that no one else really bothers about it.

I'm a faded ginger sad

motherinferior Mon 15-Nov-10 17:00:04

I am a revived and preserved ginger. Ahem grin

Unprune Mon 15-Nov-10 17:03:47

The word doesn't offend me in itself, but knowing that some people use it as a term of abuse would make it really not ok.

MmeLindt Mon 15-Nov-10 17:07:59

I am not a red head, not do my children have red hair but I read it as an affectionate term to describe a well-loved player.

Especially as you say that he uses the term Ginger and Proud on his FB.

I think he sounds lovely and you should be proud of him.

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