[link] Gingerism is real, but not all prejudices are equal to one another
I, too, am a proud ginger (or redhead, as is my preferred term) and I have been tormented and abused as a result of it. But, no, gingerism really is not part of the -ism family. Let’s not pretend that it’s on the same scale at all. You only need to google “transphobia”, for example, to get a plethora of articles from the last seven days. Some of them will show you what real prejudice is all about.
I’m a proud ginger and I’ve been abused, insulted and even, as a child, assaulted and bullied for it. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but I’m pretty sure I have never been denied a job or the lease on a flat because of my complexion. I haven’t been stopped and searched by police 25 times within a year because I am ginger, or casually assumed to be a threat, a criminal or a terrorist. I am not confronted by political parties and movements, some with democratically elected representatives, which would like to see me deported from the country or granted second-class citizenship.
Likewise, no one has been putting up posters recently calling for me to be executed for gingerness. There are no respected religious leaders telling me that my very existence is sinful and that I’m heading for an eternity in hell. Nobody wishes to bar me from marrying my partner, wherever and however we choose, because she has (peculiarly, I will be the first to admit) fallen in love with a ginger.
For that matter, if we ever did get married, neither she nor I have grown up in a world where I could be raped with impunity as the effective property of the non-ginger party. Nobody would have ever denied me a mortgage under my own name, as happened during our parents’ generation, or asked to talk to the non-ginger of the house about technical or mechanical matters. I haven’t heard any politicians or newspaper headlines, this week or any other, assume that if one of us stays at home to look after the kids it will inevitably be the redhead.
Racism, sexism and homophobia are not just woven into the fabric of our history, they are living dynamics in our culture, even in our economy. They are, to greater or lesser extents, systematic and institutional in most aspects of life and the struggles to remove them are intrinsic to wider political battles over the very nature of our society, public policy and economic system. In that light, I would not hesitate to add disablism to the list of systematic oppressions.
[More here: commentisfree]
- Gingerism is real, but not all prejudices are equal to one another | Ally Fogg (oddonion.com)
- Should ginger-bashing be considered a hate crime? (newstatesman.com)
- Bullied – and worse – for being ginger (telegraph.co.uk)
- Why is gingerism so common in Britain? (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- Redheads in the U.K. face bullying – and worse (calgaryherald.com)
- Redheads in the U.K. redheads face bullying and worse (theprovince.com)