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Discrimination Against Redheads and Gingers 2009-11-25 04:00:08

Is "Ginger-ism" Growing in the United States?

If you've seen the South Park episode "Gingervitis," you know how Cartman feels about gingers, or fair-skinned, freckled redheads: they're less than human. While most people viewing the episode probably took it as, at best, a morality lesson about arbitrarily discriminating against others, and at worst a joke in poor taste (maybe both), it isn't so funny in real life.

A group of students in Calabasas, CA, instead decided to institute "Kick a Ginger Day" at their middle school, and proceeded to beat up some of their classmates. While this is an example of the worst sort of juvenile stupidity, it does point out the underlying prejudices redheads have to deal with, whether it's jokes about their "fiery tempers" or sexual harassment. Even Christina Hendricks's character Joan on Mad Men continuously gets called "Red" and has comments made about her. And in the UK, ginger discrimination is wel -known — to the point where redheads have been awarded settlements after workplace harassment tied to their hair color. What do you think about all this? Are there more pejorative connotations connected to having red hair these days, or are people just now paying more attention to a long-extant problem?

Image Source: WireImage
Join The Conversation
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 7 years
I've been dying my hair red since high school and I never really get teased. I have freckles as well and don't recall being teased about them by other kids only family members. I think both are adorable.
MandeeLei MandeeLei 7 years
I have red hair and freckles and have never been teased for that but was teased immensely for being chubby as a kid. I guess that weighed out (pun intended) over my "gingerism".
stayplus stayplus 7 years
I don't agree with the stupid stereotypes and the unreasonable discrimination red-headed people face. "Ranga" is a cool nickname though.
mlen mlen 7 years
i've never heard of this! and i've been looking to dye my hair red soon. i went strawberry blonde last summer and the guy i was seeing loved it- he thought i should keep it like that always (but i get too bored to stick to one color!)
divinedebris divinedebris 7 years
I'm a bottle redhead right now but I was a strawberry blond growing up so I didn't get a lot of the redhead teasing- even though I was on the end of the freckle jokes believe me. I get more compliments about my hair color now then when I was bleaching the red out of it. I don't mind my freckles, pale skin and (current) red hair. :D
Zivanod Zivanod 7 years
Such a shame! I love red hair and I wish I was a redhead naturally.
countchocula countchocula 7 years
Out here, I've noticed that women with red hair get compliments on their hair but they get teased for being pale but the "gingerism" seems tougher on guys. For some reason, girls don't want to date redheaded guys and I remember biking with my buddy (who's a male redhead) and these guys from across the street yelled "Ginger!!" It's pretty messed up.
EricaJane EricaJane 7 years
it hurts my feelings, that's for sure.
ModernGraceKelly ModernGraceKelly 7 years
I recently went back to red. A red copper.. and the stylist said she had four ladies in that week just for a red coloring. I had red hair as a baby, but it soon got darker to an auburn shade. I love redheads! But Christina isn't a real redhead. ;)
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
Growing up, I would say that I mostly received compliments on my auburn hair, whereas my friend with orange-ish hair was frequently teased, so I think it depends on what shade of red hair you have. I was WAY more self-conscious about being covered in freckles, and it always seemed to be elderly people who were inclined to comment on them. I wonder if discrimination against redheads in the UK is caused more by a hostility towards Irish people in general?
Florida-Snow Florida-Snow 7 years
It does seem to me that hostility towards redheads have been more highlighted in the media recently. Elliot, Sarah Chalke's character on Scrubs, expressed her aversion to 'gingers', as well as the character of Kendra on Glee is aghast at her having given birth to "creepy ginger kids." Kick a Ginger Day, etc, has also been disturbing. My biggest question as an Irish-American and "ginger" is: why?
PeaceBug PeaceBug 7 years
Kids always find ways to mock and harass one another, but the parents clearly haven't taught them right from wrong. If you ask anyone, they were teased about something growing up (throw like a girl, nerd, dumb blond jokes, sexual orientation, skin color, $$ background, etc.). The media obviously had a slow news day to try and pass this off as news!
gingirl gingirl 7 years
My natural color is a dark reddish - brown and I was teased a bit when I was younger. But more for my freckles (oh yes, gotta love being asked if somebody can play connect the dots on your arm).
BellaEdward4ever BellaEdward4ever 7 years
haha well we sort of do (I live in Massachusetts). some of my friends make jokes about gingers, as in, "why on earth did you hook up with a ginger?!" which is pretty funny, but they're not meant seriously at all.
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