Calm Down Dearest // Gingerism

Thank the Lord for the fact I have brown hair and not ginger. Call it what you will; red head, carrot top, Duracell, Ronald McDonald or even strawberry blonde for those that are in denial. It’s a genetic and incurable condition that has subjected many to years of abuse and discrimination. There’s even a facebook group you can join in support of the poor sods. People should stop thinking of it as a disability though; it never stopped Winston Churchill, Henry VIII or Chuckie from Rugrats.

Now don’t think I’m against the colour because I’m not, there are some pretty hot gingers out there! Although I appreciate, they do tend to either be stunning or downright rotten. To show my full support to the cause, I actually live with a ginger. I consider myself pretty socially diverse seen as my two housemates consist of a ginger and a spaz that drinks all my milk and coughs outrageously loud at three in the morning like some sort of kid with tourettes. Only, tourrets is funny and doesn’t keep me awake at night. I’m a firm believer that bullying brings out the best in people. A good bully is impressive to watch in action, whilst the bullied gets the opportunity to upstage him and become victorious (if they don’t cry that is). Bullying the latter of my housemates is perfectly acceptable and more than deserved – believe me, if you met him you’d agree. However, my ginger housemate gets a whole host of abuse that can quite simply only be labelled as gingerism.

Whilst walking through town the other day with my ginger housemate, a chav of all people abused him – the lowest rung on society’s ladder had the decency to abuse my working class ginger friend. I was a little shocked at his audacity, but I was pretty impressed with the simplicity of it all. The chav cycled past without stopping and simply said “ginger”. He wasn’t wrong; my good friend is a ginger. What a massively brilliant and unique insult. There was no time for a witty retort as the chav was already cycling into the sunset, leaving my friend to just turn to me and say “what can I say to that? I’ve been gingered”.

The ginger discrimination doesn’t end there though, it is an official fact that a tanning salon can actually refuse entry to a ginger because of their hair colour – not that I’m sure why any ginger person would want to go on a sun bed and burn anyway, but still, that’s bordering on Nazism.

As if having one ginger friend isn’t enough, I’ve got another. He’s called ginger Jim, or at least in my head he is, as I’d never say it to his face because he’s got an anger problem. He, like many other gingers, has suffered abuse at the hands of bullies, but nothing quite like when he got abused by an autistic boy. Typically, people with autism suffer with social interaction problems but this young lad got it spot on when he flung his hand up in the air and pointed towards Jim screaming “ginger hair… ginger pubes!” I was catastrophically down with laughter, only looking through my tears of hilarity to see ginger Jim holding the nine year old by the throat. I calmed Jim down by reminding him that he was twenty years older than the boy, that it wasn’t strictly his fault and ultimately, that the lad was merely pointing out the obvious.

So, when my ginger housemate was introduced to someone at the weekend and they replied by saying “ah, you’re the ginger guy then?” I had to ask myself the question whether it would have been wholly inappropriate for him to reply “oh, and you’re the black girl?” I think we all know the answer to that one. It would seem that gingerism is the only acceptable form of racism in society these days and it’s all because of a mutated MC1R gene. Essentially, being ginger is like being part of X-Men, only much shitter.