Arts and Culture

Why the Ginger Hate?

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Being a redhead, I never thought of myself as some disenfranchised minority. Sure the occasional pervy remark here and there, some school yard taunts but never really the victim of any real prejudice.  But there seems to be  too many stories in the news lately about ‘anti-gingerism”.  At first I just thought it was English people hating on the Scots and Irish, considering that’s where most of the incidents occurred.  I laughed at the South Park episode that made fun of “gingers”, because as I rule I don’t take stoner cartoons seriously. But then a recent news story came to my attention. A couple weeks ago, a 12 year old boy in California was beaten by his classmates, spurred on by a Facebook group called “Kick a Ginger Day”. So on behalf of “my people”, I figured I had a few things to say on the subject.

If you do a quick Wikipedia search, because that’s where ALL knowledge comes from, it says redheads were targeted over the course of history for a number of reasons, from being accused as vampires, to witches to just standing out in a crowd and therefore, an instant target. I’d say the most common harassment I get is of a sexual nature. But then again that might just be because I’m a woman living in New York where the range of catcalls is astounding, as Anna G has pointed out.

There is no better ice breaker out there than asking a complete stranger the color of their crotch. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me if “the curtains matched the drapes”,  I could open up my own trust fund.  But word to to wise, this query usually ends with a bitch slap to the face rather than a phone number at the end of an evening. See that temper myth really is true!

Upon further investigation, there was recent study saying that redheads were more sensitive to pain and required more Novocaine and other anesthesia. Suddenly it all makes sense to me now, all those trips to the dentist and getting my ears pierced for the first time, my parents totally called me out for being a huge wuss every time I complained, but now I have medical evidence to back that shit up!

For being just a hair color, there seems to be a number of truths and myths surrounding red heads. I’ve also had people come up to me saying that red heads will become extinct soon according to scientists. There’s another great conversation starter, comparing someones existence to dinosaurs. Minus all the bullshit I’m sure some redheads have to deal with, I’m lucky I was never the victim of some weird new hate crime trend that’s on the rise. Maybe South Park needs to do episodes making fun of all of the other hair colors just to distribute the bully attention evenly. I’m crossing my fingers that these incidents don’t increase and until then, let’s hope anti-gingerism remains a joke we can all laugh off, just like this.

Photo Credits: Mick’s World Tour, South Park Studios

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Laura S - Spendthrift Scribe

Laura S - Spendthrift Scribe

Laura S, left the "sixth borough" three years ago to settle in Brooklyn. After working at some daily rags, she now does writing on the side but still eats more Ramen then necessary. When she's not moving residences every 6 months, eating her way through every neighborhood, and trying every microbrew known to man, she is unsuccessfully rediscovering home economics. With her binging days behind her, she's now exploring new projects and rediscovering the city that she loves (although is still prone to sliding on her knees during a Prince karaoke set).


  1. Kidding (but no "Ginger Kid"ding)
    December 7, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    typical ginger rhetoric. BURN HER!!

  2. Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap
    December 7, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    What’s funny is that I’m a Ginger too. My hair has gotten darker as I’ve gotten older but when I was a kid it was pretty red. All my friends who’ve I’ve known since early high school or before still think of me as a red head.

  3. December 7, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    I like how you qualify the success rate of curtain/drapes lines with “usually”. So it does work sometimes. That’s what I’m taking away from this article.

  4. Laura S - Spendthrift Scribe
    December 8, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    I’ll bet you $20 to test out that theory sir

  5. lucy
    December 14, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    you know, don’t you, that i used to work for the company that is responsible for auburn betty?