National Kick a Ginger Day: say what?!
Despite having been born with red hair, I’ve actually been pretty lucky in that I’ve never been physically attacked because of my universally reviled appearance. And come to think of it, although my mum got a lot of “don’t worry, she might grow out of it!” comments when I was a small baby, few people have been rude enough – or brave enough – to tell me to my face that they think my hair is ugly, either. Or, indeed, to kick me on the ass because of it.
(Note: one time in the shopping mall, a teenager did grab me by the collar, thrust his face into mine and scream, “You’re SO fucking ugly!” at me. I don’t know if that was because of my hair specifically, or just a more general observation, though, so I can’t really count it.)
No, most people tend to go for the more subtle, but just as offensive, method of telling me that hey, I’m not bad looking “for a redhead”. Or they’ll try to “comfort” me by reassuring me that I’m not actually a redhead at all, “it’s more of an auburn colour!” (This actually REALLY offends me because I don’t WANT to be “more of an auburn colour”, thanks – I’m happy with the colour I have and I don’t really need people trying to convince me I’m delusional, ya know?) Or, the all-time winner: “it’s OK on you, I guess, but when I see men with red hair I’m physically sick!” Yeah. Good job I’m not planning to breed then, or my offspring might really upset you…
So I’ve been lucky. Much luckier than the kid in this story, anyway, who was assaulted by a group of 13 teenagers, all taking part in “National Kick a Ginger Day”.
Let’s just take a minute to digest that. National. Kick. A. Ginger. Day. Doesn’t that sound fun? I mean, we already know that redheads have no soul so it stands to reason they have no feelings either, and therefore it’s perfectly acceptable to abuse them – whether physically or verbally – and expect them to just take the joke, isn’t it?
Because this is the thing. Almost every time I indulge in a rant about the hatred directed towards people with red hair in this country (or, in this case, in Canada, which surprised me, because it’s normally the UK that abuses its “gingers”), some bright spark comes along and tells me to “lighten up” or “get a sense of humour”.
A quote from the article I linked to above:
“Student Ken Logel said: “I have a few buddies with red hair, you just kind of kick them lightly just as a joke but when it gets carried away that’s not cool.”
No, that’s not “cool”, is it? It’s really not cool. But now there’s an “official” day for it, so it looks like we redheads will just need to lighten up, get a sense of humour, grow a thicker skin, and all of the other things people believe we should do instead of speaking up and refusing to accept that our hair colour makes us fair game for bullying.
Or, on second thoughts, maybe not…