iroZn wrote:Australia the bullying of red heads is so bad I think that something needs to be done about it. Red heads can't go anywhere without people yelling out 'wranger' at them. They say they don't mind though.
For the most part, I just shrug it off. When it's a particularly witty comment, I'll find it amusing enough. But the inane comments do start to wear you down sometimes. The main problem here is that society doesn't actually seem to see this as a problem. At school, I can only think of a couple of teachers who ever actually stepped in to stop bullying against redheads. I've also heard stories about this happening elsewhere.
One of my favourite anecdotes from a night out that ended prematurely involves a run-in with a bouncer who apparently had a problem with my red hair. Admittedly, I was quite drunk, and a bouncer had "suggested" I get some water. I agreed that that seemed like a brilliant idea, so I walked to the bar and promptly ordered two glasses, both of which I drank on the spot. I went back to where my friends were playing pool, and sat down nearby, just watching the game. I wasn't being rowdy. I wasn't saying a word, in fact. Just quietly enjoying myself. Suddenly, I was again approached by a bouncer. The guy tells me I have to leave, because I've broken the rules. I ask him what I did wrong, and he just says I need to leave. So I stand up, and he grabs me by the arm and starts leading me downstairs towards the door. Now, if the story ended there, it wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary. But for some reason, on the way towards the door, this bouncer decides it's necessary to get on the radio, saying "I've got a ginger here. I'm escorting him off the premises." I was a bit taken aback by this, and to this day wish I knew whether the guy was just extremely prejudiced, or just making one of those "harmless jokes" at my expense. The real kicker to this whole story is that the next couple of times I went back to this pub, I'd see the bouncer that kicked me out, and he'd always be keeping an eye on me, even on nights when I wasn't even drinking anything.
jestingrabbit wrote:Its "'ranga", a shortening of "orangutan", which have orange hair. Its come into vogue with our first female prime minister also being a redhead, but I can't say that I hear or see people yelling it at others. A year from now and it'll probably be back to what it was before ie rare.
Honestly, I don't think this is exactly true. The term has been used since Chris Lilley, playing the character of Jonah, coined (or, at least, made popular; I'm not sure if he came up with the word) it in "Summer Heights High". That was back in 2007. While I agree it's an exaggeration to say that redheads can't walk outside without having the term thrown at them, it does happen quite often. Its use did see quite a spike when Julia Gillard became Prime Minister, though.
I see gingerism as a prejudice in its infancy. It's not nearly on the same level as racism, sexism, or homophobia, but I think it has potential to grow in that direction. The main problem, as I mentioned, is no one really realises that it's happening.
To be honest, some of the sentiments expressed in this thread are somewhat concerning. Some of what follows has been touched on by other people, but I'm going to add my thoughts anyway.
traveltheory wrote:Embracing cultural heritage leads to racism. I think wiping out that would be the best way to do so.
So, the best course to rid the world of racism is a sort of cultural genocide? How is that going to make the situation any better? People should not have to give up their heritage so that morons will stop treating them with prejudice. I could never condone a person be forced to change who they are in an attempt to fit into a society.
zookap wrote:I think the trick to reducing the negative impact of groupism is... well.... to really just shut the fuck up about it. Again, someone's beliefs or even words can't do ANYTHING to you, only their actions. If someome is assaulted there is a problem, otherwise there isn't. Lately I've seen people going to great lengths to be offended by groupism, specifically by racism. I remember on the news there was a segment about an 'incident' in which someone got on the loudspeaker at Wal Mart and said "all black people need to leave the store." This idiotic prank got national attention and so did the black woman who began to cry and talk about how deeply upsetting that day had been. Was the news coverage really necessary? All it did was show people that racist words can somehow cause great inner pain to black people. All that should have happened is that the people in the store should have found it slightly amusing. Why give those actions so much undeserved power? If everyone had "just shut the fuck up" there would have been no negative impact from groupism that day. The worst example of everyone not just shutting up is the "N" word. It's just a WORD people. It is not a magic incantation designed to cause great pain upon utterance.
I think that stating anyone affected by groupism is at fault for the existence of groupism is certainly not a sentiment that should be encouraged. This is victim-blaming, plain and simple. It's on the same level as "If she didn't want to be raped, she shouldn't have worn a short skirt."
Furthermore, whether you like it or not, words do hold power. In the case of the "N" word and other racial slurs, its use represents the mistreatment of black people throughout the centuries. That's not something that's easily forgotten about. A few choice words can easily, and in most cases will, affect a person on an emotional level. That's an incredibly powerful thing to be able to do to someone. I think it's incredibly naive to expect anyone to be able to just shrug off negative sentiment expressed towards them, particularly when it's as relentless as groupism is. It's like a child chanting "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me" in a desperate attempt to pretend that they're not getting hurt.
Another Tim Minchin quote which I think is particularly relevant here is "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can break hearts."
In my opinion, there's only two ways in which we ever have a chance to defeat groupism. One of these is to get rid of anything that leads to groupism. That is, turn the human race into a homogenous entity, discarding traits that make any one person different from the next. Just the idea of this makes me uncomfortable. I don't believe that destroying what makes the human race so wonderful, that we each have our own personality, our own attributes that make up who we are, is a solution at all.
The second, and much more favourable way to deal with groupism is to educate. Teach children that it is okay for someone to be different. Unfortunately, the cynic in me doesn't think this is a very realistic option, simply because there's no way to stop children being taught otherwise, if by parents or by other children.