Our editor Joe Fay usually keeps a pretty low profile, but earlier this week he stuck his resolutely brunette bonce* above the parapet with this piece about a shouty Steve Jobs and MobileMe. One carrot top was prompted to protest: Joe, I am curious why you chose "like a red headed stepchild" as a description for Apples feeling …
My heartfelt sympathy to you
And all people who are still so weak they have to refer to it as "the N word."
And my greatest thanks to Ms Bee. Not for the sense, but for reminding me that it's Friday!
I like my posts to get through so if I have to use "N word" so that I can publicly thank our moderators (not only Sarah) for the task they do then I will and won't consider myself any weaker for so doing.
I've sometimes over stepped the mark and on the whole the team has been right not to publish some of my comments, but what the hell, sometimes you've got to try. This wasn't one of those sometimes.
I'm not racist, but...
Why are most red-headed women utter babes (hello Karen Gillan!) when most red-headed men are downright painful to the eye (goodbye please Mick Hucknall)?
Because you're a heterosexual male, presumably?
Red hair accompanies pale skin,
which implies weakness, thus easily overpowered.
In women, this would make them easy to impregnate, in a man, this would make them unlikely to impregnate anything.
Having typed that, it's clearly a load of bollocks - I'll bet Mick Hucknall has had plenty of opportunities to impregnate things (*shudder*) - which must mean that evolution is a load of rubbish, and the fundamentalists were right all along.
As a red head myself
You should be thanking my species, after all, those red-haired hotties have to come from *somewhere* =p
The red-headed one in what was 'Girls Aloud' eventually came out as a ginge and looked so much better than before when she was trying to hide it. Once the fake tan had come off she resembled a human being instead of a music industry construct.
As a gay man ...
I've often found ginger men attractive. I like big noses and sticky-out ears too.
There are many scientists who spend a lot of time into looking into human sexuality and desirability... It seems that pale skin has always been preferred in women (think Helen of Troy with skin like milk, or an alabaster complexion), whilst a darker or ruddier complexion is considered more desirable on a man.
A red-headed woman is more likely to have pale skin (sexy) but so is a red-headed man (less sexy).
Personally, I was carrot-topped as a nipper, but it's darkened to auburn now- leaving me ostracised from the cool ginger circle of my non-celtic home-town.
I wasn't offended by the step-child simile, but using it twice in one week just seemed a little.... unimaginative.
Ginger Bashing... last resort
I've felt ginger bashing has become the last resort for people who want to bond with others by shunning others, where they would previously bash races or religions all that's left for them to bash is gingers. It wasn't always this way, but when I see it done now on TV and in person it seems to have a rather nasty tone to it. I don't think it's the most serious problem society faces, but I'm quite happy to be "PC" about it.
Ginger Bashing Resort
This sounds like a good alternative to Center Parks and Club Med.
the difference..(possibly, perhaps, maybe)
is that it's inappropriate to make fun of something someone was born with (short, red, gay, black) vs something someone has control over (fat, smelly, lazy)
And, of course, where humour and good natured ragging inadvertently supports real bigotry.
There is institutionalised discrimination against gay people, black people (and white people) and real physical harm is dealt to these groups
I've yet to hear or read of some religious nut-job calling for the death of red-heads.
"something someone has control over"
Well you can't change your skin colour or your sexuality, but you can always cut or dye your hair.
most English are part-Celt anyway
sounds like Francis has some kind of inferiority complex brought on by being ginger and Scottish/Welsh
It's *not* racist.
Time they started giving dictionaries away to primary schoolchildren instead of bibles.
Why do I bother?
I hate all of you blue eyed bastards anyway.
"Ginger kids are born with a disease which causes very light skin, red hair, and freckles... This disease is called Gingervitus, and it occurs because ginger kids have no souls."
(South Park, great episode :D )
I also remember when one of my girlfriends mates dyed her hair ginger... my girlfriends response: "Why would you dye your hair ginger? It's like purposely making yourself ugly!"
Seriously, though, everyone takes the mick out of everyone else (at least here in the UK). It is banter. If you are offended, it shows more about your own insecurities than the oppinions of others.
I have one, wouldn't trade her for anything, ever!
My great-grand-parents were all from Glasgow and they all had bright red hair, it went belly up from then on in my family line, everyone was a brunette. That was until my little girl turned up and decided, while in the womb, to find the most bizarre throw-back genes she could from my contribution and came up with the brightest ginger red-top she could muster! No one else in the family, that's 15 people since my the great grannies has anything like it.
My little girl loves the name "ginger-whinger" when she goes into one, which my wife absolutely hates, often seriously rebuking me and my little red-top treasure for using it! No doubt that will change in the playground later on, to the more common insult of inverting the W for an M.
Re: I have one, wouldn't trade her for anything, ever!
"My great-grand-parents were all from Glasgow and they all had bright red hair, it went belly up from then on in my family line"
And what colour down below?
Red headed Women?
To quote from the song "red headed Women" by Bruce Springsteen:
Well brunettes are fine man
And blondes are fun
But when it comes to getting a dirty job done
I'll take a red headed woman
A red headed woman
It takes a red headed woman
To get a dirty job done
Well listen up stud
Your life's been wasted
Til you've got down on your knees and tasted
A red headed woman
A red headed woman
It takes a red headed woman
To get a dirty job done
Tight skirt, strawberry hair
Tell me what you've got, baby, waiting under there
Big green eyes that look like, son
They can see every cheap thing that you ever done
Well I don't know how many girls you've dated, man
But you ain't lived til you've had your tires rotated
By a red headed woman
A red headed woman
It takes a red headed woman
To get a dirty job done
And he can say that. because he has been married to a red headed woman for a long time.
re: Ginger Bashing is not racist...
....so what? If it's not racism it's OK?! Big ears, facial deformity etc etc....all OK to make someone feel small and embarrassed, just so long as it's not about the colour of their skin or what part of the world they come from? You muppet.
I'd rather be criticised for my race....
Basically some people just like making people who are in a minority or who stand out in some way feel bad. Basically they are just morons who are seeking the attention of others. I just love the way without fail, they all say `but it's not racialistical so it's ok to just `bash` em init bruv....` Clowns...
Let me see
Red headed stepchild is bad because of the unwantedness of red heads. No one leaping to the defence of stepchildren then?
This post was made from orphans' tears and middle-aged men's broken dreams.
It could have been worse - he could have called a horse a "Frenchman's lunch"....
....are just as valid as targets for ridicule and humiliation as blacks and gays, or any other minority group, in my opinion. I just don't see what the fuss is about. Get over it.
Hmm missing the point tards
The point is if you're born a certain way and people use it as a verbal weapon, it's out of order. As mentioned already, you can't take the piss out of other races or handicaps so why hair colour? Funny, ha ha, yeh great, mature too. Try it near me and you'll be nursing a broken nose, see who looks like a fucking mutant then, eh?
Aw thumbs down
Diddums. You like being able to take the mickey out of people and would hate the suggestion it's inappropriate, I guess. Guess you'll have to try and win the respect and admiration of your peers through reasoned argument and intelligent discussion. It's too easy to be a dick, try and be constructive.
Well done HiGene
In trying to talk people down for calling you a ginger, you in turn called them 'tards.
Spot the irony?
Ha yeh I had noticed that (all too late) but hoped nobody else would. Many a word spoken in anger... My point still stands that after 30+ years of shitheads (safe?) cracking wise I don't take any nonsense anymore. One of the most annoying trends is when people are having some sort of a ginger laugh, notice (or are made to notice) my ire then go all quiet and sheepish as they damn well know they're in the wrong. Then I read a page full of rubbish where everyone thinks it's OK so that's OK then, kinda rubs me the wrong way.
Well, HiGene, at least you're putting to rest that stereotype about redheads being fiery and hot-tempered.
Call Sherlock Holmes!
It's the only thing to do when the League of Red Headed Men comes calling.
There are or were a hell of a lot of "blonde jokes" going around the US 20 or 25 years ago, but I don't know that redheads ever came in for that treatment here.
The blinkered UK?
Maybe I'm just strange, I can't help but feel uncomfortable even with the phrase 'blonde moment' as it carries similar undertones. Your Sherlock Holmes quip was amusing, though, proof that physical features can be used as a joke without being hurtful. I'm only not laughing as some of the small minded comments on here have got me steaming mad. It seems that only in the UK is it seen as normal and right that people are made to feel small and inferior 'coz it's OK, everyone does it'. I seem to recall that once upon a time everyone used to have those funny dark fellas as slaves, that was quite alright, everyone did it. OK, poor analogy maybe but you probably get my point about the pathetic cowardice of the herd.
Can I ask if you're a red head, or are you just being outraged in sympathy along with all the other daily mail readers?
From my experience in the UK (40+ years since birth), everyone takes the piss out of everyone else, including themselves. Self deprecation is a national trait, and an essential prerequisite before taking the mickey out of anyone else.
So feeling uncomfortable
makes you want to punch people in the face?
AC - yes, a red head. No, despise DM readers also (inc the in-laws, barmy as a bag full of hedgehogs and believe everything that rag tells them). Ordinarily I love my country and its people, this page of insults has driven me up the wall. I was hoping for some voices of reason but it appears the majority of people think it's fine to insult those different from them. I don't call fat people fat, smelly people smelly or black people black. I think it's best to be civil to everyone otherwise everyone loses. That said...
hplasm - yes, I'm a pretty passionate person when my back gets up and you insult me at your peril, especially after a few. Not proud of this, must be a red head thing (see, fairly self deprecating, not insulting, not calling myself ugly or weird or mutated, spot the difference?). Please note that being uncomfortable is what I feel about the blonde phrases, ginger things making me absofrigginglutely mental. What worries me most is the people who aren't as naturally aggressive as me, the sensitive types who get actually mentally damaged by this type of attitude. Is that OK? It's just the playground? It's pathetic, is what it is.
"There are or were a hell of a lot of "blonde jokes" going around the US 20 or 25 years ago, "
Didn't most of them get their own series?
I've always had a soft spot for the Red headed female and as such have been with quite a few. The vast majority were more passionate, daring and if I had a choice between twins - 1 blonde and 1 redhead I know which I would choose!
Paris?: She's a secret ginner!
I'm coming out.
Yes, I'm a Red Head. I have not told anyone and I'm 41 years old and I have decided it's time to "come out". There, I said it.
To be honest, I think a lot of people have guessed already anyway.
Also, I get really fed up with people feeling it's OK to take the piss out of me about it for the last 30 odd years. It's not the same as calling someone a nigger, considering all the background that comes along with that. It's also worse than calling someone "fatty", because at least a fat person can normally do something about it. Still not nice to point it out though.
Basically it's similar to taking the piss out of someone because they are tall, have a lisp, have epilepsy, hairy legs, freckles or a big nose. It's perfectly natural to pick people out because of their differences... if you have the imagination of a caveman, that is.
It's not big, it's not clever and it's really not original. So, please stop it.
Thumb down for poor Steve? What did he do to you?
Wow, there was absolutely nothing in this post to disagree with. A calm, reasoned request to stop the abuse and it gets a down-vote. I guess there goes a demonstration of the kind of self-centred, hateful troglodyte with which we unfortunately have to share this planet. I can only hope (for the sake of his doubtless beautiful and as-yet-unbroken nose) that it's simply the abstraction of the internet that gives you the chutzpah to assert such a crass point of view and that you don't actually up in people's faces telling them to stop complaining when they ask someone to stop being unkind to them.
Re: Steve Button
But where do you want to draw the line? I might not be ginger, but I've gone through my life being a tall lanky streak of piss four eyed computer geek.
@But where do you want to draw the line?
How 'bout not being nasty to anyone for anything unless they really deserve it? Anyone who is nasty to someone for no reason, just because its fun? They're just dicks and deserve the nasty. That stupid male macho mockery so beloved of lads everywhere just masks some inner insecurity and they need to grow up.
Know your audience
"How 'bout not being nasty to anyone for anything unless they really deserve it?"
What about "know your audience" combined with "don't be so easily offended"?
I am a polite person, and I rarely upset anyone. I do, however, take the piss out of friends and aquaintances when I think they can take it.
I have, on occasion, got it wrong and offended someone. Often this is because I didn't realise something was a touchy subject for the person involved. Mostly, they laugh it off, realising there was no malice in what I said, and then let me know later (at which point I feel very guilty and appologise profusely). I have also been on the other end, and try to do the same.
When someone is doing it out of malice, it is a completely different story. Fortunately I have found that this rarely happens (except at school, of course). My response is still the same however: treat it as a joke if you can, no matter how hurtful, or ignore it if you can't laugh it off.
I am not a strong person, and know how hurtfull things can be. But friends will avoid touchy subjects when taking the piss, and why do you care about the others?
The odd thing is that some of the earliest alpha males of European literature, Achilles and Menelaus, for example, are described as having ginger hair: Menelaus is called "xanthos Menelaos" when it suits the meter, and very early in the Iliad Athena grabs Achilles by his "xanthes komes". And the lexicographers seem to agree that "xanthos" is a reddish blond or auburn in this case.
My ginger friend
My ginger friend is over the moon... After taking years of abuse, and introducing himself as the ginger tosser, he's now reached 40, and going grey - He's so happy!
Now he just needs to find some factor 2000 sunblock and he'll be able to hang out with the rest of us!
Anon, cos, well, I'm not quite ready to admit I have a ginger friend. It's a big step you know.
Don't offend me
I'm a Black Irish Lesbian Communist Vegetarian Redhead Accountant and I take offense to almost everything. ;-) <NOT!>
Jeez people, get over yourselves.
I'm fat and when people point at me and say "You're fat" then I just smile and agree.
It's a fact.
If people have a prejudice against fat people (and they do) then should I take offense whenever someone makes a comment about us fatties?
I can't be bothered and I know something that they don't.
They are all F**KWITS! :D
A curious variety of comments...
There has been some mention of context already, however the majority of posters seem content to gloss over it, in favour of sensationalism, "wit", or whatnot. Suffice to say, "ginger" etc remarks can be completely acceptable (yes funny even!) in some situations, entirely unacceptable in others, as with any other potentially malicious remarks...
For those who haven't already done so, I'd suggest watching the excellent Gran Torino by Clint Eastwood. It has nothing to do with red/ginger hair, but it deftly illustrates the huge difference context and familiarity can make when slinging around language that is potentially vicious in nature. In the end it comes down to two things - your intent, but more importantly, what the likely perception of your intent will be. If you think you remark is likely to be taken with the good humour it was intended to be, then tally-ho! If not, then think twice (unless of course you want to be deliberately malicious).
Now I'm off for a pint! :-)
Good points, all
I would have liked to have put it as succinctly and level headed as you but failed. However, very well put, sir. Particularly the last bit.
I should add...
Awesome film, absolutely awesome
Heard this one on a Steven Segal movie
"Fire down below" I think.
But probably not something you want to say out loud.
Remember folks "Ginger" is a spectrum.
From hot ginger (Rachel Nicholls and Alicia Dewitt) to mad ginger (Lindsay Lohan?).
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