I am a Ginger. Do I offend you?

So yesterday was Kiss a Ginger Day. If you read my blog you would already know this as I posted about it. All of my posts feed to Twitter and Facebook and all day this post received a bunch of views. The post got positive comments, as did my social media feeds. Redheads from all over the world united and enjoyed this day. All 2% of us.

Then today I wake to a tweet that kind of irritated me. In response to my “Have you kissed a Ginger?” tweet I got “We prefer redhead

Really?

Do WE?

We I assume would be all people with red hair. And I personally do not have a preference. I as a woman and as a redhead have been called way worse over the years and being called a Ginger is not something that comes to mind in negative names. Growing up I was the only redhead in my class and maybe even my school. I was a target for bullies and got called names because of the colour of my hair. Redheaded woodpecker, Carrot Top and Pippy Longstocking are a few I can think of. I was sad and had not yet grown to appreciate the unique colour of hair I had. Older people would call me “Red” and even “Ginger” as terms of endearment. Ginger being from Gilligan’s island. The original Ginger.

As you probably can tell, I do not find the name Ginger to be offensive at all. I have even wrote a post in the past about What is a Ginger? Calling my blog Tales of a Ranting Ginger and having the Twitter handle Gingermommy I have had the opportunity to chat with redheads from all over the world. Seldom have I felt the term “Ginger” offended any of them. Personally I laugh at it and find it powerful.

Are we to be offended because a raunchy television show created Kick a Ginger day? Why not make it positive and NOT have “Ginger” be offensive. I never even knew this was being used to bully redheads until I got a call from my sons school, a few years ago. The principal told me I should keep my son home from school as it was Kick a Ginger day and he may be targeted. I gave him the option to go or stay home and he went to school. Later in the day I get a call saying a boy was sent home for calling my son a Ginger. I was shocked the school allowed this to become an offensive word.

WHY? Why is this such a bad word?

When my son came home he was clueless and said the kid said it in a joking way. No big deal to anyone. But a teacher overheard and took action. My son actually felt bad the kid got punished. When we are out my kids always point out other people with red hair and ask if I know them? They will say “Don’t all you Gingers know each other?” So this word in our home is NOT offensive.

And the idea that Gingers have no souls, again is stupid. Why are we giving so much power to stupidity?

The origin

The phrase “gingers have no soul” comes from the South Park episode “Ginger Kids” that first aired on November 9th, 2005. At the beginning of this episode, Eric Cartman gives a class presentation on the subject of red-headed children and “Gingervitis,” a made-up disease.

So if I offend you with my name and use of the word, I apologize. However I am a Ginger as well as a redhead, mom, woman and wife. Maybe it is time to stop allowing bullies to use this word against us and unite and be proud. Look at the comedian Carrot Top, he has made a fortune turning the name we all got called into his career.

Do I offend you with the use of Ginger?

Ginger-And-Proud-Star

Comments

  1. I never thought the word ginger was offensive. I love red hair. I have a lot of natural red highlights, and people think I have red hair in the summer time. Only time I was offended was when everyone asked me where my youngest gets his red hair. I would say "from his mother!!" Then I started saying from the same bottle as his great grandma LOL. She has the same colour, and colours it now, since it would be grey otherwise.
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  2. I've never thought of ginger being offensive. I've actually always been jealous of my friends with red/ginger/strawberry blonde hair! Now I'm not sure what I'm supposed to call it! LOL! 🙂 I love your hair colour, my friend! So jealous whenever I see you at conferences. My hair is so boring.
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  3. The "G" word isn't something that I ever found to be offensive. Am not sure if its a word I've ever used to describe someone with red hair, but that's just 'cause I'm boring. It had never occurred to me that there was some negative baggage attached to "Ginger" (and I always think of Gilligan's Island when someone references Ginger, lol! Loved that show…) I'm smiling at KnitWitShair's comment above, 'cause I also get natural red hair highlights during the summer months (and blonde highlights during the winter season… still know clue why that happens…)
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  4. lizlampman says

    I think some people enjoy being offended and will search out ways to become offended.
    My recent post From Nursery to Primary Giveaway Roundup (Plus Linky for All Giveaways)

  5. I know quite a few redheads and they are just fine with the term Ginger. I think it is definitely a preference but I think that your blog name and the use of the word Ginger in your posts are awesome. Go for it! I myself always wished I had red hair.
    My recent post Planning our March trip with Rough Guides

  6. binabugged says

    my son and baby sis are both reds (And both with the same bday lol)
    I think the most offensive thing is that so many people actually watch south park….LOL but thats just my opinion

  7. I dye my hair red because I think it's absolutely beautiful. <3 I alternate between red and brown but always miss red most.

  8. I have never thought that "Ginger" would be offensive. Actually, I love red hair and I do dye my hair in dark intense red so when mixed with my original hair colour, it will look like a highlight red on top

  9. I never thought the word 'ginger' to be offensive either.

  10. Ginger doesn’t offend me either, it’s not a bad word IMHO and I’ve never heard of “kick a ginger day” until reading this. That’s disgusting the school would have asked your son not to come just in case rather than letting students know there will be consequences for those participating in that or any other means of bullying at school period.

    I know a few gingers, you being one of them 🙂 beautiful locks and beautiful souls as far as I can see 🙂

  11. mommyoutside says

    I'm a redhead. I don't take offense to the word ginger personally but the term does have negative roots, which started long before South Park. Hatred for "gingers" has been a long standing and extremely serious issue in the UK for centuries, to the point where some consider it racism. So, I guess I can understand why some people aren't a fan. Of course, that doesn't mean they can speak for all of us 🙂

  12. I'm a natural red head…..and actually I've never ever been called a ginger. I've always had compliments on my hair and I've just always considered myself a redhead when I give it any thought. Is "ginger" offensive to me? No, not really but for some reason the term does rub me the wrong way. Personally I prefer redhead.

  13. Doesn't offend me at all. I come from a long line of redheads and my son is one as well. I had never heard the term "ginger" until a few years ago when a ginger friend of mine referred to herself as one. And proudly. I think the word is gaining in popularity, but since people have always made fun of redheads, maybe it has negative connotations. I think most gingers don't really care though.

  14. ha ha ha..
    I myself am a redhead… and I hate to admit it, but not until about 3 years ago did I even know what a ginger was… sad, but true

  15. When I look in my pantry, I got ginger. There is minimal offense in the word and it was something I got called lots growing up because I had red hair and freckles. I didn't care. I preferred being called a ginger over all the other things I got called on a daily basis. I was my grampa's little ginger snap for years.

  16. I don't have red hair, but if I did I wouldn't be offended by being called a Ginger. I guess I'm out of the loop, because I've never heard of Kiss A Ginger of Kick A Ginger day. And I would never in a million years think that calling a red head a Ginger is offensive. There are way worse things a person could be called!

  17. I love Gingers! I think red haired, auburn, ginger people are gorgeous. It's just so appealing to me. One of my best friends was teased so badly when she was younger, her hair was bright red, now it has changed into the most gorgeous auburn hair. So rich and stunning. I don't think it should be the word Ginger is offensive at all. And I am never offended by you Kim, you shoot from the hip and are straight to the post and I love that about you. And for the record I never could stand South Park. 😉

  18. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think

    I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me.

    I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

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