Individuals with ginger hair could be the next protected characteristic with a UK Equality Charity CEO warning of prejudice against them.
Chrissy Meleady MBE, CEO of Equalities and Human Rights UK, has suggested that “Gingerphobia” is one of the last “socially accepted forms of prejudice” directed against people “for a trait they were born with”.
Meleady, who is a redhead herself, has highlighted that gingers have faced abuse for thousands of years, and the problem has been described as “particularly acute” in modern day Britain.
In her statement Meleady also highlighted incidents where prospective parents have stated they would accept any child – including transgender kids or children with disabilities – bar a ginger one, and one case where parents physically abused their baby for having red hair – claiming it was “the mark of the devil”.
Speaking to the Sheffield Star, Chrissy Meleady also called for more to be “done to protect red haired children” from “gingerism or anti-red haired prejudice and abuse from other children”.
Speaking to Breitbart in response to Meleady’s views, political commentator Sophie Corcoran, who has ginger hair said, “Don’t turn us gingers into the next victimised or oppressed group – we have all experienced our fair share of ridicule, but there’s a very clear difference between banter and bullying – we must draw a line between the two. #GingerLivesMatter”.
Some of the historic abuse that gingers received includes in 15th-century Germany, where ginger-haired people were believed to be witches and an estimated 45,000 were tortured and murdered, it was claimed in 2010.
Schoolchildren with red hair have also previously been beaten and “left bleeding” on the unofficial ‘National Kick a Ginger Day’, said to be on the 20th of November, in both Britain and the United States.
A University College of Cork-based study in 2016 reported that “more than ninety per cent” of ginger men have been the victims of bullying across the World, the BBC reports.