Strap on the steal-toed boots or abstain?

Spinnaker

Nov. 20 is National Kick a Ginger Day, campus gingers share their outlooks

Gingerism. Regardless of the tint of your luscious locks, most folks are familiar with the classification.

While at one time to be a ginger merely meant to behold the rare gift of being born with red hair, as of recent, this term has been disputed as being prejudice.

Definitions of what it is to be a ginger vary. From descriptions of having boorish sexual desires, fiery tempers with untrustworthy reputations to beholding alluring essences and being coveted as rare creatures which all changed in South Park’s 911th episode, titled “Ginger Kids,” where, um, the stigma may have taken a turn.

In a class presentation, South Park character Cartman delivers quite a speech claiming that “gingers,” those who have red hair, freckles and pale skin are disgusting, inhuman, dumb, have no souls and unable to survive in the sun. And, apparently, according to Cartman, there is a sub-class of gingers, “the day walkers,” who do have red hair but are less fair and don’t have freckles.

Naturally, a few years later, our socially cruel world decided to establish Nov. 20 as the day to playfully (or not so playfully) discriminate against those who bare the recessive trait by giving them a good kickin’.

“Well, I think it’s pretty cool our holiday is near the Christmas season, and it’s nice because we match everything red,” said proud redhead Joel Schmidt, a UNF graphic design senior. “And of course we complement the green decorations because green is opposite of red on the color wheel.”

It’s refreshing that gingers will finally get their day in the sun, as they can’t usually go in the sun, because they burn, he said.

While he feels that the term ginger does not offend him, he understands the stereotypes attached to him and his fellow gingers. There should exist a sense of complete camaraderie and solidarity among us, but there’s some competition and a little resentment felt toward redheads that can tan, he said.

“’Four percent, represent,’” Schmidt said. “That’s the saying. We tend to truly persevere, and we only make up 4 percent … of the total population.”

A 2007 report in the Courier-Mail cited National Geographic’s story in which genetic scientists predicted the amount of redheads may be on the decline but added that the color is not likely to completely disappear.

Interestingly, Canada has the most media recognition so far regarding instances of National Kick a Ginger Day violence, and Facebook users have established both a pro-National Kick a Ginger Day group and an anti-National Kick a Ginger Day group.

The pro group currently has 1,554 fans, and anti has 72, at press time.

So what will the average ginger’s reaction be if a bully brunette or a browbeater blond decides to give the foot?

“If someone kicks me, then I think I’ll kick them right back,” said bold ginger Judy Gammons, a UNF fine arts junior.

A solid defense might be one option, but surrendering is another.

“I know I’m not going to do anything back to them,” Schmidt said. “We need to perpetuate the myth that redheads are quick to anger, but I actually think I will thank them and shake their hands. I just hope it will open up other holidays dedicated to us, like ‘Give a Beer to a Redhead Day.’”

There’s always next year.