Thursday, 21 June 2018

The -ism Series (29): Gingerism

"Growing up as a redhead I was lucky enough to escape with just the occasional name-calling - having the surname Jaffa was no doubt a double-whammy. But attacking someone on the basis of their hair colour can be every bit as damaging as persecuting someone for their race (sic) or religion, and therefore, in some cases, needs to be taken just as seriously."
Sharon Jaffa, journalist

Ginger-baiting is discussed as a British phenomenon. At the same time, Britian is "the most red-headed part of the world" (via). Children are bullied at school because of the colour of their hair, women are stereotyped as fiery, sensuous, alluring, and emotionally instable, men suffer from more abuse (via and via). According to a study, nine out of ten ginger-haired men have been bullied (via).
In the US, red hair is not associated with teasing or bullying, it may even be considered as glamorous (via). In other European countries it is "celebrated and seen as something going back to the Vikings, representing strength and vigour" (via). Culture and gender play a role: Women with red hair in the U.S. are less anxious than men with red hair in the U.K. (O'Regan, 2014). Speculations about the reasons why there is gingerism in the U.K. range from Shakespeare's menacing characters having red hair, anti-Irish sentiment in the 19th century (via), redheads being accociated with sin and accused of being witches and burnt in the 15th century, to Ancient Egypt where the red-haired god Set who was believed to cause earthquakes and thunderstorms  and was calmed down by his worshippers by sacrifycing humans, i.e. redheads (via). "Just why this prejudice persists in 21st-century Britain is a mystery." (via)

A problem often mentioned is that nobody seems to feel responsible to protect those affected. It is not racism, not sexism, there are no marches, no education campaigns (via). The majority seems to think that it is acceptable to "slag off" people with red hair (Thorne, 2011).
"Red hair is an issue. Particularly in this country. Teachers often let it [bullying] happen because there isn’t a stigma around it in the way there is, quite rightly, about something like racism." Lily Cole
While some seem to think that treating gingerism like e.g. racism, sexism or homophobia could be a promising way to tackle the problem, others see discrepancies. Gingerism is tragic and wrong but not necessarily an -ism that can be compared to the core diversity dimensions and the discrimination mechanisms associated with them:

I'm a proud ginger and I've been abused, insulted and even, as a child, assaulted and bullied for it. I wouldn't wish that on anyone, but I'm pretty sure I have never been denied a job or the lease on a flat because of my complexion. I haven't been stopped and searched by police 25 times within a year because I am ginger, or casually assumed to be a threat, a criminal or a terrorist. I am not confronted by political parties and movements, some with democratically elected representatives, which would like to see me deported from the country or granted second-class citizenship.
Likewise, no one has been putting up posters recently calling for me to be executed for gingerness. There are no respected religious leaders telling me that my very existence is sinful and that I'm heading for an eternity in hell. Nobody wishes to bar me from marrying my partner, wherever and however we choose, because she has (peculiarly, I will be the first to admit) fallen in love with a ginger.
For that matter, if we ever did get married, neither she nor I have grown up in a world where I could be raped with impunity as the effective property of the non-ginger party. Nobody would have ever denied me a mortgage under my own name, as happened during our parents' generation, or asked to talk to the non-ginger of the house about technical or mechanical matters. I haven't heard any politicians or newspaper headlines, this week or any other, assume that if one of us stays at home to look after the kids it will inevitably be the redhead.
Racism, sexism and homophobia are not just woven into the fabric of our history, they are living dynamics in our culture, even in our economy. They are, to greater or lesser extents, systematic and institutional in most aspects of life and the struggles to remove them are intrinsic to wider political battles over the very nature of our society, public policy and economic system. In that light, I would not hesitate to add disablism to the list of systematic oppressions.
After finally breaking free of the shackling language of "cripples" and "invalids" and securing the legal rights to access work and social participation, disabled people now face a twin-pronged, co-ordinated attack from politicians and press, who demonise them as scroungers and malingerers while snapping thread after thread of the safety net which keeps many out of abject poverty, squalor and indignity. That is institutional discrimination and oppression of the most shameful kind. To even suggest redhaired people face similar issues is insulting, verging on the obscene.
Anti-ginger prejudice and bullying is real and harmful, but the idea that it equates to these systems of oppression is fundamentally flawed. It assumes that all forms of prejudice and discrimination are equal and occurring in the same context when they really do not. It assumes that all forms of discrimination are the products of individual bigotry and irrational prejudice rather than structural and institutional divides.
Ally Fogg

"Certainly, working with young people, it is an issue that comes up again and again. We have had cases where they have gone to the extent of dying their hair jet black or another colour to escape the abuse. We have also had young girls coming in for group sessions in which they will not take off their hats the entire time. If you look at any school now in towns and cities across the country, the diversity will be huge. It is quite disturbing that despite that diversity, and the amazing work going on to celebrate it, there are still these issues. There is no logic to this. It is ingrained in some part of our folklore."
Claude Knights

"Childhood can fuzz into a set of fudged impressions, but I would be surprised if the colour of my hair wasn’t brought up almost every single day for great swathes of my younger years. I’d frequently be called Ginger or Carrot Top by other pupils and at some point during my journey through an all-boys school, Ginger evolved into an altogether more aggressive-sounding Ginga with a hard G. The most creative refrain was Duracell – a reference to a battery’s rusty top."
Matthew Stadlen

- - - - - - -
- O'Regan, K. (2014). Red hair in popular culture and the relationship with anxiety and depression. Cork: B.A. Thesis
- Thorne, T. (2011). The 100 Words that Make the English. London: Abacus.
- photographs of Senta Berger via and via and via

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

UFO! Survival (1971)

Straker: "(...). Now, whoever commands it has got one of the most responsible jobs in S.H.A.D.O. I'd like you to consider it, Mark."
Bradley: "Are you offering me the job, Sir?"
Straker: "Yes, does that surprise you?"
Bradley: "Not altogether. And does it surprise you if I say no?"
Straker: "It disappoints me."
Bradley: "Well, you've done your duty. You've asked. And I've given you the no you wanted."
Straker: "What do you mean, I've done my duty?"
Bradley: "Sure - after Foster, I'm the senior man. The obvious choice, if you like."

Straker: "So. I offer you the command of Moonbase, and you say no. Why?"
Straker: "I asked you why!"
Bradley: "Because of this." (Points to his skin)
Straker: "Don't give me that. Racial prejudice burned itself out five years ago."
Bradley: "How would you know? All right, on the surface, maybe. But deep down inside of people, it's still there. Maybe it will never show. And maybe it will - like some time I'm ordering a guy out on a mission? A time the chances are he won't be coming back?"
Straker: "Look. I'm not offering you some easy number. And I don't care if you are polka dot with red stripes. You're the best man for the job. Now, do you want it?"
Straker: "Do you want it?"
Bradley: "Yes, Sir. I would like it. But not like this."
Straker: "No one wanted it like this. Now, you get some rest, Commander."

The whole episode on YouTube: WATCH

images via and via and via

Monday, 18 June 2018

UFO! The Responsibility Seat (1973)

Ealand: "Jo Fraser is in the reception."
Cmdr. Straker: "Who?"
Ealand: "The reporter from the press agency."
Cmdr. Straker: "Did I make an appointment?"
Ealand: "Yes, Sir. You agreed to the interview last week."
Cmdr. Straker: "All right, thank you Miss Ealand." (...)
Reporter enters.

Cmdr. Straker: "Before we start I must tell you that I'm a very busy man, Mr Fraser."
Fraser: I must apologise, my name is Josephine Fraser. I sometimes find that in a man's world, Jo is more convenient."
Cmdr. Straker: "Hm, well, is it a man's world?"
Fraser: "I think so. I hope you'll forgive me."

The whole episode on YouTube: WATCH

images via and via and via

Friday, 15 June 2018

What do you know about it?

"Was wisst ihr denn eigentlich schon davon?" (German with English subtitles) is an awarded poetry clip on bias and prejudice based on a poetry slam text written by Anke Fuchs. Different people meet in different settings, see others, judge them.

What do you know about it? When you see the fat woman with the embarrassed face biting into her dripping burger and think, "No wonder".
What do you know about it? That she's already twenty pounds lighter than last year and that she couldn't say no to Tim, who's 11, and her favourite nephew? And that at home he only ever gets to eat wholemeal bread? Come on Aunt Lisa, just once a year, please. And it almost sticks in her throat but what can she tell the boy about points and calories? And it's not so easy being the favourite aunt when she can't go climbing with him. And Lisa chews on, revolted, and tries only to see a happy Tim and not you, because she knows that you're thinking "No wonder" and she thinks: "What do you know about it?"
And then she remembers the weighing in her group on Saturday and goes to the restroom to get rid of the burger and it tastes salty because she's swallowing tears. But what do you know about it?...

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Freedom Schools

In 1964, Freedom Schools were established aiming to offer a culturally relevant curriculum to Black students and to empower them. Students studied "race" relations, inequality, African American history and literature, critically studied what it meant to be a black US-American during the Civil Rigths Movement. Providing critical information meant that students could realise that education was the door to greater political freedom as it was also required for voting rights (Watson, n.d.).

In Mississippi, per capita expenditure of school boards was four times higher for white children than for black children.Teachers did not cover controversial topics as they would have lost their jobs. Additional schools were needed, schools in which questioning was the vital tool, Freedom Schools.
Freedom Schools were popular, twice as many students took part than expected. Classes were usually held in churches or outdoor. Not only did they enhance critical thinking, other subjects (e.g. foreign languages) were supposed to help students transition to higher education after completing high school (via).

Photograph: The Freedom Summer, volunteers arrive in Hattiesburg, MS, the "Mecca of the Freedom School world" (via)

Photograph: The July 4th, 1964 picnic at Vernon Dahmer's farm welcomed Freedom Summer volunteers to Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Photograph: Vernon Dahmer (1908-1966), pictured wearing a hat, is the Hattiesburg activist who hosted the July 4th picnic. He was murdered two years after the Freedom Summer by members of the Ku Klux Klan.

Photograph: Freedom School Mississippi Project, 1964, a volunteer teaching science class to students, photo credit: Matt Herron

Photograph: Freedom School student Cynthia Perteet (left) and volunteer Beth More (right) in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, during Freedom Summer, 1964. More was a teacher in the Freedom School hosted by Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

Photograph: Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee field secretary Sandy Leigh (New York City), director of the Hattiesburg project, lectures Freedom School students in the sanctuary of True Light Baptist Church.

Photograph: Volunteer William D. Jones (native of Birmingham, Alabama, and New York public school teacher) who taught in the Freedom School at True Light Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, leans on the stair rail of St. John United Methodist Church in Palmers Crossing talking with local child Tilton Sullivan.

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- Watson, M. (n.d.). Freedom Schools Then and Now: A Transformative Approach to Learning, 170-190, link
- photographs and their descriptions via and via and via and via and via and via and via and via and via

Friday, 8 June 2018

Quoting Anthony Bourdain

"Look, I never wanted to be part of bro culture. I was always embarrassed. If I ever found myself, and I mean going way back, with a group of guys and they started leering at women or making, “Hey, look at her. Nice rack,” I was always, I was so uncomfortable. It just felt, it wasn’t an ethical thing; it was that I felt uncomfortable and ashamed to be a man and I felt that everybody involved in this equation was demeaned by the experience. I was demeaned by standing there next to things like this. They were demeaned for behaving like this. It’s like sitting at a table with somebody who’s rude to a waiter. I don’t want to be with someone like that.
(...) People actually used the word macho around me. And this was such a mortifying accusation that I didn’t even understand it."
Anthony Bourdain (1956-2018)

::: Anthony Bourdain in Iran: WATCH
::: Anthony Bourdain in Rome: WATCH

"The fact that over 50 per cent of the residents of Toronto are not from Canada, that is always a good thing, creatively, and for food especially. That is easily a city's biggest strength, and it is Toronto's unique strength."
Anthony Bourdain

"More than half of my team is Hispanic, as are many of our guests. And, as a proud Spanish immigrant and recently naturalized American citizen myself, I believe that every human being deserves respect, regardless of immigration status."
Anthony Bourdain

photographs via and via and via and  via

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Dolly Parton Said No to Elvis Presley

"Mark was really passionate about championing this story as a tale of female confidence, and self-belief, as it must have taken so much strength for her to say no to 'The King' at that point in her career."
Heather Colbert

"The idea that the size of the puppets would denote their confidence and control in the situation came from my listening to the track over and over and finding where the shifts in power fell in the narrative of the song.
Once we had agreed on the metaphor – using size to denote confidence – it was very interesting to create these polar opposite characters and work out how to show the balance of power shifts through the track."
Heather Colbert

Animated and directed by Heather Colbert
Song by Mark Nevin

Monday, 4 June 2018

Abnormal, Pathological, Deviant: Classifying Homosexuality As a Mental Disorder

In 1952, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) officially classified homosexuality as a "sociopathic personality disturbance"; in 1968, it was reclassified as a sexual deviation. Over the next decades, the fight for reversal of this diagnosis "became a focus of the gay rights movement", the fight to be accepted as normal, as the classifications had an enormous impact on society's view of homosexuality. Disputing negative views became difficult since the APA classification "was supposedly based on scientific findings". In 1970, gay rights activists disrupted an APA convention in San Francisco aiming to be heard. "Hard words" were exchanged between the protestors and the APA members who hired security. Nevertheless, the protests had some impact and gay rights activists had a gay-focused panel at a convention that took place in 1971. The panel wanted the diagnosis to be removed from the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the APA), it remained. The activists returned in 1972 and asked again that homosexuality be not classified as a mental disorder, their request was denied again. Members of the panel were either homosexuals or psychiatrists, no speaker was both.

Photograph above: APA 1972 booth
The activists had difficulty finding a gay psychiatrist who was willing to be on the panel, risking stigma and career damage, but they were finally able to convince Dr. John Fryer to participate (Drescher & Merlino, 2007). However, Fryer was still reluctant to come out to his colleagues, so calling himself Dr. H. Anonymous, he wore a wig and a mask to disguise his face and used a microphone to distort his voice. Bauthey-Gill, 2011
Today, the APA has an award named after John E. Fryer (1937-2003), the masked gay, anonymous psychiatrist (see photograph below) (via).

At the 1973 convention, the APA's Nomenclature Committee pointed out that a mental disorder was defined as something causing subjective distress on a regular basis and that was associated with impairment in social effectiveness of functioning. The conclusion was that  homosexuality was not a disorder based on the definition of the term. The diagnosis was removed from the DSM in December 1973, newspapers ran headlines saying that "Twenty Million Homosexuals Gain Instant Cure". Not all APA members supported the decision, so the APA sent out a ballot in 1974 to vote on the removal and 58% voted to uphold the decision. Controversy continued but the APA stood behind the decision not to classify homosexuality as a disorder and in 1978, created  the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists and a gay and lesbian task force. The DSM II, published in 1974, compromised and defined homosexuality as a Sexual Orientation Disturbance only if the person was "disturbed by, in conflict with, or wished to change their sexual orientation". This was removed in 1987 (Baughey-Gill, 2011).
Despite this new controversy and a few others like it, the APA has helped make tremendous advances towards the recognition of homosexuality as normal since its 1973 decision. In part because of the APA’s decision, the United States will continue to see more research in the 21st century that includes subjects of all sexual and gender orientations as well as the increased acceptance of homosexuality by society as a whole. As for now, being gay is finally okay with the APA. Baughey-Gill, 2011
The ICD (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems published by the World Health Organisation) removed homosexuality from its classification only in 1992 but kept "ego-dystonic sexual orientation" (via) - which was introduced as a "part of the consensus-building process connected with the removal of homosexuality" by the APA. It was removed in 1987 (Cochran et al, 2014).
The APA recommended to the WHO that the sexual orientation diagnoses be deleted from its ICD-10 version saying:
Since ICD-9, positive changes have occurred in the perceptions and legal status of homosexuality in many societies worldwide. Nevertheless, persons with non-heterosexual sexual orientation identities and/or behavior are still subject to societal stigma and discrimination that harm their health. The psychological and behavioral disorders associated with sexual development and orientation in ICD-10 are historically rooted in and support continuing unscientific stigmatization of homosexuality by health professions. Because stigmatization continues, the diagnoses in category F66 are likely to be used to diagnose homosexuality despite its accompanying caution against that practice. Further, use of F66 codes may impede appropriate treatment of underlying disorders (e.g., Major Depression).
No scientifically accepted treatment method has been shown to effectively treat F66 diagnoses. A recent systematic review of the research literature found that insufficient evidence to support sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) in adults, no evidence that SOCE in children and adolescents affected adult sexual orientation, harm from SOCE, and the benefits that some reported from SOCE were related to non-SOCE aspects of treatment.
Health professionals in nations where the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is used have operated without ICD F66-like diagnoses for more than 20 years without difficulties emerging. In doing so, they have appropriately used diagnostic codes that reflected the nature of complaints from the standpoint of distressing symptoms.
Its sixth revision, the ICD-6, published in 1948, classified homosexuality as a sexual deviation based on a personality disorder. The ICD-10 stated that sexual orientation per se was not the disorder but that there were mental disorders linked to sexual orientation (Cochran et al, 2014; Reed et al., 2017).
For its 11th revision, the ICD-11, published in 2017, the Working Group recommended the complete deletion of "Psychological and behavioural disorders associated with sexual development and orientation", as:
In this way, ICD-11 can address the needs of people with a same-sex orientation in a manner consistent with good clinical practice, existing human rights principles and the mission of WHO. Cochran et al., 2014
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Quotes from the Sid Davis (1916-2006) "safety" film Boys Beware (1961) below in which homosexuals are equated with pedophiles (colorised version: WATCH):

"What Jimmy didn't know was that Ralph was sick - a sickness that was not visible like smallpox, but no less dangerous and contagious - a sickness of the mind. You see, Ralph was a homosexual: a person who demands an intimate relationship with members of their own sex."

"One never knows when a homosexual is about. He may appear normal and it may be too late when you discover he is mentally ill."

Sid Davis, who made over 150 films, receives particular mention for his excesses, exaggerations, and distortions, which went unchallenged because, unlike other filmmakers, he did not have a committee of educational advisors or a peer group overseeing his work. Davis's films focused on misery (...) and often ended in violent death, simply because a boy had driven too fast (The Bottle and the Throttle, 1968) or hitched a ride with a homosexual (Boys Beware, 1961) (Besley, 2002).
- - - - - - - - -
- Baughey-Gill, S. (2011). When Gay Was Not Okay with the APA: A Historical Overview of Homosexuality and its Status as Mental Disorder. Ocean's Razor, 1(2), 4-16, via
- Besley, T. (2002). Counseling Youth. Foucault, Power, and the Ethics of Subjectivity. Westport: Praeger Publishers.
- Cochran, S. D., Drecker J., Kismödi, E., Giami, A., Garcia-Moreno, C., Atalla, E., Marais, A., Meloni Vieira, E., & Reed, G. M. (2014). Proposed declassification of disease categories related to sexual orientation in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11). Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 92, 672-679, via
- Reed, G. M., Drescher, J., Krueger, R. B., Atalla, E., Cochran, S. D., First, M. B., Cohen-Kettenis, P. T., Arrango-de Montis, I., Parish, S. J., Cottler, S., Briken, P., & Saxena, S. (2017). Disorders related to sexuality and gender identity in the ICD-11: revising the ICD-10 classification based on current scientific evidence, best clinical practices, and human rights considerations. World Psychiatry, 15(3), 205-221, via
- photographs via and via

Friday, 1 June 2018

Hai Karate. Long Before the Axe Effect.

"Your girl, or even your own wife, can lose her head and get a passionate grip on you."

Hai Karate was a budget aftershave with "the Axe Effect". It was sold in the UK and the US from the 1960s to the 1980s and reintroduced in the UK in 2014 (via).

Hai Karate Weekend Link Pack:

::: Department Store: WATCH
::: Hospital: WATCH
::: Swimming Pool: WATCH
::: House Visitor: WATCH
::: Museum: WATCH
::: Food Hall: WATCH
::: Oriental Lime (1970): WATCH
::: Eastern Spice: WATCH
::: Commercial (1967): WATCH

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image via

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Cold Power Cleaning

"Every guy should be lucky enough to have a wife get his clothes clean at the utility company's expense."

Colgate image via