Redheads are rarely in the news, but…

Redheads don’t get much publicity. However some politicians, such as Kemi Badenoch, sometimes try to drag then into the culture wars (on which I have written before). When anyone asks for parliament to give some minority protection from discrimination, critics say it’s like making redheads a special case.

Why are redheads not protected?

The law prohibits discrimination on certain grounds, such as  race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and marital status. The list does not include hair colour. People have suggested various other categories, the most recent being people in or formerly in local authority care. Others ask where it will end as we can’t try to protect every minority. Sometimes people find it difficult to define a category so as to make any proposed law workable.

What has this got to do with redheads?

The whole point, as far as I can see, is that people do not discriminate on the basis of hair colour, but we could define redheads as a minority. Some people use this argument to ridicule and discredit the whole anti-discrimination case as ‘wokery’.

Why do I care?

Before my hair turned grey, it was dark brown. I therefore have no personal axe to grind, but I care about this issue because all discrimination is wrong, unjustifiable and unkind. People should not decide anything on the basis of stereotypes or generalisations. You should judge each person on his or her merits or demerits. Not all blondes are dumb and not all small people are aggressive. We should avoid and prevent not only discrimination, but also bullying and harassment for any reason.

Should we keep adding to the list?

I agree that the list of categories is getting too long, but this does not mean I think we should allow anyone to be treated unfairly. The only reason I would not add hair colour to the list of criteria is that it is unnecessary. I have not heard of any job adverts saying ‘no redheads need apply’ or any university asking the colour of applicants’ hair. Perhaps we should just make it illegal to make decisions about employment and such based on unscientific criteria.

Have I written about discrimination in my books?

I wrote about racial discrimination within the police and the justice system in DOWN. The issue also arises to a lesser extent in  my series, Accounting for Murder , especially Book III, New Money, although that is not the main theme.

The cover of DOWN. There is discrimination but not against redheads.

The cover of DOWN. There is discrimination but not against redheads.

The question of discrimination arises but not about redheads!

The question of discrimination arises but not about redheads!