Mind Matters: Flaming time to hug our gingers

Embrace the carrot tops: "I like red hair. I like freckles. I do not understand the basis for these prejudices."
Embrace the carrot tops: "I like red hair. I like freckles. I do not understand the basis for these prejudices."

Societies, governments, and religions have subjugated women throughout recorded history.

Women have been burnt as witches, made to cover themselves from head to toe, and denied the right to vote, to divorce, to lead, and so on.

In the past year, women have risen up and demanded better treatment. The Free the Nipple movement made a big splash but did not accomplish much of particular importance.

The Me Too movement, on the other hand, has led to major consequences for many men who have sexually harassed women. It also has produced societal shifts at least in the way we think about treatment of women.

Gays, lesbians, and transsexuals rose up this past year in Australia and demanded the right to marry. The struggle against prejudice and tradition was fierce.

Long ago, Indigenous peoples of Australia lost their land, their children, and more. In recent years, Indigenous peoples have spoken up, loudly at times, and earned legal recognition as humans with rights.

Disabled individuals used to be invisible to much of society. Now they are seen and heard.

I have been surprised to learn of prejudice against red-haired people. I know one individual with ginger hair who bought into the bias against that hair colour. She dyed her hair black because she was "sick of being a carrot top”.

I like red hair. I like freckles. I do not understand the basis for these prejudices.

People with some characteristic that leads to prejudice can make their voices heard if they stick together and roar like lions.

I suppose that any perceived difference can be the basis for prejudice. Many humans bolster their own self-esteem by thinking of whole groups of individuals as beneath them. Some of us learn our prejudices from our parents or peers.

Australia is changing for the better with regard to tolerance. Allowing same-sex marriage starting this year is part of that improvement. I like when individuals say that they are gay and proud.

Maybe gingers and freckled folk will rise up. Old people too. Short people. Migrants. Rotund individuals.

People with some characteristic that leads to prejudice can make their voices heard if they stick together and roar like lions.

What if all the individuals who are suppressed by societal prejudices were to rise up to together and claim their right to respect and fair treatment?

The time is right for a tolerance boom. So I say: Free the Freckle! Wear ginger hair bright and long!

Maybe we will see a time when "all the world is living as one”.