Lauren Sutherland laments the demise of the Ginge.

Lauren Sutherland London Tab Debate UCL Gingers UCL students

Gingersnap. Carrot top. Duracell, fire truck  – call us what you will, but one thing’s for sure: our people have been abused since the beginning of time for having even the slightest tinge of ginge. 

Frequent doubt surrounding the likelihood of being related to any member of my exclusively brown haired family and constantly being assumed a blood relation of the nearest Ginger in sight, has become common place.

However, rather than dwelling on the glaringly offensive nature of Ginger stereotypes, I’ve started to think that maybe these people are right, maybe I am more ‘hot blooded’ than most bland haired folk; maybe they’re wise to keep their distance, leading me down a dangerous path of self-doubt and pity.  What truth is there in the endless taunts?  Yes, our people have been resigned to a life of misery and torment, but can ‘the others’ all be wrong? Do they have a point?  Is Ron Weasley really an inaccurate representation of the Ginger lifestyle, laughing it up with more than one friend?

It was recently made known to me that our people are pretty ill-equipped when it comes to living and a couple of things spring to mind.  Firstly, there’s the pesky skin cancer malarkey. But secondly, as my medic sister gleefully informed me, Gingers are most likely to have bladder problems growing up.  You think we have it tough now, imagine the pre-historic bullying the poor things must have endured.  Not only would they have been excluded from both the hunting and the gathering (the social events of the season) but if they ever did emerge from the safety of the caves untouched by those perilous rays of light, the first sight of a fallen carcass or a particularly menacing looking nettle, and they’d be wetting themselves left, right and centre.  And I don’t think they could have expected much sympathy; you’ve made your damp bed, now lie in it.

In Denmark, the world’s biggest sperm bank, Cryos International, has recently announced that, due to lack of demand, no more Ginger sperm will be accepted.  The world has made an executive decision not to inflict such genetic weaknesses upon their offspring.  This article in ‘Medical News Today’ does, however, identify exceptions to this wide spread trend, perhaps when ‘a lone woman has a preference for red-heads’.  Personally, I’m surprised Channel 4 hasn’t tracked down this ‘lone woman’ and filmed the sequel to ‘My Big Fat Fetish’.  But can you really blame people for not wanting the fruit of their womb to actually resemble a fruit; our track record hasn’t been too great:  Queen Elizabeth I – never found a man (the only measure of worth), Vincent Van Gough – hacked his own ear off, L. Ron Hubbard – Father of Scientology and Annie – homeless and won’t stop going on about it.

Perhaps Gingers to the world, are like the Appendix to the human body; no one knows what they’re for, and certainly no one wants them around, but they’re stubborn little feckers who never take the hint.  So, is natural selection all it’s cracked up to be?  Are we evolution’s Achilles’ heel?  Or, is natural selection happening as we speak, separating the wheat from the chaff, whittling down the weakest of the pack?  Global Warming, you say? The depletion of the ozone layer and the steadily rising price of nappies?  It doesn’t take a genius to realise that something’s up.  To me, all this points to one thing: natural selection doing what is does best.  Get ready, fellow Gingers, we’re in for a bumpy ride; a slow but steady attack on our very existence.  Being blessed with the gift of a 50% higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease and, as Gingers supposedly need a higher dosage of Anaesthetic, a greater likelihood of gaining consciousness mid scalpel-in-chest, is just nature’s way of telling us to throw in the towel.

Nevertheless, despite our charming, confident exterior, if we had souls they’d be sensitive, so I feel compelled to end on a high (plus, I wouldn’t wish to incur any irksome law suits following mass suicide among the Tab’s Ginger readership).  Yes, the Ginger gene is recessive; yes, evolution is nipping at our heels but we’ve lasted this long and I raise my freckled hand to swear that I, for one, will not be taking this lying down.  Join me.  You owe it to yourself, you owe it to your people and you owe it to your legacy.