Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Erythrophobia redux

There I was thinking that I had conjured the word "erythrophobia" out of thin air in last week's post, but if I had only bothered to run a simple Google search on it beforehand I would have found that it already existed and was in use -- albeit as a medical term used to describe pathological blushing.

Anyway, the BBC has weighed in on prejudice against redheads (which it calls "gingerism") with this quasi-serious article. One interesting little fact that didn't appear in the piece was that a British doctor with the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority was recently quoted as advising "genetic screening" -- i.e., selective abortion -- on the basis of hair colour, the rationale being that the aborted child would be spared years of schoolyard bullying (along with everything else that life has to offer, of course). The good Doktor doctor made no mention of the specific hair colour he had in mind, but I'm sure you can guess.

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