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“You realise that’s racist mum”

(171 Posts)
Esspee Fri 21-May-21 11:30:51

Well no, I didn’t.

Son had just taken on a new highly profitable client for his company and as I congratulated him I added “You will be (employers name) blue eyed boy this month”.

I had to stop and think, but yes, I suppose he is right. How many other phrases do you use which could be deemed offensive?

I’ll start...
Mirror mirror on the wall. Who is the fairest 😱

3nanny6 Fri 21-May-21 11:43:33

I am not sure why "blue-eyed boy this month is racist" it is just a turn of phrase. I have several friends with mixed race children and you would be surprised how many of them have blue eyes. Also there was a big fashion following a few years ago and many black models were wearing either blue or green colour contact lenses which looked good although it seems to have dropped off a bit now.
I sometimes think that we do actually overthink our speech just in case we are being offensive to people.

Smileless2012 Fri 21-May-21 11:49:20

I don't see why "blue-eyed boy" is racist eitherconfused and I agree 3nanny that speech is being overthought for fear of causing offense.

EllanVannin Fri 21-May-21 11:50:06

It gets worse shock

CafeAuLait Fri 21-May-21 11:50:34

Is it really racist or just a saying? I guess it could be racist since it's equating favour with being blue eyed. If in doubt, don't use it I suppose.

I don't think the mirror, mirror saying is racist. In that case 'fair' isn't referring to complexion. It just means beautiful. I'd call it shallow maybe?

janeainsworth Fri 21-May-21 11:55:23

Should I be offended because I’m an old woman & I’ve got green eyes & therefore could never qualify as anyone’s blue-eyed girl?

Tell your son to grow up and think for himself, esspee

Riverwalk Fri 21-May-21 11:59:11

Sounds like he was being sarcastic.

Antonia Fri 21-May-21 11:59:35

I see the professionally offended are out again today.

eazybee Fri 21-May-21 12:01:26

Of course it is not racist.
It just astonishes me how readily people accept the opinions of others.

Esspee Fri 21-May-21 12:10:03

CafeAuLait

Is it really racist or just a saying? I guess it could be racist since it's equating favour with being blue eyed. If in doubt, don't use it I suppose.

I don't think the mirror, mirror saying is racist. In that case 'fair' isn't referring to complexion. It just means beautiful. I'd call it shallow maybe?

Equating being fair with beauty is racist, even I now see that, as is equating being the most popular with being blue eyed.

The fact that they are just sayings does not excuse the fact that they are based on the premise that being fair and blue eyed is perceived to be the ideal.

Redhead56 Fri 21-May-21 12:12:00

I was sent a pm accusing me of stereotyping for daring to call myself a 'feisty redhead' when I was younger. I have spent my life being called 'foxy' or 'ginger' it's never offended me. I was always proud of my hair colouring not so much now I am a snowy vixen.

Esspee Fri 21-May-21 12:16:23

eazybee

Of course it is not racist.
It just astonishes me how readily people accept the opinions of others.

Sometimes it takes injustices being pointed out to you to make you realise what should be obvious.

I would never wish to offend others so I am going to be more circumspect in future.

Oopsadaisy1 Fri 21-May-21 12:18:10

Apparently ‘plantation shutters’ is also a no no.

lemongrove Fri 21-May-21 12:18:53

It isn’t racist Espee and your son is wrong if it thinks it is.
I have many brown eyed friends and I have hazel eyes, and also have blue eyed friends, we are all of the same race.
It’s just a saying, as really blue eyes were considered attractive here in the UK ( it’s a British saying I believe.)

CafeAuLait Fri 21-May-21 12:19:04

Esspee

CafeAuLait

Is it really racist or just a saying? I guess it could be racist since it's equating favour with being blue eyed. If in doubt, don't use it I suppose.

I don't think the mirror, mirror saying is racist. In that case 'fair' isn't referring to complexion. It just means beautiful. I'd call it shallow maybe?

Equating being fair with beauty is racist, even I now see that, as is equating being the most popular with being blue eyed.

The fact that they are just sayings does not excuse the fact that they are based on the premise that being fair and blue eyed is perceived to be the ideal.

I didn't say the blue eyed statement wasn't racist. It's the first time I've ever heard that saying.

Language evolves and fair used to have a different meaning and had nothing to do with complexion. Hence Snow White having ebony black hair and being named the fairest. It's probably a definition that may be falling out of the lexicon though, so maybe some younger people won't know it has another meaning. If the word has become redundant in the original meaning, then the saying should also fall out of use, especially if it now means something different to a younger audience. The whole Snow White story is based on the premise that being the most beautiful is the ultimate goal, so it should go away for that reason alone, if not for any other. Not the values I want to teach my kids.

Gannygangan Fri 21-May-21 12:19:20

Equating being fair with beauty is racist, even I now see that, as is equating being the most popular with being blue eyed.

I've never thought that Snow White being the fairest of them all was anything to do with race. After all her wicked stepmother was white. And the mirror did say. that she was the fairest of them all until SW popped up.

Isn't it about looks? Wasn't the word fair used to describe beauty?

Quick search found this

But the meaning of "fair" wasn't always so blurry. The word is a cognate of Old Saxon fagar, meaning beautiful, pretty or peaceful. Since the days of the historian Bede, in the early 700s, it was used to mean good-looking. "Fair of body." "Fair of face." "Were any half so fair?" Good weather was fair, as was a pleasing sound or taste. It had no connection to any particular complexion; the counterpart of fair was foul, not dark.

I don't think it's racist

lemongrove Fri 21-May-21 12:21:11

Mirror mirror etc means fairest ( beautiful) it’s an old word and has nothing to do with skin colour.

lemongrove Fri 21-May-21 12:21:45

Sorry, x posts!

Gannygangan Fri 21-May-21 12:23:01

Yours was far more succinct, lemongrove!

I do tend to waffle on smile

EllanVannin Fri 21-May-21 12:23:29

If anything was getting out of hand it's this colour business. Total madness !

CafeAuLait Fri 21-May-21 12:23:58

You're right lemongrove and Gannygangan. As children we understood what it meant as the mother of snow white had wished for a child with hair as black as ebony, among other things. I think I'd be wishing for a happy child rather than for physical attributes myself.

lemongrove Fri 21-May-21 12:24:38

Ganny grin

Oldwoman70 Fri 21-May-21 12:31:48

A friend told me he felt the most offensive are those who claimed to be offended on his behalf - who have never experienced racist abuse, it was as if they considered him too stupid to know when he had been insulted!! He would have laughed at anyone considering "blue eyed boy" to be racist.

There are many real offensive things to raise concerns about.

silverlining48 Fri 21-May-21 13:02:50

When I was studying for a social work qualification the white lecturers would not use the word black, ie black sheep black eye black spot blackboard etc much to the amusement of the black students on the course. It did make one think and for a while I avoided the word black which made me feel awkward.
People generally don’t want to cause offence but there are so many pitfalls.
Re blue eyed, it’s just an expression however if one were looking to be offended blue eyed people are usually white. I am beige/greyish/white with brown eyes so not in the blue eyed club.

vegansrock Fri 21-May-21 13:18:38

Obviously blue eyed boy isn’t a directly racist term, but it’s an example of everyday language which sees “white” as pure, desirable and “black” as something to be avoided - there are numerous examples “whiter than white”, “ pure as the driven snow”. “black mark” “dark forces”, “black market” etc These are phrases that many of use use unthinkingly , and whilst they aren’t directly racist in any way, they nevertheless reinforce the beliefs that white is positive/ black negative. Surely in the light of our awareness that language can have an effect on unconscious bias, we maybe should give some thought as to the way we use such language.