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Why when someone does something stupid they use "blonde moment"? Isn't it racist or sexist?

I am not blond, but to me it is not polite to say such a thing.

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The expression

having a blonde moment

can and is used by both blondes and brunettes, usually women, with the meaning of forgetfulness, silliness, being distracted, or slow. It can be used jokingly in a self-deprecating way

Sorry, I just had a blonde moment.

A funny blonde moment for Reese Witherspoon can bee seen here

The expression is not necessarily offensive and should not be confused with

dumb blonde

which is considered derogatory.

The origin of blonde moment is cited as late 20th century here and may possibly have been used to counter the long held belief that blondes are more desirable as evidenced by more brunettes colouring their hair blonde than vice versa.

There was a famous campaign for Clairol hair colouring which asked:

Do blondes have more fun?

The origin of dumb blonde goes back further

The roots of this notion may be traced to Europe, with the "dumb blonde" in question being a French courtesan named Rosalie Duthé, satirised in a 1775 play Les curiosites de la Foire for her habit of pausing a long time before speaking, appearing not only stupid but literally dumb (in the sense of mute). Blonde Stereotype Wiki

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The first thing you get when you Google "what are blonde jokes" is:

Blonde jokes are a class of jokes based on a stereotype of dumb blonde women. These jokes about people, generally women, who have blonde hair serve as a form of blonde versus brunette rivalry.

This is more of an offensive stereotype than a sexist or racism statement. There is no law that is violated when you use "blonde jokes". However, they are considered to be very rude and blondes actually get very offended by this.

I guess I've been a dumb blond about it.

These were used extensively until people started realizing that not all blondes are dumb. A few very dumb people happened to be blondes and that must be the start of that stereotype.

But since "Dumb Blonde" refers to a woman, and not a blonde man, it can be considered as a sexist statement too, which is a punishable offense.

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  • The 'dumb blonde' thing was popularised by Goldie Hawn in a late 60's television show called "Rowan and Martin's laugh-in". Political correctness had not been invented at the time.
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 9:44
  • @JavaLatte, Oh, all right. I wasn't aware of that. Thanks. But try using it now and see how many people give you "the look".
    – Varun Nair
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 10:00
  • The first time I heard that being used was on The Pink Panther, when Steve Martin underwent a session to correct his racist and sexist phrases.
    – Varun Nair
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 10:02
  • @JavaLatte I would say Goldie Hawn was more a ditzy, loveable blonde, than just a dumb blonde. "Veeery interesting... but blonde...."
    – Peter
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 15:17
  • Also note that there are blondes who use these jokes as a form of self-deprecating humor. Minor spelling note: blond for men, blonde for women.
    – Era
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 15:20
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Yes it is sexist.

It refers to the cliché of the "Dumb Blonde" (examples all over the Internet).

It is not political correct and can be quite offensive - and false, obviously.

As I fall roughly into the optical category, I have received my fair share of these "jokes" and typically answer by pointing out that "I'm proud to be a member of a small exclusive genetic minority which is luckily entirely unrelated to my intellectual capabilities or academic success".

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  • Stephie, I am so glad to see a woman answering my question. As you mentioned, that is clearly false! There is no reason to judge people based on any factor regarding their appearance or gender. And if someone does, I believe they are the dumb one! But I was just wondering why they use this expression and where it originally came from. Surprisingly enough, I heard it from a colleague who is generally a nice guy and that is when I started wondering about this expression!
    – Maryam
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 23:11

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