After “affectionately” calling her son “a cheeky monkey” this mum found herself accused of being a racist.

Having been caught off-guard by the tirade, the mum explained she was still “reeling” from the encounter, and wondering who exactly is in the wrong, shared The Mirror.

“I was at the park with my son, not many people there, just one other lady with her two kids,” the mum explained on Mumsnet.

“I smiled at her on the way in and she gave me a dirty look.

“Bit strange but just ignored it. I was playing and we were having a great time, we were laughing and I called him a ‘cheeky monkey’ affectionately.

“This lady storms over to me and tells me not say that around her children (she was black for the record) she was very rude and stood right in my face.”

Having asked her what the problem was, the mum was told “calling my own baby a cheeky monkey was racist because he’s mixed.

“She also said that I was ignorant and that I needed to educate myself because I know nothing about my own child’s race.

“She then told me that I’m ‘just another one of those girls who thinks a brown baby is an accessory’. She then stormed off and I’ve come straight home as the afternoon was ruined and I’m still reeling!”

She askedĀ  if she was being unreasonable, and wondered if the other mum was in the wrong before asking “I can call my child whatever I want as long as there’s no malice behind it?!”

Urging the mum to take on board these points, one mum said: “I’m inclined to think that, on the whole, a black woman is going to have a better understanding than a white woman, of what is or is not racist, regardless of the white woman’s relationships.”

mumsnet 2

Do you think the mum was in the wrong?

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  • I had a similar online experience when Adam Goodes was in the news for someone calling him an ape. I commented that I often call my son Magilla Gorilla because he’s huge. This didn’t sit well with one other mum and oh boy did I cop it! Everything nowadays is blown so out of proportion, it’s ridiculous


  • Parents have called children cheeky monkeys for many many years. Its been used as an endearing and lovable nickname with no relation to race whatsoever but I do understand how it may hit a nerve for people of other cultures where ‘monkey’ has been used at times to denigrate and dehumanise them. While I think she should have handled it a lot differently (without yelling etc) its worth the message that some people are affected by those words.
    I don’t think parents should have to stop using the term ‘cheeky monkey’ but it’s worth remembering that it’s not a friendly term for some.


  • Seriously? How rude. I call my friend’s daughter a cheeky monkey all the time and have done it with my son. They’re both white which I’m embarrased to even say because I think that is irrelevant but it goes to the race issue. I even bought my friend’s daughter a straw bowler hat with a monkey face on it out of love due to my reference to her as being a cheeky monkey. It’s all about her behaviour and cheekiness, and has nothing to do with how she looks or her skin colour.


  • Lol, really ? I often call my kids cheeky monkey or cheeky cookie ! It’s just an affectionate saying for when they’re a bit cheeky but oh so cute !


  • So that means I can’t call my son a “flamin’ ratbag”. I think that woman has a giant chip on her shoulder. It’s not like you were talking about her child. And no you’re not racist for calling your son a “cheeky monkey”.


  • Sounds like this other woman has a chip on her shoulder. I have often called my children and grandchildren a ‘cheeky monkey’. It is not a racist remark in my mind nor is it reducing a human being to the state of an animal.


  • Blimey, I use this comment myself and I’ve never ever considered it as a racist comment.


  • I call my son a cheeky monkey and he’s as white as they come.
    I know white women with brown babies who don’t believe white privilege exisits even though they see it every single day. But calling a cheeky child a monkey isn’t inferring they are sub human because of their skin colour. Its inferring they are cheeky and cute like a cheeky monkey.
    If she’d said it to the other woman’s children there might be a case to calmly explain to her why she shouldn’t say it, but I don’t think shouting aggressively at someone ever achieves much at all.

    • Also; what disturbs me is the woman being aggressive and shouting in front of children – surely that is damaging and bullying?


  • Sounds like an aggressive encounter which could have been handled quite differently. Unfortunate for this to occur in front of the children too.


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