Barbershop Refuses to Serve Woman; Human-Rights Case on the Way

EspañolA woman from Regina, Saskatchewan, plans to file a complaint before the local Human Rights Commission, after a barbershop on Friday refused to give her a masculine haircut known as hard-part. This episode has ignited a heated debate including threats and protests.

Ragged Ass Barbers has established itself as a barbershop that provides “exceptional grooming services for men in a unique atmosphere geared specifically to men.” But Evie Ruddy, a Canadian freelance journalist and gender-studies instructor, requested a traditional men’s haircut and was denied.

“It makes me feel discriminated against,” she said. “Because the only reason they are denying me service is because I am a woman.”

Dozens of women called the shop for appointments as a way of supporting Ruddy. The barbershop stayed closed on Tuesday, and their voicemail was full.

“[Ruddy] has been wronged,” said Claire Carter, assistant professor of women’s and gender studies at the University of Regina.

“If she was coming in asking for what is traditionally known as a more feminine haircut, I think they would have more [rationale] … that’s not the service they provide. But she was asking for a service that they actually promote.”

After the incident went public, Ruddy became the target of threats, forcing her to shut down her Twitter account.

Meanwhile, Ragged Ass Barber thanked supporters and rejected the threats against Rudy:

Officials at the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission has pointed out that a public business cannot engage in gender-based discrimination: “If you purport to discriminate against a person based on [her] gender, you run afoul of the human rights code,” said chief commissioner of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, David Arnot.

Sources: National Post, CBC News.

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