Is It Discrimination?

Prairie Dog experts help Regina sort everything out

Bonus ColumnbobThe case of a Regina barber shop that refuses to give men’s-style haircuts to women has caused indignation, sadness, hurt feelings and copious eye-rolling across Saskatchewan. More than that, though, it’s left a lot of people confused about what is and isn’t discrimination. Fortunately our panel of experts is here to explain everything to you people, as usual.

Q: Is it discrimination when a barber shop specializing in men’s grooming refuses to give a woman the same haircut they would give a man?

A: Yes, that is discrimination.

Q: Is it discrimination if a barber shop specializing in men’s grooming refuses to do women’s-style haircuts, provide hair extensions or braid daisies into women’s hair?

A: No, unless the barber shop provides those services to men.

Q: Is it discrimination if a barber shop specializing in men’s grooming refuses to braid daisies into a woman’s beard?

A: If the barber shop will braid daisies into a man’s beard, they must also provide this service to women with beards.

Q: I’d like something braided into my beard. What do you recommend?

A: Festive holiday lights.

Q: Will you do that for me?

A: No.

Q: Oh.

A: Sorry.

Q: I’d like to hang out with male friends tonight. Is that discrimination?

A: No, that’s a hate crime. Social gatherings must always include equal representation from all genders as well as all ethnicities, sexual orientations and religions. Just kidding. It’s not discrimination.

Q: I went to Best Buy for a bikini wax but they wouldn’t give me one. Was I discriminated against?

A: No, a business is not obligated to provide a specific service. But if Best Buy did have, say, a “Wax Squad” and it refused to exfoliate your butt crack on the basis of your sex, race, religion or sexual orientation, then you would have grounds for a human rights complaint.

Got a question about discrimination? E-mail “Is It Discrimination?” care of feedback@prairiedogmag.com.

2014-10-02