I Just Want The Awesome Barber Shop To Give The Nice Lady A Haircut UPDATED

Well, Yellowknife’s Ragged Ass Barbers is apparently willing to give men’s haircuts to women. Here’s a freshly tweeted tweet:

See? No big deal. Change the rules and move on.

Original post below.

Judging from Facebook, Ragged Ass Barbers continues to have a lot of support for its trouble-making and divisive “no haircuts for women” policy. While some of its defenders are reasonable, unfortunately, this comment on my original post stood out as reflective of too much of RAB’s support:

“…this is such neo feminist bullshit.. she is trying to destroy an honest, well liked and successful business thats here to fill a small niche in the community. There are hundreds of other hair stylists that can fulfill her needs.. there are also places like ‘curves’ that only serve women. She has launched an attack campaign that amounts to no more than harassment and is doing nothing to further the needs of her lesbian rights movement. There are bigger problems in this world. I say either grow a pair or stay out.”

“Neo-femminsit [sic] bullshit?” Don’t have a clue what that is, sounds like a made-up thing.  “Grow a pair or stay out.” Charming! “She has launched an attack campaign [that’s] doing nothing to further the needs of her lesbian rights movement…” Her what-movement, who now? Most of Evie’s supporters are boring straight people like me.

And then, this:

“…trying to destroy an honest, well liked and successful business…”?

No, hard-part refugee Evie Ruddy is not trying to “destroy a business”. As Evie herself says in the comments:

“…if RAB had a change of heart and continued to offer traditional barber style haircuts to anyone, not just men, it wouldn’t affect their male-dominated atmosphere as I doubt that very many women would want barber-style cuts and this could end.” [Emphasis added.]

She’s absolutely right. There will be a ton of support for RAB changing their dumb policy. It won’t ruin the place, or even significantly change it (girls don’t have cooties!) and we’ll all have a lovelier, more civilized city.

I understand why everyone’s worked up: it’s terrifying to be accused of discrimination and threatened with a human rights complaint, and it’s especially head-essplodey when the business on the receiving end of such a major complaint isn’t evil. And yes, an argument could be made that Evie went for the big guns (media, human rights complaint) sooner than she needed to, and ideally, she would have found gentler, friendlier ways to persuade RAB to change their dopey, ill-considered rule.

(Then again, one should be hesitant to judge the actions of someone who’s just been discriminated against: i.e., the actual victim who’s now receiving threats).

If this fight doesn't end soon it  could escalate to an Ezra Levant-category disaster.
If this fight doesn’t end soon it could escalate to a full-blown Ezra Levant-category event.

I understand that many people love Ragged Ass Barbers and are just defending their friends. And I’m pretty damn sure that Ragged Ass is a great business run by great people. I think everyone wants it to flourish. But it’s getting more clear by the minute that this men’s only rule is too divisive. People aren’t going to let this go. A week from now, this stupid brawl will be national news and Ezra Levant will be flying in to get his hair cut.

Ragged Ass will not like that. NOBODY will like that.

Ragged Ass Barbers gets to pick how it presents itself and what services it provides, and they’ve done a fantastic job of that. They shouldn’t pick who they provide their services to based on the customer’s wiener situation.

To Ragged Ass Barbers: change the policy, cut the nice lady’s hair and everything will be fine.

Prairie Dog will even buy you guys a bottle of decent bourbon to celebrate this stupid fight being over.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth was carried to Regina in a swarm of bees. He's been with Prairie Dog since May 1999 and will die at his keyboard before admitting his career a terrible, terrible mistake.

76 thoughts on “I Just Want The Awesome Barber Shop To Give The Nice Lady A Haircut UPDATED”

  1. I really think the nice lady needs to put issues into perspective. There has been thousands and thousands killed in wars in this year alone, scientists studying global warming have now become very scared at the situation our planet is in and are saying it might be too late to save our world. The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is worse the originally thought now and people are dying at an alarming rate AND THIS WOMEN HAS THE GALL TO GO TO THE HUMAN RIGHT COMMISION AND COMPLAIN ABOUT A BARBER SHOP. GET OVER YOURSELF!!

  2. By the same token, given all the strife and misery in the world, why is a barber shop getting all squicked out over cutting a woman’s hair in the exact same manner they cut men’s hair? Yes, Ms Ruddy probably needs to get over herself, but so does the shop owner.

    A little less Manichean bullshit and a little more quid pro quo would go a long way here, which is precisely the point of Stephen’s article.

  3. It’s important for women to stand strong on the gains made over the decades. It wasn’t that long ago — maybe 20 years — that the last of the Regina’s Boyz Clubs, the Assiniboia Club had to start offering memberships to women. Before that, it was pubs. Before that, voting booths.

    If we allow one organization to breech the gains women have made, it sets a precedence — a very dangerous precedent — in the campaign for women’s full equality. And, lest anyone claim that women are already equal, fulltime working women still earn about 70 cents on the dollar as compared to fulltime working men.

    So I stand with Evie. This is too important, in the larger scheme of things, to ignore.

  4. The first time I went to Ragged Ass was a few weeks after it opened. It was just Craig working there then and he was already doing some pretty long days getting through all the guys that wanted cuts and shaves. A few weeks later he added a 2nd barber…then a couple of months later a 3rd. Now all the chairs are in use every time I’m in the place and it’s usually a 30 to 60 minute wait for a seat. It would seem like they’ve managed to create themselves a pretty nice business with all the customers they can handle despite what Stephen believes to be a “dopey, ill-considered rule” and how it’s “too divisive”. If it’s so divisive how is this the first mention of it?

  5. Geez, you can’t just go around threatening people with Ezra Levant. There’s laws against that kind of thing.

  6. As to he goofs here and on other social media making allusions to the civil rights movement or women’s suffrage, get over yourselves, you’re crazy.

  7. For all the people saying things along the line of “there are bigger fish to fry and she should worry about that instead”. I’ve had a peek at her facebook page and she indeed DOES talk about these other big issues there as well. People are talented: They have the ability to worry about more than one cause at a time. It’s allowed… and encouraged!

  8. Justin: I’m sorry, that was mean.

    Jason: it’s clearly divisive, as the news coverage, social media eruption and Dog Blog comments prove. As for calling people “goofs” and “crazy”, are you trolling or what? Is your goal to infuriate Ragged Ass’ critics, convincing them that engaging Ragged Ass Barbers and its supporters is a total waste of time, and their efforts would be better spent shutting down a business with a pointlessly sexist policy?

    Giving the occasional men’s cut to a woman does not harm anyone or ruin anything. Women do not have cooties. The line should be drawn at services provided, not genitals presented. The rule needs to change.

  9. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction and a social media over-reaction – Newton’s Third Law of Internet Physics

    I wouldn’t ever take the social media reaction to any event as a very good barometer of society’s feelings on the same topic as a whole, I’m certain you’re well aware that people only tend to comment on something if they’re particularly passionate about it not if they’re completely indifferent as I imagine the vast majority of society are on this one While you’re correct giving the occasional men’s cut to a woman who wants one wouldn’t harm anyone, so to does not offering that particular service not harm anyone. There are scores of other hair dressers, stylists and barbers in the city all of whom happily serve female customers. That 1 or 2 in a city of 200,000 people choose to market themselves to an exclusively male clientele shouldn’t be a threat to anyone or seen as a regression of their civil liberties and certainly shouldn’t be something wasting the time of a body like a Human Rights Commission. A men only policy isn’t exactly crazy uncharted territory for a barber shop, and as evidenced by the rapid expansion of RAB’s business is clearly something that there is a sizable market for despite your assertion of it being “dopey”. Again, if this is something that you find completely egregious you’re capable of simply not patronizing them. I mean it might be nice if you set foot in the place at least once to check it out for yourself before calling them “idotic”, “dopey”, or implying that they don’t want women around due to their “cooties” or “stinky period smells” (Seriously Stephen, you used the phrase “stinky period smells” in a post, that may be a first for any editor of anything ever). However, given that you’re a human being and I believe in letting people do as they choose in so far as they’re not harming any one else, you can also feel free not to. Just as anyone who offers any sort of personal grooming service should be allowed to decide for themselves who they are and are not comfortable offering those services to.

    As to the goofs, I thought I was treating them with the same level of respect they seem to show actual important historical struggles.

  10. Should all people that offer waxing be forced to accept clients of both genders? I mean that would be a better example of your “The line should be drawn at services provided, not genitals presented.” argument.

  11. I’m not aware of any places that refuse to wax male customers. Besides, no one’s filed a human rights complaint against a women-only salon that does waxing. When that happens, we can discuss it. In the meantime, it seems not to be a problem.

    Ragged Ass Barbers turning down Evie Ruddy for a men’s hair cut, however, is a problem for a lot of people.

    I agree with you that Ragged Ass’ business model–men’s haircuts and grooming–is excellent. It’s their no-woman rule that’s dopey. Lots of women don’t identify with what I guess we could call gender norms, and Evie is one of them, and there might be no better place in this city to give Evie the haircut she wants.

    Evie didn’t go to RAB to force change on it, she went there because it was exactly what she wanted. Unfortunately, there was a failure of imagination, and here we are.

    I’m optimistic Ragged Ass Barbers.will see the light and change their unnecessary rule.

  12. Yes Stephen, it was a hypothetical. I was trying to figure out if your argument was that people that offer grooming services should be forced to offer them to all people OR if people that offer grooming services to men should also be forced to offer those same services to women. A minor distinction to be sure but not an insignificant one. Your response however has only confused me further however. You now seem to be stating that something isn’t a problem until someone files a human rights complaint about it. Not loses a Human Rights hearing, or is convicted criminally of some offense, or something silly that involves due process. Just if someone makes a complaint, apparently.

    Ragged Ass Barbers turning down Evie Ruddy for a men’s hair cut, however, is not a problem for a lot of people. (Want some proof? Your readers voted Craig best Men’s Hairstylist last year, certainly the readers of your fine paper are too evolved to put up with discrimination or reward it).

    Again, on to my silly hypotheticals. Curves business model – Women’s only gym – is excellent. They fill a niche in the marketplace that was clearly under served and have been quite successful at it. However, lots of men don’t identify with what we would call gender norms. Would you force them to take transgender clients? Does pre-op or post-op factor in to the equation? What about just a transvestite? Heterosexual drag queen? Does one need the legal paperwork or just take people at their word as to how they identify?

    She may not have gone there with that intent, but it certainly seems like that’s her (and your) intent now. Sadly, while I’ve never heard any discussions in the barbershop on topics about how we as men are going to keep women down or new and exciting ways to put them in their place or how women have ruined the world with their silly equal rights and such, I worry that they could now get an influx of new customers that do harbour thoughts like that as far too many of the comments on their Facebook post had a bit of that bent to them. Previously whenever I’ve been in there it’s been a pretty eclectic mix of businessmen, hipsters and bikers. Many of them being left leaning philosophically and everything.

    I’m Optimistic that Ragged Ass Barbers won’t back down to the thought police and their insistence that all things must be exactly the same at all times for all people. Unless a group has been marginalized at some point, then they should get extra rights to make up for it. Because creating different rules for different people seems like a perfectly reasonable way too solve problems you claim have been created by generations of treating people differently.

  13. How RABs are perceived after this, however, will depend largely on how they choose to handle themselves and the twitter post seems like a little obnoxious, defiant in the face of a human rights lawsuit. Seems immature and somewhat ignorant to me. They should probably take this more seriously, unless, like, someone has tipped them off that in the #NewSaskatchewan they have nothing to worry about.

  14. What if the customer admitted they are a transgender.
    Let us say the transgender is in process of transforming from a man into a woman or vice-versa. That would be a grey area for that existing rule now, wouldn’t it?

  15. By its very definition, a barber (from Latin beard) cuts men’s beards and hair. Having ones beard shaved by another becomes somewhat of a personal interaction by the nature of having someone else put a sharp razor to your face and neck.
    In this day and age if a woman walks into a barbershop and asks to have her beard shaved, she may have a case to complain if she’s refused, as she may very well need the shave.
    I wouldn’t recommend however taking it up with the barber and demanding his services.

  16. One could try an appeal to etymology in a judicial forum, but I don’t know that it’ll get you very far.

  17. This woman has no idea what a fool she has made out of herself. Sure, she`s a hero in her own little world, but discussing this with the average woman and there is total disgust for her. Regina is a small place and people are not going to forget her name. Maybe that’s all see wanted anyway? Too bad her parents didn’t pay more attention to her growing up.

    Society has never been to warm to whiners and I think she will soon discover this. She has had her 15 minutes of fame but she`ll pay dearly for it.

  18. I would like it if Ezra and Sun News weighed in on this. That would be funny.

    The divisiveness we are seeing is not being caused the barber shop’s men only rule; it is being caused Evie’s complaint and the small group of radicals who can’t tell the difference between a genuine human rights issue and entitlement run amok. This is the latter.

  19. “The divisiveness we are seeing is not being caused the barber shop’s men only rule; it is being caused Evie’s complaint and the small group of radicals who can’t tell the difference between a genuine human rights issue and entitlement run amok. ”

    Really? I’d say Evie’s been pretty measured in how she’s communicated about the whole thing. She’s filed a complaint. If she’s wrong about the situation, she won’t win. Why does it bother so many people that she’s challenging something she thinks is unfair through a channel that’s legally available to her?

    You want to see divisiveness? Take a look at Indy500’s post above. In fact, Indy500’s post reads quite a bit like a threat–a cowardly, anonymous threat by someone whose weenie is obviously feeling threatened. (Whoops! That was a bit divisive of me!)

    The fact that so many people are getting so riled up about her complaint tells me that this may actually be a bigger deal than the simple haircut issue her detractors like to boil it down to. But then again, I think Evie knows that and it’s likely why she’s taken this as far as she has.

  20. Can we classify the death threats made against Ms Ruddy as “divisive?” What about the ‘mere’ calls for violence? Just curious…

  21. “This woman has no idea what a fool she has made out of herself. Sure, she`s a hero in her own little world.”

    Once again, I hope Ragged Ass Barbers isn’t listening to condescending and flat-out wrong comments like this. I’ve privately received enormous support for these blog posts, a lot of it from people who are staying out of the fight because they don’t want to deal with thoughtless, angry, defensive and vicious comments. The worst thing Ragged Ass could do is assume there’s consensus that Evie’s a fool. There most certainly is not.

    It will not hurt Ragged Ass Barbers or its customers in any way to give the occasional female customer a men’s haircut. The longer this goes on, the more people will conclude that men’s-only spaces are toxic and inherently misogynistic.

  22. There are many long, hoop-jumping comments to rationalize the actions of this business owner. Employing Occam’s (straight) razor, it seems to me that the simplest and best solution would be for the barber shop to clearly define its services – men’s-style hair grooming – and provide those to any person who provides renumeration. Simple, straightforward and no handwringing required.

    Amy is correct: Evie is using legal channels available to any citizen of this province. If someone takes issue, he or she should first familiarize themselves with what what making a human rights complaint entails, and if you disagree with a particular aspect, then take it up with your lawmakers.

    As for the “Curves” argument: I have a friend who was the victim of an attempted sexual assault at an exercise club; the assailant was a male patron who had been harassing her over the course of the evening before this point. Needless to say, she only goes to “female-only” exercise clubs now. From my point of view, anyone who draws an equivalence here is a fool.

    Evie and Craig have largely presented themselves with aplomb and restraint during a period that I am sure is difficult for both. Many commenters’ churlish, ill-educated musings however really make me question the value (and perhaps personal well-being) of remaining in this city.

  23. Can we all use our resources to look up the meaning of a few words?

    hair dresser,
    hair stylist,

    At the point we become enlightened, the issue becomes clear. Perhaps a dictionary or wikipedia may help the confused.

  24. So to review, Stephen’s position is that he should be able to force people to touch him if he gives them money even if they don’t want to touch him and if they refuse to touch him they’re the bad guy.

    Seems reasonable.

  25. Jason: That is a creative interpretation of my position.

    Kiteto: society evolves and language follows. Arguing with dictionaries is fine between friends over beers but as I believe PC wrote somewhere already, probably not the best foundation for a a human rights defence.

    To repeat the core point: It will not change Ragged Ass Barbers or its customers in any meaningful way to give the occasional female customer a men’s-style haircut. They should follow the lead of the original, traditional Ragged Ass Barbers and relax their rule.

  26. Exactly my point Stephen, evolving language begins with a clear understanding of the existing one.
    PC made the point earlier regarding etymology.

  27. Anyone who works in any form of personal grooming should be allowed to refuse service to anyone, at any time, for any reason. That you think it’s okay to force someone to have to make contact with you just because of the profession they’ve chosen is appalling.

  28. Not pointless. Enforcing people’s most simple and basic RIGHT – to choose who they will and will not have physical contact with. Sorry people like yourself and Evie feel your own sense of entitlement trumps that RIGHT.

  29. I would just like to relay an experience I had that seems relevant here.

    When I was five years old, I walked into the Italian barber who operates just around the corner from RAB. The kind of old-school barber shop that I think RAB is trying to emulate in a new and hip way. When I walked into that old barber shop, I asked to get my hair cut. The response was, “We don’t cut girl’s hair.” I, in turn, said, “But I want a boy’s hair cut.” The barber: “In that case, you have come to the right place,” and I hopped in the chair. In 1988.

    Case closed.

  30. What if a diner existed for the sole purpose of recreating that good ol’ 1950’s diner atmosphere? The owners are not at all racist, but are only excepting white patrons because it just wouldn’t feel right. There can’t be anything possibly wrong with that business model!

  31. Jason, there is a HUGE difference between coming in contact with a strangers head/scalp (in order to cut their hair) and coming in contact with a stranger’s nether regions (in order to wax said regions). If these barbers have a problem with coming into physical contact with a healthy woman’s head/scalp, then they should quit.

  32. Jason: So you support a racist nurse’s RIGHT [sic] to refuse to care for a black patient I guess?

    Beth: Great story! Sure makes Ragged Ass Barber’s men-only rule look dumb.

  33. Again, Jason, there is a difference between getting your hair cut (with other people in the room in clear view of said haircut) and getting your nether regions waxed (with you and the groomer in a private enclosure). It seems you are swapping between two definitions of “personal”.

  34. Everyone should keep in mind that no one* is asking Ragged Ass Barbers to change anything about their services, their shop environment or their manly-man banter. All that happened is RAB confused “men’s barbering” with “male customers”. It was an easy mistake to make. It will be easy to correct.

    *That I know of, anyway.

  35. Jason: I guess it would help me understand your position better if you could outline all the situations racists may refuse customers of colour. Is this like an essential services thing?

  36. JT: Stephen’s original post to me was “The line should be drawn at services provided, not genitals presented. ” which is when I posted the waxing analogy as it is a literal example of what he posted. ie: I present my genitals for the waxing service you provide. According to Stephen it shouldn’t matter what genitals I have. If the person is uncomfortable doing that, it’s their tough luck and I’ll just have to listen them quietly sob through the experience as by that point we’ve entered in to a contract and it must be completed.

    If I call around tomorrow and find a single esthetician or spa in Regina tomo that refuses to wax my hairy nether regions on no other basis than the fact that I don’t have a vagina and call Stephen and let him know, what are the odds he’ll do 2 blog posts on the topic and snarkily respond to a bunch of comments from people defending the spa?

  37. Would it solve the problem for everyone if they made a statement that they’ll now accept female customers and put up a sign that said Women’s Haircuts – $1000

  38. Jason: or you could call every hair salon in Regina and find out which refuse to provide their existing services to people of colour. I guarantee there’s a news story there.

  39. Okay, this has become silly. I clearly need to log off. Have a good night everyone, and dream of excellent men’s-style haircuts.

  40. Continue being evasive, Stephen. This one’s a story because it’s a woman going after a man. You’d say jack squat regardless of what I found if it was the other way around, because “Men evil. Men do bad stuff for thousands year. Need make right now. Ugh ugh”

  41. Well with a woman waxing a man, there is always the issue of the man become aroused. I don’t think that’s a very good example. Even if they did except you, they could decline if you are unhygienic.

  42. Yes, becoming aroused while someone is ripping out your short and curlies by the root seems like a legitimate concern. I’ll need to start rethinking my outlook on life.

  43. RAB refused to provide their service to a person entirely because of gender from what I understand. Even the people defending this as a legitimate business model would (hopefully) be appalled if they refused because the person wasn’t the right colour. I would like it if someone could explain to me why it’s ok to discriminate because of gender, but not ok to discriminate because of race, or religion, or whatever.

    To those males lamenting that they can’t get a bikini wax so why should RAB be obligated to give women man style haircuts if requested, I fully encourage you to try getting one. If you’re refused file a human rights complaint. Maybe in time you’ll be able to get one. Maybe even tomorrow.

  44. Own the silliness, Stephen, as you contributed a great deal to it. You should also own your late-in-the-day qualifications and outright contradictions.

  45. Hi agent w,

    Someone on RAB’s facebook page claims to have called Curves, and was apparently told that Curves would have to accept a male customer. It could be a load of nonsense, but then again, it might not be.

  46. Glenn,
    RAB is a barbershop, please discover the definition of a barber and distinguish this from a hair stylist. This should enlighten you to who and what a barber is.

  47. Is this just a case of a fly in the ointment?
    Up until her complaint; nothing wrong was being done.
    She should apologise, & learn how to not screw up some worthy business men; “just because she can”… my last 5cents on this .

  48. “Unless a group has been marginalized at some point, then they should get extra rights to make up for it.”

    The thing about the weather in a patriarchy is that it’s always reigning men. (I wish I could take credit for that line, but I can’t, nor can I give proper credit for it)

    We live in a patriarchy. Our culture has never given full equality to women—and doesn’t today—nor has our culture ever been matriarchal. At least, not at any point in recorded history.

    So, Jason, you should be arguing for RAB to cut the hair of women looking for a traditionally male cut—regardless of what gender they identify as—seeing as how people who don’t fit into the false binary that most people accept as “normal” for gender are DEFINITELY marginalized.

  49. This whole debate is getting out of hand. Time to settle down and let the Human Rights Commission do it’s job in determining the outcome of the complaint.

  50. Sooo….. If I feel like I’m being sexually harassed at all them other “perfumey salons” then it becomes ok for RAB to have an exclusively male clientele?

    That seems to be the rationale of many posters here that have defended curves yet haven’t defended RAB.

    Does that not seem intellectually dishonest. How is it ok that sexism is ok when there exists somebody somewhere who has been harassing one gender?

    It doth not follow…

  51. Much to be sad about here.

    Sad that Evie extended her quite valid issue to the realm of calling for a business boycott. It was unnecessary, since those who despise discrimination would do so without needing to be told, and because it gives her haters their only (slight) justification. I wish she’d stayed above it.

    Sad that I far underestimated how many locals would not see a blatant case of sex discrimination for what it is.

    Sad that detractors have resorted to some incredibly vicious and misogynist attacks on Evie.

    Sad that many are caught up in trivialities like whether a business involves nursing, or disrobing, or has some mythological ‘tradition’. None of these factors have even a molecule of legal or moral relevance.

    Sad that the vast majority of local don’t even know or appreciate that Canadian humans have rights under the law, rights which are well defined and universal, and don’t have special “aw-but-it’s-an-ole-timey-misogynist-clubhouse-kinda-business” exemptions.

    Sad that people think a false but pragmatic approach of cutting her hair once to make her shut up is somehow a noble response.

    Sad that people think discrimination is OK as long as there’s some other place for the affected party to go and eat, live, shop, study.

    Sad that people think deliberately giving her bad service or overcharging her is either legal or moral.

    Sad that Ragged Ass Barbers’ dishonest justifications just make it worse (religion, fear that they’ll be overrun by women)

    Sad that when given the chance to step back, apologize and change course, Ragged Ass Barbers allegedly doubled down and ranted about their fear that lesbians and transgenders might start showing up.

    Sad that the hater’s most common justification is based on the lie that female-based gyms have an exemption from Human Rights legislation… they don’t.

    Sad that a blatantly discriminatory business is getting loads of free publicity.

    Sad that Ragged Ass Barbers will only accommodate women and pretend to care after their laywer explains the seriousness of their offences.

    Sad that if and when a Human Rights decision comes down on this case, most of our fellow locals will think it was a travesty of justice.

  52. Sad aside, it’s funny that nobody seems to have taken note of Brad Wall’s revealing silence on this issue.

    For those unfamiliar, Brad Wall is a popular actor from Swift Current, star of the “Meet The Mullets” gay bashing videos, featured guest on “Corner Gas”, and is currently playing the role of Premier in the tragic comedy, “The New Saskatchewan”.

    Brad Wall is known for his instant and pithy twitter responses to any issue. Yet for some reason he’s gone silent on this one.

    One can only imagine the torture his spin team is having trying to reconcile Brad’s true feelings about LGBT with his on-stage persona of being a tolerant Rainbow-flag-waving good guy.

    They know the “Brad Wall as Premier” character should already have tweeted his support for equal rights. But polling of their political base is probably showing almost unanimous hatred of the victim, so any tweet in support of equal rights would alienate their widest and strongest support.

  53. I would like to clear something up. I did not ask people to boycott or harass the shop. My friend and I started a Facebook event asking women who wanted short cuts and non-binary folks to call the shop and book hair appointments. We were trying to show them how much business they were turning away. One of the women who called actually got a hair appointment for this Saturday. Why? Because she has an androgynous first name and perhaps a slightly deep voice. This isn’t harassment, and only a handful of women called as far as I know.

  54. After she initially protested, he should’ve just given her a crappy haircut. And when I say crappy, I’m thinking, maybe a pixie cut, if she had enough hair, or maybe, take way more off the top than she wanted. And the word would get out: RAB doesn’t cut women’s hair the way they ask for it. Problem solved.

    But that would be the dickish/douchie way to deal with the situation. Instead, the guy was honest with the customer.

    I’ve been looking for a new barber. I try to avoid places with a lot of people that are so full of themselves (Cathedral, I’m looking at you), but RBA will be giving me my next haircut.

  55. Tom’s suggestion that businesses looking to discriminate against customers should commit malpractice has been noted.

    Once again, I hope Ragged Ass Barbers is listening hard to what a lot of their supporters are saying.

  56. Evie, clearly I support your issue. But having people book no-show appointments is at least a mild attempt to disrupt their business. Now if you ask me, they should suffer a lot worse consequences than a couple of harmless no-shows. But whether it’s a boycott (personcott?) or merely calling for disruption is splitting hairs (which we know is a contentious subject).

    I wish you would have taken the extra-high road and not bothered with advocating that people do anything to this shop. The fact we’re even discussing whether your social media campaign was ‘disruptive’ or ‘harassment’ distracts from the far more significant issue which is that most of our community doesn’t understand the current Human Rights legislation let alone the reasons it exists, and a frightening majority of those who do understand it sound like they don’t support its core anyway.

  57. Tom Wambolt and others seem to think mistreating people based on gender is somehow just or funny. Presumably Tom Wambolt also thinks that if someone of the “wrong” skin color enters a restaurant, it would be kinder to just refuse them service than to overcharge them, make them wait for hours, and taint the food.

    Interesting how merely abiding by the law and treating the customer respectfully isn’t one of the available choices for Ragged Ass Barber supporters.

  58. Thank you Reader for calling out Evie more succinctly than I could. Your call to action against the barber shop on facebook does amount harassment, no matter how hard you try to spin it and backpedal from it.

    I believe that they should have cut your hair, in that, you have my support. Maybe you should quit now though. Not because you are wrong, but because it seems to me that you are just not very good at this.

  59. KIteto: “RAB is a barbershop, please discover the definition of a barber and distinguish this from a hair stylist. This should enlighten you to who and what a barber is.”

    I’m honestly trying to determine what your point is. I did go look up the term (sadly I must be bored stupid) and found that in the latin it had something to do with the term beard, and that traditionally a barber cut men’s and boy’s hair and shaved their beards, while possibly also performing dentistry and surgery depending on the time period. I would assume the dentistry and surgery was also done only on men. Women of the time presumably cut their own hair and beards, pulled their own teeth and, well, performed their own surgery. You could play the word origin game forever I think. For instance, after that enlightening experience I looked up the word Senate. First word that came to me after barber. Weird, I know.

    Anyway, if you would expand on your point somewhat, and at the same time simplify it, maybe I could understand it. In the meantime I’m in desperate need of a haircut (I shave my own beard… though I could make an exception), don’t really like the myriad of choices offered by hair salons (didn’t look that up so could be using the term incorrectly), and will book with RAB the instant they change their policy.

  60. Glenn, yes one of the knee jerk reactions from Ragged Ass Barbers in the early days of this issue was that their discrimination was OK because the latin origin of ‘barber’ had male connotations. You’ve given that red herring far more time and attention than it deserved.

  61. So every Friday is ladies night at The Pump and ladies get free cover charge, but men don’t. I think that’s discrimination (price discrimination in fact), so should I go to The Pump and demand free cover (I guess I should clarify that I’m a guy since I have gender neutral name)? If they don’t give it to me, should I file a complaint? What if a transgender goes to ladies night, should they get free cover? Fortunately for The Pump (and other bars that have ladies nights where ladies get offered free cover or cheaper drinks only because of their gender), I don’t have enough time or desire to push this issue beyond a passing comment or two on an internet thread, but if someone who’s bored enough or entitled enough wanted to go try this, I know I would be among the people who would find it very entertaining when it hits the news.

    That being said, I don’t see this whole haircut controversy as a genuine human rights issue; I see it as entitlement run amok. Hopefully, this whole situation gives RAB a whole bunch of publicity and helps their business to grow.

  62. http://www.californiafitness.ca/1083.html — Ladies California Fitness, has two locations in Regina, seems to be ladies-only as its declared business model.

    http://regina.aradiafitness.com/about — teaches women’s fitness through sexy dance and especially pole dance. “Aradia Fitness has taught thousands of women nationwide and aspires to unleash that confident, sexy and strong woman inside of you.”

    http://regina.aradiafitness.com/par2es-events/, they also organize pole dance and lap dance classes as private parties, priced according to the number of ladies. “Package price is based on 5 (or less) ladies. There is a charge of $35 extra per lady in parties exceeding 5.” “Aradia invented pole dancing parties back in 2003 and strives to provide a fun atmosphere for all” … all ladies, that is; dogs and gentlemen need not apply.

  63. P.S. http://www.livestrong.com/article/391137-can-men-join-curves-gym/ (Dec 2013) — “Since its founding in 1992, Curves gyms have grown to a membership of 4 million women. Because so many women utilize Curves, some men may be feeling left out. But Curves has specifically designed a female-friendly environment that excludes males. As of publication, Curves is not open to male members.”

    ” Curves has opted to focus its business solely on women for the time being as of 2013. According to a 2013 statement from Curves International, “Curves is totally devoted to meeting the fitness and weight loss needs of women across the country … At this time, Curves does not plan to open facilities for men.” ”

    Physician Evie, heal thyself.

  64. Reader, I had no idea that particular red herring was offered originally by RAB. I’m sorry I wasted your time by forcing you to read my response to kiteto. I thought he/she deserved a response from me since he/she directed the comment to me.

  65. Talked to a young ex-Calgarian last night who said that any Calgary barber shop that refused women would be out of business in a week. More anecdotal support for the opinion that once again, Regina doesn’t have a clue.

    Cut the hair, Jesus Christ, not a big deal.

  66. In regards to this particular incident, and this issue as a whole:

    I would like to formally apologize to the LGTB community, especially those transexual individuals who are facing discrimination based on their gender identification, for taking a stance before completely understanding the real issues as hand. I have, through the course of recent discussion with a variety of individuals and further educated myself in regard to the issue in both a broad societal context and a variety of specific incident cases, come to have a deeper understanding and to realize that I was wrong, and also wrong in my perception of the depth of this issue and its effect on the individuals involved and all who face similar discrimination. We may think that we are approaching this issue and incident from a place of openness, as I initially did, but we need to continue to rethink and re-evaluate if that position is really as open as we think it is. I believe in equality for all, no matter what sex, gender identification, or sexual preference they have, and will, in future, seek to be more understanding, more educated, more empathetic and more actively supportive of this belief, both in regard to this issue and all others which stand in the way of this becoming a full reality, not just one of measures. I hope others are willing to do the same.

    For those out there who did the same as I did in regard to this issue, and jumped one way based either on an attitude of “is it really that bad?”, “But this is a trivial incident, and isn’t it relatively harmless?”, “Well is one demographic has this, why can’t another have the same, because isn’t that equality?”, “Right now there are bigger issues that should be looked at instead that we need to devote our attention to”, or “Do we have to be so negative?” to further educate themselves and strive for a better understanding towards all issues of discrimination, whether they directly affect your own life or not; it may seem like an innocuous issue to you, but it really is not. You may think it is harmless, but it is not. This is not a singular incident, it is not isolated, and we cannot continue to treat it as such, in the interest of providing true equality, freedom, and protection to all Canadians no matter how the present or identify their gender and sexual identity or preferences. I further encourage you to read up on similar cases, on the deeper and broader impact our stances had or continue to have, and to re-evaluate WHY you stood on the side you did. Was your stance taken because you based it more on your own discomfort with the idea, or misunderstanding of the breadth of issues at hand, and whether or not it was actually represents the kind of attitudes you want society to continue to have or to propagate. If we all listen to those around us, we can logically change our opinions and thus ensure that in the future similar discriminatory treatment will not be addressed with flippant disregard or without truly understanding what is going on. Let us also agree that threats and insults, on either side of the issue, are not going to help foster a civil discussion where we can truly come to understand the dangers of certain stances and how we need to change them in order to truly call ourselves individuals, communities and a society where equality and protection against discrimination is truly equal and open to all members. Hopefully, this will do more to help us change our opinions to be more inclusive, progressive and equal as individuals, as communities, and as a society. Additionally, we need to push so that it is not just the Human Rights within certain provincial charters that call for and protect the rights of LGTB and trans or differently gender individuals, but the Canadian Charter of Rights as well. There are bills sitting in 2nd reading in parliament that are seeking to do just this, and they need more attention and more support, or they will continue to be stuck where they are. If we say we believe in equality for all, then we must start pushing harder, even if we think our own individual power to change this may seem small.

    Further reading that helped me better understand this issue;










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