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Boogalou

Muslim Barber Refuses to Cut Woman's Hair

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Boogalou

A woman in Toronto went into an all male barbershop in Toronto because she wanted a "man's" hair cut. Every barber there refused to cut her hair because they were all Muslim and they said it violated their religion to touch a woman they were not related to. She is now taking them to the Human Right's tribunal. It is a pretty sticky case because they are framing it as competing rights, the men's right to practice their religion and the woman's right to not be denied a service based on her gender. It is interesting that most of the comments on the article seem to be siding with the men's right to practice their religion. I wonder how fundies would react to this? They either have to side with the woman not performing proper gender expectations or Muslims. I think their brains would shut down trying to figure out who they hated more.

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article ... of-ontario

Edited by OnceUponATime
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JeanneD

In fundie-land: When confronted with any dilemma about who is at fault, please remember that a woman will always be a woman, but the Muslim man may be converted. Hence, for the fundies, it is always the lady's fault. In this case, even moreso since she was clearly attempting to go outside of gender norms (and cutting her hair).

In reality: There are some super cute short haircuts that are fairly gender-neutral.

ETA: clarification between reality vision and fundie sight.

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Deleted03
When confronted with any dilemma about who is at fault, please remember that a woman will always be a woman, but the Muslim may be converted.

uh?

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Grace

I once tried to get the local barber in my parents' home town to give me a trim. I just wanted my ends cut off. He refused to do it. Refused HARD. He said he was not going to take the risk of messing it up and me killing him. I get that my example was a case of him not being experienced in that cut and this woman wanted a man style cut, but should she get to force someone to go against his religious beliefs? Surely there were other barber shops without such a restriction. If someone came to a barber to have the, shave a racist word into their hair and the barber refused would that be discrimination?

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shesinsane

uh?

I think JeanneD meant while there's a belief Muslim men can be converted to become Godly Christian Men (Muslim men are "fixable"), a woman will always be a woman. You can make her a Virtuous Woman, all Godly and submissive and sweet, but she'll never be as important as a man in the patriarchy. And we all know it's always the woman's fault. ;)

I doubt the fundies would have any sympathy for a woman that wants a man's haircut, she obviously has no respect for gender roles. :roll: Bad enough she wants to cut her hair, but to cut it like a man means she aspires to be equal to men, and that's a big no-no in fundie world, no matter what religion the fundamentalist happens to be.

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ilovetchotchkes

The local barber in my parent's hometown retired, and is now working part time for a place that only does men's hair. Period, full stop, the end. He cut my mom's hair for 20 years and they will not let her book an appointment, even though she has a haircut that is very masculine. Like, her and my husband have the same haircut.

Its really weird. Mom's not happy about it because she loved the guy she went to. My dad doesn't care because he can still book an appointment. :lol:

I do remember seeing a Tabitha Salon takeover, where the salon ONLY did men and she lit into them, saying they were missing a huge part of the clientele (salon was in boystown) and brought in drag queens. The owner "got it" and their business improved because not only did straight women go there but their drag queen clients started coming too.

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Unimpressed
Coconut Flan

Plus the fundies would be offended that she was trying to give business to Muslims.

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SayNoToMullets
I once tried to get the local barber in my parents' home town to give me a trim. I just wanted my ends cut off. He refused to do it. Refused HARD. He said he was not going to take the risk of messing it up and me killing him. I get that my example was a case of him not being experienced in that cut and this woman wanted a man style cut, but should she get to force someone to go against his religious beliefs? Surely there were other barber shops without such a restriction. If someone came to a barber to have the, shave a racist word into their hair and the barber refused would that be discrimination?

That's what I'm thinking. She's in Toronto, they're not the only barber shop in town. And as with any business, she has the choice to go somewhere that will give her what she wants. If someone didn't want my business, I wouldn't want to give it to them anyway. When I was looking for a new salon, I scoured Yelp for days to find someone long hair friendly, because if a stylist doesn't truly like what I'm asking for, they won't truly give it to me. A stylist who likes long hair isn't going to cut off six inches when you ask for a trim - the guy I ended up going to actually cuts less than I ask (I'd rather err on that side!).

That being said, if the shop didn't want to miss out on women's business, they could hire on a woman and/or a non-Muslim. The business owners made a choice in not having done so.

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Deleted03

Yeah but if they said they don't want black customers it would be bad. I don't really like that they told her no, I don't think it's either a cause to provoke needlessly people or communities either.

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snarktastic

This is one that always gets me right up on my soapbox! :lol:

In my town, woman's haircut = £35 minimum, men's cut = £8. Even though my cut (snip ends off straight hair) has got to be a TON easier to do than that of my fussy teenage son with his Bieber-do.

So good luck to her.

But anyway, the fundy position on this one -

Muslims = wrong because Muslim

Woman wanting short-back-and-sides = wrong, obviously

Canadian authorities = communists therefore wrong

So whatever answer the courts decide = wrong and sign world going to hell in handbasket.

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JesusFightClub

I shave my head - or rather I get either a comrade or my brother to do it (you miss parts if you do it yourself). But I know very few barbers will do it, and the reason for that isn't faith, but because they're worried you're going to complain :D

I won't, I like my hair very short, but I suppose that has happened before.

To me, this is not a hill to die on. If a shop of blokes or a shop full of women either say they aren't prepared to cut your hair, you need to accept their decision. It's a tricky thing on numerous levels.

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SayNoToMullets
I shave my head - or rather I get either a comrade or my brother to do it (you miss parts if you do it yourself). But I know very few barbers will do it, and the reason for that isn't faith, but because they're worried you're going to complain :D

I won't, I like my hair very short, but I suppose that has happened before.

Rather odd, I mean, I understand thinking a woman might regret it if she's coming in with very long hair, but you're coming in with like a week's growth, right? And even the scissor-happy stylists I've seen still ask "are you sure?" several times before a major change. But then they'll still do it.

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Koala
Yeah but if they said they don't want black customers it would be bad. I don't really like that they told her no, I don't think it's either a cause to provoke needlessly people or communities either.

I'm not following this.

Are you saying it's wrong to discriminate against a person because of their skin color, but it's not as bad to discriminate because of gender?

I don't get the whole "I don't think it's either a cause to provoke needlessly people or communities either" line of reasoning. She isn't provoking anyone. She was discriminated against!

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keeperrox

In my opinion, they have every right as a private business to refuse to cut her hair. I absolutely do not agree with their stance, which is also why I would fully support a boycott of their business, but the government or the courts should not be involved.

Are the laws about this in Canada much different than they are in the U.S.?

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Boogalou

I don't necessarily know if there is a good side to take in this case. Like the article said it is a case of competing rights. I think that if the shop was only going to cut men's hair than they need to post a sign in the window to avoid any confusion. What I don't like about this is that, sure, the men have their religious beliefs but it is ultimately the woman who ends up paying the price for them in this situation. She is the one who took time out of her day to go a place that would not serve her. She is the one who has to ask every barber there if they will cut her hair. And she is the one who gets rejected, probably somewhat embarrassed, and discriminated against.

Also, I think it is ridiculous to believe that you cannot touch a woman you are not related to. This just reinforces the idea that men can't control themselves and is just another aspect of patriarchy and rape culture.

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ElphabaGalinda
In my opinion, they have every right as a private business to refuse to cut her hair. I absolutely do not agree with their stance, which is also why I would fully support a boycott of their business, but the government or the courts should not be involved.

Are the laws about this in Canada much different than they are in the U.S.?

Yes, in Canada a private business can't refuse someone service if it's due to things like race, religion, gender, sexuality...but they can see it conflicts with their rights to practice their religion. Because of the charter of rights and freedoms, the laws are very different in Canada, and really, you should know the law before starting a business in whatever country. She has a chance of winning, but she also might not because they're saying it's their religion. All that to say, yes the law in Canada is very different, same reason we don't have free speech like you do. For example something like the Westborough Baptist church wouldn't be allowed here. Same part of the law. I'm happy with it. There's always room for disagreement, but the law's a hard thing to change.

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Koala
In my opinion, they have every right as a private business to refuse to cut her hair. I absolutely do not agree with their stance, which is also why I would fully support a boycott of their business, but the government or the courts should not be involved.

Are the laws about this in Canada much different than they are in the U.S.?

Should it be legal for a restaurant to refuse service to a person based on their race?

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Koala
Like the article said it is a case of competing rights. I think that if the shop was only going to cut men's hair than they need to post a sign in the window to avoid any confusion.

Maybe it's just me (because I seem to be the only one having this reaction), but I don't think it's a case of competing rights at all. If he doesn't want to cut a woman's hair he is more than welcome to not run a hair cutting establishment.

I don't think putting a sign in the window would make it any better either. Like I said upthread, would it be okay for a restaurant to put a "whites only" sign in the window if they felt like serving non whites would compete against their rights?

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JesusFightClub

Rather odd, I mean, I understand thinking a woman might regret it if she's coming in with very long hair, but you're coming in with like a week's growth, right? And even the scissor-happy stylists I've seen still ask "are you sure?" several times before a major change. But then they'll still do it.

Well, the first time I did it my hair was a bob (if I could work out how to I would show the pic, you would laugh). And it took me fucking ages to get anyone who would actually do it. "No, you'll regret it." "No, you won't like it".

When I did get it done I loved it. And I wouldn't have minded if it had gone wrong. Your hair grows back. Colour's a bit annoying when it goes wrong but even then you can fix it and it's only a hair colour FFS.

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Boogalou

Maybe it's just me (because I seem to be the only one having this reaction), but I don't think it's a case of competing rights at all. If he doesn't want to cut a woman's hair he is more than welcome to not run a hair cutting establishment.

I don't think putting a sign in the window would make it any better either. Like I said upthread, would it be okay for a restaurant to put a "whites only" sign in the window if they felt like serving non whites would compete against their rights?

I actually agree with this, kind of. There are lots of men or women only places like gyms and golf clubs and, to be honest, I am highly uncomfortable with that, but it is legal to do. So in this case, they have to go with the law. However, I wouldn't be upset if the law changes, TBH.

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keeperrox

Should it be legal for a restaurant to refuse service to a person based on their race?

Should it be legal for a restaurant to refuse service to a person if they are spewing anti-gay rhetoric or using hate speech?

In my opinion, a private business has every right to refuse service to anyone they want for whatever reason. It is the responsibility of the citizens in that community to stand up to said private business by not patronizing that particular establishment, if they don't agree with their reasoning.

If this was a government run or government supported establishment, my argument would be different, but it's not. There were other barber shops she could have gone to in Toronto. This wasn't the only one.

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Koala

In my opinion, a private business has every right to refuse service to anyone they want for whatever reason. It is the responsibility of the citizens in that community to stand up to said private business by not patronizing that particular establishment, if they don't agree with their reasoning.

I will admit total ignorance on this particular subject. That said, whether a business has a "right" to refuse service isn't a matter of opinion, it's a matter of fact. As I said, I am ignorant on this particular subject, but wouldn't the Federal Civil Rights Act prevent a business from such discrimination?

Obviously I feel strongly that a business should not be allowed to discriminate based on race, gender, religion, ect.

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2xx1xy1JD
This is one that always gets me right up on my soapbox! :lol:

In my town, woman's haircut = £35 minimum, men's cut = £8. Even though my cut (snip ends off straight hair) has got to be a TON easier to do than that of my fussy teenage son with his Bieber-do.

So good luck to her.

But anyway, the fundy position on this one -

Muslims = wrong because Muslim

Woman wanting short-back-and-sides = wrong, obviously

Canadian authorities = communists therefore wrong

So whatever answer the courts decide = wrong and sign world going to hell in handbasket.

Good point. I forgot that the fundie position would be that Human Rights Tribunal = bad government intervention.

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linnea27

I dont know where I stand on this. If he refused to cut her hair because his beliefs state that women should have long hair, then that is pushing his beliefs on her and a clear case of discrimination. (I feel the same way about pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for others based on their own religious beliefs.) But since it would directly impact his religious beliefs to touch her, that seems different to me. I do dislike the implication that women could be refused from anywhere, then, if the man doesnt want to touch her (men-only dentists? massage therapists?) but at the same time, I believe that barbers are generally aimed at the male market, so...

I am interested to hear the outcome.

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2xx1xy1JD

I will admit total ignorance on this particular subject. That said, whether a business has a "right" to refuse service isn't a matter of opinion, it's a matter of fact. As I said, I am ignorant on this particular subject, but wouldn't the Federal Civil Rights Act prevent a business from such discrimination?

Obviously I feel strongly that a business should not be allowed to discriminate based on race, gender, religion, ect.

Since this case is in Toronto, the relevant law in the Ontario Human Rights Code.

http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statut ... _e.htm#BK2

Here are some excerpts:

1. Every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to services, goods and facilities, without discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19, s. 1; 1999, c. 6, s. 28 (1); 2001, c. 32, s. 27 (1); 2005, c. 5, s. 32 (1); 2012, c. 7, s. 1.

A barbershop is offering a service to the public, and on the face of it, there was clearly discrimination on the basis of sex.

18. The rights under Part I to equal treatment with respect to services and facilities, with or without accommodation, are not infringed where membership or participation in a religious, philanthropic, educational, fraternal or social institution or organization that is primarily engaged in serving the interests of persons identified by a prohibited ground of discrimination is restricted to persons who are similarly identified. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19, s. 18; 2006, c. 19, Sched. B, s. 10.

Theoretically, if you set up a Muslim haircutting organization, you could restrict membership or participation. In this case, though, it was a barbershop offering services to the general public.

20. (1) The right under section 1 to equal treatment with respect to services and facilities without discrimination because of sex is not infringed where the use of the services or facilities is restricted to persons of the same sex on the ground of public decency. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19, s. 20 (1)

I think it would be hard to define hair cutting as "public decency".

I do wonder about businesses that cater specifically to women. I can see a legitimate niche for these - for example, I miss a girls sports camp that my oldest daughter used to attend, because few girls enroll in the co-ed sports camps.

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