A woman using the handle /Barbershopwoman posted on subreddit r/AmItheA**hole because she wanted to know if she’s a jerk for criticizing a barber in her neighborhood in a Facebook group. The OP says she’s in her twenties and has a masculine haircut. She hates going to salons because they always try to encourage her to get a more pixie look “for women,” and that’s just not her style.
Her usual barber moved away so she went looking for a new barber. A male friend recommended a place, so she went in hoping to get a trim:
I walked in and requested a haircut, and the barber looked at me strangely. He said they don’t do women’s haircuts. I clarified that I just wanted a men’s barber haircut, but still he refused, telling me to go to a salon. I was shocked, since this is a big diverse city and short hair on women isn’t THAT uncommon.
After he kicked me out, I felt embarrassed and shocked. I went on the LGBT Facebook page for my city and made a post that said “gender non-conforming women, don’t bother with this barber. He doesn’t serve us.”
The post went kind of viral in the group, getting thousands of comments and likes. One of my friends saw the post and told me it was too much, and that I could seriously hurt a small business. I thought it was appropriate but as the post gets bigger I’m having doubts. AITA?
The majority of people responding say that she absolutely was not the a**hole in this situation, but SoupBucketeer might have said it best:
The dude made a bad business choice. Instead of giving someone a haircut he told you to go to a competitor. Instead of seeing this as an opportunity to pick up more loyal clientele he effectively insured the opposite. He made the choice to drive away a potential customer. It’s entirely on him as a barber to catch heat for turning away prospective clients. You were just communicating that non-conforming folks with short hair clearly aren’t welcome at that establishment.
And user kckaaaate shared a story that shows how great it can be for your business when you’re actually considerate of your clientele:
I have a friend who’s a hairdresser. A few years back a butch lady came in and asked for what is clearly a mens cut, so he charged her for a mens cut. She was SO used to being charged for a woman’s cut despite clearly getting men’s cuts, that she told ALL her butch friends. His business BLEW up because of it, and he went from having a handful of loyal customers to having basically the whole butch community of our city going to him. Make decisions, live with the outcome!
There were a couple of people who seemed to think that the barber might be uncomfortable touching women or working with them, which many people replied by saying this is the definition of discrimination.
While I personally wouldn’t want a gross sexist touching my hair, I would want to know before I went to a business owned by a gross sexist. You reap what you sow. In this case, the barber will continue to not serve the people he doesn’t want to because they’ll be avoiding him. Really seems like a win-win!