A Regina woman is planning to make a formal complaint with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission after being refused service at a barber shop. Evie Ruddy says she went to Regina’s Ragged Ass Barber seeking a men’s style hair cut known as a hard-part. Ruddy says she learned the shop only did men’s cuts for male clients. “It makes me feel discriminated against,” she said. “Because the only reason they are denying me service is because I am a woman.” She added that when she pressed the point and asked how the shop would respond to a transgender person seeking a haircut, she was given an emphatic answer. “He launched into this rant saying if they start accepting trans clients and lesbians then what if a lesbian with long hair wants their hair cut? Where do you draw the line?,” Ruddy told CBC News. CBC News contacted the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission and was told no one would comment on Ruddy’s case. However, officials did point out that if someone provides a service to the public as a business, they cannot discriminate based on gender.
The owner of Ragged Ass Barber shop, Craig Zamonsky, told CBC News that the barbers stand behind their policy regarding men’s haircuts. “The Ragged Ass Barbers take pride in providing exceptional grooming services for men,” he said. “We choose to model our shop after the time-honoured tradition of classic barbershop because as barbers we have dedicated our careers to men’s grooming services.” He added that they do not mean to “offend or discriminate” with their policy but “have simply chosen to specialize in our industry”. Zamonsky noted that there are other businesses, such as women-only fitness gyms, that have similar policies. He also told CBC News that his business has been flooded with phone calls about the issue which he likened to harassment. On a Facebook page, created by Ruddy to bring attention to the situation, Ruddy asked people to “inundate them with calls so that they will reconsider their sexist policy and give us the barbershop hair styles we want.”