We Must Prevent a Scourge of Sexist Barbers!

What, they're not well-equipped to style women's hair? Don't care. That will be $750, please.


Thank god the government was there to address this huge market failure.

So the point of public accommodation laws was supposed to be that they would prevent widespread discrimination against people with certain characteristics (race, gender, religion) that had nothing to do with the services being provided, correct? To stop restaurants from refusing to seat black customers or hotels from letting single women rent rooms.

But we have yet another reminder that once a law is passed, the general public has little control over how it is enforced. John Interval, the owner of Barbiere barber shop in Washington, Pennsylvania found out the hard way. You think barber shops are designed to serve the needs of male clients and probably aren't even set up to tackle women's hair? What sort of bigot are you? Courtesy of KDKA in Pittsburgh:

From the rugged décor to the macho atmosphere, it's a place where guys can unwind with a complimentary cocktail or enjoy a cold beer.

"[I] come here, talk sports, guy talk. A great place to get away after a hard day's work, get a haircut and have a beer," said client Robert Craig.

Now, the business is at the center of a heated debate after owner John Interval was fined $750 for refusing to cut a woman's hair.

She filed an action with the state's Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs.

Given the crazy fines in the wedding cake wars, he should probably be glad it was only $750. He said he didn't even know he had to also serve women because it's probably not anything that has ever come up before and probably never will again. He points out that he doesn't even have the tools to serve women. Doesn't matter:

"You know, I'm not opposed to doing women's hair," he explained. "Just not in this shop. I don't even have [the equipment] to do women's hair. I want to open a shop to cater to them and no men will be allowed there. They'll have all the champagne and mimosas they want, and that'll be on the house."

Then he'll get fined for not offering them the same beer he's offering the men.

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  1. Meh, should have offered her standard menu of services – shave, flattop, short back and sides, mullet. That’s all the male haircuts, right? Then should could pick one or fuck off.

    1. I imagine a high and tight fade would net the barber some other grievance claim. There has to be something on the books somewhere to remedy a bad haircut.

      1. See: The California Department of Consumer Affairs, Barbering and Cosmetology Division

    2. High-and-tight; crew cut; buzz cut

    3. Maybe she was butch and wanted a flat top….somehow I doubt it.

  2. SO NOW SUDDENLY SHACKFORD IS AGAINST PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION LAWS. (It’s in all caps, folks. You can’t argue with someone typing in all caps so don’t even try.)

      1. John doesn’t do caps lock, which to my mind is a failing on his part.

    1. Well-done, Lads.

  3. When I said that they might start forcing Sam’s Kosher Deli to sell ham sandwiches, you thought I was nuts.

    This is pretty much the same thing, isn’t it?

    1. No, this would be like forcing a deli to sell auto parts.

      1. I’m not sure I understand the distinctions you’re making.

        1. This guy isn’t being forced to sell something he doesn’t believe he should sell. He’s being force to sell something he is unequipped to sell.

          1. It’s a service, not a product, so another difference. And the question is not about the products, services actually, offered, but about who they are willing to serve.

          2. Maybe more like sushi bar refusing to sell tacos?

            1. Wouldn’t the proper analogy be a sausage establishment refusing to sell taco?

          3. He does not think he should sell women’s haircuts in that shop as he built it to cater to male interests and sensibilities. That is why he does not have the equipment to do female styles.

          4. Actually, she wanted a men’s haircut. So he was equipped to do it.

            1. I agree. He was being stupid. However, he wants to keep his place a male sanctuary. Why should he not be allowed to do that? Where I live there are lots of female only gyms.

              1. I’ve always wondered how they get away with gender biased gyms.

    2. If you want to suck a dick, go suck a dick, Eddie. Your closeted homophobe bitching is getting fucking boring. Amazingly, it is even more boring than you always are.

      1. Now, now, SugarFree, implying Eddie’s gay is just unwarranted. We know his real goal is becoming Mr. Kim Davis #5.

        1. I’m not implying he’s gay, but he sure is obsessed with them. I bet he has a browser history full of research into their sinful practices.

          1. That’s the most disturbing thing you’ve ever written, Sug.

            1. Dude, sometimes a ham sandwich is just a ham sandwich.

              But I’m certainly not buying a ham sandwich from *you* guys, that’s for sure.

      2. There is much back history that I am obviously missing, but this seemed quite a jump in degree from what the catholick guy had said to the dick sucking comment.

        But on the subject of fellatio: Cock sucking, Overated

        1. There is much back history that I am obviously missing…

          Yes, so very much.


          Suspect you’ve never experienced that from anyone truly good at it. People who have different equipment and have no frame of reference.

          1. Suspect you’ve never experienced that from anyone truly good at it. People who have different equipment and have no frame of reference.

            Um, I meant performing fellatio, not receiving it.

            Although I imagine someone could be especially skilled at getting sucked off, I don’t think that was your meaning.

        2. “There is much back history that I am obviously missing”

          It started when I refused to nominate one of his stories for the Newberry Award. From there, it kind of escalated.

        3. There is much back history

          For me, the utter contempt started when Eddie supported me being jailed because I divorced and remarried. If there’s anything worse than a slaver, it’s a theocratic slaver- they are SO much better at smug rationalizations.

          Everyone has their favorite Eddie story.

          1. “For me, the utter contempt started when Eddie supported me being jailed because I divorced and remarried.”

            That’s curious – I don’t recall saying that.

            It’s true that at one point I defended the criminal adultery laws of (IIRC) Virginia, and if you combine this with the fact that I don’t think the law should recognize remarriage while spouse #1 is alive…really, that’s all I can think of. The rest is just the Eddie in your head.

            Of course, since then I’ve suggested decriminalizing adultery because there’s just no point in enforcing it – and by the way, I think the only supporters of these laws are the divorce bar, since they give clients an excuse to take the 5th when asked about adultery.

            Indeed, I recall saying at many points that the government shouldn’t interfere with a divorced person’s social life, except to the point of not recognizing new relationships while spouse 1 is alive.

            So if you have to go back to positions I’ve disavowed in order to give yourself a righteous-boner, then I appreciate your long memory but I doubt it’s healthy holding grudges that long.

  4. Given the crazy fines in the wedding cake wars, he should probably be glad it was only $750.

    But that’s just the government. I can see him being sued by the woman who filed the complaint for emotional distress or something.

    Also, what’s the logic of not allowing a men-only barbershop but allow female-only gyms and spas?

    Also, do I have an age discrimination complaint if I try to join Nifty After Fifty?

    1. It’s my understanding that you can only claim age discrimination if you’re 40 or over.

      1. And there was a dispute over whether, say, a 40 year old could claim being subject to discrimination in favor of a 50 year old, or whether the only people who could complain were people shoved aside in favor of *younger* people.

        I forget how that argument came out.

    2. Also, what’s the logic of not allowing a men-only barbershop but allow female-only gyms and spas?

      Ooh, ooh! I learned this at Jezebel this morning!

      It’s different because (a) gyms are private clubs and (b) unlike, say, private golf courses that want to ban black people or women, private gyms should be allowed to discriminate against men because you can objectively show that women are in danger if they work out in an integrated environment.

      1. One of these days you’ll do yourself lasting harm reading such things.

        1. One of these days you’ll be able to go years back in time and warn her before it happens.

          1. Aw snap!

        2. Nikki is made of sterner stuff than that, Jesse.

          1. No, she’s already showing the effects of exposure. We’ll miss Nikki when her brain breaks, which should happen any second now.

      2. Don’t forget the girl who was declaring that men need to be made comfortable with women in their space, while arguing being subjected to watching guys make faces as they lift justifies female only gyms. Basically all their arguments boil down to that they should be allowed to go wherever they want, while the people they don’t like should be restricted to locations the girls don’t want to go.

        1. Look, Illocust, there’s a difference between men wanting to bro out on their own and women’s safety!!!

          1. Pitch perfect, dear.

      3. There was a barbershop where I used to live that sounds similar to this one as far as the decor and amenities that was apparently set up as a club.

  5. Also, what’s the logic of not allowing a men-only barbershop but allow female-only gyms and spas?

    I’m guessing the gyms and spas are safe (for now) because nobody has ever actually filed such a complaint against them, because who would be that much of an asshole?

    1. who would be that much of an asshole

      A gay man?

      [ducks, runs for life]

      1. Wasn’t that an episode of Spin City?

      2. That would be a seriously entertaining lawsuit, though. I expect a gay man could say that there is no reason for keeping men out that applies to him but not to women.

        1. According to the crazy commercial I heard on the radio in Houston, men, even men who dress and behave as women, have some ill defined mechanism that terrifies a young woman who hopes to be pregnant one day. There’s no actual harm described, just ill defined and implied. Also, men are disgusting if they use women’s bathrooms. I had to clean a women’s restroom. It is factually untrue that men are dirtier than women.

          1. Ill-defined or undefined?

          2. You’re god damn right. In my experience, public women’s restrooms are either super nice and well maintained by the proprietor (above and beyond the corresponding men’s room) or left enitrely to entropy; a toilet full items that should never be flushed down a toilet and the things that actually should be flushed often are not either because the handle is icky or the turds failed to make it into the can altogether. Many women feel the need to hover over unfamiliar toilets and their accuracy could use some work.

            I have cleaned many a women’s restroom in my young working life… and every so often have to snake out one of my rental properties waste lines because of a deluge of cat litter and tampons. It’s almost always cat litter and tampons.

      3. Why would a gay man want to join a female-only gym? Making separate-gender gyms mandatory, on the other hand, would make some sense from the gay progressive point of view.

        1. I can see some of the more effeminate ones not wanting to be laughed at by the gym rats; but those same effeminate ones are the ones who get the most cheap thrills from the locker room.

          1. but those same effeminate ones are the ones who get the most cheap thrills from the locker room.

            Now I am not so sure that is necessarily true.

            Almost all gay men will sneak a discreet glance. You just might notice the nelly ones more easily, simply because they stand out. The same way that you would more likely notice a blue man group member in the locker room but that doesn’t mean that a guy from Kraftwerk wasn’t also objectifying you.

            Also, the muscle queens can be the nelliest of all queens.

    2. This shit continues to happen and I will become that asshole.

  6. Look,I’m a barber and many barber’s don’t know how to cut women’s hair,It’s not the same thing. NowI do know how and can do color ,ethnic hair and perms,but,many can’t.BTY,cutting overly curly hair is also a learned skill. Then there’s the right way to dry and curl many womens styles.It a lack of the know how and schooling.

    1. It is my understanding that she was asking for a barbered cut. What I’m reading from barbers in response to this has been that men behave differently in a male only environment than in the presence of a female and they want to maintain an environment where men can be themselves. I agree and, as a business owner myself, don’t believe anyone should be required to sell goods or services against their wishes. That said, he could save the fine by letting her get her haircut while he encourages the men to behave as usual. If she doesn’t like the environment or the haircut, etc. she won’t come back. And it’s a different thing to say I lack the skill set to do your hair than to say I won’t do your hair because of your gender. That’s where they get ya. Bring her in, cut her hair, rattle off some blue humor to the guys, scratch your balls a bit. She can hang or she can’t but you won’t have those pesky fines.

      1. But, then she will just find some other way to get attention/stir up controversy.

  7. What if a man walks into the barber, but he chooses to identify as a woman. What if a woman walks into the barber shop but she chooses to identify as male. What is the barbershop’s policy on serving twin spirits or gender fucks? I imagine the meeting the barber had with the banker when he got the loan to open up the shop didn’t cover these topics.

    1. It’s the type of cut ,not the gender.It’s a skill set. You don’t have a shot order cook make you sushi.

      1. Short order,damn

      2. Well, sushi is a form of short-order cooking.

        1. that takes years of practice and schooling,it’s not flipping burgers or making eggs.

          1. You an always try to get sushi at the I hop I guess

          2. It was a little joke. And cooking eggs to order is very much an art.

            1. But making proper sushi is a skill,true,eggs need to be done right .

  8. Great article here just yesterday about the culture of victimization, and how it is self perpetuating. Very appropriate to this type of nonsense.

  9. “You know, I’m not opposed to doing women’s hair,” he explained. “Just not in this shop. I don’t even have [the equipment] to do women’s hair. I want to open a shop to cater to them and no men will be allowed there. They’ll have all the champagne and mimosas they want, and that’ll be on the house.”

    And then she’d take him to court for messing up her hair good.

    She’s a trouble maker.

    1. She’s a grievance monger.

  10. The solution here was obvious. What a missed opportunity.

    1. Yeah, he should have leaned her chair back, and lathered her face up for a shave with a straight razor.

      “Part of the deluxe package, milady.”

      1. He could have leaned her back….and let the mob do the rest,

    2. If you’re talking about a Mohawk, barbers who butcher their clientele don’t generally do well. That’s why there aren’t any libertarian barbers. Proving a point folliclely is a bad idea.

      1. No,most barbers I know,including myself are self employed and very in tune to ideas of libertarians. Making a living one hair cut at a time opens one’s eye’s.And then tere’s tax time.

    3. Full Sweeny Todd?

      1. To the fuckers who handed out the fine? Yes.

  11. She was there with her boyfriend for a men’s haircut. Poor guy. Hope he likes getting pegged.

    1. He should dump her.

      “Honey, I just can’t keep doing this. I can’t be with someone who might call the SWAT team on my ass next time I don’t feel like doing the dishes.”

      1. Or he’s really into humiliation play. He’s sticking a high heel in his ass while she screams “MALE PRIVILEGE!” at him.

    2. Bah. He probably ‘supports’ her. Heck, he probably wears a ‘Stop Staples’ t-shirt for all we know!

  12. No license for cutting women’s hair. That’s another $750 fine.

    1. in Colorado you need two licenses if you are going to do both. Also, shaving is a third and manicure is a fourth.

  13. She filed an action with the state’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs.

    He should offer her free haircuts, for life. No really, that’s what he should do. Go ahead, now sit down in the chair.


    1. Newman!

  14. You know what’s fucking retarded about this? The guy was doing her a service! If I go into Joe’s auto repair with my exotic japanese import, and Joe says, “Yeah, no can do on the foreign cars…” I don’t demand he fix my car while suggesting he just has something against ‘slant engineering’.

    I take my business down the road to someone who has the competency to fix my foreign automobile.

    1. So,it’s a skill set huh?

    2. Now, now, Paul. The Japanese do engine configurations other than slant. /rimshot

  15. So how far off are we from people losing all respect for the law, and reverting back to an honor culture where we just kill people who wrong us?

    1. I think we’re just negotiating price at this point.

    2. Less than five years. And it will start with the cops who like to finger helpless women on the side of the road.

  16. My assumption (based on no evidence) was that this woman customer was a lesbian and would have been perfectly fine with a “men’s cut”.

    I also assume that there is no difference between men and women’s hair just that there are customary gendered differences in haircuts.

    1. AFAIK there is no difference in the actual hair at the macro level at which haircutters deal with it. (Hair does contain DNA, so there are differences at the atomic level)

    2. I also assume that there is no difference between men and women’s hair just that there are customary gendered differences in haircuts.

      This is it.

      My ex wife pays over $50 for a hair cut. I pay $25. Is she a victim of sexism?

    3. True it’s the cut,but there are types of hair that takes other skills. Cuttng overly curly ,ethnic hair for instance.

    4. She’s not a lesbian, but yes, she asked for a men’s haircut.

      1. And she does look like the type that would be happy with a high & tight

  17. So, following this same logic I could walk into an OB/GYN and say I need a prostate exam, right?

    1. If you identified as a woman while doing it, that could make things murky.

      1. “Yes, yes, ignore the male bits. And the beard. I’m pre-op. The hormones? Uh…they haven’t kicked in yet. Just started the whole transition today.”

    2. By this logic, you could go into a Catholic Church and sue when the priest declines to perform a bar mitzvah.

      1. Religious organizations are private. Particularly so the Roman Catholics who have membership criteria (baptism, confirmation, communion, confession).

        1. Technically the last one isn’t a rite of initiation, but since it is required to receive the third one, I’ll give you a pass.

  18. Earlier today, members of the commentariat were asking, “Have we reached peak derp yet?”

    And then I see this story.

    No. We will never reach peak derp.

    1. What kind of libertarian doesn’t know that Derp is an infinite resource?

  19. Women’s Haircuts: only 750$!

  20. Oh, the barber has the tools to cut women’s hair to look exactly like the male clients. Next woman who tries this stunt should be told that.

    “Do you want a flat top or a buzz cut? No? High and tight? No? How about exactly like the person next to you? No? Sorry you don’t want a hair cut, ma’am. If you change your mind, come on back.”

    1. No need to be confrontational, just buzz them down. Or if they insist on a bang trim, do that badly and still charge.

      1. If they insist you bang trim? By all means oblige.

    2. That’s exactly what she wanted.
      She asked for a “fade”. It’s a popular men’s short-hair style.
      Look it up on google, cause reason says it’s a word that’s too long to post.

  21. You think barber shops are designed to serve the needs of male clients and probably aren’t even set up to tackle women’s hair?

    That’s how I’ve found it with my barber. Pretty much everyone who goes to him is male and the only time I saw women in there was when they were getting their kids’ hair cut.

    1. I’ve actually gotten my hair cut at a barber shop, but that’s only because I wear it straight and all I wanted was for them to cut a straight line along the bottom.
      They didn’t have a problem with it.

      Obviously, I would never go to a barbershop to get a perm.

      1. Because there are barber shops which are just Floyd’s, and there are Barber Shops which are ostentatiously selling a perceived experience as a men’s club house. This shop seems to be the latter.

  22. What exactly did she ask for?
    If she just wanted a trim, or a unisex/male type haircut, why not do it?

    If she was asking for a perm or something fancy that he didn’t know how to do, well, she could either accept his recommendation that he look elsewhere, or get a bad haircut.

    1. Why should he do it if he did not want to?

  23. Apparently she asked for a fade, what is a common male haircut:…..-hair.html

    So, it’s not that the barber wasn’t equipped to do what she wanted. He just didn’t want a woman in the shop:

    Owner John Interval said: ‘Guys come here as a kind of a little getaway, to be around other guys.’

    1. So what, if he didn’t want to cut her hair, it’s none of the states fucking business.

      Personally 25 bucks is 25 bucks and I’d be fine cutting her hair if I was a barber. The fact remains this is what you get when you let gubmint get it’s slimy tentacles into every part of your life.

      1. Oh, well, I’m not arguing he should have to do it. I’m just pointing out that the whole “i’m not equipped to cut women’s hair” thing is bullshit. She was asking for a men’s hairstyle. He’s just not being upfront about WHY he didn’t want to cut her hair.

        1. “So, it’s not that the barber wasn’t equipped to do what she wanted.”

          He’s the one doing the work. It’s up to him to decide what he’s equipped to do. I mean, technically I could take apart and reassemble your vintage Leica with the Leatherman on my belt, but it’d be a damn nuisance and I wouldn’t be proud of the result. I’m not equipped.

  24. Now, the business is at the center of a heated debate after owner John Interval was fined $750 for refusing to cut a woman’s hair.

    I assume the City/County/State is also fining every Curves gym for not allowing male members?


  25. “They’ll have all the champagne and mimosas they want…”

    What we’ve got here is a closet “Sex and the City” fan.

  26. I think he’s getting way more than $750 in publicity here and it will appeal to his likely target demographic. Also, charge an annual membership fee of a few dollars on the first haircut of each year, deduct the fee from the second haircut of each year and carry on as a private men’s grooming club. Win/win! Now I’m wondering if he set it all up himself-

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