Barber refuses haircut to woman on religious grounds

359 posts / 0 new
Last post
6079_Smith_W

Normative Judaism? Whose sect is that, specifically?

 

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I'm probably asking an ignorant question, but hasn't Judaism (the various strains thereof) changed just a bit in the last 2,500 years.... or for that matter, the last 400 years?

No. Jews must marry Jews. And a marriage is a man plus a woman. And the man runs the household. That's what's kept Judaism intact all these years. Pity my children. Imagine the sin they've been exposed to. A Gentile mother. Who never converted. Oy! A shande und a herpah!

Unionist

Mr.Tea wrote:

If you're interested, these are the 13 principles that have traditionally been understood to comprise the essence of the Jewish faith. http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/332555/jewish/Maimonides-1...

He's referring to the only major Chassidic sect which happens to be aggressively Zionist. Do women still have to shave their heads and wear a wig, Tea? Or are they doing that to affirm their individuality?

Oh wait, I forgot. When they're menstruating, they're unclean. Never mind strangers... their own husbands can't touch them.

I learned all this shit. When you master it, it's easier to discard it.

Humanity has moved forward, but some have remained behind. Their beliefs do not deserve respect. They despise women, and queers, and Palestinians, and you should hear what they call Africans behind their backs. They believe I (as a Jew) can fly to Israel and claim instant citizenship, whereas a Palestinian family who was chased out of their home in 1948 or 1967 or 2012 has no rights whatsoever.

It is the darkness of xenophobia, of misogyny, of homophobia, of racism. And just imagine. A little barber shop which won't allow women in the door brings it all out, into the light of day.

 

6079_Smith_W

Or how would Maimonides or Reb Nachman have fared in Mosaic times, I wonder?

Sorry Tea, I am toying with you a bit. I have no problem with those like more orthodox observance, but this notion that one way is the only way is as absurd as Pope Benedict declaring some of the original orthodox churches - with a far older pedigree than Catholicism - to be aberrations from the true word.

And protestants.... well he just dismissed them as heretics, of course.

 

Mr.Tea

Unionist wrote:

He's referring to the only major Chassidic sect which happens to be aggressively Zionist. Do women still have to shave their heads and wear a wig, Tea? Or are they doing that to affirm their individuality?

Oh wait, I forgot. When they're menstruating, they're unclean. Never mind strangers... their own husbands can't touch them.

I learned all this shit. When you master it, it's easier to discard it.

A) It happens to be the "only major Chassidic sect" with an elaborate website (which comes up first in a Google seach and which reproduces an Eglish translation of the standard text). You know damn well that every other major Chassidic sect holds by the exact same belifs. The Rambam, who codified these laws, was a Sephardi Jew who predated the Chassidic movement (let alone Zionism) by hundreds of years. Your comment is a non sequitur.

B) Interesting that you learned "all this shit". Did you learn Hebrew? If you did (which I'm sure you did and are simply being disingenuous), you'd know that it doesn't label menstruating women as "unclean". It uses the concepts of "tamei" and "taharat" which refer to "ritual purity" and which apply to both men and women and which have nothing to do with "cleanliness", except to those who wish to distort and defame Judaism for their own purposes.

Unionist

Mr.Tea wrote:
Did you learn Hebrew? If you did (which I'm sure you did and are simply being disingenuous), you'd know that it doesn't label menstruating women as "unclean".

Haha, all the translations got it wrong, eh? Some just say the woman is "impure". But all agree that whoever touches her becomes unclean. I didn't make this up. Yahweh did.

But if you think touching is bad, guess what happens to the hapless jerk who has sex with his wife at the wrong time (Leviticus 20:18):

Quote:
"And if a man lie with a menstruating woman and reveal her nakedness, and she revealed the fountain of her blood, both of them will be cut off from among their people."

Could be a blessing in disguise.

This is the profound misogyny that most Jews have come to reject. Some, feeling guilty, try to "reinterpret" not just the plain words of the Bible, but the actual practices of the centuries, which survive today among the fanatical sects.

This isn't rocket science. Consenting adults can do whatever they want. Men can sculpt each other's hair and refuse to coiffe a female till the cows come home. But no one can suggest that such beliefs and practices can take primacy in our society over the rights of women to enjoy equality with men in all spheres. That such a debate needs to happen here shows how insidious "religious freedom" can become in the hands of faux progressives.

 

 

autoworker autoworker's picture

So, if a man walks into a 'beauty salon', he has an inalienable right to a 'wash & set'?

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture
RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

meh

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

This just makes me sick. Your comments to Unionist were despicable Mr. Tea. 

 

Thanks to Tehanu for helping me learn.

 

[sarcasm]I was hoping to hear a woman help me mansplain this for myself.[/sarc]

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

And thanks Unionist for hammering the point home. [Is it bad I always see the double entendres but can't help it?]

 

Without these [explanations], our funny minds don't work on teh webs.

 

This just makes me shake my head or explode. [wish I could use some gif's here but can't seem to get many to work]

 

Or is it worse I admit to it?

 

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Mr.Tea wrote:

Tehanu wrote:

Mr. Tea, this feels like shouting down a well.

Let's try something else. Jewish people experience discrimination, right? What if a Jewish man went into that barber shop wearing a yamulke, and the barber said, "I'm sorry, sir, my religion forbids me to touch Jewish people's hair, I'll need you to go somewhere else." That good with you? Think anyone's feelings might be hurt in this case? Think anyone might feel this was, oh, wrong?

I've always personally taken the position that I prefer bigots to be out in the open and proud of their bigotry. If I walked into a bar and was told "We don't serve Jews", I'd be happy to take my money to somewhere that I'm welcome and would encourage my friends not to give their money to a bigot either. It certainly seems preferable than to give my business to someone who puts on a polite veneer towards my face but hates me behind my back.

At the same time, I think it's important to look at motivation. I think there's a big difference between hateful malice on the one hand and sincere religious belief on the other. So, if I were getting married and approached a Muslim imam to perform my wedding and he refused to do so, I wouldn't assume it's because he "hates Jews" but because his religion forbids him from doing so and it's nothing against me personally

 

Mr. Tea. Please try to put yourself in a situation like this where you don't enjoy privilege. That is what most of us here are about. This may seem petty to you and it may seem petty to most. That's why babble exists. It's not petty.

 

It's very important and thank "god" for my allies.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Until we treat women as equals, humanity will get nowhere.

 

eta: it's the cause of all the strife I see around me. Us men being idjits.

autoworker autoworker's picture

The barbershop's website claims to have cut Paul Martin's hair. Might a progressive barber be excused in refusing to cut his hair, or should she simply overcharge him-- after nicking his ear? Come to think of it: Why are there no lady barbers?

kropotkin1951

Gee you don't get out a lot.  My favourite barber owns her own shop and she even has a nice barbers pole outside to attract walk in traffic.

Your blame the victim routine is getting really annoying.

milo204

I think the main thing here is that it's okay to say you stand against sexism and still see why a barber who is only trained in cutting men's hair, might refuse service to a woman, which evidently by the persons own admission doesn't happen very often since she obviously gets her hair cut regularly at a men's barbershop.

when you toss in that this guy obviously chose to be a barber and not a unisex hair stylist specifically because his religion forbids him to touch random women, it just doesn't add up to something i think should be tried at a human rights commission to force this small babershop to hire someone who will do mens hairstyles but on a woman.

religion aside, if i walked into an african american barbershop or a womens salon and was refused service just based on the fact that they don't provide the service i need (white guy hair) and aren't interested in winging it just for me (they might have some form of professional standards after all) is it really fair for me to complain?  

Thankfully though the reality is there are plenty of barbers who are more than happy to take on female clients if they want a men's cut

autoworker autoworker's picture

Well, you have to forgive us bumpkins, down here in what Colbert refers to as: "Canada's rectum"-- we're just too stupid to appreciate the nuances of identity politics, and victimization, at Bay and Dundas.

theleftyinvestor

jas wrote:

I know: let's play a game. Let's only read the posts we want to respond to, and ignore everything else that's been posted, so we can ask inane questions that are answered in the posts that we ignore!

When I open up Babble after 24 hours and there are 80+ new posts in one thread, this is exactly what I would be rationally motivated to do ;-)

The point about how personal a haircut is an interesting one to me. We can all agree that sex is about as personal it gets, to the extent that it is a domain where one should have an inalienable right to control one's own body. So if sex work were legal (I know that tangent was done with way way upthread but still), there would necessarily have to be a clause that anyone can turn down a client for any reason, even if discriminatory, because otherwise we have a situation where the law dictates legitimate sexual coercion. This is a very clear-cut boundary. Even the most offensive reason for not having sex with someone is still a choice that must be legal.

Now for something you do with your body as part of your job that is really not in the least bit personal, there is also a very clear-cut boundary. If I work at a bank and I refuse to take cash from a woman to put in her bank account because I believe something about women, I'm not going to be able to make any successful argument that it violates the sovereignty of my body. I would either be instantly fired or reprimanded for violating the company's anti-discrimination policies (which are themselves based on the law).

Hair seems to be somewhere that falls into a varied spectrum of how personal it is depending on culture and religion. Evidently some Muslims view cutting hair (and touching in general) as personal enough that it becomes the domain of religious norms. Hair is also of personal and spiritual significance in the Sikh religion, in a different manner. And of course Judaism, my own heritage, has many members who observe religious norms regarding hair. But the predominant Western culture, my upbringing, treats hair as perhaps only slightly more personal than clothing. I don't feel like I need to consider others' religious beliefs to be reasonable or rational, but I still want to respect them to the extent possible.

We can go on and on and continue sniping at 90 posts/day, but I think a reasonable way to focus this discussion is to examine the remedies, consider their acceptability to each party, and what the consequences are in terms of precedent if that remedy is chosen. Pretty much all the possible remedies have been laid out at some point in this thread. But this is where I will sign off this post as I need to get to bed, so I can wake up in the morning and do my job that requires me to wear gloves to touch inanimate objects. Perhaps an acceptable remedy is to send the barbers to grad school to become analytical chemists like me.

No no, scrap that. Grad school would be far too punitive a sentence, and I wouldn't wish such a deeply personal experience on anyone without consent ;-)

voice of the damned

6079_Smith_W wrote:

autoworker wrote:

Jim Crow does not apply here. Those who insist that it does, trivialize those who struggle daily with oppression.

Okay, that one made me gasp. I'm just going to sit back and wait for it.

 

As the poster who(with considerable supplement from Tehanu) introduced the issue of segregated restaurants into the debate, I'd just like to say that my point wasn't that one barber refusing a haircut was the equivalent of Jim Crow. That would just be nonsense. Very few things are equivalent to the totalitarian scope of Jim Crow.

My point was simply that the PEOPLE MAKING THE COMPLAINT don't have to be in dire need of the service in order for the complaint to be valid. I brought up racist restaurants just to demonstrate that, once you say "Who cares, as long as the complainants can just go elsewhere", there's pretty much no limit to the amount of discrimination you're gonna be willing to tolerate under that rationale.

As far as I can see, the OHRC will really have no choice but to rule in favour of the customer, unless they're willing to establish as a precedent that as long as a) your motives are religious, b) other venues are offering the same service, and c) the customers for the service are typically male, it's acceptable for someone operating a public business to deny the service to women.

 

 

Serviam6

I found this story very interesting.

 

Religious rights vs gay (?) rights.   This of course opens up the debate to further examples.  Female only gyms. Male only clubs (Masons).  Gender or Race specific restraunts.  

When looking to start a business with a friend of mine we briefly looked into a 25 and older bar.

 

While I'll need some time to go over all 200+ posts in this thread to make a decent contribution Milo204 mentioned something that caught my eye.

 

Quote:
religion aside, if i walked into an african american barbershop or a womens salon and was refused service just based on the fact that they don't provide the service i need (white guy hair) and aren't interested in winging it just for me (they might have some form of professional standards after all) is it really fair for me to complain? 

While getting a tattoo there was some drama with one of the artists refusing to tattoo someone who had come in because the artist thought it (the design) was a very horrible tattoo concept/piece and did not want to have their name or the parlor associated with the work.  The person threated to sue and left.  It got me to thinking if the person had grounds to sue. 

Can a tattoo artist refuse to write something they feel is hateful or hate speech? What about something religiously offensive.  Can they refuse, in the case I was present, with something they simply don't want to be responsible for?

Michelle

I think a case like that about a tattoo subject isn't really a human rights issue.  Tattoo artists are artists.  They can decide what they will and will not tattoo on someone.

It's like, you can't go to a McDonald's and demand they serve you steak or pasta and threaten to sue if they don't.  Same with a tattoo artist, I would think.

Unionist

Serviam6 wrote:

Can a tattoo artist refuse to write something they feel is hateful or hate speech? What about something religiously offensive.  Can they refuse, in the case I was present, with something they simply don't want to be responsible for?

Yes, a tattoo artist can refuse to write anything - doesn't need to have a reason. That's not discrimination under the Code or any human rights law that I know.

A barber can refuse to give you a brush cut. A barber can shape hair like a crucifix but refuse to do it like a crescent or star of David. A barber CAN'T say, "we don't serve Jews or Muslims here". A barber CAN'T say, "we don't serve women here."

[edited to be less rude - sorry]

 

Unionist

INTERESTING OBSERVATION (at least, I think it's interesting)

In Québec, it would be unlawful for a barber (or a landlord) to put up a sign saying, "we don't serve poor people", or "we don't serve socialists".

In Ontario, such actions would not be prohibited by the Human Rights Code.

That's because the Québec Charte prohibits discrimination on some additional grounds that you usually don't find in human rights legislation in Canada, namely "social condition" and "political convictions".

But have no fear. They all prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex.

6079_Smith_W

These last few posts remind me of the showdown between Rockefeller and Rivera.

Not actually relevant to this question, but it does speak to how far the artist/contractor and the client can go.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_at_the_Crossroads

jas

I'd still love it if someone could answer the question I posed in #177: if a Muslim observing the same rule that is cited in this case declines treatment by an opposite-sex doctor, is this also discrimination, and if so, against whom? And if not, why is it discrimination in one case and not the other?

 

jas

(The rule, so we don't keep arguing about this, being a rule not against touching women, but against opposite-sex touching between strangers.)

Mr.Tea

jas wrote:

I'd still love it if someone could answer the question I posed in #177: if a Muslim observing the same rule that is cited in this case declines treatment by an opposite-sex doctor, is this also discrimination, and if so, against whom? And if not, why is it discrimination in one case and not the other?

There's an asymetry between someone offering a product or service and one seeking it. Obviously, you can seek out any doctor you want. I'm a dentist and maybe there are some people who don't want to go to me for because of my religion, skin colour or some other factor and they're certainly freee to do so. Besides, it's always hard to know what someone's motivation is.

Just like if a guy runs a restaurant, he can't have a policy of "no blacks allowed". But a bigot who wants to go out for dinner and didn't want to go to a black-owned restaurant...certainly nobody's gonna make him

voice of the damned

jas wrote:

I'd still love it if someone could answer the question I posed in #177: if a Muslim observing the same rule that is cited in this case declines treatment by an opposite-sex doctor, is this also discrimination, and if so, against whom? And if not, why is it discrimination in one case and not the other?

No, because the law regulates people who are offering a service to the public, not the people who choose to avail themselves of the service.

If I don't like Polish people, I, as a customer, am free to avoid businesses run by Poles. But a store-owner who doesn't like Polish people can't refuse them service.

So yes, if a Muslim doesn't want to be touched by a woman, he can choose a male doctor, and there's nothing the law can do to prevent that. A doctor, being someone who is offering services to the public, doesn't have the same leeway.

voice of the damned

Pretty much cross-posted with Mr. Tea. I like his use of the word "asymmetry" there. I've been trying to work that one into my conversation/writing lately, but without much success.

Mr.Tea

Jas, to expand a bit: when i wrote what I wrote above, i was thining more along the lines of family doctors or other doctors you choose and book an appointment with. In an emergency room situation, obviously, it's different. You take the doctor who is first available. If someone came to the emergency room and declared that they didn't want to be treated by a doctor who is male, Jewish, black, whatever, too bad for them. Of course, I imagine their bigotry would temporarily fade when they need someone to save their life.

Now, in terms of the "no touching between the opposite sex", I don't know about Islam but certainly in Judaism this doesn't apply in medical situations. I know orthodox Jews who are doctors and nurses who won't shake hands with the opposite sex in a social setting but will certainly touch them as part of medical treatment. There's a principle in Judaism called "pikuach nefesh" which basically holds that Torah commandments (with a few exceptions) can be violated if done to save a life. So, you can`t eat bacon but if you`re starving to death, not only can you eat bacon, but you`re required to do so.

Unionist

jas wrote:

I'd still love it if someone could answer the question I posed in #177: if a Muslim observing the same rule that is cited in this case declines treatment by an opposite-sex doctor, is this also discrimination, and if so, against whom? And if not, why is it discrimination in one case and not the other?

First, that's not the question you asked in 177. You asked "against whom is this bigotry directed"? Bigotry is a lot worse that discrimination. But if that's how you need to ramp up the discussion, by all means go ahead.

A Muslim male (or anyone for that matter) who declines to be treated by women doctors is obviously discriminating on the basis of sex. He is not dealing with doctors irrespective of their sex. That's discrimination.

BUT - he's entirely within his rights, under Canadian law.

And, a doctor refusing to treat opposite-sex patients is also not doing anything unlawful. That's discrimination too. They may be fired or disciplined if they're working for an employer, but that's a separate issue.

However, a medical office or clinic or single physician operating as a business who declines to serve patients of the opposite sex - that's discrimination too. This time, it's illegal.

You may say, "well, that's a bit inconsistent". But it's a compromise. I don't think I'd like to force individuals to be non-discriminatory by force of law. However, if you want to offer services to the public, or rent out lodgings, there's a small price to pay in Canada: Treat all human customers equally, at least with respect to the categories of sex, religion, etc.

As I pointed out, in Québec we go a big step further, and ban discrimination on the basis of social condition and political beliefs. That might be something for the rest of Canada to consider.

 

Otavano

Slumberjack wrote:

They should have their business licence immediately suspended pending investigation, and subsequently revoked if the allegations of denial of service based on gender are founded.  Otherwise there's no limit to who they and other establishments might refuse service to behind the shield of religion.

 

Be careful here. Let's suppose he had not mentioned religion but just said he does not feel comfortable touching a person of the opposite sex to whom he's married?

 

If she wins the case, then what about the masseur who refuses to give massages to women because he feels uncomfortable touching them, is married, etc. no matter how legitimate and innocent it may be; or the masseuse who refuses to massage men because she's married or just feels uncomfortable massaging men?

I see this as a slippery slope. Personally, I'd say a person reserves the right to refuse a person of the opposite sex.

Otavano

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

So they refused to give her a haircut because she's a woman - not because she's a lesbian, correct?

If the owner can't cut a woman's hair due to religious beliefs, then he should employ someone who can cut women's hair.

 

[cross-posted with Burch]

 

Going by that standard, a massage parlour for women only would then have to hire a male masseur to always be on standby even though men rarely visit. That's extra overhead costs to hire someone to just sit around all day for the odd chance.

 

After all, we're talking here of a woman walking into a barber shop.

Otavano

Michelle wrote:

Yeah, I don't get where the lesbian part comes in either.  I see why Xtra mentioned it - their target audience is GLBT and is news about things happening in the community.  But it's really not relevant to the thread title on babble.

And I agree with onlinediscountanvils - it's easy to make that accommodation in the workplace - just hire someone who CAN do women's hair.  It's clear that he has a number of employees, so there's no reason why at least one of them can't be someone who can touch a woman's hair. 

I agree that people's religious boundaries must be respected in the workplace, but when two competing human rights issues bump up against each other, they both have to be accommodated if possible.  In this case, it appears to be entirely possible, and I don't think it's an undue hardship to ensure that at least one person on staff can provide service to women.

 

from what I'd read elsewhere, apparently he had offered finding someone from outside to come over and do it but she refused. If that's true, then clearly she's there just to make a point.

Otavano

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

Mr.Tea wrote:
I don't see why he should have to hire a separate barber (and take on the added expense or be forced to let go of an existing barber, which could be seen as religious discrimination) for the incredibly rare occasion (this may be the first time) when he has a female customer.

When businesspeople make poor decisions they should have to accept the consequences of their decisions, just like anybody else. This guy didn't think it was necessary to hire anyone who was willing to cut women's hair, even though the Ontario Human Rights Code says you can't deny service based on sex. If he does have to hire another barber, rather than look at it as an added expense he should remember all the money he saved by not having his shop sufficiently staffed all this time. It's not an added expense. It's the cost of doing business in Ontario. He should just feel lucky that he managed to dodge that expense until someone finally called him on it.

 

Should this apply to bikini waxers too? What if they can't find anyone who's willing? Shut down the spa?

milo204

the other thing we should be thinking about is how this whole thing might lead to an outcome that nobody wants, i.e. some nit-picking idiot guy claiming it's by precedent illegal to have women only spaces or services and then using "the law" to force them into compliance, just to prove a point.

 

 

jas

Unionist wrote:
First, that's not the question you asked in 177. You asked "against whom is this bigotry directed"? Bigotry is a lot worse that discrimination. But if that's how you need to ramp up the discussion, by all means go ahead.

If you read the page on which that post appears, you would see that I was responding to the use of that term, rather than introducing it myself.

Unionist wrote:
A Muslim male (or anyone for that matter) who declines to be treated by women doctors is obviously discriminating on the basis of sex. He is not dealing with doctors irrespective of their sex. That's discrimination.

And a Muslim female declining to be treated by male doctors for the exact same reason? Is that discrimination? Why would you deliberately ignore the opposite-sex corollary?

Ignoring for now what's legal or not in a business operation, I am trying to get at this notion amongst Babblers that the barber's use of this rule is discrimination, and even misogyny, according to some of you, whereas a female Muslim's adherence to the same rule is nothing of the kind.

Not one of you has come out and stated that a Muslim female declining service from a male is discrimination, or even that a Muslim female denying service to a male is discrimination.

It just seems to me that your gender politics are distorting your perception of what this rule is about. Is the rule itself inherently misogynist or discriminatory?

 

jas

6079_Smith_W wrote:

All the more reason to not be distracted by that argument, and focus on compliance with the regulations - rather than making assumptions about what "all of us"  think.

Most of the arguments in this thread are that the barber's actions either stemmed from or effected discrimination against women.

There is not much we can argue about with respect to compliance with regulations - a point I was trying to make with you earlier. That is something the board will rule on, as the law does allow for exceptions.

6079_Smith_W

jas wrote:

Not one of you has come out and stated that a Muslim female declining service from a male is discrimination, or even that a Muslim female denying service to a male is discrimination.

Hold on a sec.That's not quite true.

A number of us have mentioned women-only spaces. and technically there are some cases where it would breach these laws.

Personally, I don't want to get into the discrimination argument because in the first place, I don't think all of us have exactly the same interpretation of the power-discrimination thing. And in the second place I don't think a clear-cut argument can be made on that basis because neither party is coming from a clear position of power. I also don't think it is clear that the motive was discrimination (even though I do think the barber made a big mistake).

That's part of the reason why there is such a big hub bub about this.

All the more reason to not be distracted by that argument, and focus on compliance with the regulations - rather than making assumptions about what "all of us"  think.

6079_Smith_W

Perhaps that is because this is the case we are talking about?

I'll repeat: A number of us have pointed out that there are other cases which are technically in breach of these regulations, that there are cases in which the regulations are not pressed, and even cases of some exceptions.

And I agree there's not much we can argue about WRT compliance, and the principle. That kind of begs the question, doesn't it?

 

Unionist

jas wrote:

Not one of you has come out and stated that a Muslim female declining service from a male is discrimination, or even that a Muslim female denying service to a male is discrimination.

It just seems to me that your gender politics are distorting your perception of what this rule is about. Is the rule itself inherently misogynist or discriminatory?

 

You really like to sit on a mountain-top and declaim, don't you? "NOT ONE OF YOU..."

Of course a Muslim female declining service from a male is discrimination. It's failing to treat males and females on an equal footing. Why didn't you get that dictionary I told you about?

BUT - as I've explained to you on many occasions - IT IS NOT UNLAWFUL. And it's not terrible. And it's not immoral. It's a personal choice.

Do you understand human rights legislation, even a little bit? It says you can't discriminate when you're offering governmental services, or any commercial services to the public, or lodging. Those are the main factors.

Let me spell it out for you a little more clearly:

1. A Muslim landlord CANNOT legally refuse to rent to women, or Jews, or gays.

2. A woman, or a Jew, or a gay, CAN legally refuse to rent from a Muslim landlord.

I'm simply talking about the law here. In both cases, I personally find those choices to be extremely offensive and bigoted and xenophobic and homophobic etc. But only in the first case is it unlawful.

Some discrimination is legal. Some discrimination is progressive and justified. Other discrimination is evil, illegal, etc. You really have to learn to discriminate.

 

 

 

autoworker autoworker's picture

Torts are best left to the courts.

Otavano

Unionist wrote:

jas wrote:

Not one of you has come out and stated that a Muslim female declining service from a male is discrimination, or even that a Muslim female denying service to a male is discrimination.

It just seems to me that your gender politics are distorting your perception of what this rule is about. Is the rule itself inherently misogynist or discriminatory?

 

You really like to sit on a mountain-top and declaim, don't you? "NOT ONE OF YOU..."

Of course a Muslim female declining service from a male is discrimination. It's failing to treat males and females on an equal footing. Why didn't you get that dictionary I told you about?

BUT - as I've explained to you on many occasions - IT IS NOT UNLAWFUL. And it's not terrible. And it's not immoral. It's a personal choice.

Do you understand human rights legislation, even a little bit? It says you can't discriminate when you're offering governmental services, or any commercial services to the public, or lodging. Those are the main factors.

Let me spell it out for you a little more clearly:

1. A Muslim landlord CANNOT legally refuse to rent to women, or Jews, or gays.

2. A woman, or a Jew, or a gay, CAN legally refuse to rent from a Muslim landlord.

I'm simply talking about the law here. In both cases, I personally find those choices to be extremely offensive and bigoted and xenophobic and homophobic etc. But only in the first case is it unlawful.

Some discrimination is legal. Some discrimination is progressive and justified. Other discrimination is evil, illegal, etc. You really have to learn to discriminate.

 

 

 

Isn't a massage a legal service? Regardless of the law, a person should be allowed to refuse to touch a person of the opposite sex if they don't feel comfortable with it, even if that person is a businessperson. Same with bikini waxing.

Otavano

jas wrote:

Taking back my original comment for now. This  is a very interesting conflict of rights as defined in the Charter. 

But I do wonder what kind of "victory" the complainant hopes for here. It's certainly worthy of commentary, but most people would, in the end, simply go to another shop.

 

 

Honestly, I have little respect for the Charter. I have much more respect for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights when we consider that the Charter defends the Separate School system and gives English and French speakers a privileged position over speakers of indigenous and other languages, etc.

jas

Unionist wrote:

Of course a Muslim female declining service from a male is discrimination. It's failing to treat males and females on an equal footing. Why didn't you get that dictionary I told you about?

BUT - as I've explained to you on many occasions - IT IS NOT UNLAWFUL. And it's not terrible. And it's not immoral. It's a personal choice.

Then I seem to have misunderstood your posts. I thought you were one of the ones declaring that the religious motivation in the barber's actions is misogynistic and treats women like second-class citizens. But you recognize that the barber's actions are not terrible or immoral and that, if it wasn't for the legal challenge it inspired (because he operates a business), it boils down to a personal choice, and that therefore, this case is not about misogyny.

I hope I have that clear now.

jas

Otavano wrote:

Isn't a massage a legal service? Regardless of the law, a person should be allowed to refuse to touch a person of the opposite sex if they don't feel comfortable with it, even if that person is a businessperson. Same with bikini waxing.

Massage therapists, like other health care providers, train and enter the profession with the full knowledge that they'll be treating people of all genders.

Otavano

No Jas, I wasn't thinking of a rub-n-tug, but a legitimate service. If we're talking about medical massage I can see you're point of not going into the business. But what about a relaxation massage service which is still not a rub-n-tug. So, legitimate massage, but certainly not medical. So that would sit somewhere in between the two extremes. Are you saying that even if it's not an essential service that if the person feels uncomfortable with it that therefore they should be blocked? If so, does the government compensate them for putting them out of business or retrain them for another job?

jas

Now, if you're thinking more along the lines of a rub 'n' tug, that's a different, and interesting question, and falls into my earlier question about using discriminatory practices in prostitution. If rub 'n' tugs were legal, then the service providers, who are largely female, would not be able to refuse service to females.

(And likewise, male rub 'n' tuggers would not be able to refuse service based on the gender of the client.)

onlinediscountanvils

Otavano wrote:

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

So they refused to give her a haircut because she's a woman - not because she's a lesbian, correct?

If the owner can't cut a woman's hair due to religious beliefs, then he should employ someone who can cut women's hair.

 

[cross-posted with Burch]

 

Going by that standard, a massage parlour for women only would then have to hire a male masseur to always be on standby even though men rarely visit. That's extra overhead costs to hire someone to just sit around all day for the odd chance.

 

Assuming the OHRC applies to your hypothetical (which I'm not sure it would), they would have to have at least one person on staff who was willing to provide massages to women, and at least one person on staff who was willing to provide massages to men. They could even be the same person. And no, they wouldn't necessarily have to hire a male. Women are capable of providing massages to men.

kropotkin1951

autoworker wrote:

Torts are best left to the courts.

Canadian common law says that discrimination is not a tort. That is why we passed Human Rights Codes because there was no legal remedy for any form of discriminatory behaviour.

Seneca College v. Bhadauria, [1981] 2 S.C.R. 181 is a leading decision of the Supreme Court of Canada on civil rights and tort law. The Court ruled that there can be no common law tort of discrimination.

Pages