I’m in my 30’s now and I’ve been going to the same barbershop most of my life. Place was great. This last year one of the old timers retired and there’s now a woman with mall-hair who took his place. Since she started the Playboy’s are gone from the magazine rack, and a whole stand of overpriced “hair product” has gone up. One of the other fellas who’s been there for ages is still there.
Like most barbershops, its walk ins only. You get the first open barber’s chair after you come in. The last few times I’ve been stuck with her cutting my hair, she does and ok job, but I prefer the guy’s cuts. Is it disrespectful as hell to ask to wait until the guy is open? I’m trying not to be a dick about it, but I honestly hate she’s invaded the men’s space in the first place. Is this just a sign of the times or can men take back the barbershop?
It sounds to me like the place is in transition, slowly and poorly, to a "unisex salon." Regardless, the idea that you have to live with the next available professional, rather than a particular professional, is really odd to me. That's only the rule in the ER.
It's rare to ask for a specific barber. Reasons to ask for a particular barber are: the old man has been cutting your hair since you were a kid, there is an important upcoming function, you have an unresolvable personal issue with the other barber. That being said, if a pattern has been set where you do indeed have a favorite, the other barber will have picked up on it and, when it's your turn, ask if you're waiting for "him". If so, you're skipped in the queue.
For what it's worth, the two most heavily male oriented barber shops that I've gone to both employed some women. These were places where they offer straight razor shaves, have pool tables in the waiting areas, serve beer with your haircut, and sell cigars. I found one of them through AoM's barbershop locator.
I don't think that having women as employees prevents a place from being man centered.
That place sounds nice.
I don't know where you live, but there are more and more of those kind of places so you might be able to find one near you. I've gone to them in Philadelphia and Baltimore and I know a guy who opened one in Chicago.
I used to only go to them for special occasions, but then I realized that the one in Baltimore did a better job than anyplace else I could find in the city, only cost a couple dollars more, and had free parking nearby, offset any price difference...and beer (and coke, and coffee... you could also bring your own bottle of liquor and keep it at their bar). In total, I saved money getting my haircut there, and it made it a pleasant part of the day.
Mike, are you talking about The Distinguished Gentlemen in Baltimore? Wanted to try the place when I worked near there but never got arouind it.
I would disagree. The place I go to now in Dublin is like the one you describe minus the pool table. You can have a beer while you wait as well. But it has women (and girl mags without nudity, forget the name. FHM, or something). Not the same when there are women working there. Different atmosphere. In Limerick I went to an all-man's barbershop that had none of those extras. Just a few photos of local sport heroes and a little tv to show whatever match was on that day. No girlie mags either (I'm guessing the older barbers were a little too old-school Irish Catholic to have that). Either way, the place was more masculine somehow. Makes you feel more at ease or something. Same with the Italian place I went to in Canada. There the barbers and the patrons talk freely like a bunch of guys hanging out. Great atmosphere. If you ever go to Guelph, Ontario, I'd strongly recommend it, called Franco's.
I guess it might change the vibe, but I don't think that it has to ruin the place's identity as a place for men.
Have you been to an all-guy barber shop? I would have felt the same as you if I only experienced the place I go to now but due to my past experience of seeing an all-male barbershop I have to say its different.
@Rebekah, someone correct me if I am wrong, but in reference to the ability of a business to "hire selectively" or "discrimnate" based on gender or other protected classes there are a few factors in play. The most referenced factor is the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This protects individuals from discrimination based on race, gender, religion, etc. However this law ONLY applies to businesses with 15 or more employees. Therefore a barbershop will usually, based on # of employees, be exempt from the Civil Rights Act, and can "selectively hire" based on any criteria they decide. Also there is regulation in place that protects a business with any amount of employees to be able to "selectively hire". Businesses that are niche or that are centered around specific requirements in order to maintain the business or perform the job can specifically exclude certain classes from being hired. This is a slippery slope, because the law is vague and burden of proof lies on the business to prove that certain classes cannot perform in the job functions for whatever reason.
I'm both not an expert in employment law, and in California. California has its own laws extending federal protections/obligations to smaller businesses. So in the situations I'm usually thinking about, the size of the business isn't usually a factor.
I know that the "business purpose" exception is recognized, either in the statute or by judicial interpretation. But I'm not familiar with all its applications. The applications I know about are ethnic restaurants hiring ethnic workers, and restaurant-nightclubs in San Francisco you go to for the atmosphere, not the food, if you know what I mean.
An interesting issue is how regional it is. Here on the West Coast, no woman will see a young male gynecologist, and I'd advise a practice they could exclude male gynecologists from consideration for employment. But elsewhere, enough women might think men are universally more professional or something. National publications regarding obstetrics suggest men OB-GYNs in the midwest do just fine.
But, yes, other businesses may have to try and fail with employees of the "wrong" gender. To be able to say, "We hired a woman, but we lost regular customers [or none of our regulars would use her], so we let her go." Actually, it'd have to be stronger than that. It'd have to be like what I'd hear at the gynecologist's office, "I [flat-out] won't see a man [woman]," not just the particular newby.
The idea that a new girl would demand the removal of Playboys and the introduction of an additional profit source is really strange to me. That's why I think the OP shows a conscious, if poorly executed, decision by management to attract a different (additional) clientele.
Good insight, I will say that as soon as you said California I thought,"Well everything I just is invalid!" Cali really does operate on its own set of rules!