Razed Rite hair salon faced backlash after posting on Facebook a photo that showed the two sides of the shop, the men’s barbershop and the women’s salon, decked out in pink and red. The now-deleted post labelled the sides as “his” and “her.”
Jo Dempsey, St. Thomas University sociology and gender studies student, shared the post on their Facebook with the comment, “and this is why queer folk (me included) feel so uncomfortable in hair/barber shops! Everything is unnecessarily gendered.”
Dempsey, who’s non-binary, said they’ve tried to find a hair salon where they feel like they’ll be understood.
“I think that the second you walk into a hair salon it’s very gendered,” they said.
Razed Rite provided an apology on its Facebook.
The Aquinian contacted Razed Rite for comment but referenced the Facebook post as its formal apology.
Dempsey said they’re happy Razed Rite took the step to delete the post and apologize but said there is still much more to do.
“If any place is going to call themselves queer-friendly, I think it’s really important to go through queer sensitivity training,” they said.
St. Thomas University Students’ Union gender and sexuality diversity representative Tyler MaGee said people have to remember gender is something society has created.
“The gendering of things is something that didn’t exist until people made it exist,” said MaGee.
“When we talk about gender and the gender binary, what we’re actually talking about is sex.”
In order for businesses to include everyone in their spaces, MaGee said products shouldn’t be gendered at all.
Dempsey also said the gendered marketing of products and services leaves many individuals out of the conversation.
“For a lot of young people or older people trying to figure themselves out … there’s
nothing really for you.” said Dempsey.
“It invalidates you.”