“What are we in the Stone Ages?”
A celebrity dancer on Monday tearfully recounted her experience being turned away from a barber shop because she is a woman.
In an Instagram video, Karen Clifton, a 36-year-old reality TV star, said she felt it was “important” to take a stand for women’s rights by sharing what happened to her. She tried to get her short hair trimmed at Jack’s of London, she complained, but was told that shop is for men only.
“I went over today to get a haircut, and they said I wasn’t allowed to because I’m a woman,” Clifton said, weeping. “I mean what are we in the Stone Ages?”
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“It really affected me, and I just feel really, really crap,” she continued. “This is just ridiculous, and I, I just, I’ve never felt this before. I’ve never experienced this before, and it feels awful, and it’s not right, and it shouldn’t be that way.
Clifton said that she had not been looking for “anything fancy,” just a fade, and that she had gotten her haircut at the barber shop twice in the past, each time by a different woman.
A Venezuelan Latin dancer and World Mambo Champion, Clifton has appeared on the British TV show “Strictly Come Dancing” and America’s “So You Think You Can Dance.”
She also fumed about the barber shop incident on Twitter.
“I felt like I was punched right in the pit of my stomach and felt so angered and quite frankly in disbelief that this actually happens to a lot of women out there,” she said.
When I was told this morning by @Jacksoflondonuk that I wasn’t allowed to get my haircut because I was a woman , I felt like I was punched right in the pit of my stomach and felt so angered and quite frankly in disbelief that this actually happens to a lot of women out there .. https://t.co/V3PWwtvzsn
— Karen Clifton (@karen_hauer) March 18, 2019
A spokesperson for Jack’s of London quickly apologized to The Sun, saying: “I understand now that we must make it more explicit to our team that anyone who wants a barber cut is welcome in our store regardless of gender.”
On social media, fans rallied around Clifton.
“My heart goes out to you. No way you should have been treated like this xx hope your ok . Hope the barbers are ashamed of therselves,” said one Instagram user.
However, some pointed out that there are bigger problems in the world, like the mass shooting last Friday at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
“That just happened in NZ for the poor families of the victims of a mad man,” someone said. “Put a line under it @karencliftonofficialand move on! #dramaqueen.”
Later in the day, Clifton defiantly posted an image to instagram that read: “I’m not in favor of any discrimination of any form.”
The mini-controversy came amid a resurgence of gender politics in both the United Kingdom and the United States. Both feminists and transgender activists have demanded an end to sex-based discrimination, including full access to institutions from which they have been excluded.
However, the two movements have at times clashed. Some feminist have warned that transgender women’s push into female-only spaces, like sports, restrooms, shelters, comprises women’s rights and safety.
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