Aussie barber calls for controversial exemption so it can ban women from store

Robbie’s Chop Shop in Adelaide has applied for special consideration from the state to skirt the Equal Opportunity Act – and is asking for local support.

A South Australian barbershop is vowing to remain the "last male-only sanctuary" in Adelaide and will apply to formally ban women from entering its premises.

Robbie’s Chop Shop, located on the busy King William Rd in Unley is calling for community support in its application for an exemption to the Equal Opportunity Act — which protects against discrimination — following complaints regarding its request for women to observe its male-only policy.

A picture of a sign on the door outside the barbershop says it "prides itself on being Adelaide's only Male only barbershop".

"We feel it's important for guys of all ages to have a place to get away and chill," it reads. Another inside the door reads, "Please respect our barbershop is a male only establishment".

Inside barber Robbie's Chop Shop in South Australia.
Robbie's Chop Shop in Adelaide has a male-only policy, leading to complaints about banning women. Source: Google Images

Barber asks for support to ban women

The barber has now issued a letter to "everyone who believes that it’s important to keep Robbie’s Chop Shop as a male sanctuary" to support its application regarding the Equal Opportunity Act exemption in response to a complaint over its policy.

"Whilst we feel that this complaint is misconceived, we are doing our best to resolve the situation in a respectful and understanding manner to the satisfaction of all involved,” Robbie’s Chop Shop wrote on its Instagram page last week.

"This is not the first complaint of this type we have received, so in order to deal with them once and for all, we have decided to make an application for an exemption to Equal Opportunity Act."

Barber trying to create 'safe space' for men

The South Australian barber said it wanted to maintain a "safe space" for men to come together and "discuss issues". A spokesperson for Robbie’s Chop Shop told the Advertiser they ask all women to "wait outside". "Everyone's been understanding," they said.

Robbie's Chop Shop barber instagram post.
The barbershop is asking for support in their application for an exemption to the Equal Opportunity Act. Source: Instagram/robbieschopshop

According to Equal Opportunity SA, "where businesses wish to discriminate against a group of people, they must apply for an exemption through the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal", the publication reported.

Mixed views on female ban

Instagram users have expressed mixed views in response to the news, with some expressing support and others disapproval.

"Men will literally ask for exemptions to the Equal Opportunity Act instead of just going to therapy," writes one woman. "Why is it that female only hairdressers, salons, gyms etc can exist but one singular male only barbershop can be an issue?!" writes another.

Sign outside Robbie's Chop Shop in South Australia.
The barber vows to remain the city's last 'male only sancturary'. Credit Yahoo News Australia

"This place is more than a barbershop – I’ve seen first hand through my own brother and husband. Guys come here not just for cuts, but for the banter and environment," another said, seemingly in support of the male-only policy.

One person asked the barber to clarify its position on transgender customers saying, "How do you feel about Trans men and non-binary people. How do you classify the man in male only?”

Yahoo News Australia has contacted Robbie’s Chop Shop for comment.

with NCA

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