Unisex pricing reaches Ontario

A ban on the charging of different prices for men’s and women’s services, a bad idea already enacted in California, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Miami and New York City, may soon be the law in Ontario if pending legislation is approved. One supporter thinks it’s unfair for hairdressers to charge more for women’s cuts than men’s, and it’s apparently beside the point that most women’s cuts are more complicated and take longer to perform. Ditto with women’s clothes at dry cleaners, which are less standardized and more likely to require individualized handling. Of course many discounts run in favor of women purchasers, most notably auto insurance for younger drivers; no word on whether Ontario legislators are hoping to defy actuarial realities on that front. (Christl Dabu, “For Canadian women, that haircut may soon get cheaper”, Christian Science Monitor, Aug. 10 — note the headline, whose counter-version about haircuts for men getting more expensive probably never stood a chance of running). For reports on legal action aimed at bar’s “Ladies’ Night” promotions, see Aug. 4, 2003 and Jun. 10, 2004.

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