Hairdressers can be called ‘faggots’, French court rules
An employment tribunal in France has ruled that it’s acceptable to call a male hairdresser a “dirty faggot” – because lots of them are gay.
In the shock judgement at the Paris hearing, it was concluded that the terms was not a homophobic insult.
The ruling relates to an incident that occurred in the capital last year, where a hairdresser failed to turn up for work because he was sick.
Metronews reported that after sacking him for the absence, the salon boss accidentally sent the employee in question a text message that read: “I am not going to keep [sic: the hairdresser in question]. I don’t have a good feeling about this guy. He’s a dirty faggot.”
The text prompted the employee to take the salon to court, as he believed his dismissal was aggravated by homophobia.
However, this week it was revealed the tribunal ruled that even though the term “faggot” was seen as derogatory, it was not intended as a homophobic insult because there are lots of gay male hairdressers and therefore it was not an aggravating factor.
It said: “If we put it in the context of the field of hairdressing, the council considers that the term “faggot” used by a manager cannot be considered as a homophobic insult, because hair salons regularly employ gay people, notably in female hairdressers, and that poses no problem at all.”
The decision has prompted anger among France’s LGBT community.
Mathieu Brancourt, the journalist who broke the story said: “You’re a hairdresser and you get called a faggot, that’s okay because hairdressers are often gay, right?”
The French Labour Minister has said the ruling is “outrageous” and “shocking”.
Le Défenseur des Droits, a human rights group, has confirmed the decision will be appealed.