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In Britain, calling a man bald is sexual harassment 

Photo: Saint-Malo Maville

Bringing up a man's baldness is a little joke we make, sometimes just like that. Nothing too bad, it seems. But according to a court in Great Britain, this joke is not insignificant. Calling a man bald is outright sexual harassment.  

This decision was taken by a British employment tribunal on Friday May 13, after Tony Finn filed a complaint against his former employer who called him bald. Deliberating that the qualifier was linked to the plaintiff's gender, the three judges handling the case, also suffering from baldness, determined that it was sexual harassment. 

"Commenting on a man's baldness in the workplace is tantamount to commenting on the size of a woman's breasts or buttocks," the court said. 

Tony Finn worked nearly 24 years for the British Bung Company, based in West Yorkshire, which manufactures wooden barrel closures. After his dismissal following an incident with his inspector, the electrician filed a complaint against his employer who had called him a “bald asshole.” 

 Finn told the jury that the comment about his hair upset him more than the language his boss used. Subsequently, the judges determined that by openly calling the plaintiff bald, his supervisor's conduct undermined his dignity and this behavior created an intimidating environment for him. 

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"It is difficult not to consider that the Complainant's supervisor said these words with the intention of undermining his dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for him" 

The judges continued, while pointing out that Tony Finn's employer crossed a red line by making these remarks about the latter's appearance. According to the court, using these terms to describe a person constitutes a kind of discrimination. 

Men are more affected than women by baldness, which is a form of alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes the human body to shed its hair. The judges then clarified that it is more likely that a man is targeted by a remark like the one received by Tony Finn. 

Compensation will be paid to him after winning the lawsuits for unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal and sexual harassment. 

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Sam Sarah Devilus
Journalist / Communicator / Bookstagramer.