Lively and in-depth discussions of city news, politics, science, entertainment, the arts, and more.
Hosted by Larry Mantle
Airs Weekdays 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Booted from children's section of Barnes & Noble for being a man?

The exterior of a Barnes & Noble store.
The exterior of a Barnes & Noble store.

Listen to story

Download this story 7.0MB

73-year-old Omar Amin was shopping for his grandchildren in a Scottsdale, Arizona Barnes & Noble store when he was asked to leave by an employee. The employee in charge of removing Amin told him that a female shopper had complained about him sitting in the children’s area of the store by himself talking on the phone.

Amin, who is a native of Egypt and director of the Parasitology Center in Scottsdale, wrote a formal complaint to Barnes & Noble’s corporate office explaining that, “I did not break any rules, there was no sign posted that said men are not allowed in the children’s book area.”

Barnes & Noble at first stood by their employee’s decision, then released a public statement of apology. But Amin, who has not received a response to his complaint of gender discrimination, is considering legal action.

If it were a woman in the children’s section, would she have been treated the same way? And ten or twenty years ago, would anyone have questioned a grandfatherly type being in a children’s bookstore? Did Barnes & Noble overreact, or were they right to be protective of other customers who were concerned by Amin’s presence? Is it tough out there for a man?


Lisa Wade, Ph.D, professor of sociology at Occidental College and author of the blog Sociological Images

You care about today's news. And you're not alone.

Join others who support independent journalism.