A vegan cafe in Melbourne has come up with a novel way of addressing gender inequality, and raising money for a good cause at the same time.
The Handsome Her cafe in the inner-north charges men an 18 per cent “man tax” and gives priority seating to women, according to a Seven News report.
Research in 2016 by the Australia’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency revealed that the average difference between a male and female’s full-time weekly wage is 17.7 per cent, or $261.30, each week.
The surcharge only applies one week out of every month, and owner Alexandra O’Brien wants it to bring attention to the gender pay gap, with proceeds from the surcharge going to a women’s charity.
It isn’t compulsory, but so far, they haven’t had any men who have refused to cough up.
“If men don’t want to pay it, we’re not going to kick them out the door. It’s just an opportunity to do some good,” O’Brien said.
She says that the cafe is a space for women, by women with women receiving priority seating and an extra tax for men. On top of this, the cafe is 100% plant based, and refuses to use disposable coffee cups.
While men who frequent the cafe are obviously not put off by the man tax, men over on social media are less than impressed after reading the story.
One Twitter user, fittingly going by the name “Grumpy Git” was clearly not happy about it.
“And that is why my golf club doesn’t allow women members. Sanctuary away from all this shit.”
Another clearly was only interested in the food side of things.
“This addresses nothing apart from flouting equality. But through freedom of choice I’ll go somewhere that taxes me less and that sells bacon.”
While one Tweeter was clearly unaware that women can be plumbers and electricians.
“And when their plumbing broke, the electricity went out, and they had a water damaged floor, only women were allowed to come and fix it..?”
Another man was more upset about the inequality of men being charged more for a sandwich than about women being paid less for equal work.
“Are you insane? These misandrists are discriminating based on their sex. I thought you lefty’s were all for gender equality. Clearly not.”
O’Brien described herself to Broadsheet as a feminist, but “not the fun kind”.
“We’re bringing it to the forefront of people’s minds”, she said.
“I like that it is making men stop and question their privilege a little bit.
“One of my friends who works for a not-for-profit women’s service was talking about the pay gap and I thought it was a good idea, so we decided that one week every month we would charge men an 18 per cent premium, which we will donate.”