There’s a vegan café in Melbourne, Australia causing quite a stir.
According to their Facebook page, Handsome Her is a “community based cafe focusing on female empowerment, social responsibility and environmental justice.”
Much of the controversy surrounds an 18% tax being charged to all male patrons for one week every month, as part of their campaign to raise awareness about gender pay inequality. They charge an 18% ‘man tax’ because they figure that’s a fair estimate of the difference in male and female salaries.
There is also a rule stating that women get priority seating at the café on days when there are lots of customers.
According to the owner, Alex O’Brien, the tax really focuses on raising awareness and not simply trying to penalize men because of their pay advantage. She also notes that the extra funds are all donated towards an Aboriginal women and children’s charity.
She did note that men who were not comfortable paying the tax would not be forced to do so and would not be kicked out, but said that male patrons who visited were more than glad to pay to support the cause.
Even though there has been a lot of support for the idea, there has also been quite a bit of backlash on Twitter and Facebook, with lots disagreeing with the idea, and calling it an excuse to run a female-only café.
While their Facebook page does not allow reviews, some people have quick to give the shop a 1 out of 5 star review on Zomato. Many people have even called for a boycott of the eatery.