A cafe is making waves after it began charging men more money in a bid to close the so-called “gender pay gap.”
Owner Alex O’Brien, a feminist vegan who owns Handsome Her, a vegan cafe in Melbourne, Australia, is making men pay an 18% “man tax” as well as giving women priority over seating.
O’Brien told the Broadsheet website, “I do want people to think about it, because we’ve had this (pay discrepancy) for decades and decades and we’re bringing it to the forefront of people’s minds.
“I like that it is making men stop and question their privilege a little bit.”
The reaction on social media has been mixed, with some praising while others are outraged.
One Twitter user said: “This makes me sick. What the hell is wrong with these stupid women. Rules for men to enter?”
Others called the cafe “sexist.”
There is much disagreement on the way the cafe was trying to promote equality.
One Twitter user wrote, “At the very least they are telling the world how much they despise males. Silver lining? It might wake a few more people on the fence.”
Another added: “We now raise “awareness” and debate it with discrimination toward men… but we must have be equals to men!”
Some people even suggested a boycott, with a Twitter user writing: “Simple guys just don’t go there and watch the business plummet, It looks like s**t anyway.”
However, O’Brien didn’t agree and said the response from her customers has been positive, with one man even reportedly donating $50 to the cause.
She said, “There’s been nothing but positivity from everyone, males and females.”
The extra money will be donated to the Elizabeth Morgan House which supports Aboriginal women and children in August. The owner plans to rotate women’s charities four times a year, according to the Mirror.
O’Brien says her restaurant is “for women, by women,” but men are very welcome and the surcharge isn’t compulsory. It’s in operation for one week per month, and she claims, “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 chose a surcharge of 18% to reflect the data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which states that the full-time gender pay gap is around 18% in 2016. They discern that to mean women earned only 82% of what men did on average, and women would need to work an extra 65 days per year to make as much as men.
The decision comes after the salaries of top BBC earners were revealed.
The Broadcaster published a full list of the 96 people who earn more than £150,000 (~$195,000), which showed a huge disparity in wages, with just one woman featuring in its top ten best-paid stars.
However, as we’ve reported time and time again, the gender pay gap claim has been corrected and debunked many times with proof that figures are often skewed and the difference in earnings is unquantifiable across professions and industries.
You would think that a markup for men to eat at the cafe and priority seating for women would be illegal.
Well, interestingly enough, it is. Australia’s Sex Discrimination Act of 1984 makes it unlawful to provide goods or services or make facilities available to discriminate against another person based on their sex.
Let’s see how long this gambit lasts…