A vegan cafe has decided to charge their male customers more than women, claiming the measures address the issue of gender pay gaps.
The café in question – Handsome Her – is owned by Alex O’Brien who calls her establishment ‘for women, by women’.
The unique shop also gives its female customers priority seating.
DECORATING. Just picked up this beauty signed by our only female PM. Thanks Jules ♀ ?? #dontgetmadgetelected #feminist #womenontop #handsomeher #handsomecoffee #veganbrunswick #brunswick #vegansofmelbourne #brunswickcafe #crueltyfree #melbournefood #cafefood #melbourneeat #instafood #foodie #foodart #vegan #veganfood #veganfoodshare #veganmelbourne
The ‘man tax’ is charged at 18% and by doing so, Alex hopes it will stir up conversation on the issue.
Whether men pay the 18 per cent premium is completely up to them, but according to Seven News, so far, none have failed to cough up, with Alex saying:
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.
— Paige Cardona (@paigecardona) August 3, 2017
At the ‘100% plant based’ café in Australia, which also uses mugs instead of disposable coffee cups, customers are reportedly enthusiastic about the controversial idea; one customer said, ‘I think it’s fair if you think about the world and the gender inequality that we have, while another said, ‘I think it’s brilliant because I don’t think many people actually know about the gender pay gap’.
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Alex describes herself as ‘feminist – not the fun kind’, according to Broadsheet:
We’re bringing it [the gender pay gap] to the forefront of people’s minds, 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.
Our Emergency Mug Wall – in case you forget your reusable cup (we've all been there). A huge thank you to our neighbours and friends for the mug donations. Keep them coming! ?☕ #handsomeher #handsomecoffee #brunswick #brunswickcafe #specialtycoffeebrunswick #veganmelbourne #vegan #vegansofmelbourne #melbournefood #melbourneeat #vegansofinstagram #coffeeoftheday #coffeelife #cafe #coffeeaddict #coffeelover #coffeelovers #coffeeholic #coffeecup #coffeelove #barista #brunswickcoffee #melbournecoffee #specialtycoffee #melbournespecialtycoffee #melbournecafe #baristalife #baristalyfe #coffeecoffeecoffee
The 18 per cent goes to women’s services and the café plans to rotate the charities four times a year.
The idea has caused a split reaction on social media – some have applauded the initiative while others have accused the café of modern-day sexism.
One Twitter user wrote:
Well and truly illegal if you discriminate against a gender when hiring.
I hope Handsome Her becomes the most successful cafe in Brunswick.
I hope Handsome Her becomes the most successful cafe in brunswick.
— Huw! (@huwmurdoch) August 4, 2017
The 18 per cent surcharge is said to reflect the gender pay gap in 2016 – 18 per cent was the difference last year according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which means women earn only 82 per cent as much as men on average and would need to work an extra 65 days per year to make as much as their male counterparts.
Despite the issue having its critics, according to the Economist, recent data shows a UK pay gap of 28.6 per cent for all jobs shrinking to only 0.8 per cent for jobs at the same level, company and function.
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.
— Handsome Her (@handsome__her) April 19, 2017
Fairplay to the guys stumping up the extra 18 per cent, but how about we move forward and make everyone equal – call me crazy but it seems fair, right?