Coffee consciousness

Café is charging male patrons a ‘man tax’ to address pay gap

The 'house rules' at Handsome Her cafe in Brunswick, Australia. (Twitter / Paige Cardona)

In a bid to highlight the gender wage gap, a vegan café in Australia is charging male customers an 18 percent “man tax” and giving women first choice seating.

A chalkboard at Handsome Her café in Brunswick spells out the rules: “#1: women have priority seating. Rule #2: men will be charged an 18% premium to reflect the gender pay gap (2016) which is donated to a women’s service. Rule #3 respect goes both ways.”

If an 18 percent surcharge seems like stiff punishment for unsuspecting blokes who just want a shot of espresso, fear not; Alex O’Brien, the owner of the establishment, told the website Broadsheet that the charge is entirely voluntary.

“Men are asked if they want to pay … before being charged,” she said.

What do you think men? If you were asked to pay the 18 percent “man tax,” would you pony up? Vote in our poll below.

The surplus costs will be donated to Elizabeth Morgan House, a charity for Aboriginal women and children who have survived domestic violence. With the “man tax,” O’Brien also hopes to call attention to the gender pay gap, which has hovered between 15 and 19 percent in Australia for the past two decades, according to the website of the Australian government.

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,” O’Brien said. “I like that it is making men stop and question their privilege a little bit.”

Read the full story at Broadsheet.


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