A vegan café in Melbourne, Australia recently began adding an 18% surcharge to the checks of it’s male patrons, in an attempt to open a dialogue about the gender pay gap. Alex O’Brien, the owner of the aptly named cafe, Handsome Her, expressed optimism that the premium would encourage men to acknowledge their inherent advantages in society. According to a Huffington Post article from Monday, O’Brien said, “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 Huffington Post goes on to cite the Australian Gender Equality Scorecard, a product of ‘Australia’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency’, which claims Aussie women are payed 17.7% less than their male counterparts. The data looks at earnings within industry as opposed to actual wages, because research into individual wage disparities would yield few findings. Australia, like the United States, legislated equal employment opportunity and pay for women a long time ago and regulates the law through an agency similar to our EEOC.
Handsome Her announced the new, discriminatory fee on a small chalkboard adorning the entrance to the restaurant. The chalkboard reads:
Handsome Her is a space for women, by women.
Rule #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.
I think Ms. O’Brien and I have different definitions of “respect”.
Regardless of whether you believe the gender wage gap exists due to gender prejudice (it doesn’t), blatant discrimination against an individual group of people who had no choice in being male (contrary to leftist beliefs) is pernicious and wicked.
Feedback from Twitter and Facebook users has been mixed. Some mindless lemmings have applauded the café for getting the conversation started, while those with a brain in their head have rightfully pointed out that ending discriminatory practices need not involve initiating new practices of the same ilk.
Hopefully, Handsome Her will stop its ‘edgy’ and ‘progressive’ attempt at social justice and the people there can get back to serving great food. Oh, never mind… I forgot it was a vegan café.