A vegan cafe that insisted on charging men an 18 percent “man tax” has gone out of business after opening its doors less than two years ago.
The Handsome Her restaurant in Melbourne, Australia made international headlines in 2017 when it announced its rules for seating arrangements: female customers got preference and men had to pay an 18 percent tax to to have the privilege of eating there.
The tax was described as a way to “protest the gender pay gap” but it backfired on the lesbian owners. The general public didn’t like the idea, arguing the “man tax” discriminated against and alienated half the population.
Handsome Her’s owner, Alex O’Brien, said the public backlash “showed us how fragile masculinity is” and proved lesbians must “dismantle the patriarchy,” 7 News Australia reported.
Here’s what they posted in response to the backlash and going out of business:
“When we opened Handsome Her in 2017, we expected that perhaps we might make a stir through our brazen public discussions of structural inequality and oppression.
The Man Tax blew up the internet — an idea that we didn’t think was all too radical. Yet the way the world responded showed us how fragile masculinity is and solidified the necessity for us to confront and dismantle patriarchy.
We were just one little tiny shop on Sydney Rd that was trying to carve out a swathe of space to prioritise women and women’s issues, and suddenly we became the punching bag of Melbourne and the internet.
We strived to bring lesbianism back into fashion. What, you didn’t know it was out of fashion? Well for many of us, it is.”
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