Credit: Handsome Her/ Facebook

Melbourne Vegan Cafe Ill-Famed As The ‘Man Tax’ Cafe to Close its Doors

by | April 30, 2019

A vegan cafe owner who got fed up with gender inequality in the form of pay gap responded by levying a “man tax” on male customers. This was her way to initiate a conversation on the prevailing gender inequality in Australia. Ill-famed as the ‘man tax’ cafe, the Melbourne cafe has closed its doors. Read on to know more.

man tax cafe
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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Australian Vegan Cafe, Ill-famed as Man Tax Cafe is Set to Close Down

Charging an exceeding 18 percent on bills for men, a vegan cafe in Australia went viral online for their method to counter the gender pay gap. The non-compulsory “man tax,” as the tax exclusive to men, was initiated by the Handsome Her Cafe in Melbourne, charging the extra amount on men’s bills one week per month. Not only the tax, the vegan cafe reportedly had reservations in seatings for women only customers. The cafe owner, speaking to CNN, said all they wanted to do was raise awareness and initiate a conversation about the gender gap. The 18 percent figure was chosen to reflect the Australian pay gap.

But now, after quite some time, the ‘man tax’ cafe is closing. The vegan cafe, which opened back in 2017 in Melbourne, was accused of “reverse sexism.” After functioning for two years, the owners announced they’re withdrawing from their business on April 28th, reported the BBC. The announcement was made in a Facebook event created by the cafe to inform customers of the end of their business.

The owners said that the response to the man tax “showed us how fragile masculinity is and solidified the necessity for us to confront and dismantle patriarchy.”

They wrote, “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.”

Credit: Handsome Her/ Facebook

Putting down more clarification on the closure of the ‘man tax’ cafe, the owners in another Facebook post wrote why they were shutting down the business. They said they’re not closing because of pressure from “men’s rights activists,” but because they were not making enough money. They debunked any reports that man tax had driven their business to the ground and said,

“For real though, we have sold the business because we are young, educated and off on our next adventure.”

The closure of the cafe received both disappointment and delight. Which side will you take? Let me know in the comments.

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Debayan Paul

Digital Writer | West Bengal, India | [email protected]

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