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Vegan Café with 18 Percent ‘Man Tax’ Closing Shop

handsome her
Screenshot/Instagram
NATE CHURCH

Co-owner Alexandra O’Brien has announced that “Handsome Her” will close on April 28, after just two years of business.

In 2017, the Melbourne, Australia vegan café made feminist news with the decision to offer women preferred seating, and charge men an 18 percent “man tax,” to “reflect the gender pay gap.” Now, only two years later, the business is closing its doors for good.

“It’s been a wild journey to say the least,” O’Brien wrote in a post entitled “A Handsome Farewell.” She continued:

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.

Yes, we are the evil, discriminatory, man-hating d***s who charge men more when didn’t you know the wage gap doesn’t even exist!? Meanwhile gentlemen’s social clubs live on and strong around Melbourne and the world over…

She ended the message with thanks to Handsome Her’s “community and friends,” adding a vague declaration that the team was “off to our next adventure up north where we will be doing some hands-on work.”

As reactions to the announcement pour in — both positive and negative alike — Handsome Her counts down their final few days of business, imploring customers to visit them before they are gone. On its last day, the café will offer a “pay as you feel scheme” to its last customers.

Proceeds will be donated to Maiti Nepal, a non-profit organization dedicated to “[protecting] Nepali girls and women from crimes like domestic violence, trafficking for flesh trade, child prostitution, child labor and various forms of exploitation and torture.”

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