The vegan café that went viral for their policy to seat women first and charge males with an additional 18% ‘man tax’ has been shut down.
The Handsome Her coffee bar had been making headlines ever since its establishment in 2017 when the Melbourne-based owner, Alex O’Brien, revealed she would seat women first and charge man with an extra tax in order to tackle gender inequalities.
Alex, who is a vegan and a green activist, created the unique café in order to bring attention to the gender wage gap and present women, vegans, and members of the LGBTQ+ community with a “safe space.”
Only two years after the business was opened, however, O’Brien announced that it’s time to put an end to it. While clear reasons remain unknown to the public, it could be that the café is shutting down due to being faced with a massive backlash for its reverse sexism.
In its goodbye Facebook post, Handsome Her touched the sensitive topic and wrote:
“The way the world responded (to the man tax) showed us how fragile masculinity is and solidified the necessity for us to confront and dismantle patriarchy.”
According to the owner, her small business aimed to prioritize women and their issues but instead became a laughing stock and the punching bag on the internet.
After the announcement that the café would be closing went viral, people quickly blamed the sexist setup for the idea’s failure.
“I don’t celebrate businesses going out of business or people losing their jobs, but seriously alienating a good proportion of your client base is not going to end well,” someone suggested one Twitter.
“I’m glad they tried. I’m glad they were vocal about it. I’m glad it failed. There’s literally no downside,” one person wrote.
Despite the huge backlash, some people were left saddened by the news that their favorite café has come to its end.
“I am saddened by this news. I loved visiting your cafe and its friendly staff. You will be missed,” one woman wrote.
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