The Melbourne café that charged 18 percent surcharge to men, is now unfortunately closing down. The extra surcharge for men was in an effort to bridge the gender pay gap.
Handsome Her, the café, got extremely notorious in 2017 in the online community when it established and released its rules about charging an extra amount from men. The collections from the extra charge was going to a charity that worked for women’s service.
There was serious backlash about their policy, with their posters being shared on the internet. The surcharge was optional and only applicable once every four weeks.
Sadly, after two years of operations, the café is closing down and ceasing its operations on 28th April.
The café owners came to realize how fragile masculinity was after reading comments against their café online.
The café owners insist that the café is not shutting down because it was not profitable or that the backlash has weakened their morale. They went on further to state that the man tax had not sabotaged their business in any way. All the men who came to the café and received the services were happy to pay to contribute to a good cause. “Most of our male customers have happily paid above and beyond the optional surcharge (man tax) which we donate to charity.” Said their post.
The owners said that they had sold the business not because they wanted to do something else now and be adventurous in their new endeavors. The owners also talked about the notoriety and backlash faced by the business from people hiding behind a screen.
The owners also talked about how they brought about a change using their political views. They mentioned how their café was a safe haven for people who wanted to come together and discuss their political views and ideologies. The café has always been a hub for people discussing big ideas and bringing about a change in their lives. The owners take pride in the fact that the conversations held in the café were always respectful. They even invited people that commented negatively on their Facebook, for a respectful discussion however they never showed up. The owner says that the motivation behind these negative comments was “good old-fashioned misogyny and prejudice”.
Ms Plueckhahn, one of the co-owners said that running a café was a 24/7 job and extremely engaging. She also remarked that even though she would love to take up this task and run a café all over again, what she needed right now was a break. The two co-owners, Alex O’Brien and Tessa Plueckhahn told ABC news that they were proud of the work they had done but it was time to start afresh and turn a new leaf over.
The owners also mentioned how they are planning to keep up discussions and conversations in order to interact with the community and keep bringing the change they have been working on. We hope that every person can come together to bring about a positive change.