Australian cafe charges ‘man tax’ to make a point about inequality.

Male customers at an Australian cafe have to dish out more change for their morning coffee, thanks to the small business’ decision to slap an 18 per cent surcharge on their orders.

Handsome Her cafe in Melbourne is charging a “man tax” in order to make a point about pay inequality between men and women. The money collected from the surcharge goes to women’s charities.

The rule is one of three listed on a chalkboard at the coffee shop.


“Rule #1: Women have priority seating. Rule #2: Men will be charged an 18% premium to reflect the gender pay gap (2016) which is donated to a women’s service. Rule #3: Respect goes both ways.”

According to Broadsheet Melbourne, the cafe’s owner Alex O’Brien decided to enforce the rule so men would check their privilege.

“I do want people to think about it, because we’ve had this [pay discrepancy] for decades and decades, and we’re bringing it to the forefront of people’s minds,” she said.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, the business said much of the response has been positive.

“We’ve had men travel across town to visit us and pay ‘the man tax’ and throw some extra in the donation jar — guys, you’re pretty neat.”

The post added that one mom praised the cafe as “a beautiful place” to bring her daughters.

However, the surcharge has caused controversy among those who believe it’s unfair.


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