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Café Gives Men the Option of Paying More as a Nod to the Gender Pay Gap

Shockingly, not everyone loves this idea

While conservatives continue to debate whether the wage gap even exists or is just the fever dream of aggrieved underpaid feminists, ordinary citizens are rolling up their sleeves and trying to solve the issue one restaurant bill at a time. A newly opened vegan café in Melbourne, Australia, called Handsome Her is asking men to pay 18 percent more than their tab to call attention to the gender pay gap and help narrow it, CNN reported. But reports indicate that some people with computers who know how to use the internet are very upset about it.

To make a few critical details clear, the 18 percent premium—which is being called a man tax (cough *reparations* cough)—is optional, which means voluntary, which means no one has to pay it; the cafe is just asking you very very nicely to consider it. The figure is based on the fact that men earn 17.7 percent more than women in Australia. (Leave it to a woman to round up, amirite?)

The proceeds collected by Handsome Her go to a women’s charity, café manager Belle Ngien told CNN. The café offers other female-friendly perks, like priority seating for women. “All we really wanted was to raise awareness and start conversations about the gender gap,” she said. On a $4 coffee, a typical purchase at the café, that bump is equivalent to an extra 72 cents.

Proof that no good deed goes unpunished came immediately with fierce reprimand from men on the internet.

And some women:

The café owner, Alexandra O’Brien, responded to the dustup on Facebook, making sure to point out that plenty of men were not angry at all, and instead went out of their way to patronize the café, happily paying the 18 percent tax or more to do their part.

“Even though there is supposedly equal pay, it doesn’t really equate out there,” customer Phil Dempster, Decent Human Being, told Yahoo News Australia of his decision to pay the premium.

O’Brien told Yahoo that because the tax is, again, optional, no one would be kicked out or refused service for not paying it, but that, so far at least, no men had any problem with paying it who came to the actual café. (The ones on the internet are another matter).

This likely means that the sort of men who would go to the café are also the sort of men who would not mind paying 18 percent more to help women out. Since the café’s goal is to create a female-friendly space, it seems that their crazy idea worked out perfectly.

Such efforts usually don’t go so well. Last year, Brisbane women sold cupcakes during a Feminist Week event, asking men to pay 40 cents more per cupcake to highlight inequality, The Independent reported. The response? Rape and death threats. “I want to rape these feminist c***s with their f***ing baked goods,” one gentleman wrote on the event’s Facebook page.

It would be much, much harder to rape a woman with a cup of vegan coffee, which might be why Handsome Her has gotten off easier here.

In news that sounds similar but is in fact not at all similar, a Chinese restaurant has come under fire for giving heavy discounts to women with big boobs, the BBC reported. Posters for the Trendy Shrimp Restaurant advertised “The whole city is looking for BREASTS,” offering discounts based on cup size. An A cup would get a 5 percent discount, while a G cup would receive a 65 percent discount.

Though the owner told the BBC that patrons could collect their discounts from female servers instead of male employees so as to “avoid embarrassment,” it is unclear who would verify the cup size to determine the discount. One assumes it would be a team of busboys wearing FBI — Female Body Inspector — T-shirts, living out their best lives.

Within a day or two, many citizens complained of the vulgarity of the concept of big-boobs-for-shrimp, and the ads were removed, but not before customers streamed in at a 20 percent increase. General manager Lan Shenggang took this to mean it was a whopping success. “Some of the girls we met were very proud ― they had nothing to hide,” Shenggang added, rubbing his hands together.

You can’t blame those women. Having big boobs is a blessing and a curse, and a little extra-walking around money is always nice. Plus, shrimp is pretty expensive.

Finally, if the Trendy Shrimp Gazongas Discount sounds like some kind of feminist ruse like the pay gap tax at Handsome Her Café, rest assured it is not. It is just your classic sexist attempt to get women with big jugs to come in to a restaurant, probably so more men will come into that restaurant to get a look at those big jugs. While eating more shrimp.

In other words, Handsome Her is correct, and Trendy Shrimp is not. Those in disagreement with this assessment of what is and is not sexist should direct all questions to former Google employee and sexism expert James Damore, who will explain it with hard science.