An Australian vegan, feminist cafe is closing after opening in 2017 with much fanfare.
The cafe, Handsome Her, declared that upon opening, it would charge male patrons 18 percent more than they would charge women for the same exact service — a “gender tax” designed to get people talking about the wage gap. The tax, according to NPR, was optional.
Three hard and fast rules of the cafe included, “Women have priority seating,” “Men will be charged an 18% premium to reflect the gender pay gap (2016) which is donated to a women’s service,” and “Respect goes both ways.”
The business made a Facebook announcement revealing that it would be closing its doors on Sunday.
— Paige Cardona (@paigecardona) August 3, 2017
A portion of the post read, “A few months ago we found ourselves sitting under the Southern sky ablaze with stars, on land that has been owned by women for 40 years. We were invited there by women we met at Handsome Her.”
“These women lived wildly in times very different to now,” the post continued. “Whilst we sipped our tea we listened to stories from the 70’s of underground meet-ups to create and distribute newsletters, to organise protests and change the world.”
“We heard about women forming patrols and learning self-defence to protect themselves after they came out and were targeted with brutality,” the post added. “Stories of mass imprisonment, rounding up horses, leaving families and forming new ones, living on the land. We laughed and cried and felt held by this open and loving community as they shared their pasts with us.”
The cafe plans to throw a goodbye party as its doors close.
The event, according to the cafe’s Facebook page, will be a “pay as you feel” event and will benefit an anti-human trafficking fund.
The owners wrote, “While it is a shame to lose the physical space (and we understand how essential it is for women and lesbians to hold space), we leave knowing that the communities we have made transcend the trendy vegan café on Sydney Rd, Brunswick. We look forward to continuing Handsome Her in a variety of other, more creative ways and expanding our efforts to drive change with flexibility and mobility throughout Australia.”
You can read the rest of the post here.