A vegan cafe in Melbourne, Australia, has added a “man tax” to the bill to reflect the gender pay gap.
The eatery will only impose the 18 percent surcharge on male customers, with the take donated to a domestic violence charitable organization. Other charities will also benefit on a rotating basis.
The man tax is in effect at the Handsome Her cafe for one week a month and is optional, however, according to the establishment’s owner. A chalk board inside the restaurant informs customers as they enter that the male-only man tax is in effect.
Alex O’Brien, the owner, told the Broadsheet of Melbourne that the man tax is a conversation starter about income inequality.
“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. I like that it is making men stop and question their privilege a little bit.”
Under the policy, female customers will also receive priority seating when they arrive.
O’Brien added that the new house rules have met with approval by her customers of both genders. No male customer has apparently yet to refuse to kick in the voluntary surcharge. The reaction on Twitter has been mixed, however. According to CTV News, most (but not all) women seem to support it, while many men aren’t buying it, as it were, with some claiming that the man tax is itself a form of sexism.
Addressing the gender pay gap is a key component of the feminist agenda and was prioritized by the Obama administration and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Separately, Forbes maintained last year, however, that data backing up the gender pay gap doesn’t tell the full story of compensation practices in the workplace.
“That statistic doesn’t take into account a lot of choices that women and men make—education, years of experience and hours worked—that influence earnings.”
Other experts have cited the type of job and marital status as important considerations.
Gender discrimination is illegal in Australia as it is in the U.S. and most, if not all, industrialized nations. Enacted in 1963 as an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Equal Pay Act made wage discrimination illegal in America.
Do you support the concept of a man tax as a way to reflect the gender pay gap and promote gender equality? Would you patronize a business that imposes a man tax?
[Featured Image by originalpunkt/Shutterstock]