Feminist-owned vegan cafe that boasted charging 18% ‘man tax’ goes out of business

founder Alex O'Brien handsome her man tax
Feminist activist Alex O’Brien is the lesbian owner of the now-defunct Handsome Her vegan cafe. (screenshot)

A lesbian-owned vegan cafe in Melbourne, Australia that charged an 18% “man tax” shuttered this week after less than two years in business (video below).

The Handsome Her restaurant made headlines in 2017 when it announced rules giving preferred seating to its female customers and began charging an 18% premium for men to “protest the gender pay gap.”

Handsome Her vegan cafe had a pro-feminist agenda.
Handsome Her vegan cafe had a pro-feminist agenda. (Paige Cardona/Twitter)

Vegan Lesbian Cafe Owner: We Must Dismantle the Patriarchy

Not surprisingly, the “man tax” was widely slammed by both men and women. Critics say the “man tax” was discriminatory and alienated half the population.

Handsome Her owner Alex O’Brien, a feminist activist, said the furious backlash underscores why lesbians must “dismantle the patriarchy.”

Video by 7News Australia

‘We Strive to Bring Lesbianism Back Into Fashion’

In a Facebook post, the Handsome Her cafe explained that it was going out of business so its owners could focus on other projects (that’s code for: Our business failed).

“When we opened Handsome Her in 2017, we expected that perhaps we might make a stir through our brazen public discussions of structural inequality and oppression.

The Man Tax blew up the internet — an idea that we didn’t think was all too radical. Yet the way the world responded showed us how fragile masculinity is and solidified the necessity for us to confront and dismantle patriarchy.

We were just one little tiny shop on Sydney Rd that was trying to carve out a swathe of space to prioritise women and women’s issues, and suddenly we became the punching bag of Melbourne and the internet.

We strived to bring lesbianism back into fashion. What, you didn’t know it was out of fashion? Well for many of us, it is.”

Social Media Slams Divisive SJW Antics

Not surprisingly, many on social media slammed the Handsome Her cafe, saying its in-your-face feminist activism was a terrible business move. After all, people go to cafes and restaurants to relax and escape divisive issues like politics. And most customers do not want to be lectured at.

This trend of leftist, “woke” activist restaurants is catching on, but it’s unclear how successful they will be.

As BizPac Review reported, two socialist-style restaurants in left-wing Austin, Texas want you to subsidize their employees’ health care costs and paid sick leave.

One restaurant added a 3% “health insurance surcharge” to their customers’ checks to pay for their employees’ health insurance costs. Another added a mandatory $1 “community value contribution” to cover paid sick leave for its employees.

These additional charges for customers (who also pay their waiters’ tips) were met with heavy backlash on social media.


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Samantha Chang


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