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Is that lesbian/vegan cafe closing over its 18% “man tax”? Or over its menu: “turmeric latte,” “pulled jackfruit burger,” “tofu benedict”?

April 26, 2019

Image result for handsome her cafe

Here’s the stated reason why that vegan cafe run by out-and-proud Aussie lesbians is closing after only two years in operation:

A vegan cafe in Melbourne, Australia, which “became the punching bag of Melbourne” after introducing an 18 percent “man tax”, is closing down so its owner can pursue some “hands-on” work.

Handsome Her opened in 2017 and made international headlines with a bold approach to making a difference in closing the gender pay gap.

The owners of the Brunswick venture asked men to pay an 18 percent premium one week a month and advertised rules on a chalkboard out front that included “women have priority seating” and “respect goes both ways”.

Handsome Her owner Alexandra O’Brien turned herself into a pity party of one as she announced the cafe’s planned April 28 closure on Facebook:

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

“Yes, we are the evil, discriminatory, man-hating dykes who charge men more when didn’t you know the wage gap doesn’t even exist!?…

“We encouraged a range of diverse opinions from all intersections of society and insisted that people critique their inner fear of conflict with inquisitiveness and openness, rather than hostility. We do not believe in the age-old practice of silencing women as a way of stifling debate and avoiding conflict.

“We embrace conflict and leaning into the discomfort and think the world would be a better place if people would stop apportioning blame to others and start taking responsibility for their own contributions. If only we approach difficult discussions with a commitment to seek to understand rather than just being understood.”

Well! Owner O’Brien might want you to think that “leaning into the discomfort” by digging into male customers’ pockets was the reason her restaurant is folding.

But I’m certain that the real reason was the Handsome Her menu.

Woke as her customers might have been, did they really want to start their days with the “turmeric latte” (the “milk” being your choice of macadamia, almond, coconut, or soy)? Or how about the “immune booster” mix of beetroot, carrot, orange, and ginger juice? Or the “brekku smoothie” (banana, oats, peanut butter, maple, and cinnamon)?

Moving along to the entrees on the “100% plants” menu, there was the “pulled jackfruit burger,” the “tofu benedict,” and “Handsome Her’s big breakfast”: a mouth-watering combo of “king brown mushrooms, smoky [eggplant] bacon, homemade hash-browns, kale chips, smoked tomato, house baked beans, smashed avo and dukkha [sic] on organic multigrain toast.”

Well, at least the avocado toast looked OK–until I read that it read that it also contained “almond feta” and more of that eggplant bacon.

So, while Alexandra O’Brien might be telling you that Handsome Her failed because a “space” that’s “[c]reated by women for women” just can fly in the cruel world of male misogyny and “blame,” I think it failed because it was one pulled jackfruit burger too far.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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