Handsome Her cafe

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Negative review of the Handsome Her cafe, March 2019.

The Handsome Her cafe was a cafe that operated from August 2017 to April 2019 in Melbourne, Australia.[1] The cafe was operated by vegan feminists and reportedly prioritised seating for women over men. They also asked men to pay extra for goods and services provided by the cafe, which they justified as a response to the alleged wage gap.

Some non-Australian media sources have erroneously claimed that the cafe was in Sydney. Rather, it was situated at 206 Sydney Rd Brunswick, a suburb of Melbourne.[2][3]


Around the time of the closure one of the owners of the cafe lashed out at what they considered to be poor treatment by the community at large:

“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."

"Yes, we are the evil, discriminatory, man-hating d***s who charge men more when didn't you know the wage gap doesn't even exist!? Meanwhile gentlemen’s social clubs live on and strong around Melbourne and the world over…”[4][5]


The following review by a former supporter was left on the Happy Cow website:

"Handsome Her is a feminist cafe that seemed like the most inclusive place to grab a drink and good meal for a feminist woman who loves women like me. At first glance I thought it was my dream coffee place, being openly feminist, eco-friendly with an all vegan menu and a lesbian owner who has implemented a man tax. I went there countless times with many different people and recommended the place to a wide variety of friends, including male allies. Last Sunday they were hosting a queer party for the Sydney Rd festival and I went there with a bunch of friends, amongst which was my partner of two years, who is a woman, her girlfriend and a queer boy I am currently dating, as we are all polyamorous. I was making out on the dance floor with a woman I met there, along with my gender non-conforming date when the owner of the place came to us and said that this is a place for gay people. She looked at him and then at me and shamed us publicly. Such overt discrimination was very confronting for both of us as this was a queer event, not an only lesbians one; it sounded like queers and bisexuals were not welcome. It saddens me to see how a place I thought was inclusive and progressive could turn out to be as radical and rejecting of diversity as most places are." [6][7]

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