A Brunswick cafe called Handsome Her opened a few days ago and pretty much immediately caused a massive social media frenzy.

Why? Because they displayed this sign out the front:

It reads:

Handsome Her is a space for women, by women.

House Rules:

Rule #1: women have priority seating.
Rule #2: men will be charged an 18% premium to reflect the gender pay gap (2016) which is donated to a women’s service.
Rule #3: respect goes both ways.

Unsurprisingly, many people had a lot of feelings about these rules – particularly the second one.

Basically, some people reckon it’s a great way to tangibly demonstrate the gender inequality that continues to affect Australian society; some think it’s a bad, hypocritical move that’s only going to alienate blokes.

Interestingly, everyone seems to be assuming that the rules as outlined in chalk are always going to be strictly enforced.

However, co-owner Alex O’Brien said that the most controversial rule, that eyebrow-raising gender surcharge, would only be on the board one week per month – and people didn’t even have to pay it if they didn’t want to:

“If men don’t want to pay it, we’re not going to kick them out the door. It’s just an opportunity to do some good.”

She told Seven News that no-one had refused to pay so far, though, and in a Facebook post said that blokes had even been coming from across town just to fork out a little extra for a cup of coffee.

The cafe currently has more than 4,000 likes on Facebook, and it appears that their website has crashed under the weight of unexpected traffic. So if this whole thing is just a publicity stunt, the owners can consider it a roaring success.

But bearing in mind that all those non-mandatory 18% tips are going directly to help women in need – this month, according to News.com.au, they’re donating to Elizabeth Morgan House Aboriginal Women’s Services – it’s hard to see what all the fuss is about, really.

Source: News.com.au
Image: Twitter / @paigecardona