The evolution of third-wave feminism has led to a glorification of issues that women face —some of them stretched far from the truth, such as the wage gap. Moreover, a desire for equality of both sexes is often accompanied by hypocrisy through man-hating.
A cafe in Melbourne, Australia named “Handsome Her” has been the target of controversy over the past several days due to charging an 18% ‘gender tax’ to men for their lattes to reflect the wage gap. While many individuals supported the cafe’s rule, other individuals thought it was discriminatory and unacceptable. Being a female myself who is all for the empowerment of women, I agree with the latter category of individuals.
To me, charging a specific gender a higher price for whatever reason is downright systematic discrimination. Moreover, it is illegal—no, this is not my opinion. It is a fact.
This is not the only form of discrimination the cafe advertised; they also wrote “women get priority seating” on their sign, which they placed outside their doors. If the owners, who I presume are feminists, want to bring awareness about an issue that they believe in, it is incredibly ironic to advocate for equality using inequality. It doesn’t make any sense. The sign also boasts “respect goes both ways,” but the 18% extra tax rule isn’t respecting men.
Yes, many of the cafe’s male customers donated a generous amount for women’s services, but it is not right to force men to pay a premium for an ‘issue’ that they have no control over. It is true that men hold more privilege than women in some ways, but just like how it’s not moral to charge a person of colour more than a white person, it isn’t right the other way around either. If roles were reversed and the cafe charged women more than men, everybody would lose their minds. So much for equality of the sexes.
Does the wage gap even exist?
While I do not know with 100% certainty if the wage gap does or does not exist, I strongly believe that individuals are being brainwashed into believing in manipulated statistics that do not reflect the real world. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “women are paid 77c for each dollar that men earn.” Let’s analyze this common statistic and see what’s wrong with it.
- It is comparing apples to oranges
The vagueness of this statistic is alarming, as it does not factor in variables such as age, education level, type of profession, a number of hours worked, and years of experience. When making a claim such as this one, it is absolutely crucial to make sure you are comparing a man and woman with absolutely no differences besides gender. This statistic simply does not do that. If women truly make less than men, it could be due to women taking time off to care for their children, working fewer hours, or having a lower skill level.
Men are more likely to work longer, more stressful hours for the same profession, which provides an explanation about why they make a higher salary. They are also more likely to negotiate their wages and ask for raises, which is another factor. When you factor in all of these variables, the 77c for every dollar statement turns more into something like 97c for every dollar, with the remaining 3c being the result of small economic differences.
- Why don’t firms just save money and hire women?
If women are paid a lower salary than men, why don’t firms just hire them instead of men? They save money that way anyway, and if it’s for the exact, same amount of work, it seems illogical to do otherwise.
- It is illegal to discriminate based on sex
The statistic “women are paid 77c for each dollar that men earn” implies that for the exact same work if you were to hire a male and female side by side, the male would be offered a higher salary. There are close to zero instances where this has happened in real life, and even if it did, employees have the right to take their case to court. It is illegal to pay a different salary to someone solely based on sex; it seems much more plausible that the ‘wage gap’ is based on factors that are not linked to gender.
Besides the fact that the 18% gender tax does not reflect the true wage gap (if there is one), the cafe had the wrong approach raising awareness about an important issue. They didn’t seem to realize that by stimulating an environment where women are superior to men, they are denying their desire for the equality of both sexes, which is what the wage gap is about. If men are superior to women, making women superior to men does not solve the problem. Many ‘feminists’ need to understand that equality for both sexes does not result from man-hating.