The organisers of a feminist bake sale intended to highlight pay inequality between men and women have been targeted by death and rape threats.
At the University of Queensland's pay-gap bake sale, held during their Feminist Week of talks and events, customers were charged based on the average amount their social demographic earns in proportion to men, in a move meant to highlight the ongoing disparity in pay between men and women.
The Facebook description for the event at the Brisbane university explained: "For example, if you are a woman of colour in the legal profession, a baked good at the stall will only cost you 55 cents!... if you identify as a man, all baked goods with cost you $1!"
However, the event organisers were targeted online with rape and death threats, posted on the public event page and sent privately via email, Facebook and voicemail.
"I want to rape these feminist c***s with their f***ing baked goods," wrote one anonymous commentator, while another posted: “Females are f***ing scum, they should be put down as babies.”
Other messages read “kill all women” and "I’d punch a chick if she winked at me at the bake sale”.
Responding to the onslaught of messages, a woman commenting on Facebook wrote: "It's so hard to take you all seriously when you're arguing over paying an extra 40c for a cupcake, when women are potentially arguing for thousands that they are entitled to."
According to the Australian government, the national pay gap between men and women is around 18 per cent, having "hovered between 15 per cent and 19 per cent for the past two decades".
The government cite a number of factors contributing to the gap, including the undervaluation of female-dominated industries, the expectation that women will carry out unpaid caring work outside of the workplace, and direct and indirect discrimination.
Writing for The Guardian, Feminist Week event organiser Madeline Price said: "We had students who had previously dismissed the idea of feminism approach us at the bake sale, purchase an item and explain that they didn’t believe feminism was still needed until reading the comments posted online."
Another commentator noted that the media furore and repeated Facebook wall posts by men had massively increased the event's publicity, thanking "all the little boys and their choruses" for providing free advertising for the university's Feminist Week.