Are Italian Restaurants Sexist? Australian Influencer Sparks Debate

Former bachelor star Abbie Chatfield is known for her “electric personality, unfiltered opinions and unfaltering confidence.” And boy did she bring all three to the fore during a recent trip to Italy.

The influencer/podcast host first sparked a moral panic by drinking at the main airport bar (rather than the business class lounge, to which she was entitled), a decision she said she made because the “vibes” were better, but which some Twitter users called privileged.

Then, in Venice, while staying in a hotel where her room apparently cost $15,000 a night, Chatfield wondered whether she could have got better food in Sydney while at dinner.

“Lesson learned from this trip: Rich people and ‘rich’ experiences are boring,” she wrote on one Instagram story.

Just FYI. Get me to a gelato shop stat.”

She came to this conclusion after jokingly asking her followers if they thought the food she was eating at a luxurious restaurant in Venice was as good as Tottis, an (admittedly, very nice) Italian restaurant in Bondi.

It also came after she noticed her menu didn’t have prices on it, while her partner’s menu did.

“So we’re at the boujee restaurant and my menu didn’t have prices on it,” Chatfield said.

“I was like f**k – I’m the breadwinner”. The patriarchy strikes again.”

Watch Abbie Chatfield react to Italian restaurant’s ‘sexist’ menu system

She then asked her partner, Konrad Bien-Stephen: “This or Tottis?”

“Did it have a burrata?” says Bien-Stephens.

“No, so Tottis,” Chatfield replied.

“We’re at this restaurant and I’m like… mmm we’ll see.”

This exchange prompted backlash from some on Twitter. One wrote: “Just own it! This is not a ‘haha I’m so relatable’ thing.”

Some suggested she was acting spoilt…

… while others said those upset about it ought to get a life.

Chatfield isn’t the only one who’s had this experience (with the menus). Argentinian-born blogger Agustina Gandolfo went viral after talking about it happening to her at a fancy Milan restaurant with her boyfriend, footballer Lautaro Martinez.

Gandolfo’s complaint sparked debate online and even in Italian newspapers about the ‘blind menu’ concept, which many people believe to be outdated.

“If there is a couple at table we have the habit of giving the blind menu to the woman. It is not discrimination but a form of gallantry,’ Rossella Cerea, a manager at a three Michelin-starred restaurant, told La Republica.

On the other hand, another restauranteur told The Times The concept was outdated, saying: “We are in 2021 and it is not possible to believe that a woman will not pay at a restaurant. And even if she doesn’t pay, why shouldn’t she know the prices of the meals?”

In other news, Chatfield eventually found some burrata in the end, while out and about in Venice.

Images via Instagram

Her experience in the hotel restaurant, though, raises an interesting travel question: how staunchly do you hold your own values ​​when you flit across the globe?

RELATED: Instagram Models Are Driving Luxury Hotels Crazy – Here’s Why

The question is made even trickier by the fact that, in most places, there are generational (and all sorts of other) divides and disagreements about how much tradition is “good” or worth holding onto (as this “sexist statue” in southern Italy showed last year).

It’s also worth pointing out that, as one social media user points out, it’s not just in Italy this can happen. Apparently, it’s a thing in some Sydney places too, with one TikTok user writing: “This happened to me at Prime in Sydney less than three years ago. It happens at a lot of boujee places and I ALWAYS mention it and make it uncomfortable.”

Food for thought.

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