A new feminist coffee shop and co-working space in St Petersburg has opened with special “women-only” hours during the day.
Named Simona in honour of celebrated French author Simone de Beauvoir, the project hopes to help raise funds for local feminist group Eve’s Ribs.
The space will only admit women during the day, before opening its doors to men for evening events, such as debates, film screenings, and workshops.
The move hasn’t been well-received across the board however, with some men taking issue with the policy.
Some social media users have already posted screenshots of their complaints to St Petersburg’s Prosecutor General, alleging that the coffee shop violates Russia’s anti-discrimination laws.
The café’s managers, who have also pledged to admit non-binary and transgender women, have defended the decision.
“It would be sexism if men were also being regularly harassed in public spaces,” co-founder Leda Garina told The Village. “We’ve created a place where women can take a breather and be protected from that kind of behaviour.”