Are Italian restaurants sexist? Australian influencer sparks debate
Former Bachelor star Abbie Chatfield is known for her “electric personality, unfiltered opinions and unwavering confidence”. And boy did she put all three on a recent trip to Italy.
The influencer/podcast host first sparked a moral panic by drinking at the airport’s main bar (rather than the business class lounge, which she was entitled to), a decision she said she made because the “vibes” were better, but that some so-called privileged Twitter users.
Lmao the end of Abbie Chatfield’s Insta stories where she’s like “rich people’s experiences are boring” like,,, I WISH I could fly to Italy to even experience what she got lol idk feels weird
— Gabs ✨ (@Gxbriellemxry) April 2, 2022
Then, in Venice, while staying at a hotel where her room reportedly cost $15,000 a night, Chatfield wondered if she could have had better food in Sydney.
Boohoo Abbie chatfield you’ve been stuck in a business class lounge and now a $15,000 a night hotel in Venice Italy while the rest of us get ready for our 9 to 5 jobs tomorrow. PLS shut the fuck up about how boring the rich experience is
—Della (@Dellalovessss) April 3, 2022
“Lesson learned from this trip: rich people and ‘rich’ experiences are boring,” she wrote on an Instagram story.
“Just FYI. Take me to an ice cream shop stat.
She came to this conclusion after jokingly asking her followers if they thought the food she ate at a fancy restaurant in Venice was as good as Tottis, an (admittedly very nice) Italian restaurant in Bondi.
This also came after she noticed that her menu was priceless, unlike her partner’s menu.
“So we’re at the boujee restaurant and my menu didn’t have a price on it,” Chatfield said.
“I was like f**k – I’m the breadwinner. The patriarchy has struck again.
Watch Abbie Chatfield react to Italian restaurant’s ‘sexist’ menu system
She then asked her partner, Konrad Bien-Stephen, “That or Tottis?”
“Was there burrata?” Well-Stephens said.
“No, so Tottis,” replied Chatfield.
His complaints prompted backlash from some on Twitter. One wrote: “You just have to own it! It’s not a “haha, I’m so relatable” thing.
People are being brutally murdered and tortured in the Ukraine and all Abbie Chatfield can talk about is how not great the food at her $15,000 a night Venice hotel is… her privilege shows.
— Tyler (@rapidashVGC) April 4, 2022
Some have suggested that she was acting spoiled…
I love Abbie Chatfield but her whole trip to Europe has her having super expensive experiences and then complaining that they’re boring and she prefers the mediocre equivalent and I feel like it’s worse than just enjoying the luxury experience?
— lav baj (@lavosaurus) April 2, 2022
…while others said those who were upset should have a life.
so many twitter sundays think abbie chatfield posts like girls please stop analyzing someone else’s insta stories and just be hungover like the rest of us
— G 🌸 (@georgiamil) April 3, 2022
Chatfield is not the only one to have had this experience (with the menus). Argentinian-born blogger Agustina Gandolfo has gone viral after she opened up about what was happening to her at a fancy restaurant in Milan with her boyfriend, footballer Lautaro Martinez.
Gandolfo’s complaint sparked a debate online and even in Italian newspapers over the concept of a “blind menu”, which many people consider outdated.
“If there’s a couple at the table, we usually give the woman the blind menu. It’s not discrimination but a form of gallantry,” said Rossella Cerea, manager of a three-star Michelin restaurant. The Republic.
However, another restaurateur said The temperature the concept was outdated, saying, “It’s 2021 and it’s not possible to believe that a woman won’t pay in a restaurant. And even if she doesn’t pay, why wouldn’t she know the price of the meals?
In other news, Chatfield finally found some burrata at the end while walking around Venice.
His experience in the hotel restaurant, however, raises an interesting travel question: how much do you have to stand up for your own values when traveling the world?
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The issue is made even trickier by the fact that within cultures different people have different values. There are generational divides (and all sorts of others) and disagreements about how much tradition is “good” or worth keeping (like this “sexist statue” in southern Italy showed it last year).
Also, as one social media user pointed out, it’s not just in Italy that this can happen. Apparently it’s also a thing in parts of Sydney (“It happened to me at Prime in Sydney less than three years ago,” the TikTok user wrote. “It happens in many places boujee and I ALWAYS mention it and make it uncomfortable.”).
Food for thought.
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