Is the Pink Tax Real?
Gendered pricing is a thing.
Women make less money than men. We all know that. Approximately 72 cents on the dollar if we want to get specific.
But did you know that, "shampoo and conditioner marketed to women cost an average of 48 percent more than those marketed to men, while women’s jeans cost 10 percent more than men’s, and girls’ bikes and scooters cost 6 percent more than boys’. Overall... products marketed to women cost more 42 percent of the time."
So, we get paid less and our lives cost more. Pretty sweet deal we got, huh?
It's called the pink tax.
And it's the price we pay for being female consumers. Also known as the "Womencome Tax" it essentially whittles down to this (and I'll repeat myself): women earn less and pay more.
Think that it's because the male and female products being compared are inherently different? No. The products are the same. In fact, "some items marketed to women...actually contain less of the product because manufacturers make the product smaller and more feminine-looking, an approach called “shrink it and pink it.”"
It's gendered pricing, and it's real. Where can you find it? Well, everywhere. Deodorant, shampoo, conditioner. The dry cleaners, the hair salon. When you're buying a razor or a hairbrush. If you're at the used car lot or, in the past, when you were applying for health insurance. You'll find it when you're buying your tampons or when you're a little kid getting your first bike. A plain white t-shirt? A pair of shoes? Yeah, the pink tax is there too.
California was the first state to pass a "bill barring merchants from charging women more than men--solely on the basis of gender--for haircuts, dry cleaning, car repairs and other services" in 1996. It was written by Assemblywoman Jackie Speier who sought to end discrimination in the marketplace. Whether it was hair salons or dry cleaners, women were charged from $2-$25 more for the same services. Maybe it doesn't exist in California anymore (can you really monitor it that well?) but it still is present all around the world.
At Target, the gender discrepancy can even be seen in the toy section. An article in The Washington Post reports that a boy's Raskullz shark helmet is $14.99 while it's female counterpart, the Raskullz unicorn helmet, is $27.99. The Playmobil pirate ship is $24.99 while the Playmobil fairy queen ship is $37.99. Target was also selling the above scooters (same model, different colors for boys and girls) at different prices.
How can you fight the pink tax?
Don't want to stand for the Pink Tax? Me either. Businesses have been able to charge more because up to this point, women have been willing to pay more. So, first things first-- let's stop doing that.
You can always start buying men's products instead...but
But really, buy gender neutral products instead when possible...
Ditch tampons, and ditch that tampon tax. Switch to reusable menstrual products instead, like diva cups or those groovy underwear that just soak up all your period blood.
Don't Choose Products Because They're Cute
Cute=Costly. So don't fall for appearances and choose the ugly product that costs less and works just as well.
Frequent Stores that Don't Indulge in the Pink Tax
Know of a dry cleaner that doesn't charge more for women's clothing than mens? Go there and yelp about them. Encourage others to go as well. Promote business that promote gender equality.
If you're at a major retailer and notice that the same product, especially kid's toys, have gendered pricing, bring it to the manger's attention. If you see gender discrimination, say something. Ask, "why are these identical items priced differently?"
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