Listen up ladies, what I’m about to explain is very important. There is a tax going on that only half the population has to pay – you are among that population. I’m sure you have all thought to yourselves, at one point-in-time, how men’s clothing is significantly cheaper. Hello pink tax.
Turns out, just about everything is cheaper for guys: clothes, self-care products, toys, even vehicle repair and dry cleaning. In 2015 the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs did a study labeling something called “pink tax.” If you are unsure about what “pink tax” is, you’re about to find out.
What Is Pink Tax?
“Pink tax” refers to the extra charge women are faced with for overall products or services. So, not only do we make less but we also pay more – seems fair right? Nope, it’s absolute bullshit. On average “pink tax” takes roughly $1,351 from us with the extra costs. If that doesn’t resonate with you, maybe this will: female residents in California usually pay $7 a month in taxes on tampons and pads. That adds up to roughly $20 million in annual taxes for the state. We are charged roughly 42% more for products marked to our gender. Don’t believe me? Earlier this year two undercover reporters, one female and one male, brought the same shirt to the same dry cleaner and had drastically different bills; guess who paid $7.50 versus $2.85. Yep, that’s right; the female undercover reporter paid $4.65 more.
You might think that’s not that much however there are two problems major problems with that thought process – well actually there are several but I’ll address two; one, it adds up to over $1000 a year (if you are willing to drop that cost, then good on you considering we also receive lower pay). Two, there shouldn’t be a difference in cost whatsoever. It’s the exact same shirt and the exact same dry cleaner. “Pink tax” is price discrimination.
While several of these companies attempt to explain the differences between varying products and industries, retailers still view women as their biggest targets. While advertising companies are willing to spend more money advertising to women, we shouldn’t suffer at their expense. If none of this disturbs you yet, perhaps the fact that women’s products usually contain less of the product will; “shrink it and pink it” is in fact a saying manufacturer’s use. So what can we do about it?
Fighting Pink Tax
Just about everything on the market costs more for women: deodorant, razors, shampoo, body wash, perfume, pens, toys and yes, even Star Wars costumes. As of lately, there are certain companies on the rise who are fighting the “pink tax.” Similar to men’s shaving subscriptions, Billie is a new shaving subscription service that fights “pink tax.” It’s the first female body subscription startup that actively pays women back. Billie is half the price of competitors and offer lower prices than men’s razor subscriptions – plus it’s free shipping. One online retailer that has no “pink tax” for feminine hygiene is Boxed. Their hope is to get other retailers to think the same way they do and #RethinkPink – hopefully their fight against “pink tax” takes effect.
Products You Should To Avoid Pink Tax
If any of this upsets you, there are some things you can do to fight “pink tax.” Some of the products to avoid are deodorant, razors, shampoo, body wash, pens and perfume. Deodorant for men usually costs $1.66-$1.96 whereas women pay $1.73-$5.88. TIGI Bed Head Shampoo for women costs $1.18 per ounce; not bad until you find out men pay 56 cents an ounce. BIC ballpoint pens cost 33 cents per pen compared to the $2.90 per pen if it’s labeled “for her.”