The pink tax: The hidden cost of being female

The pink tax: The hidden cost of being female

Women working to achieve financial independence face an extra hurdle: the hidden cost of being female.

Though it’s cheekily referred to as the “pink tax”, the additional cost women incur for personal-care products, toys, clothing, dry cleaning, health care, mortgages, and vehicle maintenance is no joking matter. It inflates our budgets, limits our ability to save, and sometimes hinders our ability to access affordable and safe sources of credit.

Based on that semi-intense description of the pink tax, you may think it’s already been made illegal to charge someone more on the basis of their gender. But that’s not true. There’s no federal law prohibiting companies from charging different prices for products that are identical (or very similar), but which are marketed by gender. At least not currently.

Only one U.S. municipality — Miami-Dade County — has banned this practice. California enacted a similar restriction in 1995, but it applies only to the pricing of services. New York City followed in 1998.

On top of the pink tax, women still earn less than their male counterparts. The average woman is paid 82 cents for every $1 her male colleagues earn; the discrepancy is much worse for women of color.

When you’re paying more for basic goods and services from birth until death — just because you’re female — it’s easy to understand why so many women are pushing to “Ax the Pink Tax”.

The Pink Tax: The Hidden Cost of Being Female

What is the Pink Tax?

Twenty-five years ago, in 1994, the State of California studied the issue of gender-based pricing. They found women pay about $1300 more each year for the same services as men. Accounting for inflation, that figure is now closer to $2135 per year.

If that figure doesn’t shock you, maybe this will: By the time a woman turns 29 (like me), she’ll have spent an estimated $39,203 on the pink tax alone! Can you imagine how much money I could have right now if I’d put the money I spent on the pink tax in a savings account? Especially one with compounded interest!?

In 2015, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) published a report on the pink tax entitled “From Cradle to Cane: The Cost of Being a Female Consumer”. The report found that women’s products cost more than men’s products 42 percent of the time. 42 percent! By comparison, men’s products cost more than the female version 18 percent of the time.

According to the DCA report, products for female consumers were likely to cost more across industries:

  • Girls’ toys cost more 55 percent of the time, while boys’ toys cost more 8 percent of the time.
  • Girls’ clothing cost more 26 percent of the time, while boys’ clothing cost more 7 percent of the time.
  • Women’s clothing cost more 40 percent of the time, while men’s clothing cost more 32 percent of the time.
  • Women’s personal-care products (shampoo, conditioner, razors, lotion, deodorant, body wash, and shaving cream) cost more 56 percent of the time, while men’s products cost more 13 percent of the time.
  • Senior home health-care products (supports and braces, canes, compression socks, adult incontinence products, and digestive health products) cost more for women 45 percent of the time and cost more for men 13 percent of the time.

Nowhere is the pink tax more evident than when it comes to personal-care products. Personal-care products geared toward women cost approximately 13 percent more than similar products marketed toward men.

Similarly, women are financially penalized for having their menstrual cycle. The U.S. government has deemed menstrual products a “luxury item” despite the fact that menstrual cycles are a monthly reality for all women, not a “luxury”.

For comparison: Prescription and non-prescription drugs and medical supplies are exempt from sales tax. This includes aspirin, DayQuil, ChapStick, gauze, Viagra, and condoms.

But all hell breaks loose if an end to the tampon tax is proposed – even though a study published by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found that two out of three low-income women in the U.S. couldn’t afford menstrual products at least once each year. The study also found that tax breaks on tampons are extremely beneficial for low-income women.

Despite this growing body of research that it costs way more to live as a woman than a man, proposals to eliminate tampon taxes or other pink taxes don’t get very far.

In New York, where a tax on menstrual products was eliminated, the state has recorded a $14 million loss in tax revenue as a result. In California, former Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill in 2016 that would have eliminated the state’s tampon tax for fear that the state would lose $20 million in annual taxes.

The Pink Tax in Action

What does the pink tax look like in action?

At Target, a red Radio Flyer “My 1st Scooter” marketed at boys retailed for $24.99. The “My 1st Scooter Sparkle”, the same Radio Flyer but painted pink with glitter, retailed for $49.99.

Pink Tax - Radio Flyer

Until, that is, the DCA study came out.

When questioned about the price difference between the two Radio Flyer scooters, Target referred to the extra $25 cost of the pink scooter as a “system error”. The retailer now sells both scooters for $29.99.

Even children’s short-sleeved uniform t-shirts showed a gender price difference, with boys’ tops retailing for $10.95, while girls’ tops retailed for $12.95. Anyone have a clue why the girl version costs $2 extra?

Pink Tax - Uniform Shirt

The gender-based price difference is even more blatant when it comes to adult clothing.

Women’s clothing costs more than men’s clothing in six of seven categories! The only category where men pay more than women is underwear – men typically pay $2.44 more for underwear than women. However, women are paying more than a $2.44 difference when it comes to dress pants, dress shirts, sweaters, jeans, shirts, and socks.

Pink Tax - Abercrombie and Fitch

It’s not just retailers though that pass along costs onto female consumers, for really no other reason than to boost their own bottom line. It’s also service providers like dry cleaners and car repair shops that are guilty of charging women more than men.

Suzanne McGee knows all too well the additional cost that’s incurred when a female goes to the dry cleaners. “I’ve been hit with the pink tax again,” she wrote in a column for The Guardian. “I knew it was coming; I should have been prepared with better arguments. But I couldn’t avoid it…I ended up getting charged $7 for cleaning my ‘female’ shirt and not the $3.25 a man would have been charged.”

To prove her theory, McGee had a male friend return to the dry cleaner with an identical shirt to see how much he would be charged to have the same plain, cotton, long-sleeved shirt dry cleaned. McGee’s male friend was charged just $3.25, while McGee had been charged $7 to dry-clean the same top.

Mortgages, Cars, and Loans

While it’s illegal for your gender to play a role in determining your mortgage rate, there’s a slew of studies showing women pay higher mortgage rates than men in relation to their risk of defaulting.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, because income was once a determining factor in one’s ability to obtain credit, women were often denied as a result of earning less than men.

A similar trend was found in the small loans market. Studies found that women were rejected more than men when applying for loans. When women were approved, they were given smaller loans, but because so many women feared being rejected, most didn’t apply for loans in the first place, the Times reported.

A similar occurrence happens in the auto industry.

It sounds cliché, but a study from Northwestern found that women who acted uninformed when asking about having a radiator replaced were charged more. Women were quoted at $406 for a service that should cost around $365. Men who acted unfamiliar with the repair, just as the women had done, were quoted $383 for the same service, the study found.

No Evidence of Discrimination?

In 2015, New York officials concluded that because the pink tax is largely unavoidable, it’s a “greater financial burden for female consumers than for male consumer”.

Consumers don’t control the textiles or ingredients used in the products marketed to them, the DCA report noted. Additionally, consumers can only make purchasing decisions based on what’s available in the marketplace.

However, a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded differently.

Because there isn’t a law preventing companies from charging different prices for men and women’s versions of products, and companies have a legal right and responsibility to maximize profits, the GAO couldn’t conclude the gender price disparity was unfair.

The GAO even argued that “it’s up to consumers to understand any price differences”.

I may have been able to let that ill-informed conclusion slide if they hadn’t added this part: Concerns about gender discrimination were not studied due to “very few complaints”.

Stop Paying the Pink Tax!

Until the gender pay gap and gender tax are eliminated, is there anything we can do to try to level the playing field economically?

To start, you can choose to purchase the men’s version of many personal-care products in order to save money. Or, if you’re like me and prefer to stick to feminine versions, many female-centric online retailers now offer pink tax-free personal-care products via subscription services. This way you can save money and still enjoy a pink razor.

The other thing we can do is use our voices on social media especially to speak up.

When you’re shopping, check to see if there’s a price difference between the women’s and men’s versions. If there is, look to see if the size and ingredients are comparable. If they’re the same, take a picture of both products and use the hashtag #AxThePinkTax.

Some companies who’ve become aware of the price discrepancies of their own products have made changes to level the economic playing field.

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S.G.
S.G.
1 year ago

Sorry, I cant get too worked up over this. There are several legitimate reasons to charge women more, often coming down to the fact that they’re willing to pay it. I don’t see any benefit in any coersion to do otherwise other than getting a bunch of people in a big ole mess. As far as products: you’re free to buy whatever products you like. The products themselves arent gendered. Your taste is. If your dry cleaner charges you more then find a new dry cleaner. And you should never go to a mechanic without someone who knows enough about… Read more »

Arek
Arek
1 year ago
Reply to  S.G.

Basically if one is confident that there exists a “pink tax” and women pay unjustly more for the same things, just start a company and start selling the product for the lower price, consumers should choose you and you might get rich. The same if you are a beliver in the wage gap, and that women earn 20% less for the same job, just start a business and employ only women, you will be 20% ahead at the beginning and get rich quickly if your believes are true. But I would caution everybody that most people loose their money when… Read more »

Peter Brülls
Peter Brülls
1 year ago
Reply to  Arek

Pink tax and wage gap are different things. Pink tax is mostly about getting women to cough top more money for “feminine” products, which are indistinguishable (apart from color and marketing) from products men (and lots of women) purchase. Though I’m all for dropping luxury taxes on hygiene products that are necessary because they deal with menustration and the like. Wage gap works differently. It can be easily shown that actual wages for the same job are, more or less, the same. However, pointing this out doesn’t address that the gap exists that women work different jobs and less hours,… Read more »

Arek
Arek
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Brülls

I personally think both pink tax and wage gap are mostly a result of different prefrences between men and women. Looking at simplistic statistic and trying to fix the “problems” by introduicing even more laws is wrong because it means forcing men to pay for the costs of women’s preferences.

I strongly encourage everybody who thinks the pink tax and the wage gap are real to put their money where their mouth is.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
1 year ago
Reply to  Arek

You’re entitled to your personal opinions but you’re not entitled to your own facts. The statistics are not simplistic, what is simplistic is the arbitrary notion that “consumer preferences” determine everything and the stats mean nothing. We have data that points towards gender discrimination, and we have a significant measure of public discontent. While the data and the conclusions can be discussed and debated, they can’t be dismissed with simple personal opinions. Debate the data. As for public sentiment, dismiss at your own peril. The issue can’t be wished away and it’s here to stay. Whoever understand these social forces… Read more »

LT
LT
1 year ago

This is way overcomplicated. The reason there is a “pink tax” is because people pay it. Start refusing to pay it, and prices will adjust themselves very quickly. No manufacturer is going to leave money on the table if someone is willing to pay it, and no manufacturer is going to have overstocked warehouses because people won’t pay it.

In the words of that great counselor, Bob Newhart, “STOP IT!!” Just stop paying for it.

Tom Murin
Tom Murin
1 year ago

The wage gap has been largely disproved, but the old figures keep being cited – either through ignorance or because it doesn’t fit a narrative.

https://fee.org/articles/harvard-study-gender-pay-gap-explained-entirely-by-work-choices-of-men-and-women/

If you want an eye-opener – take a look at the “death gap” between work-related deaths of men and women.

I don’t doubt that that the pink tax exists for consumer products. I have a wife and daughter – so I’m paying it too!

J.D. Roth
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Murin

Tom Drake and I talked a lot behind the scenes about whether to leave the gender pay-gap line in. It’s not really relevant to the story itself and we’re aware of the studies that show we’re talking apples and oranges here. We felt that pulling the line would (a) make a more accurate story and (b) avoid derailing the discussion. Obviously, I ultimately chose to leave the line because that’s what Katie wrote. (I made one final editing pass while boarding my plane in Portland 15 hours ago and decided to take the risk.) I might make a different choice… Read more »

Tom Murin
Tom Murin
1 year ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

If the gender pay-gape is true – then it’s relevant since women would be subjected to a double-whammy of being paid less and paying more for certain products. So it makes sense.

Patrick
Patrick
1 year ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

I loved this article except for that line. I know many women that buy men’s razor’s that are the exact same except they’re not pink. My wife buys mens athletic socks because you get more per pack for the same price and they’re usually thicker. If women really do earn less, then savvy companies would begin hiring more women than men to curtail their overhead costs. Business are continually seeking ways to save money. Since that’s not happening, I have no faith in the original argument. I happen to know that in my professional sector, it’s the other way around.… Read more »

Arek
Arek
1 year ago
Reply to  Patrick

The same at my place, some of the candidates who are men are perfectly qualified but are denied a job offer as it is reserved for a woman to keep parities intact.

CarrieV
CarrieV
1 year ago
Reply to  Patrick

LOL, you think that more jobs aren’t hiring women over men to save money? Tell that to the most rabid men’s “rights” activists. They constantly harp that fewer and fewer jobs are hiring men, that it’s harder and harder to find a company with an intelligent person to speak to, i.e., a man, and how wives are thinking they can make decisions around the house now that they’re the only ones who can keep a job. A lawyer who specifically litigates against such companies has won a good deal of his cases. He litigates against women’s financial seminars, against women-only… Read more »

S.G.
S.G.
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Murin

My husband pointed out that we should also see who pays more at the bar, lol.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Murin

I went looking for info after reading this yesterday.

And no, the wage gap has not been “largely disproved.”

Here’s a conservative columnist acknowledging the wage gap while trying to make a happy story out of it:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/whats-the-real-gender-pay-gap/2016/04/24/314a90ee-08a1-11e6-bdcb-0133da18418d_story.html

Here’s a response to that article:
https://www.thecut.com/2016/04/men-try-to-explain-away-the-gender-pay-gap.html

The discussion is far from over and can’t be dismissed.

In the effort to avoid politics… one ends up doing politics. Unintended consequences are a thing.

CarrieV
CarrieV
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Murin

Well, the work-death gap ignores the primarily female job where far, far more employees get killed than in primarily-male jobs — prostitution. It’s true that coal mining and heavy machinery jobs are primarily held by men, and it’s true that they are dangerous jobs sometimes ending in death. But the oft-quoted “95% of work-related deaths” is pure hooey because prostitution is never taken into account.

Now, I am 100% in favor of equal ratios of workers. But realistically no coal mining job would take me, and likely no p-i-m-p would hire you to work the stroll.

Stephen
Stephen
1 year ago

Being from Europe, reading things like this are interesting as it works in reverse in some higher profile, higher cost areas such as car insurance, so much so the EU itself jumped in with regulations to try and level the field somewhat. That ended up back firing in a lot of cases too (https://www.theguardian.com/money/blog/2017/jan/14/eu-gender-ruling-car-insurance-inequality-worse). Health insurance was another area but imo that makes sense to charge women less due to the low risks, or with pension annuities and charging them more given they live longer. Also the dry cleaning example can likely be explained away by an employee not checking… Read more »

Sheila
Sheila
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen

Ahh – the womens’ shirt cost more to produce? What about the extra fabric generally needed for the mens’ version? The price should even out.

S.G.
S.G.
1 year ago
Reply to  Sheila

Perhaps, but my experience is the raw material is negligible compared to the labor difference. With more nips and tucks you also increase the mistake frequency and loss associated with that.

And women tend to care more and buy more individual items. That increased demand carries over into prices.

Dianne
Dianne
1 year ago
Reply to  S.G.

How about the use case of the school uniforms for children’s clothes? There are no extra nips and tucks no extra labor cost. But it costs more for parents to send their daughters to school than it does to send their sons. These uniforms are gendered and in most school districts are not allowed to be substituted for the other gender’s clothing.

Dianne
Dianne
1 year ago

This set of comments is already at Lewis’ Law : Comments on any article about feminism justify feminism. Of course the men say “just don’t pay it” as if women are not already spending more economic energy to research and cost compare before they even get to the point of the pink tax. We are being discriminated against at every level. There is no option to not buy medical braces or school uniforms, or clothing. This is the same backward victim blaming argument men make when men tell women to just keep their knees together and you have nothing to… Read more »

GRC
GRC
1 year ago
Reply to  Dianne

Uhm… I guess it’s just how the economy works…. Perhaps people that currently believe in the “pink tax” can just form a company that does not charge more money for stuff, and make themselves rich… Complaining does not change anything… Action does…

IMHO, women stuff costs more because women are willing to pay for it… that´s all…

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
1 year ago
Reply to  GRC

Counterpoint: complaints are a great way for consumers to voice unmet demand in a real-life market in which they’re price-takers.

CarrieV
CarrieV
1 year ago
Reply to  GRC

“People who believe in the pink tax” are people who know it’s real. People who refer to us as “people who believe in the pink tax” don’t have the first clue. Second, ask anyone with a degree in Business how phenomenally dimwitted fiscally foolish it would be to create a company that produced such variegated items as tops, pants, underwear, pens, razors, calendars, coffee cups, shampoo & conditioner, hair dyes, deodorants, glasses frames, hundreds of children’s toys (for girls only, naturally), as well as provide services such as mechanic work and dry-cleaning. I hope that you are a young person,… Read more »

S.G.
S.G.
1 year ago
Reply to  Dianne

How…sexist of you. Check your assumptions. I’ll wait.

I’ll give you a hint: my kids gave me some great stuff yesterday.

Belief in market forces is not gendered.

GHz
GHz
1 year ago

I didn’t expect to see leftist ideology propaganda in this blog… 🙁

J.D. Roth
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  GHz

The general rule around here is: You won’t ever see political (or religious) post from me. I steer clear with one one exception. (That exception is health care. The U.S. health-care system is insane and needs to be changed.) Having said that, I do host articles from time to time that might veer close to one political agenda or another. Some of these veer left. Some veer right. I’ve hosted articles about why religion is an important part of personal finance. I hosted this one. (For the record, I don’t consider this article particularly political.) If I start regularly publishing… Read more »

S.G.
S.G.
1 year ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

J.D., you are great at this, so I do not mean this as criticism: I believe you lean to the left, and it might be skewing your perception a little. I also think the premise of this post has a definite political tilt. I considered not posting on it because I was afraid the conversation would go downhill (though so far your readers are proving to be respectful). In my experience you respectfully listen to points on any issue. And I don’t mind that you will publish things even that you don’t necessarily agree with personally. Usually the trick is… Read more »

J.D. Roth
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  S.G.

Fair enough re: presence of a problem.

I do lean left on most things but my liberal friends think I’m conservative. Go figure. Here, though, I try to remain relatively neutral. Don’t always succeed, but I try. This isn’t my platform to espouse my political opinions.

S.G.
S.G.
1 year ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

Dude, you live in Portland. My understanding is you ARE the local version of conservative!

FoxTesla
FoxTesla
1 year ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

Left- or right-leaning aside, the article uses the word “tax” multiple times, and is in right there in the title… I don’t think you’ll find another word more associated with politics!

S.G.
S.G.
1 year ago
Reply to  FoxTesla

“Tax” is also a loaded word. “Cost” would be more neutral.

Andy
Andy
1 year ago
Reply to  GHz

Oh dear. You can’t swing a female cat without hitting an emotional dude, who thinks everything gender-y is leftist.

sequentialkady
sequentialkady
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy

Thank you.

S.G.
S.G.
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy

Are the chicks that agree also being overly emotional?

Or is it just the dudes that get insulted like that?

Can we respectfully disagree without name calling?

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
1 year ago
Reply to  GHz

Everything is ideology. “Suck it up and accept what’s there” is also ideology and propaganda.

Dismissing arguments one does not like as “ideology” does not make for the best rational discussion.

I don’t think government should meddle in markets as a general rule, but I don’t believe in that as a dogma.

And I’m willing to discuss it because… I’m not an ideologist.

olga
olga
1 year ago

First comment was smart and polite enough to not go far from there. Market is market, we pay, we get charged. In my family, my husband is far more “taxed” as he buys shaving stuff, hair products, and stuff for his clothes clean up and ironing (to name a few) than me, using cheapest shampoo and wearing uniform t-shirt and old sneakers. We determine what we buy. I don’t even get haircuts, just grow my hair, while he does every 3 weeks. If we go into grooming, nobody says women have to do nails and styles and whatnot. Tampon tax… Read more »

treousa
treousa
1 year ago
Reply to  olga

100% agree. I’d also add that there are in fact market driven forces that can handle all of this. On the tampon-tax specifically, there are companies that make more permanent products, like menstrual cups, that don’t have a recurring cost and are much more sensitive to the environment at the same time, for instance. The same holds true for men’s (and women’s too) razor products. If you don’t like paying the disposable razor “tax”, there are alternatives (straight edge razors, laser hair removal, etc.). Yes, nothing is “free”, but crafty companies get created every year that help fill these tax… Read more »

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
1 year ago

While I am against price controls and government meddling with markets, I’m in favor of raising consumer awareness of price differentials in said markets. Yes, the individual can make their own decisions, but the individual often has incomplete information to make those decisions. Most of the information we have comes from marketing and advertising and is by design biased and manipulative. This is why we have the Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports. They provide some of the information we need to look beyond marketing biases and make rational purchases. But they can’t have the monopoly on this, can they?… Read more »

pt
pt
1 year ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

I agree-this article real value is due to the awareness it raises. There is a choice in a lot of cases…it’s like the breast cancer products…the “pink (for breast cancer)” item is $5 extra, but only $1 goes to breast cancer research. That bothers me and I don’t purchase-but I also point it out to as many people as I can for awareness.

cindi
cindi
1 year ago

From some of these comments, I detest sexism to the endth degree. The only good justification we women have is that we live a helleva lot longer than most men. Say about 7 to 10 years. Just enough time to find another sucker to take care of us. I bought my first car at 26 and the dealer would not loan me any money till my husband co-signed. I bought my second car at 32 and the salesman wouldn’t let me avoid taking out an extra warranty. He wanted to talk to my ‘husband’ before he would let me leave… Read more »

Zoran
Zoran
1 year ago

Businesses do not charge men less because they are doing men a favor. One thing all businesses have in common is they attempt to maximize their profit margin on all products, which means they charge the highest price they can, while minimizing as much as possible the costs that go into making the product. Portraying women as ‘victims’ because they pay more for similar products than men do is nonsense. Businesses charge women more because women are willing to pay more. Women are in complete power to drive down prices of goods targeted to women, the same way men have.… Read more »

Dianne
Dianne
1 year ago
Reply to  Zoran

No instead business charge women more because price discrimination is legal. And women do not have the power to make it illegal. We are working on fixing that.
These are not trivial items that can be interchanged. Medical equipment and school uniforms are requirements, and cannot be substituted. We should have laws protecting people from this price gouging.

Zoran
Zoran
1 year ago
Reply to  Dianne

Since price discrimination is legal as you state, how then do you explain businesses do not look to maximize their profits from male consumers? They only focus on maximizing profits from their female costomers? That doesn’t pass the laugh test.

Suggesting you need government to set prices through regulation is socialism, and every attempt at socialism has failed.

Dianne
Dianne
1 year ago
Reply to  Zoran

Your claim is that markets are perfect and discrimination does not exist. I’m talking about facts. Men have the power. If businesses price discriminated against men, men would pass laws to stop it, or take it to court and win. This happened with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_v._Boren . Markets are made of people and people have biases, and are jerks.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
1 year ago
Sequentialkady
Sequentialkady
1 year ago

Preach, Katie, Preach! The problem with the “pink tax” is that many women do not realize they are being charged dispoportionately differently for the same service or an almost exactly similar item. Yes, a good consumer researches — and I do research all my major purchases — but who has time to research every single purchase? Or the cost of every single service? Or go in to “think like I’m a complete raging asshole mode” and ponder that a different price might even exist for one kind of person, but not another? What if it’s something that you need right… Read more »

S.G.
S.G.
1 year ago
Reply to  Sequentialkady

I dunno, I tend to look at all of the options side by side, whether they’re pink or blue. The dry cleaners I have worked with have a clear price structure and you can ask how they classify a shirt before giving it to them to clean (and if it’s an emergency, you’re kinda at their mercy anyway). The tax thing is lame and has a straightforward political fix completely separate from the other issues: call your state representative. And my jeans tend to be more expensive up front than my husband’s, but they are also way more likely to… Read more »

Jenni
Jenni
1 year ago

Wow. The blatant sexism of some comments astounds me. I think there’s enough proof that a lot of women do apply the “just don’t buy them”-defense, but obviously not all of them do. Around here it’s illegal to charge differently based purely on gender and it works just fine. Sure, it’s easy to add a small feature to something and justify price increase with that, but the legislation has also lead to things being the same price, be they pink and glittery or black and metal. Tampons have the same sales tax as shampoo, cotton balls and hair removal items… Read more »

Dianne
Dianne
1 year ago
Reply to  Jenni

Thanks you for your comments! Can I ask where is “around here”? I’m betting it is Canada or Europe sadly, but I hope it is somewhere I can hope to live someday!

Jenni
Jenni
1 year ago
Reply to  Dianne

Nordics 🙂 Welcome!

Jules
Jules
1 year ago

The key to figuring out whether something is sexist or not is to ask “is it happening to the guys?”

If women’s products are consistently more expensive than men’s products, without a functional reason, then they are being systematically overpriced, which is unfair. When the market fails to correct for this kind of gross unfairness, its time for regulation. That this is a reasonable expectation is demonstrated by the fact that when it happens to men (see the European car insurance situation as just one example), they complain that it is unfair and regulation is introduced to change it.

Dianne
Dianne
1 year ago
Reply to  Jules

Exactly. Change so often only comes when the negative effects are faced by men. My favorite example being https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_v._Boren where Oklahoma had alcohol laws that said women could buy it at 18 but men had to wait until 21 because they were more likely to abuse the privilege. The men fought and won the age/sex discrimination case but only because there were men being harmed. Earlier cases by women were not taken up by the supreme court, which at the time was all men.

Paul
Paul
1 year ago

Most divorced men in my state (Pennsylvania) would be happy with only a 2k$ per year tax. A colleague is going through a divorce now. Both he and his soon to be ex have masters degrees in technical fields. He has always worked long hours, while she cut back to 30 just before the divorce was filed. His lawyer states that it is customary for the female to get 55-70% of all assets, plus he is already paying alimony and child support (50-50 custody) due to her now-reduced income. Even before the divorce heads to court he is slowly heading… Read more »

SaharaRose
SaharaRose
1 year ago

Thank you for publishing this article. The “pink tax” absolutely exists, and the comments section here just goes to show how ingrained sexism has become in our society.

I think the idea that “women are willing to pay it” just reinforces the sexist idea that women aren’t financially smart and just like to overspend.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
1 year ago
Reply to  SaharaRose

[applause emoji] x 5

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