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Misogyny + Economics = The Pink Tax

If you have ever bought tampons, pads, razors (specifically the ones branded for females), women’s clothes, deodorant, or hair care products, you would have noticed the unnecessarily high price. Typically in the United States there is an extra tax on women’s items. This is known as the pink tax.

So why are women being taxed extra for buying, most times needing, these items?

Typically, it would make sense if women were making more than men. The gender pay gap makes this nearly impossible though. According to a 2016 article by the Washington Post, for every dollar a man makes, a white woman makes approximately $0.79. As race gets involved (because intersectionality is actually a part of life), a black woman makes approximately $0.60 to a white man’s dollar and a Hispanic woman makes approximately $0.55 to a white man’s dollar.

The reasons behind our taxation, however, differs based on what is being bought. Some providers note that women’s haircuts or dry cleaning can be higher in labor and time. It is also noted however that women are some of the largest consumers in the United States, making them an easy target for higher taxes on their necessary items.

Where are the statistics?

According to “The Pink Tax- The Cost of Being a Female Consumer”, research has found that women spend approximately 42% more than men do. It is also found that products for women and girls tend to cost more than that of men and boys by about 7%, but this ranges over different categories.

  • 7% more for toys and accessories

  • 4% more for children’s clothing

  • 8% more for adult’s clothing

  • 8% more for senior/home health care products

  • 13% more for personal care items

All of these items are bought by both men and women, boys and girls, but the fact that most of these items are gendered is where companies are able to increase the costs of their items.

Let’s look at personal care items, the highest percentage of difference between males and females

For deodorant, the average cost for “female oriented” deodorant is $4.91 while a man’s deodorant is about $4.75.

For razors, the average cost for a pink razor is $8.90 with razor cartridges costing $17.30. A nice manly razor, however, will only cost you $7.99 with extra razor cartridges costing $15.61.

A woman’s shampoo and condition can cost her about $8.39 per bottle. A man’s shampoo and condition can cost him about $5.68 per bottle.  

How can I avoid the pink tax?

BUY MEN’S PRODUCTS!! This is one of the best suggestions to help avoid the pink tax. The men’s razors, razor cartridges, and deodorant for examples are great for both sexes and will cost less. For a woman to buy one of each of these in the female department, it would cost her about $31.11 where if she had shopped in the men’s aisle it would only cost $28.35. This is a 9% decrease in cost in just three items that both sexes use daily.

Another way to avoid the pink tax is to write to your Congressmen and Representatives. If more people note the difference in prices and explain how it is a form of sexist discrimination, no one would want it on their name and history that they supported the pink tax.

This includes men, though. Us as women can’t just do this alone. The more people who understand the problem behind the taxation, the more people fighting for equal costs, taxes, and items for our mom’s, daughter’s, friend’s, girlfriend’s, and wife’s.

 

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Darby Keller

Elizabethtown

Class of 2020: Social Work Major; Women and Gender Studies and International Relations Minors Vice President and Digital Organizing Captain for It's On Us Elizabethtown
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