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Kristine Mahan / Spoon

The Horrors of the Pink Tax and the Tampon Tax

I have heard about the pink tax before but recently, it’s something that pops up on my FYP in the app, TikTok, very often. This topic is something that needs to be spoken about more, so that hopefully in the near future, something changes. If you don’t know what the pink tax is, this is the definition: “an upcharge on products traditionally intended for women which have only cosmetic differences from comparable products traditionally intended for men.” 

An example of this is, a four-ounce AXE body spray for men is $4.39 on Amazon, whereas the AXE body spray for women that is also four ounces is $7.43!! The difference of $3.04 may not seem like a lot to some but in the span of 30 years for women, we would have paid $40,530 more just on the pink tax. That $3 on deodorant adds up and the price isn’t higher because the deodorants are different (it’s not really) but it’s because the deodorant is directed towards women and because the packaging is pink! How outrageous is that!?  

The first TikTok I saw that referred to the pink tax and gave some examples of it was by @/fluence.co and some examples the girl gave were that the pink calculator is $1 more than the black calculator. Also, diapers for girls are $25 whereas diapers for boys are $21.00. That’s a $4 difference!!! Here’s a link to that TikTok that has more examples. As I said, all the outrageous taxes for the products that are pink and directed towards women adds up! Women pay 7% more than men on similar products just for that! I don’t know why people would create this and get away with it. And for children’s’ toys? Yeah they tax that too. So, it starts up right as we’re growing up. Girls toys cost 13% more than boys’ toys

Well, the horrors don’t end there. Not only is there a pink tax, there’s also a tampon tax. What is a tampon tax you may ask? It “refers to the sales tax applied to feminine hygiene items such as pads, liners, tampons, and cups.” Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, co-founder of Period Equity,  went through every tax code in every state to see the items that were tax-exempt and what she found was ridiculous. Something that was tax-exempted from Wisconsin was gun club memberships and barbecue sunflower seeds in Indiana. How are gun club memberships more important than period products? Some states don’t have sales tax at all and there are some states that have recently tax-exempted period products, but that isn’t even half of the United States.

Here’s one of the biggest problems in my opinion, VIAGRA (an erectile dysfunction medicine) IS TAX-EXEMPTED because it’s considered medically necessary. Excuse me?? When I discovered this, I was furious. How is Viagra more important than period products??? Period products are needed all through a women’s life from the age they reach puberty to the age they reach menopause. I just hope that as you read this, you became as angered as me. Sharing this information and reading up more on it, can help. Also, whenever you’re voting, look for candidates that speak about this and stand by us, trying to end the pink tax and tampon tax. 

Senior at New Mexico State University that's majoring in Psychology with two minors in Spanish and Journalism. I spend too much time shopping, watching TV shows, listening to podcasts about breakups, spoiling my cat Juno, photographing every detail of my life and scrolling through TikTok. Writing is my thing and I hope it makes you laugh, feel understood, or is helpful to you.
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