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Megan Charles / Her Campus Media

You Shouldn’t Have To Pay For Personal Hygiene: The Pink Tax

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Maine chapter.

The pink tax is the additional cost women must pay more for essential products  compared to men.If a product has a “pink label”, or is targeted for women and or people who use items under these categories, it costs more than if it has a “masculine” label. This also ties into the gender wage gap: women get paid less, yet are expected to pay more for things that they need for basic self-hygiene.

The pink tax is especially present in feminine care products — think women’s razors, cosmetics, etc. Tampons are considered a luxury item, meaning that it is not necessary to live, but is highly desirable with high demand. This makes it even harder for lower income women and those who apply to get these products that are hygiene necessities. Not only is this harder for lower income families, but comparing it to other human needs, there is no reason for there to be a tax on these products.

The reason why luxury items are taxed — other than their high demand — is because of the stock market. If something is constantly being bought, it is good for the stock market because of the large amounts of exchange. People who are invested in the stock market get money from things that sell off the shelves, and feminine products are used and sold every day.

Going back to the gender wage gap, women are typically paid less than men. An article from payscale.com states that in 2021, women earn 82 cents for every dollar earned by a man. Women have had to work a lot harder than men for centuries and still don’t have full equality. This means that women are getting paid less but must pay more for things that they need to take care of themselves.

These price differences could be avoided if marketing didn’t gear products towards specific genders. Especially today, when there are a lot of gender equality and neutrality movements. The government could also take part in this by changing feminine products from luxury items to an inferior good and drop the tax.

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Hannah Cote

U Maine '24