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The Invisible Tax for Women: Pink Tax

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

Shifting the category of tampons to “daily necessity tax” from “luxury tax” was one thing. However, it turns out women have just reached the tip of an iceberg as their new task is to overthrow a whole tax system. 

The pink tax is the extra cost women pay for the “female” label in gendered products. It is known to have set in the early 20th century when women were deemed inferior to men. Unfortunately, Pink Tax still prevails today, but most people do not know it.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
On average, an American woman spends $1,400 more than an American man would buy daily necessities in the “women’s section”. According to the category, women may have to pay 30~50% more of what men do for a product that is rightfully labeled as “women’s”. Now, which categories apply? All. In any corner of the supermarket from children’s toys to the elderly’s diapers, the more feminine and usually pink colored item costs more.

Experts say that they use the phrase “shrink it and pink it” for this phenomenon. By constantly associating women with the color pink, the sweeter fragrance, and the more delicate design, marketers are given an excuse to hike the prices of their products which contain these essential “features”. The truth is, a pink razor does not necessarily shave better than a blue one — but women still have to pay an extra $1.41 if they want their Shick razors pink.

Is there anything being done to abolish Pink Tax? Luckily for the American ladies, Congressman Jackie Speier is actively fighting against this absurd system. In fact, she had just reintroduced the Pink Tax Repeal Act last April 3 in hopes of lifting it from the shoulders of women. Yet, for all the other women in the world, Pink Tax is just an emerging issue that they have to face.

Hajeong Park

Waseda '23

A debate enthusiast. A believer of good will and karma. A strong supporter of the logical and sensible feminism. A lover of all cultures and respecter of all logical opinions. A speaker of my opinion, and a fighter for the right.