Probably the most important duty of journalism is to share information that the general public may not know. To inform you, as the reader, and thus empower you. To share what we learn, so you can then pass the information along. It’s what helps up to grow, improve and evolve. Imagine our sense of urgency when we learned how women pay much more for everyday items than men do. Seriously, how problematic is this?
Women paying more for the same items as men is referred to as the pink tax. Everyday items and services which we shop for on a regular basis are marked up significantly, simply because they are marketed towards women, and/or appear in the color pink. And retailers feel they can get away with it because they ultimately do. They are confident that we’ll be okay with spending more for the same products because we’re females who don’t care about spending and are thoughtless shoppers. It’s upsetting because not only do we earn less than men for the same exact work, but we have to pay more for the same exact items. The inequality between women and men, we found, extends to stores as well. It’s surprising to know just how many products we are paying more for but we very easily found 15. It’s time to demand that companies and stores ax the pink tax!
One of the items women pay more than men are razors. They are made from the same materials and perform the same function, and yet we pay more for them (11% more). To make things worse, men’s razors are taxed as necessities, since they are used to removed facial stubble. Maybe companies don’t think we need razors or know that we do and we will pay more for them? This is just one of the many things we as women pay more for. Tip: when shopping, ditch the women’s razors if you can and buy the cheaper version for men. This will save you money while showing brands that you won’t pay more, just because an item is pink.
Another everyday product which women pay more for is deodorant. Greatist wrote on the absurdity, comparing two sticks from the same brand (Degree). The men’s version was $2.99, while the deodorant for women was $4.69. How did we go this long without realizing this huge discrepancy?! Many have, but in general women usually stick to their aisles and go-to products when shopping, not having the time to cross-check the prices of products for women and men. Tip: If you have the time, check out an item or two. If you see a huge difference in price, think about changing brands to one which is fairer to women.
This is less of a shocker — women pay more for clothes than men. And not fancier garments, with luxe embellishments and pillowing ruffles made of quality fabric. We’re talking the same exact things, across the board. For example, we pay, on average, $62.75 for a pair of jeans, while men pay $57.09. Or how about a basic T-shirt? Men only have to shell out, on average, $25.51, while women have to part with $29.23. Unfair! Tip: a way around this is to buy some of these items, like tees, sweats, scarves, and other unisex items, in the men’s department. You’ll save!
Office supplies are used by BOTH men and women, and it’s not like we’re buying pink printer paper, so these types of products cost the same for both, right? Not always! Bic made a Bic for Her pen, pink in color, smaller, and bedazzled. For two pens, it cost (in 2012), $5.60; a comparable 4-pack of colored Bic pens marketed to men cost only $3.37. Business Insider, which wrote a story on this pen, noted that the only difference between the for Her pens and other identical Bic pens was that they came in pink or purple, and were packaged to say Bic for Her.
Next on our list of ridiculous things women pay more for every day, week, month, and year is dry cleaning. In 1991, an experiment was done by the Massachusetts attorney general’s office. They had a man and woman go into different dry cleaners with the same exact pink blouse. The woman was charged $3, while the man was charged $1.50. Make sure your dry cleaner isn’t unfairly charging you more for their services!
We will never view shaving the same way again! It used to be fun to grab a fancy pink or colorful razor, along with luxuriously scented shaving gel. Now, it’s advisable to grab what the guys use (also, look out for those toxic ingredients which make things like shaving gel foam, and smell good). We are overpaying, and it’s not acceptable. Just take a look at how much shaving gel for men is, versus for women. It does the same thing, and yet we are paying 5% more per ounce!
This one is especially upsetting. Known as the tampon tax, in 36 states, tampons, and other feminine hygiene products, have an added-value tax since they are deemed “a luxury.” What?! While Viagra, dandruff shampoo, and Rogaine are not. This says a lot about who is creating and passing the laws in this country, and how these laws benefit them. Thankfully, there are more and more women entering office, who can make important changes towards gender equality.
Toys for Kids
We learned, while researching this article, that having to pay more for items is something females have to deal with, from the beginning of life to its end. Baby products marketed towards girls cost more, as do children’s toys. For example, the same exact kids’ scooter in this picture, in red (which we assume is marketed for boys) is $24.99, while the girls’ pink version is $49.99! Just buy the red one for either gender! Why do girl toys have to automatically be pink and why can’t pink be marketed for both genders?!
Next time you reach for your shampoo and conditioner at the store, make sure you aren’t paying more for it, just because you’re a woman. The same shampoo, marketed towards men and by the same brand, can be more inexpensive. So the rest of shampoo is automatically marketed towards women?! On average, women pay 13% more for personal care products than men do.
Remember when we said children’s care products and toys are often more expensive for girls than boys? That ridiculousness extends to children’s clothes as well. While it makes sense for elaborate Sunday church dresses to cost more than a basic T-shirt and shorts, parents shouldn’t have to pay more for the exact same kids clothing items just because they are designed for and marketed to girls.
Plus Size Clothing
There are brands which charge more for plus size clothing, which is an issue all unto itself. But, Old Navy took it one step further in 2014, when they charged more for women’s plus size clothing and not for plus size men’s clothing. Their excuse was “unique fabrics and design elements.” Women — which includes plus-size ladies — shouldn’t pay more for clothing.
Senior Care Products
Females paying more for products than males starts from birth and goes on into old age. Over the course of a woman’s lifetime, paying this pink tax will cost her $100,000. Yes, you read that right. Part of this exorbitant amount of money is paid for senior and/or home health care products.
We need body wash in order to be clean. It’s not a luxury, but a necessity. But women, pay 6% more for body wash than men. For the same product! Let your money speak by buying the men’s version. You will save money while not endorsing the overpriced women’s version. If enough ladies did this, it could shift things!
Next on our list of things women pay too much for is lotion. Like razors/razor cartridges, we pay 11% more for lotion than men do. Lotion, which moisturizes the skin without any preference towards gender. Tip: Do yourself a favor, and don’t buy lotions which are specifically marketed towards women.
Women paying more for vehicle repair doesn’t seem surprising. Ladies have often been advised to have a man ask for estimates in their place, or take their car in, as many mechanics will often try to swindle a woman for extra, unnecessary car repairs. Be informed ahead of time, be prepared, and heck, support a female mechanic when you can.