The Pink Tax: Cost of Being a Female Consumer


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8 months ago

The Pink Tax: Cost of Being a Female Consumer


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8 months ago

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Ask most consumers about the “pink tax,” and you’re likely to get a strange look in response. It’s safe to say, then, that most people are unaware of this tax. As such, it’s possible that you are paying the pink tax and don’t even know it.

If the pink tax is news to you, allow us to go into more detail so you’re aware of what this tax actually is and whether you are paying it.

What Is the Pink Tax?

Ask yourself; do you buy products such as women’s razors, clothing, body wash, etc.? If so, you are indeed paying the pink tax. While the mythical “Wage Gap” is often brought up among certain groups (President Kennedy signed the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1963, forbidding employers from paying one gender more than another), the pink tax is all too real.

Bottom line; the pink tax is whenever a woman buys a specific product or service and pays more for it solely based on the fact that it’s for women. For example, you could have two identical products next to one another.

One is for men, while the other is for women. In almost every example, the women’s product will cost more than the men’s. That, dear readers, is the pink tax in all its unfair glory. This is made even more ridiculous when you learn that male and female products are virtually identical.

In short, there is no justification for hiking the price of women’s personal care products. But manufacturers continue to do so and in grand fashion. One of the all-time great examples of the pink tax is razor blades.

The price difference between men’s and women’s razors is astonishing. Aside from some cutesy colors and designs, there are no differences between these products. And yet, women pay a substantial amount more for their version.

Stats on the Pink Tax

Thankfully, a lot of research is going into the pink tax. Getting more eyes on this issue is the first step in putting a stop to the pink tax. If you don’t think the pink tax is anything to worry about, think again.

Studies show that, on average, women pay a whopping 42% more than men. That’s nearly half! What’s more, that 42% equals out to nearly $1,500 a year in additional costs – additional costs that could be going toward raising children, retirement, or anything else under the sun.

It’s worth noting that New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs has gotten involved in the pink tax.

Their findings are most compelling.

Out of 800 different products, it was determined that women pay more for just about everything. Let’s look at a few of the categories so you can see how much more you are paying for the very same product.

Personal Care Products -13%

Children’s Clothing -4%

Toys/Accessories -7%

Adult Clothing -8%

How Did This Happen?

Back in the day when sales tax was first introduced, politicians decided which products should be taxed and which ones shouldn’t. Discussing the legitimacy of taxes in the first place is another subject entirely.

In any event, whenever taxes were first set, they were, for the most part, reasonably easy to understand and abide by. However, fast-forward to present times, and much has changed. Current tax policies don’t complement the times we now live in. Thus, there are still unreasonably high tariffs involved when importing women’s clothing.

And then there’s the whole “marketing” gimmick. Companies everywhere claim that the extra cost of their products goes toward marketing and research, for example, with razor blades remaining one of the prime examples of this ploy.

Women to the wise have gotten hip to the game and started buying the men’s razor blades, as well as a gaggle of other men’s personal care products. Of course, this doesn’t get to the root of the problem.

Examples of Pink Tax at Large

If you recall, Old Navy got some heat for charging more women’s clothing. Particularly, the company was charging more for plus-size clothing in the women’s department but not the men’s.

Most notably, Old Navy was charging between $12 and $15 more for plus-size jeans. In reality, there was absolutely no difference in cost. Of course, the execs at Old Navy released a PR statement whenever they got busted for hiking the price up so substantially.

In short, they claimed that special features are integrated into women’s clothing that aren’t present in men’s, such as – get this – curve-flattening elements. This becomes even more ridiculous to anyone who has owned Old Navy clothing.

It’s not exactly the most resilient clothing option, and many would argue that it isn’t worth the higher price tag, to begin with. Tack on the pink tax, and you’ve got a lot of angry consumers on your hands.

And you don’t even want to know about women’s shirts. Well, you’re going to find out anyway. On average, women pay a dizzying 15% more for their shirts compared to what men pay. Will you be shopping with Old Navy anymore or as often after learning this?

Unfortunately, clothing isn’t the only area that women pay more. As mentioned, personal care products are significantly higher, to the tune of 13% higher than that of men’s. And yet, research shows that the only real difference is the color and packaging.

Whether it’s deodorant, shaving cream, razors, or face wash, you’re going to be paying a lot more than if you were to buy the men’s versions. Moreover, it’s staggering to think how much money is essentially being thrown away every day by women who aren’t in-the-know.

The pink tax is a machine that’s going to continue full-steam ahead unless some major shifts in the market take place. As mentioned, the first step is informing the masses. After that, it’s up to society as a whole to stop feeding the pink tax machine.

Beat the Machine

So, what can you do to beat the machine? It’s really quite simple: buy the men’s versions! That’s right; ditch the women’s products and avoid paying the pink tax. There are no noticeable differences between the two versions, and you’re going to be saving a bundle.

Sure, you might not smell the same as you’re used to, but that’s actually a good thing. You see, most women’s products, such as shaving cream, are loaded with synthetic ingredients that are terrible for the body.

Artificial additives and potentially harmful chemicals are a bad mix, yet manufacturers continue to put them in personal care products. It kind of makes you think, doesn’t it? After all, if our drinking water is filled with cancer-causing agents, what’s in your deodorant?

Now, it’s obvious that you’re going to have to buy some women’s products that aren’t available in a men’s version. Of course, with calls for tampons in men’s restrooms, that could change in the very near future.

But by and large, you should be able to get most of your personal care products in the men’s aisle and be just fine.

We’re not out of the woods just yet, as there are a few more areas where the pink tax rears its ugly head that need to be discussed.

Dry Cleaning

Yep, dry cleaning services across the country will charge you more to dry clean your clothes if you’re a woman. The very same service that is performed on men’s clothing costs more if it’s for a woman. Absurd.

To make matters worse, there is absolutely nothing different that needs to be done to service a woman’s garment compared to that of a man’s. And what’s the difference you’re going to be paying for the exact same service?

Just a little over $2 per article of clothing. If you’re one who uses dry cleaning services a lot, that $2 can add up pretty quickly. Even if it were only $0.50 more, it’s the principle of the matter. There is no reason to charge women more for the same service.

Unfortunately, this trend doesn’t end with dry cleaning. On top of clothing and personal care products, women are going to be paying more for other things, too.


In what is perhaps the most ridiculous offender of the pink tax – and the previous examples were pretty heinous – children’s toys cost more depending on if it’s for a boy or a girl.

Studies looked at identical children’s products and found that girl’s versions were 13% more expensive than boy’s. The only difference? One was pink, and the other blue.

The most notable example of this was protective bicycle helmets. You can’t even protect your children without being subject to the pink tax.

And speaking of bicycles, it was discovered that identical bikes at Target didn’t have the same price. In a sane world, this wouldn’t make any logical sense. You have two identical bicycles, yet one costs more than the other? No way.

But in a world where the pink tax is a thing, the picture becomes a little clearer. One bike was colored pink, while the other wasn’t. And for that, you would pay $16 more. Kind of grinds your gears, doesn’t it?

Car Repair

This has long been understood, but for reasons different than those of toys or clothing. Mechanics tend to take advantage of people who don’t understand the working of their vehicles.

Now, granted, there are some really upright mechanics out there. But on average, most are going to charge women more for the exact same repairs that a man gets. The same holds true when buying a car.

However, it should be noted that male customers who appeared not to understand their vehicle were also taken advantage of, studies found.

Baby Steps

In closing, you’ll be happy to know that some steps are being taken to put an end to the unfair practice of the pink tax. Most of the time, legislation is shut down, but at least it’s being talked about.

The more you can spread the word, the more informed the public will be. So let all of your friends and family know not to support the pink tax. Eventually, your voices will have to be heard.

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