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A Girl's Guide to Pink Tax

Updated: Apr 4

What is Pink Tax? 

Pink tax is the tendency of products marketed to women to be more expensive than the male equivalent. Similar or even identical products will cost more because they are female-oriented. Pink tax is not a tax; the term pink tax comes from the idea that the only difference between the male and female product is that the female product is pink. This phenomenon is also called gender pricing. 

What are Some Examples of Pink Tax? 

A commonly known example of pink tax is the difference in razor prices. A set of pink razors, marketed towards women, will cost more than a set of blue razors. The razors would be identical in every way other than their colour, yet the female-oriented product would cost more. More examples include shampoos, body washes, and deodorants, where feminine products tend to cost more. 

Is This Really an Issue? 

In 2010, Consumer Reports stated that women tended to pay up to 50% more than men for similar products. In 2015, the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs looked at 35 different product categories (which included 794 products total) and observed that women were priced more for 30 out of 35 categories of products. Let’s also consider that the gender pay gap still exists today. Not only are women earning less than men for the same jobs, but they are also paying more for the same product. What may seem like a 20-cent difference in two products further contributes to an already existing system of gender-based income discrepancy. 

How Do We Address This? 

One way is to buy the cheaper product. Buy the “men’s” razors, shampoos, or other products that hardly vary from their female-oriented counterparts. The manufacturing and distribution of gendered products continue because consumers buy them. Buying gender-neutral products can help tackle this issue, as it lowers the sales for gender-specific products. Additionally, some areas have laws in some places to prevent gender pricing. 

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1 Comment

Hey, this is a great article. Thanks for the insights!

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