The Pink Tax
Written by: Alicen Ricard
So many people have stood in the shaving aisle looking at razors only to see that the pink ones for women cost a couple more dollars than the ones for men. Not only is this common, it has a name: the pink tax. Some people think the “pink tax” is too cutesy of a name, and maybe it is. However, it doesn’t matter what it’s called, products geared towards women are known to cost more. It’s not like the products are different either. Usually, the only difference is that they’re pink or have “for women” on the packaging.
Razors are one of the first things that come to mind when the pink tax is mentioned but it isn’t the only product that is more expensive for women. Other examples include earplugs, personal care kits containing the same items, calculators, ankle support, kids helmets, kids’ clothing, and even laxatives. Identical children's t-shirts from the Gap and Paw Patrol bike helmets costing more for girls than boys shows how young the gendering of products starts. It isn’t just products either. When buying a car, car dealers generally make higher initial offers to women than they do to men.
There are companies that are working against the idea of the pink tax. Billie is a women’s razor subscription company that is selling a razor and four cartridges for $9, which is much lower than a lot of brands in stores. They also use the pink tax as a part of their marketing strategy. You can use referral codes to earn coupons to get money back that you had to pay on other products due to the pink tax. Other companies are starting to make changes, Boxed and Tesco being two of them.
Women are the driving force in making these changes. Not only in getting items more equally priced, but in trying to eliminate the tampon tax.
It is harder for women to rise to corporate roles, get into and stay into well-paying jobs, and get into STEM careers. Women tend to live longer, therefore need the products for longer. They are also paid less than men. Yet, they have to pay more for everyday products. Why do we need gendered products at all? It would be different if they had drastically different benefits but they aren’t all that different. It doesn’t make sense that women make less on average than men, and they have to pay more for products. Until companies axe the pink tax and start charging the same amount of money for the same products, it makes sense to just buy the cheaper of the two. After all, it’s quality that matters, not the colour of the product or the gendered label. Try to buy products from companies that price their items fairly. The pink tax may not be going anywhere but we don’t have to buy into it.