Page 61

If you’re a person who enjoys a moderate amount of grooming and personal hygiene, look carefully at your receipts. You might be paying more, especially if you’re a woman. There is a premium that women pay for products or services that are nearly identical to those offered to men called the Pink Tax. According to a 1995 California study, women pay about $1,400 more per year. That amount could add up to roughly $100,000 over a lifetime. Let’s take a look at which products and services are taxed in pink.

manufacturing, ingredients, and prices raised by stores in exchange for eye-level spots on the shelf. Crosschecking price-tag differences is difficult in stores, as aisles are typically separated based on gender. According to international trade lawyer Michael Cone, the root of the Pink Tax lies in a 19th century tariff placed on products entering the United States. Women’s products were historically taxed more than men’s products and that cost has been then passed on to the consumer ever since.

Self-care and personal hygiene products like razors, shampoos, deodorant, and shaving cream are the categories in which gender pricing is the most visible. They can be up to 50% more expensive for women than for men. If they’re from the same brand, they’ll most likely contain the same active ingredients. The only difference is the fragrance. Take, for example, a twin pack of deodorant offered by Degree: the men’s version is offered at $3.99 whereas the women’s version is $7.39.1

Today, there are steps being taken to level the gender consumer playing field with health being the major improvement. Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies can no longer charge women more for the same exact coverage that men got—and that didn’t include maternity coverage! However, women

Clothing is another area in which women find themselves paying more. In 2014, Old Navy was found charging extra for plus‑sized versions of women’s clothes (as much as double the price as the exact shirt in smaller sizes) while their Big Men’s sized versions were the same price as regular men’s sizes. A trip to the dry cleaner can also run up high costs if you’re a woman; men’s shirts cost an average of $2.86 to be cleaned and women’s cost $4.95.3 Gender pricing is wrong, so why does it still exist? Companies and stores generally charge more because they can. As of 2015, gender pricing is outlawed in California, New York City, and Florida’s Miami-Dade County. However it’s perfectly legal everywhere else. Retailers insist that price gaps in products reflect the costs in packaging,

can expect to pay 13% more for long-term healthcare insurance.3 To relieve some of the Pink Tax burden, look for product or service alternatives such as shopping in the men’s (or boy’s) section or buying men’s products. Just because they’re intended for a male audience doesn’t mean they’re off limits for women. It’s 2015, after all. − 1 “Pink Tax: Why are Women’s Products More Expensive?”, KGW, May 5, 2015.  2 “The Pink Tax,” Listen Money Matters, October 24, 2015. 3 “The Secret Tax Screwing Women Out of Thousands of Dollars Over a Lifetime,” Mic, April 22, 2015.

59

Profile for ellipse magazine

Positive Negative Magazine Volume 9  

Positive/Negative Magazine is the result of a powerful collaboration between senior graphic designers and photographers in the College of Im...

Positive Negative Magazine Volume 9  

Positive/Negative Magazine is the result of a powerful collaboration between senior graphic designers and photographers in the College of Im...

Profile for posnegmag