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You may have noticed a video going viral on your Facebook feed from a young woman who is calling out retailers/manufacturers on what’s known as “The Pink Tax.”
The Pink Tax Explained
In 2017, Megyn Kelly interviewed investigative correspondent Jeff Rosen on the TODAY show about how the Pink Tax works. It’s not really a tax, but a form of brands up-charging products marketed toward women that are identical to the ones they offer men. Look at a few examples and discrepancies Megyn and Jeff discuss here:
An NPR report from March 2018 stated that the New York Department of Consumer Affairs found that in a study of nearly 800 products from 90 brands, women paid an average of 7% more than men for the same product. If you’re ready to get truly outraged, check out this video from Dear Alyne, who gives some pretty eye-opening stats on the millions of dollars (or whatever your currency) in additional charges women pay all over the world for various products.
Are you mad yet?
You might say there is an easy way around it– just buy men’s products. Sure! That works for razors, shaving cream, deodorant, and painkillers. Not so for services like dry cleaning, which always costs more for women’s shirts.
The REAL Pink Tax
It doesn’t end there. The government is in on the game, too. Did you know that women pay a 10% tariff on shoe imports compared to 8.5% tariff men pay for sneakers, as reported by CBS news? Or the 8/5% tariff on an imported women’s wool suit versus 0% for a men’s imported wool suit? To be fair, there are some reverse discrimination tax differences like men paying higher tariffs on swimsuits (as discussed in this New York Times article), but women take the hit more frequently in apparel.
Next, consider tampons and maxi pads– necessities for women to function in life. Obviously, men don’t need these things or there would be nation-wide paid time off for heavy flow days. Food, health, and other “life necessities” are tax exempt in most states. Yet, feminine hygiene products are not tax exempt in 40 states as discussed in the same NPR report. Viagra, when used simply to get an erection, is tax exempt because men purchase it with a prescription. Perhaps we can get our OBGYNs to start prescribing menstrual absorption products to even the playing field.
The beautiful Amber Rose starred in a tongue-in-cheek ad to bring awareness to the ridiculousness of it all.
Midlife women are leading the nation in so many ways.
This is an opportunity for us to flex our muscle and use the power of the purse (and your vote) in abolishing The Pink Tax in all its forms.
Buy Blue, support companies who practice gender equality in pricing, and spread the word.