Do you know that half of the world population, female, is a subject of a tax they aren’t even aware of? It now makes sense why being a female is expensive.
What is Pink Tax?
The Pink Tax is not actually a tax but rather a system of discriminatory pricing on products and services that is based on gender. The Pink Tax costs the average woman over $1,300 a year and impacts all aspects of daily life from shopping to dry cleaning. The easiest product that proves that pink tax exists is personal care products. Frequently, especially when it comes to personal care products, there is no difference between the male version and the female version apart from different prices.
For example, razors. Those are cheap razors for sale in most drug stores. The “men’s” version is blue, the “women’s” version is pink. That’s the only difference, the color. But inevitably, the women’s version is more expensive than the men’s by 11%.
When Was The Pink Tax Introduced?
We can say that pink has gone a long way. Apparently, pink has been connoted as a feminine color since the World War II era. The former first lady of the United States (US), Mamie Eisenhower popularized the color pink even more, through her obsession with pink. That obsession earned her the nickname as the mother of pink. As a first lady, whatever Eisenhower does is sure to be in the public spotlight.
Entering the 1980s, companies in America began to create this pink trend for marketing strategy. They were touting that pink color for women and blue for men. From toys, clothes, furniture, school supplies to baby attributes, they were made with these two colors as a distringuishing identity.
After 35 years, in 2015 to be exact, gender-based price discrimination or pink tax finally has been brought to light after the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs published the results of its study regarding price disparities between women’s and men’s products. This study entitled “From Cradle to Cane: The Cost of Being a Female Consumer” found that the average female products cost 7% more expensive than the male products for similar or even identical product types.
So, believe it or not, we have been living with Pink Tax our whole lives. Even our mothers experience it. Imagine how much money we can save if the Pink Tax does not exist.
Why Is There a Pink Tax?
There are several reasons why the Pink Tax exists, including tariffs and product differentiation. But until this day, these reasons are still highly questioned. Producers argue that women’s items of clothing are tariffed higher than men’s when entering the United States. As for product differentiation, some people argue that product differentiation can account for a portion of the difference between the prices of men’s goods and women’s goods. For short, maybe coloring the product pink costs more than blue. But like I said before, this reasoning still can’t be proven.
How to Fight Pink Tax?
There are a few ways to fight back against this practice. The first is to turn your shopping dollars toward companies that are taking a stand against the pink tax. Aside from supporting companies with gender-neutral pricing, you can choose not to buy products marketed specifically to women, by buying neutral products, or maybe you can save some penny by getting men’s products instead.
Women have been wronged for commercial use for decades. It’s time for women to stand up for themselves and prove that they are not weak to be wronged that way. So, chin up, ladies. Be smart. Don’t let people rip your money off just because you are a girl. Pink is not everybody’s color after all, isn’t it?
Words by: Shafira Arifin
Photo: The Michigan Daily