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Pink Tax: Fact or Fiction

by Danielle Moses

The term pink tax is relatively new, and the definition of it can get lost quite easily. After doing some research, I learned that pink tax is gender-price discrimination. This sometimes has to do with the physical color pink, but it can impact a variety of things, such as clothing apparel, toys, and healthcare. A good example of this is a classic razor blade, which includes no fancy add ons, just a standard razor. One is marketed to males, with a blue color, while the other is marketed to females, with a pink color. Despite the two products nearly being identical, the one which is pink (so marketed towards women) is going to be more expensive.

The research that has been conducted about this phenomenon proved that women have to pay more than men 42% of the time; it comes up to about 1300 dollars per year in extra cost. This proves that especially in the consumer market, women face higher costs additional to their lower wages (see the article titled Pay Gap: Fact or Fiction for more information). The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs released a study that compared the price differences that men and women face while shopping. The conclusion was that products marketed towards women are about 7% more expensive than their male counterparts. There is an abundance of evidence and even experiments that support the claim that the pink tax is real. An experiment that was done by CBS News consisted of a woman and a man going to the dry cleaners with a white cotton shirt. It was found that “more than half of the dry cleaners charged the female staff member at least twice as much to clean the shirt. Some even charged her three times as much.”

It is evident that the pink tax is not a myth; it is something that plagues females at a very young age, even occurring with children’s toys. A study showed the same 7% increase in what girls have to pay when it comes to toys. Dive deeper with toys.

The pink tax is just another obstacle women have to face in their day to day lives because of such a male-dominated society. Though this issue can seem out of reach and nearly impossible for one person to tackle, there are ways to fight back and beat this. One way to fight back include buying in bulk. It is common knowledge at this point that buying in bulk can save you money in the long run because of its cost per unit. It is also applicable in this situation because with buying in bulk, you save money that the pink tax attempts to take out of your pocket. Another way is to purchase more gender-neutral items. The tax specifically targets women marketed items, and by choosing to not purchase those items, you are saving yourself money. This also helps to embrace the concept of gender neutrality, and it can finally help break the toxic and outdated idea that pink is synonymous with girls, the way blue is for boys. The final way recommended is to work with legislators and other advocates. Everything mentioned is just temporary solutions to a much larger problem, and the only way to deal with this is to attack it from the source. Speaking to a local legislator to talk about bills and pieces of legislation that could be introduced to help eliminate this issue is one of the most impactful ways. In these final words, it must be stated that the pink tax is a fact, not fiction.

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