What The “Pink Tax” Actually Means For Women

When I was in 9th grade, my childhood best friend drove me home from school everyday. There was a CVS on our way home, and one of us usually had to “pick up something really quick,” or, in other words, buy $30 worth of stuff we didn’t need. So CVS was a frequent stop for us. It was on one of these “quick trips” that I first discovered that my friend used men’s deodorant.

When I looked at her with serious confusion, she explained that it simply worked better for her and it smelled nice. As someone who could never find a favorite deodorant, I figured it would be worth a shot to try it out, and I’ve been using men’s Degree ever since.

Yes, this may seem a little weird, but recently, my decision was reinforced when I read a study done by Marie Claire. Not only does the men’s deodorant work better for me (which is purely a personal thing) but I’m saving money as well! After reading the article, I decided to look further into this topic, and I watched this YouTube video. The video explains in just under 3 minutes one of the many problems women are facing, which is frequently called “the pink tax”.

The pink tax ranges from razors to haircuts to healthcare. According to a study done by the state of California in 1995, women pay $1,351 more than men in extra costs and fees simply because they are women. California then became the first and only state to ban gender pricing discrimination.

As college women, we are on a budget. It is well known that we are on a budget, because in college everyone is on a budget. I am positive that I don’t have of $1,351 extra dollars to spend every year just so my products are pink. And that number was just from 1995, which is twenty years ago. It would only make sense that that number has increased.

The only progress that has truly been made is in the healthcare department. Now, under the Affordable Care Act it is illegal to make women pay higher premiums than men for the same healthcare package. Sadly, only twenty eight states and the District of Columbia have adopted the ACA and its laws for equality.

Lala ladies, we all know feminism is important. Here is just one more way in which the patriarchal society we live in is taking advantage of us. These companies are making their products seem and smell different to lead us to believe that products such as shaving cream, razors, deodorant, etc. must be different for men and women when they are both used for the same. exact. purpose.

This is a huge issue because it is intensifying the gender wage gap as well. We get paid less than men in the work place, but our products cost more? I don’t know about you, but that really doesn’t make much sense to me.

The question now becomes this: what can we do avoid the pink tax?

  1. Be a smart shopper. Look into brands and stores that have equal pricing for similar products, and buy products there.
  2. If you can use men’s products, do it. Does it really matter if you are putting men’s shaving cream on your legs if it saves you five dollars?
  3. Try out companies such as Dollar Shave Club. They explicitly make razors that are unisex. It is the same price to buy blades for both men and women, because the products are the exact same.
  4. Write to your local congress representative. This is probably the most important option. The lovely people at Marie Claire have created an email list of every member of congress and every governor in the United States. Let these people know that it is not acceptable for this discrimination to be happening so openly.

The pink tax is not okay. Tell your friends, tell your family, tell anyone who will listen. Women face enough issues in this world, maintaining our personal hygiene at the same cost as men shouldn’t be one of them.

MaryKate Selgrath

Editorial Contributor, Catholic University of America Major:Civil Engineering and Architecture Her heart belongs to: the Philadelphia Eagles, my family, iced coffee, my dogs, and candles that smell like the beach Her guilty pleasures: binge watching Grey's Anatomy, eating french fries for dinner or dancing around her room to '80s pop music

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