Despite all of the forward progress we’ve made towards gender equality, let alone getting rid of gender norms all together, there are still many ways that women are treated different from men in our society. Even in marketing, we continue to see differences in how advertisers and influencers try to attract women as compared to men. And sometimes we as women pay for that. We have to keep asking, “is pink tax still a thing?”
What Is Pink Tax?
Pink tax refers to the fact that sometimes products marketed towards women cost more than similar items marketed towards men. In fact, sometimes the exact same product has a totally different price depending on the target audience.
This is particularly common with hygiene products, for example. Two bars of soap are identical in terms of their ingredients. However, one is labeled simply, in a straightforward manner, using neutral colors. It’s designed for men or to be purchased for the household without attention to gender. In contrast, the other bar of soap is labeled for women using words like “sensitive” and colors like pink. The second bar of soap costs more. That’s the pink tax.
The Pink Tax Isn’t A Tax
Obviously, the pink tax isn’t a tax in the official sense of the word. Cashiers don’t ring us up at the register, look at our gender, and hit the “extra tax” button. However, it has the effect of taxing women because they end up paying more than men for the same products.
Rather than a tax, this is, as Bankrate puts it so well, “a system of discriminatory pricing on products and services that is based on gender.” It’s a whole system. And Bankrate reports that on average a woman will spend $1300 more per year, or more than $100 monthly, compared to men as a result of this system.
Is Pink Tax Still a Thing?
Okay but a lot of us have known about the concept of the pink tax for awhile. People are fighting it. So is pink tax still thing? Unfortunately, it is. Parsehub reported earlier this year that upon examination of pricing across thousands of different products, they discovered that women pay 50% – 60% more than men for many personal hygiene products. Their research indicates that women pay about 51% more for deodorant and over 65% more for body wash. Are the products really that different? Of course not, but the marketing is.
Marketing and Packaging Differences
Parsehub points out that there are two major differences in the men’s and women’s products, using similar deodorant as a example. The marketing is the core difference. The other issue is packaging. In the case of the deodorant, the men’s product contains more grams. So, while the direct price comparison – $6.99 for women’s deodorant vs. $6.49 for men’s deodorant – doesn’t seem like a huge difference, it really adds up. Women go through their version more quickly, needing to replace it more often. Looking gram per gram, women pay significantly more for their hygiene products.
Question The Pink Tax
If we want the pink tax to go away then we have to make sure to constantly ask ourselves, “is pink tax still a thing?” In other words, we need to look at the prices on products before we purchase them. Look carefully at items marketed specifically towards women. Then see if you can find the same product, branded and packaged differently, for a better price. The market eventually goes where we put our money. Therefore, if we question it, we can create change.
Did you know about the pink tax? Do you shop with it in mind?
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Kathryn Vercillo is a professional writer who loves to live a balanced life. She appreciates a good work-life balance. She enjoys balance in her relationships and has worked hard to learn how to balance her finances to allow for a balanced life overall. Although she’s only blonde some of the time, she’s always striving for total balance. She’s excited to share what she’s learned with you and to discover more together along the way. Learn more about her at www.kathrynvercillo.com.