The pink tax is a cutesy term to describe how women’s and girls’ products are priced higher than men’s and boys’ products. When I was a kid, my mother used to complain about cheaply made, expensive women’s belts compared to well made, affordable men’s belts. And socks, she complained about skimpy women’s socks when the men’s were more substantial and cost less. And flimsy sweatshirts that didn’t keep her warm in the winter.
Mother started buying men’s socks and sweatshirts for herself, and she bought a few of my school shoes in the boys’ department.
Does the pink tax still exist today? According to a recent article in USA Today (linked below), yes, it does. On average, women’s and girls’ products are priced 7% higher. Sometimes women pay more because our clothes are curvier (harder to sew). That makes sense. Other times, maybe we’re at fault for blindly slapping down extra money for the rose scented soap rather than the neutral “shower fresh” soap. And still other times, I can’t figure out a reason why except that companies know they can price pink tricycles higher than blue ones . . . doesn’t that make you feel a little taken advantage of as a shopper?
This week I went on a window shopping tour, pricing items I have bought at one time or another. My conclusion after doing this non-scientific test: Without question, I have paid the pink tax. But I’ve also been able to avoid the more obvious ones.
My window shopping list:
- Gillette Mach3 men’s Disposable Razor, Sensitive, 6 Count, $13.77
Gillette Venus women’s Disposable Razor, Sensitive, 6 Count, $14.24
I totally avoid this pink tax. Dear Husband and I get the gender neutral, generic brand razors.
- Fruit of the Loom men’s 5oz crewneck tee, boxy cut, size medium, $5.26
Fruit of the Loom women’s 5oz crewneck tee, boxy cut, size medium, $6.67
Yikes, I’ve paid this pink tax again and again!
- Suave Professionals Men, Shampoo, Daily Clean Ocean Charge, 12.6 oz, $6.89
Suave Professionals, Shampoo, Natural Rosemary+Mint, 12.6 oz, $8.61
Our grocery store, bless its brick heart, shelves the men’s and women’s personal care products directly across from each other, so it’s super easy to compare. I avoid this pink tax.
- Degree Men Antiperspirant Deodorant Spray, Black & White, 3 pack of 3.8 oz, $14.91
Degree Antiperspirant Deoderant Spray for women, Peach Burst, 3 pack of 3.8 oz, $15.99
Just like the shampoo, I can easily avoid this pink tax.
- Dreamcity men’s water shoes, dark gray, size 10, $25.00
Dreamcity women’s water shoes, dark gray, size 7.5, $29.99
Sigh, I’m afraid I pay this pink tax. I’m not a little kid anymore with gender-neutral feet my mother could put into boys’ Converse footwear, so women’s shoes tailored to women’s feet, that’s what I buy.
- Phenix Cashmere, men’s cuffed gloves, knit, 100% cashmere, black, $18.07
Phenix Cashmere, women’s cuffed gloves, knit, cashmere blend, black, $50.25
Yup, paid it.
- Asics Distance running shorts, men’s, black, 5” inseam, $45
Asics Distance running shorts, women’s, black, 3” inseam, $48
- Whey Superior whey protein powder, 30 servings, chocolate, $29.99
IdealLean For Women whey protein powder, 30 servings, French vanilla, $39.99
I’d read the main ingredients and not pay this pink tax. Actually, for 30 bucks I’d buy some REAL food that I could chew and taste and enjoy!
A quick shout out to 4 companies that don’t add any pink tax that I could detect: Carhartt, Lands’ End, Darn Tough Socks, and Isotoner.
The USA Today article: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2017/03/27/pink-tax-forces-women-pay-more-than-men/99462846/
Make this day even better. Consider:
- Look ahead a year in your budget for those once-in-a-while expenses that mess with your monthly finances. Plan for them. Our neighborhood’s annual HOA fee sneaks up on us EVERY year . . . but we’re going to be ready for it this time!