The “Pink Tax” is real and it is affecting women nationwide

Society has created a distinct line between males and females for centuries. Despite legislation and school administrative decisions, our current society is pushing towards a more inclusive reality. Current generations have worked to remove that line by encouraging gender fluidity and non-binary identities. Despite the push in encouraging visibility for all genders socially, there is still a divisive factor economically.

The “Pink Tax”, named because of the color of the items taxed, emphasizes the further gender inequality within the United States’ economy. Not only are women being paid less than their male constituents, but they are being charged more because of their gender.

The “Pink Tax” increases the cost of items such as deodorant, clothing, and razors. All of the products that are included in the tax are comparable to the ingredients and make of products that are produced for a male market. Don’t believe statistics? Take a trip down the aisles of any Target and see for yourself. A study conducted by the New York Department of Consumer Affairs estimated that females pay about 7% more on products that are almost identical to male products.

Companies such as Old Navy, Target, Levi’s, and Dove have raising their prices to implement the “Pink Tax”. However, the tax isn’t just found in major American retailers. Women also experience an increase in prices for things such as haircuts, insurance policies and even car services.  A 2012 study conducted by business students at Northwestern University suggests that women were quoted higher than men in auto repair shops. Although the study didn’t suffice as conclusive evidence for the student’s specific hypothesis, it provided a greater audience with a new perspective on gender inequality within a broader spectrum.

In addition to the “Pink Tax”, there is also another tax that bombards American females’ bank accounts. The notorious “tampon tax” is a globally recognized tax, and taxes female sanitary items that aren’t just limited to tampons. Daily News estimates that Americans are taxed about 4 to 9 percent on sanitary items. However, these taxes vary nationwide, and some states such as Minnesota and New Jersey don’t tax these items at all.

The average box of tampons costs around $7, and because 70 percent of female Americans attest to using tampons, 70 percent of female Americans are affected by this tax. Unfortunately, women all across the nation are economically penalized for having a working uterus. Without the use of proper sanitary items, women are subject to infections such as reproductive tract infections (RTI)  and urinary tract infections (UTI).

Both the “Tampon Tax” and the “Pink Tax” impact women globally; however, speaking on a smaller scale, the taxes greatly impact homeless women in America. According to multimedia company, Bustle, 39.7 percent of homeless people in the United States are women.

“Every month they [homeless women] are placed in a crisis situation. You shouldn’t have to decide between a pad and having lunch,” New York City council member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland stated in a Bustle video produced in 2016.

The disapproval of these taxes isn’t about being liberal or conservative, it is about questioning whether or not women should be taxed for being women. Regardless of one’s political position or personal beliefs, there are clear facts that prove that these taxes are hurting women throughout the world, but more importantly, in our country. Education is the first step in taking on these taxes and inequalities.


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