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Here’s to Calling Off the Pink Tax

Here’s to Calling Off the Pink Tax


DO YOU ENDO spoke with Julie Ramhold, a Consumer Analyst with DealNews, about the #PinkTax and what women can do to get around it.

DO YOU ENDO: How can women save on necessities (soaps, deodorant, shampoo, etc.)?

Ramhold: “It can be difficult to give up your favorite scents, but when it comes to things like soaps, deodorant, and shampoo and conditioner, you can save money by looking for gender-neutral products,” Ramhold said. “Opting for neutral or unscented products can sometimes save you at least a couple of dollars over buying something that’s scented like flowers or sweets. This doesn’t mean you have to settle for boring scents though. Sometimes it’s easy to save money just by checking the labels. Make sure it isn’t geared specifically towards one gender. You can also further save by opting for store or drugstore brands, which are often bargains across the board rather than for particular colors or aromas. Obviously, you can also opt for men’s scents if you find some that you like and they’re a better fit for your budget.”

DO YOU ENDO: Which retailers are taking this discrepancy seriously?

Ramhold: “Boxed and Billie are just two of the retailers that are working hard to combat the Pink Tax,” she said. “However, others are combatting it in their own way, even if it doesn’t seem to be part of the mission statement. For instance, the retailer Brandless offers all of its products for just $3. Sizes vary, and it might pay to shop elsewhere depending on the volume you want to buy. But the flat cost for its products means that 9.5 fluid ounces of lotion will cost the same whether you opt for the Green Tea & Aloe scent, or the Unscented variety. It’s also possible to save on vitamins this way, which are often formulated with different blends for men and women. At Brandless, a 30 count bottle of multivitamins, either for women or men, is $3.”

DO YOU ENDO: Is there such thing as a “blue tax?”

Ramhold: “Although it might not be as obvious as the pink tax, there does seem to be a viable argument that blue taxing is a thing,” Ramhold said. “And while it might make more sense in some cases — for instance, a woman might prefer a more in-depth cut at the salon so she’s expected to pay more than a man who just wants a simple close cut or trim–there are times when it makes as little sense as many of those items under the pink tax. In fact, men can expect to pay around 43 percent more for a manicure, according to a report from AOL in 2016. This is particularly baffling since men often have the most basic manicure, while women tend to have extensive procedures that involve putting on fake nails and painting. As for which gender pays more, men seem to pay more for a larger volume of products; yet women pay a higher rate on the pink taxed products than men do on the blue taxed ones.”

DO YOU ENDO: How has the pink tax impacted women over the course of our lifetime?

Ramhold: “For one thing, it trains us to expect to pay more,” she said. “From a young age, items for girls are unfairly priced higher than those for boys. In fact, toys in general cost about seven percent more for the female (or “girly-colored”) iterations rather than those that feature “male” colors or themes. A pink scooter might cost $49.99, but the same scooter in red will be half that — and clearly geared towards boys. Even shopping for babies, you aren’t immune. Steer clear of the typical gender colors like pink and blue — you’ll save money by opting for a pastel shade of green instead of pink, and the baby won’t care about the color anyway.”

DO YOU ENDO: Is it possible to boycott chains/brands that charge women more from products?

Ramhold: “This is probably easier said than done,” Ramhold said. “Many companies have multiple lines, so if you want to boycott Dove for making body wash marketed towards women, that means you won’t be able to purchase any of their other products, including those that are gender-neutral,” she said. “Another thing to note is that because major companies are often under one umbrella, boycotting one might just mean you’re giving money to another brand under the same umbrella. Suave is a drugstore brand that tends to be fairly cheap across the board, but it’s also under Dove’s parent company of Unilever.”

“As far as boycotting chains that charge women more, that can also be difficult,” she continued. “You have to decide if giving up the convenience of shopping at your preferred grocery store is worth it just because they might charge more in some cases for women’s items instead of men’s. If most stores charge more in some instances, it might pay to choose the one that has the least discrepancy between gendered products. If you’re still determined to boycott chains and brands completely, the best thing you can do is research. Find the brands you want to support and learn about parent companies, and above all, make sure that when you make a decision, it’s an informed one, rather than a knee-jerk reaction.”

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