Design by Brittany England and Diego Sabogal
“The Pink Tax” is a taxation that only affects half of our population; that half being, you guessed it, women. With total taxation expenses reaching over 1,000 dollars a year, the Pink Tax is applied to women’s personal products (tampons, pads, etc), razors, deodorants, clothing, haircare, dry cleaning, and more. Take deodorant as an example: the same product, labeled differently, different scents, yet women are charged 30 to 50 cents more than their male counterparts. A few years back, BIC was criticized for creating pens called “BIC for Her”. The pack consists of two ballpoint, retractable pens, in pink and purple casing. Charging $6.94 rather than $2.14 (for the same product with balck casing), with the only difference being the color of the pen itself, not even different colored ink.
While, across the board, women getting charged more for the same products is absurd and needs to be talked about, I want to shift my attention to the tax we pay on a product for which there is no alternative: period care products. Tampons and pads are necessary for feminine hygiene. It’s a natural process that women pay, monthly, to upkeep- meaning it should be as cheap as possible. Yet, not only do we pay for it, but we pay more than we need to due to the luxury tax. Very rarely do you see this basic hygienic need being handed out for free, yet contraceptives are sitting in male restrooms on college campuses, available for anyone to use. When you do see tampons and pads in public restrooms, you’re still being charged a quarter. The system and double standard on feminine hygiene, especially in this day and age, makes no sense. For our women to be paid less, yet spend more on necessary hygiene, is something that has to be improved.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “Why can’t women just buy the buy the male alternative? They don’t have to spend more money for the same products”- you’re right. Women don’t have to spend their money on the floral scented deodorants, or the pink razors, ultimately, they decide where they put their money. But, the fact that companies, like BIC, create products that appeal to women (and designated for women’s use) and charge more than they would originally, is something that needs to be called out. And, as far as period care products, there is no alternative for us. I’m just saying, if I want to get a cute, pink razor, I should be able to without hurting my bank account, and if I need to pick up products that my body needs, I shouldn’t be charged more than I need to be when doing so.
If you’re interested in reading more about Pink Tax, or want to find out how you can help, visit https://axthepinktax.com, one of my favorite resources.