The Pink Tax

Becoming gendered

I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed and found a very interesting video titled the “The Pink Tax.” This video talked about how woman’s products such as razors, clothing, and shampoo are typically more expensive than men’s and how this is sexist. Why are women paying more for the same products that men are using? This brings me back to chapter 7 in our textbook. At an early age if kids are seeing that certain items are cheaper and they can get more items if they get the item that is essentially just “a different color” they”ll probably go for the cheaper item. This however could really effect a child’s gender identity. Being an unconscious process that is shaped at an early age, our gender identity is our own private experience of our own gender.

If you would like to learn more here is an article titled why do women’s clothes cost more than men’s?


7 thoughts on “The Pink Tax

  1. Alyssa,

    I’m glad you brought this up! While reading this I thought back to times when I would go shopping with my sisters or girl friends. While I would be shopping with them I would ask them how much they spent, they would answer with a slightly higher number than I did, however, they would only have about 3 items, while I would have about three bags worth. I have never been able to understand it. Great post!

  2. Great topic and post Alyssa, After watching that video, I now have a better understanding of how the world values appearance so much. The “price of beauty” is a high one that has for too long been seen as the expected behavior for women who want to look or certain way, or to look “better” than they do now. Whenever I’m shopping with my mom or some female friends, and they ask me a question about what I think about a piece of clothing, the first thing I ask is, “how much is it?” Its just a reflex for me now because, I’v never really noticed they prices of razors or shampoo until now, but I’ve definitely noticed how women have a very large variety of clothing to choose from, and yet they are still paying more. The women’s section in clothing stores have more to offer, yet they are marked down at higher prices, and some of the material still feels cheap and too fragile sometimes; depending on the company.
    Pretty much telling children what it cost to be a woman or man in today’s society, and what’s most important to take care of.

  3. Hey Alyssa! I also saw this video on Facebook and I am so glad you shared it because I do not think individuals are aware of this problem. I know many females tend to buy male products just because they either work better, are more comfortable, and cheaper. This topic reminds me of how women and males are viewed on media using these products such as razors and deodorant. We talked about, in chapter 10, stereotypes of women and how women are sometimes viewed as sex objects, mothers, and child. All three of these stereotypes are present when it comes to watching commercials regarding razors for women. Women are either in the bathroom with just a towel on shaving their legs, or are putting on lotion to slip into a sexy dress for a date. Women are also the ones in commercials when it comes to washing dishes and cleaning the house which then relates to the stereotype of mothers. Although the dish soap and cleaning supplies is probably the same price, the razors and body lotion for females is priced way higher than males. When looking at male commercials for deodorant I think of the Axe commercial and how the guy is portrayed as this tough man being able to conquer anything. This reminds me when Julia T. Wood. defines male stereotypes as sturdy oak, fighter, and breadwinner. All of these stereotypes are present in commercials with males trying to sell the best kind of deodorant, which is probably cheaper than females deodorant. Why can’t there be a commercial advertising for women’s deodorant that has a women working hard in the yard, or a commercial advertising for a men’s deodorant taking care of the children? Not only are women having to pay more for razors and body lotion the stereotypes are also present in commercials when advertising these products.

  4. Hi Alyssa!

    I’m really glad you shared this post. I’ve seen this video on my Facebook dashboard as well, and I feel as though the “pink tax” is something that affects a lot of people, but oftentimes we don’t even think about it because it has been such a normal thing in our society and in our lives. The first time this concept was brought to my attention was freshman year. I have a female friend who only buys men’s deodorant because of how much cheaper it is compared to women’s deodorant. Her explanation got me thinking about how much more money I spend on hygiene and beauty related things compared to what men typically spend.

  5. Hey Alyssa. This was good topic to bring up. I remember when I was on the cusp of “manhood” and Gillette sent me a free razor for my 18th birthday. I went to Target to get some more blades and noticed that they were very expensive. As I walked around, I also noticed that women’s razors were even more expensive. They even looked poorly made. They appeared to be made of some cheap plastic (pink, no less), and ever since then I have always kept an eye on the slight but significant difference. Why does this tax exist? No idea. Can it be helped? I hope so.

  6. I love that you brought this to our attention because I too saw it on Facebook, but at first didn’t think to connect it back to class. It’s very interesting that these products that are built for the same function have such a price different. It honestly does not make any sense at all. I agree with your point that it could relate back to a person’s gender identity with the appearance of color and how it makes people feel. It reminds me of our trip to Walmart where we looked at the different sections of toys and how those were also broken up by color. When the woman in the video remarked that “it’s so sexist” it got me thinking back to the ideas of gender in merchandising. It’s so engrained in our minds that sex and gender are the same due to these specific constructs, or in this case colors, by society today that I wouldn’t have thought to see how much of a difference something so small as colors and prices make on the world today. Overall, I think this has made me more aware of these small details and hopefully I’ll bring more problems like these to my attention.

  7. Hi Alyssa!

    I really enjoyed your post because it reminds me of my constant dilemma of whether to purchase the male-targeted items over the female. When I was a kid, my friends and I loved tie-dying t-shirts. When we bought the plain white tees we knew to purchase the male version because you could get more for your money and often it was better quality than the shirts targeted for women. This brings up a second issue. Not only is women’s clothing more likely to cost more, but it also is often lower quality.

    This is not limited to only clothing. A female friend of mine used to swear by men’s deodorant. She said you could get more for your money and better quality if you purchased men’s deodorant. Curious, I switched from my regular women’s Dove and tried men’s Old Spice. Surprisingly, I loved it! It lasted me almost twice as long as the Dove and I never had to worry about it wearing off throughout the day. I believe the Dove and Old Spice were about the same price, so eventually I switched back to the Dove deodorant solely because I wanted to smell feminine.

    I love how bring up the video that talks about how women’s clothing, razors, and shampoo are typically more expensive than men’s. Yet, I find it interesting how sometimes these more expensive female products are made with less quality. Like you said, it helps reinforce gender identity for children. It tells children, if you’re a woman your appearance (cosmetics, clothing, hygiene) will likely cost more to upkeep than a man’s. However, it also tells young girls that it is expected she is willing to pay these prices, thus reinforcing the importance of appearance for women.

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