The debate has been on for some time! The fact is that femalecentric stuff not only costs more but contains less of the product. Why do female consumers here and in many parts of the world pay more than their male counterparts, be it for shampoos, razors, soaps, creams, clothes, toys or games?
Women, who generally earn less than men on average, pay a premium for items marketed to them simply because they aren’t aware of this socalled ‘pink tax’. For women who do not earn a salary they are at a bigger disadvantage, the repercussions of which is beyond the scope of this article Women carrying on their daily lives have ‘stumbled’ upon many products marketed towards them that cost more than nearly identical products targeted toward men. However, there are far fewer examples of the opposite.
Overall, products marketed to women cost 42 per cent more. Apparently, women need to be wooed by ‘creative’ expensive advertising to then blindly buy something no matter the cost. And if that’s not enough, there’s this ‘logic’ women need smaller versions of clothing and different cut fashions, and this costs somewhere between 30-50 pc to moke.
Having males in the house, my household shopping list includes shaving creams, razors, face creams and shampoos for men. By habit I look at prices. I discovered long ago that the ‘pretty pink feminine’ version of razors, shaving-gels and skincare products were nothing but marketing gimmicks aimed at the ‘unconscious’ ‘blinkered’ shopper who operates like an automaton: walk down the aisle and pick up the stuff. Why, because we ‘always’ use the same stuff! Gendered products are mostly shelved separately to further obscure the price difference. We are helpfully and efficiently led down the aisle for women’s products. Men’s products are cleverly and carefully placed on shelves for our convenience and so we don’t ‘waste’ precious time looking for them!!
There are a lot of gender stereotypes in marketing and pricing, some I find totally discriminatory. Here in India after a year-long protest, the Government has completely exempted sanitary pads from GST. Not that it has made this essential product more affordable, just that it’s slightly less expensive. For medical Insurance, many policies have a difference in premium rates for men and women. The three reasons for this, experts say, are women are more likely to visit doctors, take prescriptions, and are prone to chronic diseases. Is that a fact?
Let’s take dry-cleaning as another example. When questioned why women’s garments cost more to launder/dry-clean, this was the ‘logic’: The machines and how they press it, that’s the variation. Ostensibly, the pressers used after washing are only for men’s shirts, so pressing women’s shirts with another system costs more.
Women’s shirts just don’t fit in their standard machine, apparently. My question is with innovation and new products sprouting 24/7 worldwide, haven’t they got themselves an upgraded version for ironing/steampressing women’s clothes? While several people are still oblivious to the existence of ‘pink tax’, communityled organisations must come up with initiatives to spread awareness about the practices causing a hole in our pockets.
We the females don’t realise how badly we’re getting ripped off because we are so conditioned and hardly ever stop and think, leave alone question. Many of us are fortunate enough to buy female essentials but for all of us women, now it’s the ‘question time’. With social media paying an increasing role in our lives, hashtags like #genderpricing, #pinktax and #gendertax, are calling for an end to ‘luxury’ taxes on these products and gendered pricing in general, must be made more ‘influencing’.