This ^ was, pretty much my reaction to the pharmacy in New York that introduced a 7% “man tax” to even the scales and strike a feminist blow to budgets everywhere.
Hilarious. Righteous. Financially aware. You are speaking my language, New York.
To head off any protests coming my way, here are the facts:
- The “man tax” was a promotion, designed to put men in women’s shoes, so they could experience paying more for gendered items. (I’ll admit it raises questions though – does a guy buying tampons still get taxed? What about products that aren’t marketed based on gender – like toothpaste?)
- The men picking up cough medicine and rubbers at this pharmacy didn’t actually pay anymore than they should have. They paid the correct price, while the sales tax (7%) was waived for women.
- The 7% figure is based on NYC Consumer Affairs Department figures. So it’s legit.
The woman who came up with the idea, Jolie Alony, is what we in the biz refer to as A Total Boss, and said that, “So far, the women are very, very happy. Men haven’t complained yet, they’ve just laughed.”
Which is awfully sporting of them, and brings me to what I think is the funniest part of this whole saga: all the men on social media popping out of the woodwork to complain about how unfair it is.
It’s also perhaps the most thought provoking part, since, well, it kind of exactly proves the point Alony was trying to make.
“It’s unfair!” social media users with World of Warcraft and My Little Pony themed names raged. “It’s sexist, it’s misandry, it’s illegal!”
Well, first of all, it’s perfectly legal. And secondly, it happens all the time, just in reverse.
Way back in December last year, Mozo wrote about how women are paying way more than men for what were essentially the same products. Girls’ toys and accessories were 7% more expensive, adult women’s clothing was 8% more expensive and there was a massive 13% difference in personal care products.
(FYI: the pharmacy used 7% as a flat figure. You got off lightly, RainbowDashWarhammer69.)
Which begs the question, what exactly is the price of pink?
Just a few weeks ago, I wrote about how Aussie men are spending $2 billion every year on beauty. It was a bit of a laugh mostly, but what you might have missed amongst all the hilarity, is that women are footing the rest of the bill – a whopping $20 billion.
If 13% of that is solely because the packaging has flowers and glitter and love hearts all over it, then women are spending $2.6 billion on the “pink tax.” It really makes you question whether a silk-effect, papaya scented, aloe infused razor with changeable handles in varying shades of Dusty Rose and Watermelon is worth it.
(Maybe next time I’ll opt for the five-blade, power-effect, wilderness scented razor that comes with a free golf club and the heart of a freshly killed bear to save myself a few bucks.)
Are the ingredients of pink dye/ink so very rare that splashing shades of Rose, Ruby and Salmon all over product packaging and advertisements really warrants such a noticeable price difference? Maybe the colour pink is made of crushed unicorn horns, and Barbie is single handedly hunting those magnificent beasts to extinction as a result, driving market prices through the roof.
I feel like that’s the most reasonable explanation for why women are paying so much more for products. Unless someone has a better one?