Paying More for Being a Woman: The Pink Tax exposed with Insights into Gender-Based Pricing Discrimination
In this empowering episode of Women’s Mental Health Podcast, licensed psychotherapists Randi Owsley, LMSW, and Jessica Bullwinkle, LMFT, guide women aged 25-55 seeking mental health resources, self-identity, and coping skills, through the complexities of gender-based pricing and the pink tax. They shed light on the gender pricing discrimination, share insightful research, and discuss strategies for navigating through gender-specific pricing in various industries. Join them as they empower listeners to reclaim their financial power and challenge societal norms. Get ready to break free from discriminatory pricing and take control of your mental health.
Are you frustrated with the unfairness of the pink tax and gender-based pricing? Look no further for valuable information and resources. Discover the true effects of the pink tax on women and dispel myths surrounding this issue. Gain awareness about gender pricing injustice and the financial challenges faced by women. Explore coping skills and tools to navigate and combat these inequalities. By shifting gender attitudes and engaging in women's consumer activism, you can make a difference. Find the resources you need to manage and overcome the hurdles created by the pink tax and gender-based pricing.
Stay tuned for our upcoming podcasts as we delve deeper into the topic of the pink tax and gender pricing disparities. We will provide you with alternatives to the pink tax, ranging from utilizing gender-neutral products to shedding light on the importance of consumer activism and pushing for gender pricing reform. We'll explore ways to break the pink tax cycle and empower women to save money on essential products. With thought-provoking discussions and practical tips, our podcast aims to inform, educate and inspire listeners to take action in the ongoing fight against gender-based pricing discrimination.
Frequently Asked Questions about Paying More for Being a Woman: The Pink Tax exposed with Insights into Gender-Based Pricing Discrimination
What is the pink tax, and how does it affect women?
The pink tax refers to the practice of charging women more for goods and services than men. It affects everything from personal care products to clothing to healthcare, creating a significant barrier for women in attaining financial equity.
How is gender-based pricing justified by companies?
Some companies justify gender-based pricing by citing differences in production costs and consumer preferences. However, research has shown that these justifications often do not hold up, revealing systemic gender pricing discrimination.
What industries are most affected by the pink tax?
The personal care and beauty industries tend to be the most affected by the pink tax, with prices for women's products averaging higher than those for men's equivalent items. However, almost every industry displays gender-based pricing discrepancies.
How can consumers fight back against the pink tax?
Consumers can fight back against the pink tax by shopping around for gender-neutral alternatives that offer similar quality and performance to their marketed counterparts. Another way is to support businesses that follow fair pricing policies.
What are some current pink tax reform efforts?
Recent efforts to reform pink tax pricing have included proposed legislation aimed at prohibiting gender-based pricing discrimination. Some states have already passed such laws.
How can gender pricing inequities impact women's mental health?
Gender pricing inequities can be a significant mental health burden, putting extra pressure on women who are already facing financial stress. This added pressure can lead to feelings of unworthiness, inadequacy, and frustration.
Are pink tax products more expensive than their male counterparts?
Yes, on average, women's products tend to be more expensive than their male counterparts, even if the items are essentially designed or produced the same way.
How is the pink tax different from gender-based marketing?
Gender-based marketing refers to differentiating products based on gender-specific needs or desires. These products could have separate packaging or be designed with gendered color schemes, for instance. The pink tax refers specifically to the added financial burden of being a female consumer caused by these practices.
How can consumers identify and avoid companies that practice the pink tax?
It can be challenging to identify and avoid businesses practicing the pink tax. Consumers should research products before buying and be suspicious of excessively gendered marketing. Additionally, supporting brands that actively combat gender-based pricing discrimination is an excellent way to avoid the pink tax.
What resources can consumers use to learn more about the pink tax and gender-based pricing?
There are many resources available to consumers who want to learn more about the pink tax and gender-based pricing. These include online advocacy groups, podcasts, and blogs, as well as social media platforms where these issues are discussed.
#PinkTax #GenderBasedPricing #EqualPricing #ConsumerEmpowerment #GenderPricingDisparities #FairPricing #WomenAndFinance #ClosingTheGenderGap #WomenInBusiness #ConsumerAdvocacy
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Transcript Paying More for Being a Woman: The Pink Tax exposed with Insights into Gender-Based Pricing Discrimination
[00:00:00] Randi: Welcome to the Women's Mental Health Podcast with Randi and Jess. We're two licensed psychotherapists and we talk about mental health, well being, and strategies for coping with life's challenges, and how it's all normal and you're not alone.
[00:00:12] Jess: You're so not alone and you are in the right place, ladies.
[00:00:16] Randi: In this episode, the pink tax, how gender based pricing is affecting women's mental health. We're going to discuss the discriminatory pricing that inflates the cost of goods marketed to women. Also known commonly as the pink tax. From razors to clothing to personal care products, women are being charged higher prices for the same or comparable items for men.
[00:00:37] Jess: Which, oh my god, total crap.
[00:00:39] Randi: Yeah, it's bullshit.
[00:00:41] Jess: It is. So we're going to explore how being subjected to this pricing system can lead to feelings of frustration, inequality, anxiety and low self esteem. So join us and we're going to break it down and talk about this pink tax thing We're going to offer some practical solutions and coping strategies And overcome this negative effect
[00:01:02] Randi: This episode is a must listen for any woman looking to improve her mental health and most importantly, using your voice for advocacy.
[00:01:10] Jess: Have you ever thought?
[00:01:12] Randi: Why do we even have to pay for period items? We all menstruate
[00:01:16] Jess: How come women are taxed on items that we have to have?
[00:01:20] Randi: Can we take these items off of our taxes
[00:01:22] Jess: Do women pay more than men, basically, for the same items?
[00:01:27] Randi: What really is pink tax?
[00:01:29] Jess: What are examples of pink tax?
[00:01:31] Randi: And why do companies do this to us?
[00:01:34] Jess: And basically how do we fight this?
[00:01:36] Randi: basically, how The practice of charging women more for certain products and services simply because they are marketed towards women. This is an issue that affects women in many aspects of their lives, from personal care items to clothing and, yes, even healthcare.
[00:01:50] Jess: It is so mind boggling how this gender based pricing perpetuates inequality and impacts women's financial well being and our mental health.
My daughter came in and was like, we should talk about pink
[00:02:02] Randi: Right,
And she's 13.
[00:02:04] Jess: 13. And
[00:02:04] Randi: she
was like, and I was like, Oh yeah.
And Jess was like, what's this? And I was
how, how have you not heard of this? And we started talking about this and getting all crazy passionate about it. As women on average, we spend more than 1, 300 a year than men on products.
[00:02:20] Jess: Same products.
[00:02:21] Randi: It creates a constant state of financial stress and anxiety for women, making it harder for women to save money and achieve financial stability.
It's like we're being penalized for being women and like they want to keep us broke.
[00:02:36] Jess: This goes beyond our wallets, it's that leads to like again frustrations Helplessness we're being targeted. We're being separated It sends a message that our gender somehow makes us lesser and undeserving of freedom fair treatment.
And that's where my daughter came in
[00:02:52] Randi: at.
[00:02:52] Jess: was like, this isn't fair. She didn't call it crap. I did, but she's this isn't fair.
[00:02:56] Randi: Well, and that's not all. It, the psychological impact of the pink tack extends to body image issues. When we think about it, we're bombarded with ads for expensive skin care products, weight loss supplements, it's hard not to feel the pressure to conform to societal beauty standards and buy things that are shoved down our throat that are specifically we think for women.
And we have to have this because it looks a certain way.
[00:03:25] Jess: Absolutely. Randy, , I think this contributes to our body dissatisfaction and low self esteem, which is our mental health.
This challenges things, , like anxiety and depression, and this is something we need to break as societies, we need to stop telling women they have to have this or they have to do this.
I think the first thing we have to do is realize that knowledge is power. Again, if my 13 year old can go, Mom, let's talk about pink tax.
By being aware of what this is and understanding how it affects us and it affects our daughters and our sons, we can make informed choices as consumers.
We can seek out brands that are committed to gender neutral pricing and support their efforts. I mean, right there, gender neutral pricing, that shouldn't even be like a statement. No, no.
[00:04:09] Randi: like so it's I was showing Jess pictures of things, too. So we see a razor. Same razor, same blades, same amount in the package for 10. The women's version is 15. That's five extra dollars. That's huge in the scope of things when you're buying those things on repeat.
Again and again. And this just doesn't start , for us middle aged women or whatever. Anyway, This starts at a young age. I was showing her a scooter for a boy that's red is 10 less than the scooter for the girl that's pink. Like it's, it's complete
[00:04:43] Jess: It's stupid. It is so stupid.
[00:04:46] Randi: another powerful step we can take is to advocate for change.
We can use our voices to raise awareness about. Pink tax, which is why we're talking about it today, both online and offline by joining forces with other women and talking about it and, , seeing what is out there for, , lawmakers and tax makers. And how are companies addressing an issue like this?
[00:05:08] Jess: I love our younger generations. I really think it's like our kid's generation that is going to like be the ones that are like, why are we doing this? And why does it matter if it's pink or blue or yellow
[00:05:19] Randi: If it has a flower on it, , like, why do I need to pay five dollars more? so what Jess and I wanted to touch on too is that you can write off a lot of healthcare items for women now. And I don't think a lot of people are aware of this.
[00:05:35] Jess: Yeah, a tampon is considered a medical device
[00:05:38] Randi: Yes, so tampons. Pads, liners cups, Midol things like that. Now you can write off. So save your receipts and write them off under your medical. Or if you have an HSA or an FSA through your work, you can buy them with that. And then you don't have to pay tax on them because there are states that still do impose taxes on women's.
Tampons, pads, liners. There's certain states that are exempt from that, but I think there's only three out of 50 states that are exempt from
[00:06:10] Jess: , and the rest of us are still paying tax.
So I want to read this. This actually comes off the IRS website, ? Expansion on Qualified Medical Expenses. So it says, The CARES Act also modifies the rules that apply to various tax advantage accounts, HSA, ARCHER, MSAs, Health FSAs, and HRAs, that our additional items are qualified medical expenses that may be reimbursed from those accounts.
Specifically, the cost of menstrual care products is now reimbursable. These products are defined as tampons, pads, liners, cups, sponges, and other similar products like period panties. In addition, over the counter products and medications are now reimbursable without a prescription.
[00:06:52] Randi: Yeah, you don't need a prescription. A doctor doesn't need to tell you it's okay.
[00:06:56] Jess: We bought period panties. My God, I wish I had those when I was a kid. Those things are a
[00:07:03] Randi: And I just want to say too, , when I was doing some research on this topic, I could not believe, as a woman, how much we spend on menstrual care . It was, for the lifetime of our period, almost 6, 000 that we spend on products like tampons, pads, cups, liners you know, Midal, whatever it is.
And that's a huge amount if you think about it, in the scope of things that we're responsible for.
It should be a basic human right.
[00:07:30] Jess: It should be.
And, and so like period panties. These things are not cheap. If you
buy the ones that are
[00:07:36] Randi: yeah. We Thinx ones and we both have them and have experience with them. And our daughters have used them and they've worked well for us. Some of them are cheaper brands. Victoria's Secret makes some too, that are okay, but they don't last as long. But these things can make. Girls feel so much better about their bodies.
[00:07:54] Jess: So we've gotten into this routine where she wears the Thinx, we have a wash routine, we have a, you know, we have a, oh my god, I don't know if I've shared this before, this is the funniest damn thing, this story.
So you, basically you throw them in the washing machine, , you air dry them, I have a whole thing set up, it's this routine. One day my daughter and I took off out of the house, I'm squirreling here, and I was like, oh, we forgot to put them in the dryer, cause. Or we forgot to hang him because we're ADHD.
And so I call my husband and I'm like, Hey, can you, can you get the panties out and, and, and hang them on the hanger? And he was like, wait, what?
[00:08:25] Randi: Why am I hanging panties on
[00:08:27] Jess: He was like, wait, those, I don't want to do that. I was like, no, no, no. You need to, well, why? And I said. Well, because she needs them. We have to get them to dry. And I said, okay, dude, fine.
Grab some tongs. Just take them out. Hang them up. Just take out some tongs. Just do it, please. And she finally goes, dad, , they're clean. Just hang them,
[00:08:44] Randi: please.
Oh my gosh.
[00:08:45] Jess: And
[00:08:45] Randi: over it and do it. So
[00:08:46] Jess: so he did it, but he was like and she's So great about advocating
[00:08:51] Randi: Yeah. for herself She is. That's
[00:08:53] Jess: She is. It is so awesome. But yeah, so like now we take those off of our taxes.
Mm-hmm. because they're not cheap and we have to buy, , several because we go through several a day. And so they're not cheap. And I take 'em off my taxes and my tax guy didn't even question it. Yeah.
[00:09:08] Randi: He
Yep, it's been a law since 2019 And other things that we buy that we get like this quote unquote pink tax on are shampoo and conditioner, hair care items.
We pay 48% more than men. For those same brands, same amount. Razors, like we talked about, lotion, deodorant, body wash, shaving cream, the list goes on and on and it's not like a small, it's not like 5%, it's 48% or 120% more or 11% more. It's a huge, huge gap that we are paying more into. And it's just another way that they suppress women.
[00:09:49] Jess: It is so amazing again, that it is my 13 year old who is like, mom, this pink tax thing is complete crap. Why
[00:09:57] Randi: I think that, , our kids are gonna change the world because they think this stuff is bullshit, and they're tired of it, and they have seen us. I think as women and mothers , aunts and sisters struggle with this and they don't want that for
[00:10:13] Jess: Yeah. Maybe we just start buying red and blue for everything, right? We just stop with the pink. We stop with the baby blue. Remember Target was doing that whole thing a couple of years ago where they got rid of like the boy and girl sections.
[00:10:24] Randi: God, people lost,
lost their shit. Well, just even a few months ago, there was a whole thing about targets new. Well, when their spring line comes out, so spring in the fashion industry is like fresh colors. So it's like pale pinks, pale blues, pale greens, pale yellows, just across the board. And people were like, what is this like a target?
And I was like, That's always been the case. People need to relax.
I just don't want to give extra money that I don't need to. I want to invest that money. I want to buy something for myself with that money. I don't want to spend it on crap. I don't need to.
[00:10:59] Jess: And imagine if everything was, every time you bought razors, right? You saved your 5. What could you put that towards? Cause you got to have new razors. If you don't need to have new
[00:11:08] Randi: razors Education, a car, a vacation. So many other things. That extra 5 a month, a week, whatever it is. That adds up to thousands of dollars.
[00:11:19] Jess: Imagine if they did food that way, ? This is the male food. This is the
[00:11:23] Randi: food. Well, they do. It's, this is the name brand. This is the off brand. They're made in the same warehouse.
But you're, you're paying more for the fancy package. It's the same product.
[00:11:34] Jess: Is that like the products that you get that are like, Costco makes it mm-hmm.
right? Or you buy it at Costco, but you know it's the
[00:11:40] Randi: Yes. Yeah. That's our dog food that we buy. We buy this, like our dog food from Costco. It's 40 a bag at Costco through the brand that they make it in the same warehouse from it's 60. That's a 20 difference and we have two big dogs. So it's not just in its marketing that you're paying for.
So be aware.
[00:12:02] Jess: Yeah. And don't forget to save your taxes or save those receipts and take them off your taxes
[00:12:06] Randi: so because this has a flower on it. Do I really want to spend 5 more
it? Or, or because this is pink or because this says Venus versus Gillette, like
[00:12:15] Jess: what's the difference? I thought you were going to say something different with Venus. I really thought you were going to go somewhere different with Venus.
I was like, Venus rhymes with,
[00:12:23] Randi: On that note, thank you guys for joining us on the women's mental health podcast and tune in to us next week.
[00:12:29] Jess: See you later.