There is no argument that as much as it is fun to be a woman, it is so much more expensive than being a man. Women spend so much more for so little in return. And no, this has nothing to do with luxuries; I’m talking about the basic necessities in today’s world that keep a woman going, that helps her survive, that helps her take care of her home or that helps her balance her career and her family. Women get to spend so much to get the same thing that men get for a considerably lesser price. And whats more, there are items women need on a regular basis that men would never need.
Last year, the idea of the Pink Tax came up and made quite the rounds, making people begin to question the idea of making women’s items more expensive simply because the color is pink or some other flashy color. From everyday products such as razor blades to basic dry cleaning and getting your car fixed. Not to mention tamps and pads.
Again, this bothers on the issue of the Pink Tax. You might want to ask ‘What is pink tax’? The term was coined in France in 2010 and is an ongoing campaign that highlights the fact that women are paying a higher price compared to men for essentially the same items or services because women’s items are marked up. Read on to how expensive it is to be a woman.
1. Women Pay More To Shave
For starters, everyone needs to shave, but women are made to pay more to shave. How? A four-pack of disposable Gillette Venus Sensitive for women razors costs R2.35 more than a TEN-pack of the male version of the same product, Gillette Blue II. Now considering the fact that women shave many more body parts than men do, you can understand how a woman will spend more when she has to shave the front and back of knees, ankles, back of the legs, bikini line and underarms – which means razors go blunt more quickly and need to be changed more often.
In defense of the price difference between the male and female razor of the Gillette product, James Williams, a Gillette spokesman, says that men and women razors have different blades, heads and pivots to perform separate jobs, therefore, the price difference is there for a reason. He went on to say:
‘The hair women are shaving on their bodies — legs, underarms, bikini line — is very different to those men shave on their face and neck; they are different lengths and have different coarseness and density.
‘Women are also typically shaving a much larger area than men and nearly every body part she shaves has curvature — either convex or concave — like the front and back of knees, ankles, back of the legs, bikini line and underarm, and is often more difficult to reach.’
2. It Is More Expensive To Dry Clean A Blouse Than A Shirt
It does not stop there, Gender Issues undertook a study which showed that because a woman’s shirt is called a blouse, it costs more to dry clean than a shirt. Again however, there is a debatable reason for the difference in price.
Textile Services Association’s Martin Lewis insists that they charge according to the garment and not the sex of the customer. They said that a local dry cleaner said that the reason is that the man’s garment comes in a standard shape, so it can be placed on the shirt-finishing machine (a dummy onto which a shirt is fitted during pressing). A lady’s blouse is more shaped and therefore it needs to be ironed by hand, hence the difference in price
A local dry cleaner supported, saying in strong terms “We charge according to the garment, not the gender.”
Yet, you don’t see them ‘discriminate’ based on the size of the garment, or say that you have to pay more for an XXL shirt.
3. It Even Costs More To Repair A Woman’s Car
If you think there’s a valid explanation for the two reasons above, how about the fact that women pay more to get their cars serviced?
According to a garage owner, Susan Abbs, women tend to pay more to service their car, because they are in what is perceived as a male-dominated industry, with the assumption that women are fish out of water when it comes to car maintenance.
“Few women and actually, few men understand how a car works. But a woman is less likely to ask questions for fear of sounding silly. They also rely on their cars more for school runs, ferrying children about and getting to work. Therefore they are often more anxious to get the problem sorted — whatever it costs,” said Susan.
But that still does not explain the fact that women get exploited.
4. A Woman’s Hairdo Costs More Than A Guy’s Haircut
Women appear to be an easy target for basically everything. Don’t believe me? The next time you visit your hairdresser, ask how much a trim and colour would cost for a man and compare that to how you get charged. Men with long hair often pay less than women with short hair. Double-standards? Definitely.
Retail expert Nick Swan, founder of vouchercodespro.co.uk says women are willing to pay more for ‘necessary luxuries’. Men apparently see a haircut as a chore more than anything and are not willing to pay ridiculous amounts of money for something they don’t deem ‘a luxury’.
Well, this is debatable since the last guy I was with had more grooming products than I did.
5. Guys Certainly Don’t Need To Buy Anything For The Monthlies
And let’s not forget Mother Nature’s expense, those delicious monthly periods. The average female starts her period at 12 years old, and the length of a period is 5–7 days. On average, sanitary pads cost R15.95 and almost R40 for 16 tampons. That is bearing in mind that you have to change your pad/tampon every few hours. You do the math.
So the big question remains ‘why are women paying more?
It is bad enough that the petrol price is going up, Eskom is hiking up electricity tariffs while load shedding is on, now we have to pay more on modern-day necessities just because we are women. I say we take up the issue of pink Tax demand answers. This is not about feminism, this is about right and wrong.
Ladies beware of Pretty Pink Packages.