Pink vs Blue Tax: Who is Paying More for What?

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Over the last couple of months the media have been covering something labelled the “pink tax”. This tax represents the extra amount of money women pay for specific goods including health and hygiene products that are also available to men at a cheaper price. For example, both men and women use razor blades, yet razors that are marketed towards female customers are more expensive than the exact same product is for men.

However, it has recently come to light that there is also a “blue tax” levelled against men. According to a recent survey conducted by Couponbox, both women and men are paying more for specific items that both genders use. In fact, the survey revealed that out the ten products listed in their study, men paid more for 60% of them.


For instance, men pay 38% more than woman for hair regrowth treatment, 17% more for deodorant and 184% more for a suit, despite the fact we’re pretty sure some women also have to wear some form of suit to work. Men also pay more for sports clothing, manicures and, funnily enough, shoes.

Meanwhile, in the same study it was found that women pay on average 317% extra for moisturizer, 19% more for vitamins, 42% more for underwear and 47% more for waxing kits. Another study which was conducted in 2015 by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs found that women also paid 48% more for shampoo and conditioners, despite there being a male equivalent.

These gender taxes aren’t limited to health and beauty products though; they are everywhere in everyday life. According to a 2011 study published by the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, women pay mortgage interest rates 0.4% than their male counterparts. At first this doesn’t seem like a lot but over this could amount to a male paying $26,000 less than a woman for 30-year mortgage.

Fortunately, we don’t have to sit back and be controlled by the markets and big businesses; we can do something about these gender taxes. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies no longer charge women more than men and insurers must also cover birth control as well as Viagra now. In fact, in 1996 California enacted a gender discrimination pricing law that stopped businesses charging women more, so the first steps have already been taken.

As for the blue tax, there simply doesn’t seem to be enough media covering the issue. Yes, women earn less and yet are expected to pay more for certain products, but if we want true equality then all products that are used by both genders should cost the same despite what color they are and whether they have a picture of a football on them.

For now though, you may want to consider purchasing the cheaper item regardless of which gender it is aimed towards. After all, if a razor blade is good enough for a man’s face it is good enough for your armpits, and women’s scentless deodorant exists guys so you don’t have to smell like flowers all day. 

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