Poyer: Let’s talk about the pink tax again

Columnist Sarah Poyer further investigates the logistics and legislation concerning the pink tax.

Sarah Poyer

Money matters. 

Everyone needs money to be able to purchase and use necessities in their daily lives. Gender price discrimination affects the power one has over their own money.

Sexism exists in so many places in society, especially when it comes to spending and money. Pink tax makes items marketed toward women have a higher price. This gender-based price discrimination affects many products. Luckily, some legislative works are happening to combat this discrimination hopefully. Before discussing the legislation that is happening, we first need to understand just what pink tax is doing. 

So what exactly does pink tax affect? Unfortunately, it is seen in a wide variety of things, from calculators to clothes. According to HuffPost, the same calculator, which had the same functions and abilities, was one dollar more in pink. The black calculator was $6.99, yet the same calculator in pink was $7.99. This HuffPost article has many other examples, such as toddler’s bicycle helmets. The helmet that would be marketed toward boys is $20, while the one marketed toward girls is $25. A more noticeable difference than the calculators, but even the one dollar every so often adds up. Over time, women’s bank accounts seeing this upcharge can take a significant toll.

Of course, combatting pink tax on a personal level is helpful and shows companies women are more than just a color or fragrance, but work higher up on a legislative level does more to benefit. Passing legislation makes it so that gender-based price discrimination cannot occur, according to pink.tax. Some states, cities and counties in the United States have already passed legislation. Pink.tax says California, New York City and Miami-Dade County of Florida have already made pink tax illegal in services.

That is unsurprisingly an insufficient number: only one state, one city and a county. Personally, it feels like the number should be much higher in terms of legislation. 

Good news, though, is that Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York proposed a plan to eliminate the pink tax. This would hopefully apply to the whole state and not just New York City. According to his website Governor.NY, Cuomo has done many things to combat gender-based price discrimination, such as prohibiting tampon tax and mandating equal pay for equal work; props to him for that! Gov. Cuomo is not the only one who has had pink tax on his mind.

The United States Legislative branch has also had pink tax on their mind. Pink.tax also says there have been multiple attempts in different years to repeal pink tax. Unfortunately, neither attempt (one in 2016, one in 2018) was successful. While this is again very saddening, a glimpse of hope can be seen in the fact pink tax was at least acknowledged in a powerful branch of the government. 

So we have acknowledged pink tax, but now what?

Do research, voice your opinion and hopefully incite some change. The information I have given in this column is not enough to form an opinion, but it is enough to get started. Look into the links and research on your own! Then, talk to people around you about this.

Make pink tax known.

Like I said last week, change your shopping habits. Once you have done all of that, consider reaching out to your senators and congressmen, getting them to care and writing another bill. Most importantly, don’t give up fighting for equality among men and women. Show people that women’s money matters and isn’t something to be tossed around carelessly.