Lawson: It’s time to evolve past gender-based pricing


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Pink washing

Angelica Lawson

Women’s products are more expensive than men’s products — a fact most people are aware of, but do you know why? This is gender-motivated pricing, where products targeted toward women are priced higher than products targeted toward men simply because the products are for women.

Women not only make less money than men on average but we also have to pay more for everyday and specialty products, which equals out to a commodification of sexism. Let’s break this down.

I did a simple Google search and found a Radio Flyer Classic Dual Deck Tricycle. One was red and the other pink. The red one was $49.88, and the pink one was $58.10.

The two tricycles are exactly the same, and the site even has the same girl featured on the pink and red tricycle.

Why are women subject to this price difference? It’s true that women typically tend to represent a stronger consumer group because they make purchases more often, but wouldn’t that mean their products should cost less since they are buying more frequently? Companies would say no because they gain extra profit from the gender group. 

Or do pink tricycles cost more because they are more difficult to sell than red? Products that are the exact same should never have different prices just because they are aimed at a specific gender. In the case of the trike, girls have to experience the cost of just being a girl right from the get-go.

A 1994 study in California found that women were subject to a “gender tax,” which cost them an average of $1,350. The Gender Tax Repeal Act was introduced after the release of this study in California in 1995. This bill made it illegal for businesses to charge genders and gender-related products and services unequally.

I find this astounding considering that given its effort to remove gender stereotyping in product pricing, California is at the forefront of the removal of tampon taxing — an issue I discussed at length in my last column. It seems that loopholes have been identified and gone through, unfortunately.

The Daily Share made a YouTube video about the differences in male and female prices. The Daily Share mentions hygiene products but also talks about insurance. Before Obamacare, women were charged more on average because they live longer. With Obamacare, insurance is the same for men and women. Different health issues will cause differences in anyone’s plan, but there are no “being a woman” charges.

Gender-based pricing is another market tactic women have become unknowingly accustomed to. No legislation protects against this injustice; either you buy the women’s version of things and literally buy into the hypocrisy or you can buy the men’s versions of items and avoid being price gouged. A third and most effective option is to stand up against companies that charge women for being women.

You can choose to stop buying from companies that charge women more for products that do not have any added benefits; they are usually just more aesthetically pleasing as far as the packaging and other perks they offer. By ending the supply of money and seeking alternatives, you can send a message to these corporations that being a woman doesn’t mean you are going to continue to be taken advantage of.