A Follow-Up on Pink

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Last Saturday, a friend of mine tasked me with recreating a tattoo from the most recent cinematic incarnation of The Joker for a Halloween costume. It was honestly one of the stranger things I’ve done:

Faux tattoo made with eyeliner drawn on a man's chest.

Photo by Pebbles

When it came time to set the “tattoo,” my friend produced an aerosol can of men’s hairspray. I made a face and asked him what sort of tomfoolery this was. They produce sex-specific hairspray? Isn’t hair just hair? (Albeit, we were using it for incorrect purposes…)

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Unamused, my friend says to me: 

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So, of course, already well aware of the issue and just a tiny bit peeved, I turned to the internet for a little research.

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I had written “Pink,” but it was time to dive deeper. Here’s what I found:

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This higher cost is the result of extra taxes specifically placed on women’s goods most commonly known as the “Pink Tax.”

With children’s toys, girls’ toys are priced higher but often have less capability than boys’ toys and are lower in production quality. Lower quality is also seen in other products such as female razors, where men’s razors can last month while female disposable razors dull out halfway through a shin.

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What’s more, advertising aimed towards female audiences tend to program a viewer to associate female products with emotional stability instead of a product’s quality and merit. This conditioning makes women reliant on material things for happiness and security. Psychology is a powerful weapon. 

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The marketing industry see women as their prime target. Once the women have been softened for the kill, retailers do not stop. They invest so much money into marketing to women that women ultimately pay the price. The Pink Tax covers the billions of dollars set to market women’s items and extra packaging and very minor variations in design. Often, the motto for companies when creating and marketing a product to a woman, despite its price, is to “shrink it and pink it.” That is, make it smaller and more delicate for the fragile women and make it, of course, pink!

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The assumption that women have nothing better to do than just shop stems from a deep rooted sexism that seeks to leave women as the subordinate sex. The extra few dollar for “women’s” hairspray goes a long way to continuing to promote this fiscal misogyny. With women making only a fraction of what men make in the workplace, it is no wonder that women are suppressed. Our patriarchy has created an endless loop of categorizing women as insecure shopaholics, spending billions to encourage materialism and taxing the conditioned materialism, only to give us a sole fraction to pay for the overpriced goods.

Ultimately, this must change becuase Lord knows I need that extra change for tuition… 

 

If you would like to read more on this issue, here are a few links you could follow:

  1. The Pink Tax: Why Women’s Products Often Cost More
  2. “Pink Tax” Forces Women to Pay More Than Men 
  3. How Much the “Pink Tax” Is Costing Women on Everyday Items 
  4. The Pink Tax Explained – What It Is and What You Can Do About It

All artwork by Pebbles.

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