The Pink Tax


This “tax” affects women everyday, and the new California law will help begin to fix this problem. Courtesy Sarah Northrop of Emerald.

Savannah Seidler

The phenomenon of products targeted towards women being more expensive than mens products has been recently brought up in a new California law. The law, passed by California Governor, Gavin Newsom, came into effect on January 1, 2023. The new law bans any extra charge on women’s products that are substantially similar to mens. 

The “Pink Tax” is an unnecessary raise in prices for women’s products. For example, shampoo, deodorant, and razors which are used on a daily basis. According to the California Legislature, women, on average, spent $2,380 per year more than men. Which over the span of a lifetime adds up to just under $200,000, for the exact same products and services as male counterproducts. The Pew Research Center states that, Women have been paid significantly less than men, but yet charged more for products. Even as young as teens, girls will experience a 13% increase in prices from pink bikes, pink kids toys, and other pink products that are purely increased in price just from the color. Less feminine toys, prices are slightly different and cheaper, but no product should be priced based on its color and audience. The Pink Tax is based (though not universally) on literal “pink” products rather than other colors. Businesses have realized that they can increase the prices, and use it as an opportunity to exploit women. Large marketing companies such as Dove, Walgreens, and CVS have made it clear that the feminine color is catered to women, and therefore increases the prices. Gender inequality pricing is not something new, and women have sadly experienced the surge in product prices for years.

Sadie Jordan, a Terra Linda Sophomore, is very aware of the pink tax and sees it in her daily life. “I never really noticed the common factors of girls’ products being more expensive, and clearly targeted toward women, just to spend money.”

Another Terra Linda Sophomore, Ben Butler, had no idea what the pink tax is. “As a guy today, I don’t really pay attention to the differences of womens vs. mens products.” The new law will hopefully inform people on what this tax is that affects the lives of women on a daily basis. 

The pink tax law will not only forbid businesses from unfair pricing in female and male procuts, but give more resources for those who are unable to afford necessary feminine hygiene products. Feminine hygiene products are an easy target to significantly increase the prices. Tampons, pads, and contraceptives are something that should come with no price. A menstrual cycle is not a choice, but something that all women experience. 

This law has affected all women at one point in their lives. From pink shoes to pink towels, the pink tax is present in a great number of products.