The news this week has been dominated with stories of ‘the pink tax’ how cruel, unfair and downright overpriced female targeted products are but where is it going to stop? The tampon tax set by Europe means that a 5% tax on sanitary products is charged. It has been the case since the 1970s but its only been shouted about recently. Taxes are charged to ‘luxury’ items. Periods are by no means a luxury for women; it’s a biological happening that is genuinely unavoidable. The UK now gives its tax gains from feminine hygiene products to female charities which I am all for. I am also a firm believer that if this story had been the one spun to the press nobody would have opposed it let alone protest about it. A headline of “Every product you buy helps someone else” is much better than “The Tampon Tax”. It’s a similar set up to being charged for a carrier bag. The money goes to charity but that doesn’t make the front page.
But it’s not just about taxation on daily necessities. The news this week has decided to talk about ‘rip-off practices’, the same products aimed at men and women are substantially more expensive with a pink label. Retailers are being called to parliament to explain the price difference but I can tell you right now why the do it. We are stupid enough to let them. Watch the video of the ‘Beauty Patch’. Women will buy anything. Which i think is quiet sad. All of these women are beautiful but think that wearing a placebo patch on their arm will make them ‘beautiful’. There is nothing in the patch. Beauty is a state of mind!
Boots have now admitted their pricing is gender-squed after research looked into women razors and eye creams. Research by The Times discovered disparities across hundreds of gender-specific items, including toys, clothes and beauty products. Those marketed at women were priced on average 37 per cent higher.
The body lotion in your bathroom doesn’t know if a man or a woman is going to be using it. The shampoo in the shower doesn’t know the different between a mans hair and a women’s. These stores are seeing the gap in the market of merchandising, fuelled by the beauty industry telling us our hair is frizzy, our face shouldn’t be wrinkled, we need aloe vera soaked blades on our razors. It’s all nonsense. Gender-neutral products don’t sell. Do you know why? Because they have plain packaging. Now I’m not talking about cheaper alternatives, I’m talking about gendered alternative. I do believe that you get what you pay for, I’ve tried cheap and I’ve tried high-end and middle of the range. I know what I’d rather be putting on my face. But the needs of products are genderless, there doesn’t need to be female razor for smooth legs when there are male razors for smooth chins. There is no need for it to be gendered. The only difference in ‘King of Shaves’ range is the price relating to the colour of the stick. The blades fit both, the shape, design and grip of the razor is identical barring the pink or black plastic and the price tag. Oh and in line with the ‘Tampon Tax’ as earlier mentioned, razors have a 20% tax on them. Which one could argue women are being taxed for having a uterus and taxed for having hair, of which the media demonises. Us women really are getting a rough deal!
We are moving into a de-gendered society, slowly, as Ms. Miller stated in a comment to the Telegraph but issues like this are often overlooked when discussing gender equality. Lets take it one step further, women are paid on average 25% less than men, yet products aimed at women come in at nearly twice the price. I don’t believe the comments of ‘additional’ or different ‘performance’ features. We are told we need them so we buy them.
A worthy note and beauty tip for the ladies, you don’t need to only use products marketed for women. For example men’s deodorants come in stronger strengths and my super tip of the day; men’s aftershave balm is a fantastic make up primer as it smooths and soothes skin as well as closes pores. Boom! Bet ya didn’t know that! Ok so you probably did.
Who really is to blame? The manufactures? The Brands? The magazines? Or the people buying them?