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I recently shared a post called Blue is for Boys. This is the follow up to that post. I have been listening to the radio program called Under the Influence.  It’s about marketing, advertising, sponsorship and how these things impact our world.  A two part episode in their last season concerned gender marketing. I encourage you to check out their site and listen to the whole episode.

In my last post, I shared how the blue for boys and pink for girls is an arbitrarily chosen, marketing concept to sell more and more product.  The argument is, this has also given ride to the so called Pink Tax.

The Pink Tax is the documented higher prices, really overcharging for products and services marketed to women that are essentially the same as “men’s” products. In the US, there are a few states that have outlawed Pink Tax but there are not consumer protections like that in Canada.

Here are some specifics quoted in the Under the Influence episode:

  • Girls toys cost more than boys toys 55% of the time.
  • Girls clothing cost more than boys clothing 26% of the time.
  • Women’s clothing costs more than men’s clothing over 40% of the time.
  • Drycleaners tend to charge more to service the same sized, same material blouse than for a man’s shirt.
  • Senior home health care for women costs more 45% of the time.
  • Women routinely pay over 25% more for haircuts than men.
  • Vehicle repairs: women are generally quoted higher estimates than men for the exact same work.
  • Women pay up to 48% more for shampoos, 11% more for razors and lotions, and 6% for body washes.

Why do women allow themselves to be manipulated this way? The argument is, people like and will spend more for products and services they perceive to be made just for them. The thing is, almost all of the time, it’s all just marketing smoke and mirrors.

Now here’s the insult to injury: Under the Influences notes women tend to purchase these products and services more often than men and they are doing so often with less money because of pay inequity!

When I see this, it’s like a whole system designed to be oppressive to women – but that would be crazy, right?