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Women may not even realize they are overcharged for these products
With minimal differences in the actual product, girls' toys are significantly more expensive. - photo by Sam Turner
Whether the product of pernicious misogyny or simple supply and demand, women are paying more for stuff.

A recent study by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs shows that female consumers pay an average of 7 percent more for products similar to those marketed toward men.

This price increase has come to be known colloquially as the "pink tax" appropriately named because in some cases, the only perceivable difference between the two products is the color.

Iconic among these products are female razors which, having little difference other than branding and color, cost on average 11 percent more than men's razors.

The study also included the example of a toy scooter sold by Target for $24.99 and its pink "girls" counterpart sold for $49.99, a 100 percent increase.

And women aren't just paying more for the privilege of having pink ear plugs. The "pink tax" is metonymical. Color often has nothing to do with it. Women pay more for almost all gendered products from personal care items to clothing.

Some companies have released statements about gender disparity in pricing, claiming that variations in the products themselves can affect production costs and ultimately pricing.

After facing criticism for a men's and a women's moisturizer with a 125 percent price difference, Neutrogena stated that "different ingredients," along with "packaging differences and business decisions by individual retailers" affect the price of each item, reports KSAT News.

Critics of the pink tax have also pointed out that if the two products are indeed identical, why don't women just buy the "male" version of the product?

In cases of razors or moisturizer this might be a good option. But buying the "male version" is impractical when it come to products like clothing, for which women pay 8 percent more on average.

Not to mention impossible when it comes to feminine hygiene products. In addition to the pink tax, many women feel they have their pocket picked once a month with the "tampon tax."

In 40 out 50 states, tampons and other female hygiene products are taxed as luxury items, reports the Washington Post.

In states that impose a sales tax, most items are taxed as a luxury, while certain items such as some foods and prescription drugs are considered essential and are exempt from sales tax. Some have pushed their states to include feminine hygiene products as exemptions, but only five states have done so.

Recently in Utah, a bill proposing tax exemptions on tampons and other hygiene products like diapers was shot down by the state legislature, reports KUTV.

Rep. Ken Ivory, a member of the all-male committee that voted no on the bill, said that "exempting some items from sales tax could open the door to other and unlimited requests for tax exemptions."

A similar bill has been headed in California by Assembly member Cristina Garcia.

According to the Washington Post, Garcia opened the conversation about feminine hygiene taxes last year, but this year she has announced Assembly Bill 1561, which if passed will eliminate taxes on tampons and other products.

"This is a step in the right direction to fix this gender injustice. Women have no choice but to buy these products, so the economic effect is only felt by women," said Garcia as she presented the bill, according to the Washington post.
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