The Pink Tax

Gender Inequality and Capitalism

Capitalism and Patriarchy: the two things our country run on. Both of these things also require each other to run properly as well. Because capitalism relies on partriarchy, capitalism perpetuates and instills the inequality of gender in our society. In the movies, The Corporation and Capitalism: A Love Story, it is very evident how evil corporations truly are. Corporations just want money and profit no matter how they can get it. Whether it be by getting life insurance on their workers or by supporting for-profit prisons. They corporations use individuals as a way to gain their profit. They don’t really have a moral compass that tells them wrong and right, but a compass that tells them if they will gain money or not. Corporations take advantage of people who are weaker in societies eyes and don’t really care. Capitalism uses the weak to gain for themselves, and in this case it is women.

“Capitalism is based on class society, as is patriarchy. Both rely on inequality to yield super profits, prestige and (white) male privilege. Capitalism is based on the exploitation of the working class, including the special oppression of women, lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-queer workers and workers of color, by the masters of industry and all the productive forces that they own as their private property.”

If you are a woman, then you know the struggle of having to buy pads, or tampons (or both) every month. You may also be interested in buying razors or pens, or hairbrushes or usual items like soap and lotion. What you may not notice is that on all these items that you buy as a woman, actually have an extra tax on them. Some people refer to this as the “pink tax.” This tax is found on many items because they are items specifically for women. A lot of the time these items are also pink, hence the name. Because apparently pink symbolizes women and only women. Capitalism combined with patriarchy are the reason why women have to pay this extra tax let alone pay AT ALL for these so called “luxury items” such as pads, tampons etc. Why should women have to pay for these when they NEED them. I don’t think men would like it if women were bleeding everywhere when they were on their periods, but some women can’t even afford to buy these things at all. Capitalism doesn’t care about this aspect of it. They only care about the extra profit they are making off of these products. Capitalism uses gender inequality to create a specific platform in which they can sell certain products for more money. Yes, women need tampons or pads in order to get through their period. No, they shouldn’t have to pay an unreasonable amount or any amount in order to get these items.

Now on the other hand, products that are made more expensive for women just because they are women’s products is unfair. If you go into a drugstore such as CVS or Walgreens, one can surely find an aisle for razors and shaving cream. We are humans and humans have hair that a lot of the time us humans want to get rid of. But surely this hair is different on women (note my sarcasm) so the razor has to be pink and also has to be more expensive than the same razor that men use for the SAME thing. But for women this is a luxury because women don’t HAVE to shave their hair (yet our society tells women to be perfectly hairless and shuns women when they take agency over their body and decide not to shave). What is even more humorous yet sad, is that stores such as Staples or Office Max sell pens that are marketed for women. As if women can’t handle a “man’s” pen. As if women are too below men to even use the same things as them. There are many products that are made for women, and if you compare the price of the women’s version to the normal version of the product, there is a noticable price difference. This is a way in which the corporate ‘person’ can take over women and feed into the gender binary and inequality of genders.

The pink tax is an excuse for capitalism to discriminate against women. They make women pay more for products that they need whether or not it is categorized as “a luxury item.” Ironically, though, women also get paid less. So how can women even expect to afford some of these items if they aren’t even getting paid as much as they should for the work that they are doing? Men on the other hand, are getting paid way more, but they can pay less for their razor and their shaving cream and their shampoo. It’s a rigged system against women, by men.

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