Friday 14th June 2024

Pink tax: it’s razor sharp

Pink Tax

When it comes to feminism (and casual politics in general), there are certain hot button topics that keep on popping up – the ‘tampon tax’ (and all the injustices of paying VAT on an item which is more a necessity that a ‘luxury product’), the ‘gender pay gap’ (I’m not going to bring up the intellectual dishonesty of using an ‘average’ statistic to make a point), and the ‘pink tax’. The latter has been around for a while now, albeit not as prominently as the other two. It focuses on the idea that, aside from our general bodily functions, women generally get charged more just for being women. Pink comes at a premium.

‘Bic Twin Lady’ razors will cost you over twice as much as the unisex blades!

The most notable example of this is razor blades. The company Bic (also known for their biros) produces basic razors – I’m talking about the ones without the fancy moisturising strip on them. These razors generally come in two varieties – your bog-standard yellowy orange (Bic’s signature colour), and ‘Bic Twin Lady’, which is pink (and now blue/purple too). From Boots, Bic’s normal ‘unisex’ colour will cost you £1.45 for a pack of 10, or 14.5p a piece, while ‘Bic Twin Lady’ will cost you £2.69, that’s 34p a razor – over twice as much as the unisex blades!

This is outrageous! What can I do about it?

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Honestly? I just buy the unisex blades. Apart from the pretty colour (which will get chucked in the bin after a few uses), there’s literally no difference between the two types of razor. The reason for the price difference (aside from good old capitalism capitalising on our obviously biological love for pink) is supply and demand. More people will buy the unisex razors, therefore more of them will sell, therefore they can be made more cheaply. In addition to this, I have no idea if the prettier coloured plastic might just be a little bit more expensive to produce, just because it seems nicer.

The reason for the price difference (aside from good old capitalism capitalising on our obviously biological love for pink) is supply and demand.

If you’re wondering why women’s shampoo and conditioner seems to be more expensive than that marketed to men, it may very well be in the ingredients of the product; in general, women seem to care more about the condition that their hair is in, so therefore more research needs to go into women’s products and this may boost the price of them a little bit.

Especially with hot-button topics like the ‘Gender Pay Gap’ and ‘Pink Tax’, it’s very important to analyse why things are the way they are. In this age of social media, it’s very easy to get swept up in issues without ever really questioning them.

Maddy Sutherland

Maddy is a freelance illustrator who lives in Glasgow. She's recently graduated and is working hard to make ends meet. Self-employed? Read Maddy's experiences here.

  1. Great article Maddie! I’ve read over this a couple of times now (I wrote a piece about the Gender Pay Gap last month, so as you know, the hot button issues go on my radar!) The other thing with the lady razors is, I find not only do they cost more, but they blunt really quickly!

    Also, I saw this is the HuffPost and thought of you ? http://huff.to/2dNSS7n

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