Purse Strings Approved Professional

Blog Series

The Cost of Womanhood:

From the ‘Pink Tax’ to the ‘Period Tax’

Pink Tax in Action

I was so mad when I looked at the dry cleaning bill to see that the one shirt that was mine was more expensive than my husband’s. I asked about it, and they said it was more because they had to hand-press it. I thought, “Grrrr… is this just another pink tax!?”

My husband thought perhaps I was overreacting, so we experimented. I put in a simple white button-down shirt along with his. When he picked it up, mine was charged more. He asked why, and they said it was because it was smaller. It didn’t fit on their mannequin, resulting in them having to hand-press it. Bulls*it. You don’t have a mannequin that fits a woman’s medium button-down?

We don’t go to that dry cleaners anymore.

Pink Tax Examples

I did some research on this whole pink tax, and in this article on the cost of being a woman, compared razors. So I went to Amazon to check it out, and she’s right: 14.95 for women’s Schick Slim Twin ST 2 Disposable Razors for Women and 9.99 for men Schick Slim Twin ST 2 Disposable Razors for Men. WTF.

Then, I dug into Perez’s book Invisible Women, and she uncovered even more.

  • Women’s clothing often comes with a higher price tag compared to similar items for men. 
  • Loans and insurance policies may be higher due to gender-based pricing for insurance premiums or discriminatory lending practices. 
  • The cost of haircuts and salon treatments for men vs women -don’t even get me started!!!
  • Home appliances such as kitchen gadgets or cleaning supplies cost more because pricing strategy reflects and reinforces traditional gender roles.

Wow. Where does it stop?

Pink Tax in Healthcare

I came across this CNN article, How a ‘pink tax’ on women can hurt their health, especially for breast cancer patients which states that  “Insurance companies seem to be covering a smaller portion of services for women, compared to men. Breast cancer screenings, for example, can often cost more than many other cancer screenings.” Do we pay more because we have boobs?

It’s never-ending.

Period Tax

Then, wait for it…. I learned about the Period Tax….What is the Period Tax? You may also have heard the term “tampon tax.” The tampon tax or “period tax” also refers to the sales tax on the already high price of tampons. Like other period products, tampons are frequently taxed as luxury goods, even though millions of menstruating women consider them necessities. (This documentary, Periodical, has some great information about women pushing against the Peroid tax. )

But come on – A luxury good? (Please, someone, get me a bag before I hyperventilate)

But here is something I came across while traveling in the airport. It’s called  Aunt Flow. I couldn’t believe I saw free pads and tampons! Finally!! I’ve been ranting about this for decades—literally. Thank you, Aunt Flow!!!

Throw the “pink tax” and “period tax” on the pile of reasons why we started Purse Strings. First, we need to make the most of all our money because, as you can see, it’s more expensive to be a woman. But in addition, we need to be financially conscious of how we vote with our money. Leave the dry cleaners that are ripping you off. Buy men’s razors—heck, they are the same thing! Support companies like Aunt Flow that are empowering all women. Use your voice and your dollars to make changes.

Join us at Purse Strings! We are here to help all women be financially fearless!


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