Sorry, You’re a Woman

Anonymous Comparing men’s to women’s razors

 When I was a kid, my parents told me I could do anything. What they didn’t tell me was following my dreams would mean discovering hundreds of obstacles put in place due to the discriminatory nature of our society. My parents didn’t tell me I would spend on average $1,400 a year due to gender price discrimination. Gender price discrimination, more commonly known as the Pink Tax, is when companies “pink it and shrink it”. Companies take the same product and make it smaller and pink. Then, they proceed to charge more for it than the same product marketed for men. For instance, Bic’s women’s razors cost $7.49, while their men’s razors only cost $5.49.

 When I told someone this, they asked me why women don’t just buy the product marketed for men, after all, it does the same thing and costs less. Women should take the extra step and buy the men’s product. They should make that little change to make it just a little bit easier for men and harder for women. It’s a small thing, after all. But, since it’s every product, you’re now buying men’s deodorant, shampoo, pain killers, body wash, snorkeling gear, and any other product. And now, you aren’t being taken seriously because you quote “smell like a man,” so your ideas aren’t being heard, and you aren’t moving up in your company. But, at least you’re not paying more for deodorant. 

 The Pink Tax is one of the many ways the United States says “Sorry, you’re a woman.” Another way is the Tampon Tax. In many states throughout the United States, tampons aren’t counted as a necessity and therefore tax-exempt. At Berkshire, we claim to offer free pads and tampons. However, I visited all three women’s bathrooms in Benson and none of the tampon or pad dispensers were stocked. In response to this, someone could and likely will say, “I’m sure the dispensers are stocked somewhere, you could just go there.” They would be correct: the dispensers in Berkshire Hall are almost always stocked. However, why should women walk to another building to get a free tampon when Berkshire claims to stock all women’s bathrooms? Living in a women’s world means constantly taking that extra step to accommodate the men’s world we truly live in.  

 If you’re a man reading this, you may be asking yourself why you should care about this. You should care about it because there is a woman in your life whom you care about who is negatively affected by the men’s world we live in. They may pay more for the same product or pay extra for an item they require for basic hygiene. Every woman has to take extra steps to accommodate the men’s world, and if you care about the women in your life then you should care they are being treated differently simply because of their gender. 

 Here at Berkshire, there are some steps we can take to fight gender discrimination. The first one is fairly simple, keeping all the tampon and pad machines in our school stocked at all times. We could also abolish the Pink Tax here at Berkshire. In our bookstore, the Pink Tax can clearly be seen. If it’s the same product just marketed for women, then it should cost the same as the men’s version. This isn’t a women’s fight. This is everyone’s fight, and as a community, we need to come together to fight the tax of being a woman.