by Cassie Murdoch / jezebel.com
As if being a woman wasn’t difficult enough—what with all the not having control over important decisions about our own bodies, making less money than our male colleagues, and, yes, let’s play the childbirth card—we are also routinely hit with financial penalties just for having the balls to be born with a vagina. That’s right, women pay more for everything from razors to houses to health care for no reason other than that we are women. It’s like our own personal vagina tax, and it sucks.
In fact, it’s enraging. You might think such gendered pricing practices would be illegal and we wouldn’t even have to worry about them, but alas they are not. Of course, there are federal civil rights laws which project against discrimination in employment and housing on the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation, but the same cannot be said for the sales of goods and services. Some states and cities have their own statutes, but they often don’t make much of a dent in these kinds of widespread problems.
In fact, this problem is so pervasive that often we don’t even notice it’s happening—we just accept the cost of items as a given, sort of like the air around us. But there are lots of little ways we’re charged more than men. Marie Claire has a detailed run-down of how this plays out, and they point specifically to dry cleaners, who often charge women three times as much to clean shirts which are virtually identical to mens’ dress shirts. They justify this by saying that these “blouses” require extra labor to press. Hmm, seeing as I wear a larger shirt size than some of my male friends, yet their shirts fit on the pressing machine, this hardly seems possible.
Then there are things like haircuts and women’s toiletries, which are typically priced higher than their men’s counterparts, despite the fact that, even though they are all wrapped up in them purty pale pink packages, they are virtually the same products. (Maybe pink ink is just astronomically expensive?) Obviously retailers don’t like to admit to it, since if they did, we’d come running at them, nails filed to a point and extra-gentle razors in hand, demanding a refund, but it is happening.