Whether it’s groceries, toys or clothing, women are still paying more for gender-specific products than men.
A 2015 study from the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs compared price differences on nearly 800 products from more than 90 brands marketed to different genders, and found that products marketed to women and girls cost 7 percent more than comparable products for men and boys.
This study, among other similar revelations of gender inequality in American social institutions, has sparked a national movement to address the additional expenses women pay for gendered products.
The Nevada Legislature joined 20 other states in repealing the so-called “pink tax” after Sen. Yvanna Cancela and Sen. Joyce Woodhouse introduced SB 415 and Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui introduced AB 402, both of which would eliminate sales and use tax on feminine hygiene products.
Currently, products considered necessities are exempt from sales tax in Nevada, but feminine products such as tampons and sanitary napkins are not included. SB 415 and AB 402 would correct that.
There is no reason why women should have to pay this absurd tax on items that they cannot go without. Taxes exist for a lot of reasons, but perhaps most importantly in this case, they exist to deter undesirable behavior — think cigarette or soda taxes. In this social perspective, it just doesn’t make sense to tax a necessity rather than a luxury.
“Historically, male dominated legislatures have decided what is exempted from taxation, it’s only been recently that across the country, women legislators have stood up and said we buy tampons and sanitary napkins, not because we want to but because we have to and we should look at the sales tax of those items,” Cancela said last Thursday before the Senate Committee on Revenue and Economic Development.
It’s equivalent to taxing water for the sole reason that people can’t fight back with their wallets. At the end of the day, they still need the water.
Moreover, the “pink tax,” because it’s a sales tax, disproportionately affects poor women. They don’t need these products any less than their richer counterparts, and yet it is harder for them to get their hands on pads or tampons because they also need to decide if they need food or rent for the week.
Ultimately, the archaic notion that women have to be taxed just because they’re women must be repealed.