Sexism can take on various different forms and can be quite discreet in the sense that no one notices them, but it is true that sexism is present in our taxation system. Women in Canada pay a pink tax on personal care products.
The pink tax essentially is added taxes on female personal care products such as shampoo, deodorant, soap, etc. which leaves women paying in total, forty percent more in personal products than what men pay. It is stated that women can pay up to six percent more on a regular priced item than a man would have to pay. According to a CBC article, that had a survey conducted where over 3,199 personal care products were observed, there is a difference in price among products targeted for men and products targeted for women. There is a thirty-cent difference for hair care products, three dollars and fifty-five cents difference for deodorant, three dollar and thirty-five cents difference for razors, seventy-five cents difference for shaving cream, and one dollar difference for soap.
One can conclude that this isn’t much of a price difference, however the pink tax can cost women an estimated $2,135 per year, and that does not include the price that women pay for menstrual products that can cost a woman up to $6,000 in their lifetime. However, in 2015, the Canadian government removed the tampon taxes which essentially means that women do not have to pay GST on menstrual products, which is a step in the right direction, however a box of tampons for seven dollars and no GST tax has done nothing to end period poverty.
Additionally, there are already more expensive prices on black hair products and are often behind locked doors in pharmacies. The situation is even worse for black women because not only do they have the sexism present with the pink tax, but they also have the racism present with their hair products costing more than hair products for a white woman.
Already there is this economic disadvantage present against women; however, societal pressures about constantly looking good create a new economic problem. It is estimated that a woman who waxes once or twice a month will pay thousands of dollars over the course of their lifetime. Women are also expected to buy up to three thousand dollars’ worth of makeup a year. Of course, over the recent years, makeup has been seen as a form of self-expression for both women and men, however, one cannot deny that women face the pressure of wearing makeup and it has even been admitted by employers that women who wear makeup are more likely to be hired.
Not only does the system in itself not take care of its women with the creation of the pink tax, the enforcement of unrealistic beauty standards, but on top of that, they expect women to pay this hefty price all while making less than men do with the gender pay gap. The pink tax is something that should be abolished, the gender pay gap should be non-existent and menstrual products need to be easily accessible as well as so much cheaper or possibly even free. Period.
By Isabella Del Grosso