It’s already enough that we have to deal with the widely ranging side effects of our periods! Whether it’s increased anxiety, insane cravings, or unbearable cramps, we are still expected to go on living like everything is fine (though most times we’d rather be curled up in bed with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s). Yet, online retailer Boxed is working to make menstruation a bit more bearable, taking a huge step forward by looking out for all of us women who are paying the dreaded “Pink Tax.”
On October 6th, Boxed announced a new initiative that aims to take a stand against the luxury tax placed on feminine hygiene products. Specifically, customers shopping on Boxed.com will be able to identify the price-adjusted women’s products by looking for the new trademarked #RethinkPink logo. By not adding a “pink tax,” they are hoping to encourage other larger retailers to do the same.
“Our team took a hard look at some of the products offered on Boxed and realized that many female products cost significantly more than their male equivalents on a per ounce or per unit basis, and in some states feminine products are charged a luxury tax,” says Boxed CEO and founder Chieh Huang. “This just didn’t make sense to our team, and when it was brought to senior management’s attention, we immediately decided this was an issue we wanted to help bring to the forefront and take action.”
If you’re unfamiliar with the “Pink Tax” (like I was before I heard about Boxed’s initiative), let me break it down for you. Warning: You will be enraged!
According to Boxed’s site, a Pink Tax is pretty much unavoidable because every local drugstore, big box retailer, online store, or bulk wholesale club adds this unfair surcharge to women’s products. This means that every time you go to the store to buy feminine products – such as body wash, deodorant, razors, or shave gel – these products are subject to gender price gouging.
On the other hand, when your brother, husband, boyfriend, father, or any male you’ve ever known goes to the store, their products are not upcharged. But ours are!
According to Fusion, states tax “tangible personal property,” but they often make exemptions for non-luxury items. Some things that are considered necessities are groceries, food stamp purchases, medical purchases (prescriptions, prosthetics, some over-the-counter drugs), clothes (in some states), and agriculture supplies. Each state has their own list of exemptions. Yet, in some places, tampons and pads are charged the extra sales tax because they are not considered “luxury items.”
The fact that I’m even writing this in 2016 is not only disrespectful to woman as a whole, but it is also ridiculous that every woman in the world can debate until they are blue in the face why purchasing feminine hygiene products is anything but a “luxury.”
The problem is not just the tax alone. I know the importance of taxes and live in a family that has paid them for generations. But the fact that my younger brother and I could share the same bathroom, but my products equal out to ten times his copious bottles of half-used body wash is unfathomable.
Now, if the extra money that I was being charged went to underprivileged women who can’t afford the products I’m buying. Or even went to women in third world countries who can’t go to school because of their menstrual cycles, my friends and I will be first in line buying double the products we buy now. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Ladies, next time the man in your life reaches for your body wash or magical facial wash tell him it’s time that we #RethinkPink!
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