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15 Reasons Why It’s More Expensive to be a Woman

9 December 2020

Women Can’t Do With Wallets, They Need Handbags to Carry Tons of Money. Here Are 15 Reasons Why.

Hello Aluxers! If you’re a woman and wondering why you don’t seem to be getting ahead of your male counterparts in the wealth department, then you’ll enjoy this article. And if you’re a male wondering why it’s still customary for the guy to pay the dinner bill, by the time you get to the end of this, you will know.

It’s not just that women earn less to the dollar than men in the exact same position, or that they are expected to spend a lot more on grooming then men do. There is a lot more to it, and you’ll be shocked what we have found.

So, let’s dig into 15 Reasons Why It’s More Expensive to be a Woman

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Women never say no to choices, and that’s a wise trait. Why go through a long read, when you can switch to a fun YouTube upload? Here’s the video version of this article:

With that provided, let’s check out the first item on today’s list.

1

Pink Tax

Let’s start at the beginning. Before we get product specific it’s time to look at one of the underlying expenses that drives up the price of many products women use, this is called Pink Tax.

It’s a form of gender-based price discrimination, aptly named after many companies favourite colour to associate with women’s products. The Economic Committee on Consumers Affairs in the US found that 42% of the total goods and services sold are exposed to price discrimination against women. That means that 4 in 10 items in store have pricing that costs more for the “female” version than the version aimed at men.

Sometimes it is a literal tax, products marketed to women attract a higher tax amount or import duty. A trade lawyer named Michael Cone discovered import tax code bias and sued the US government. He stared his mission in 1999, and more than 20 years on he has not yet overturned this unfair tax. But he continues to fight the fight.

While we’re on the subject, and before the trolls fill up the comments, when we talk about products for men and for women, we are really just referring to products or brands that are traditionally marketed to women, and men. We don’t for a minute buy into the fact that pink is for girls, and blue for boys, or that girls must smell like flowers and men like musk or any of those archaic ideas. At Alux we want you to wear and use whatever suits you, don’t let marketing companies define what you use. But for the purpose of this article you know what we mean.

2

Hair removal

When it comes to hair, where it goes and how to manage it between men and women there couldn’t be more different rules. One thing is for sure though, when it comes down to the volume of area women are meant to keep hair free, there is an incredible amount more hair removal in women’s grooming routine which makes it more expensive.

More alarming is that not only do women have more area to cover, or well…uncover. Our hair removal products, like razors cost more. The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs conducted a study that found that women’s razors cost around 11% more than men’s razors. Then there are removal techniques like crèmes, wax, or more permanent solutions like laser; all of these costs mounting ever higher.

3

Hair Improvement

Once the unwanted hair is removed, what remains needs to be in pristine condition. This includes salon cutting and styling, straightening, colouring, washing and conditioning, more home styling with tools like hairdryers and straighteners which few men will ever own. Then more products to keep curly, straight, tousled or silky. And all of this at 48% higher than the price of the same items marketed at men according to the same New York consumer affairs study.

An investigation into hair price differences found that in the UK across 5 top salon chains women’s haircuts alone cost £16.80 higher than men’s, regardless of a women’s hair length.

4

Deodorant

At shelf level it might seem that deodorants for men and women are priced roughly the same, if you look closer that’s not the case in most countries. Men’s deodorant sticks and sprays are much larger than the women’s equivalent which makes the latter expensive.

In a 2011 study in the Gender Issues journal, the differences were laid bare. Women deodorants cost $1.44 per ounce of deodorant, compared with $1.15 for men. A 20% increase.  But aren’t men’s deodorants stronger you ask? Well no, they actually contain the same ingredients in the same ratios.  So, until pricing catches up with us in the 21st century, a hack for women is to buy unscented men’s deodorant.

5

The Grooming Gap

Put aside the wage gap, for a minute if you will, and let’s take a look at the grooming gap.

This is the large discrepancy between the number of grooming products men use compared to women. It is true that studies prove that more attractive people earn higher. But this is almost negated by the amount of money that women have to spend to “achieve” what is understood as attractive. Hair removal, make-up, hair styling, large wardrobes so as not to recycle outfits too often and we can go on.

By contrast men’s grooming is simpler, quicker and most importantly, cheaper. So that extra income for just being a “hottie” goes right into the pocket of the male, whereas the female will basically just be funding her grooming routine to maintain a higher wage.

Groupon studied the spending habits of British women and found that over their lifetime, the average women spends £70,294 on their appearance. That’s everything from manicures to cosmetic surgery to gym memberships.

6

Makeup

It’s time to talk about the elephant in the room, makeup. A women’s secret weapon in her arsenal, but also a cumbersome part of her routine and an expensive stock to maintain. Apart from news anchor’s, few men don a full face of makeup every day (we hear you troll, there is always an exception we know).

Moreover, most women have experienced the difference in reception when they wear make-up to when they don’t. It goes along the lines of “you look tired” if they don’t have it on.

But no matter your political views on make-up, it costs a fortune! And the expectation on women to look picture perfect from daybreak till midnight is real. Not all make up is created equal, the less you pay the more you use, or the longer it lasts the more you pay, the one common trait: you pay!

Some women have a billion dollar makeup game. No, literally. Check out How Kylie Jenner Became a Billionaire from Makeup.

7

Clothes aimed at women are often more expensive than men’s clothing too

Levi’s 501 jeans for women cost 46% more than the same waist and leg length for men, according to The Times. In Topshop a white roll-sleeve T-shirt will set a woman back £12, while the same item in Topman costs just £8.

According to one study, women’s clothes cost on average 8% more than men’s. You might think that this is because of the construction and detail in women’s clothes compared to men. But the same study showed that the difference in price was set by retailers not manufacturers and that it is more linked to women’s willingness to pay higher prices for clothing than men. Yowzer!

8

Dry-cleaning

You might have been taken to the cleaners by your dry cleaners. On average a woman’s and men’s shirt have completely different pricing, although women’s shirts are smaller, they are expensive. They are at least double the price at most dry cleaners. So if a men’s shirt costs $2, a woman’s shirt costs $4. That doesn’t sound like a big deal maybe, but over 30years of once a month, dry cleaning that equates to about $750 for men is around $1,500 for women.

What might surprise you even more is that we’re talking about a stock standard cotton shirt, add special fabrics, silk, sequins or other embellishments you often find on women’s shirts and you’re looking at added costs.

9

Feminine Hygiene

A study by INTIMINA showed that women will spend on average $6,360 on menstrual related products in their lifetime. These are an unavoidable and unsolicited expenses, but in most countries these are still taxed as a “luxury item” in the same category as chocolate or perfume or alcohol, instead of being taxed at more affordable “essential” tax rates.

Those are just the short term costs; many girls who aren’t able to afford these feminine hygiene products miss school once a month. So the long term effect is missing out on valuable education that could set girls up for life.

This is all before she has even left the house, it’s when she leaves home that the real costs of being a women start to mount!

10

Transport

In most countries walking to where you need to be isn’t an option for a woman, because of the safety risks. This is of course if you are able to walk a decent distance in the shoes you are wearing. But to get around safely women have to opt for more expensive forms of transport than their male counterparts. Taking taxi’s, Uber, or other driving services are often a necessity and not a luxury when public transport isn’t safe enough. Transport can form one of the biggest expenses in a woman’s monthly budget.

11

Contraception

Worldwide, women are almost always responsible for the cost of contraception. Whatever method they use, women foot the bill. Although many pharmacy chains have promised to make a cheaper version of contraception available, it hasn’t materialised. Alternatively, there still remains a stigma around contraception, so where there might be free contraception available it comes with a heavy helping of judgment and condemnation.

Over her lifetime the average women will foot the bill for hundreds and thousands of dollars of contraception and ironically when it fails, the cost is for her account mostly too. But more on that later.

12

Home Loans

The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics published a study in 2011 which showed empirically that home loans are more expensive for women than men. The average mortgage interest rate for women was almost half a percent higher than for men. In comparisons with men with equal credit scores and qualifying factors women receive a 0.4% higher interest rate from lenders.

Surprisingly this time it isn’t a case of gender discrimination by banks, but rather a gender

character trait. Women are more likely to take a recommendation from a friend when selecting a home loan. Whereas men tend to only look at the lowest rate when choosing a lender. 0.4% might not seem like a lot when you sign up, but over the average 30year term of a mortgage this means paying $26,000 more than men. So this is where it’s a good time to shop around ladies.

13

Health Costs

A number of health associated costs makes it expensive for the women to maintain good health as compared to men. We have already mentioned two: menstrual care and birth control. But that’s not all. Most health care providers recommend annual gynaecology visits including mammary scans. Another expense that women rack up is the cost of child birth and associated pregnancy costs like pre-natal classes and post-natal check-ups.

Women are more likely to be responsible for the medical care of their children too, so on top of their own care, they have the health costs of children.

14

Cars

As if it can’t get any worse, women are also paying more for cars. The American Economic Review found that car dealers made first offers that were $200 lower to white men than to white women. 2 out of 5 white males received a better offer straight off the bat than women received after 40 minutes of bargaining. This study was conducted originally in 2001, but many experts agree that these unwritten rules of the motor trade still prevail.

15

Mommy Tax

Now that you know that everything is costing women a whole lot more than their male equivalent, it’s time we address the real problem: Women earn a lot less. This hasn’t got to do with performance, qualifications or experience, but rather is dished out to women regardless of their delivery. This pay gap is largely due to a lower value given to women in the workforce when they become mothers. It’s a subtle punishment for  the inconvenience to a company for having children.

On the converse when men have children it actually benefit’s their career. They are more likely to be promoted, given a raise or performance bonuses. There is no economic “punishment” for men when they have children.

Over the long-term of a women’s career this can be hundreds of thousands of dollars in missed wealth.

Question

Have you noticed any other price discrepancies in products aimed at men and women specifically? We’d love to hear from you.