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The Blue Tax

I just bought a pink harness for my new puppy and was surprised that the blue harness costs the same amount. I sat in this before realizing why this was so surprising to me.

A pet harness on Amazon being sold for $10.88 regardless of the color.
A pet harness on Amazon being sold for $10.88 regardless of the color.

My son has had pink everything since he was born. From pacifiers to toys, pink versions were always cheaper while the “gender neutral” options, ones that included blue or were labeled “for boys” were always more expensive. When questioned about his pink toys, I’d always respond with “it was cheaper” which was true and somehow safer for me to say than “I don’t care if my son has pink things.”

Pink toys cost less if there’s a blue or “boy” option.
Pink toys cost less if there’s a blue or “boy” option.

This pattern proved to me that the Pink Tax that targets things specifically “for girls”, “women” or “females” is in a weird way reversed if the product has blue options. If the product is not targeted solely to women and includes a pink option it’s marketed as less desirable/valuable. Does that mean it costs more to be homophobic, misogynistic and hold tightly to the gender binary?


Hanes shirts marketed to girls cost more than shirts for boys.
Hanes shirts marketed to girls cost more than shirts for boys.

When my son started wearing clothes other than onesies, anything pink but made specifically for boys or labeled unisex was cheaper too. While whenever we buy anything that’s specifically targeted to little girls the Pink Tax comes back into play.

K’s son through the years with pink.
K’s son through the years with pink.

The Gender Binary Hurts Us All in many ways. Corporate greed will use this harm to make a profit even if it means causing more harm and elevating harmful beliefs. Pink is one of my son’s favorite colors and I will never tell him it’s not allowed to be but I do hope one day I won’t be shocked when pink and blue products cost the same amount.


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