Beyond the Pink Tax: Hidden Costs of Being a Woman

By on October 21, 2020

On top of everything else women have to deal with, life as a woman is just plain more expensive. From everyday costs to larger obstacles, it’s all just a little bit harder and worse. If you don’t believe that, here’s five reasons why it’s true.

Health Costs

Women have extra health costs, especially women who can get pregnant. Pregnancy is expensive, and avoiding pregnancy isn’t necessarily cheap either. Because much modern medicine is built around the average patient being male, among other assumptions, it can be hard to even find women’s clinics in Illinois and other more rural states. On top of that, women are more likely to have their concerns ignored and their pain dismissed by medical professionals, which can mean that serious conditions don’t get caught early on. 


It’s easy to dismiss clothes because of the stereotype that women spend more on clothing because they like shopping. Women have very little choice but to like shopping. With inconsistent sizing across brands, long shopping trips with lots of trying on in changing rooms are not optional to find clothes that fit. Women’s dress codes for work are often confusing and inconsistent, which means that moving from one office to another might mean buying a whole new wardrobe, even in the same industry. On top of that, a woman’s worth is more often and more extremely judged than a man’s, and women’s clothes are often flimsy and reliant on changing fashions. 

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Clothes are not the only product that cost more for women. If you’re unfamiliar with the “pink tax” just compare the price of razor blades, soaps, and lotions marketed to women vs men and unisex products. There’s a simple enough solution there, you might think, but don’t forget that there are other products, like bras or tampons, that are not optional purchases for most women. Individually, the extra costs may not seem like a lot, but imagine that every shopping trip had an extra two dollars tacked on. It adds up!


Children are expensive, as everyone knows. For a whole host of reasons, some personal and some societal, women tend to end up looking after children. Childcare is expensive, whether the labor is paid or unpaid, and it is a burden that falls more often on women than men. Just because they’re often doing it for free and out of love doesn’t mean that it has no cost. There’s no such thing as a free lunch and there’s no such thing as free childcare. Someone has to pay for it, and that someone is probably a woman.

Pay Gap

Taking all this into consideration, it’s all the more galling that women earn on average 82 cents for every man’s full dollar. The difference is even more dramatic for women of color and other minorities. To be made to earn less and pay more is simply criminal unfairness. 

However, it doesn’t mean that a woman can’t accomplish everything she sets out to do. Women can do it all, just don’t forget that they’re always doing in backward and in high heels. 

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Beyond the Pink Tax: Hidden Costs of Being a Woman