It Really Is Way More Expensive to Be a Woman

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?lang=en&language=en&ref_site=photo&search_source=search_form&version=llv1&anyorall=all&safesearch=1&use_local_boost=1&autocomplete_id=&search_tracking_id=d-u1Egd_1XiyqDLSJx_DvQ&searchterm=women%20products%20shampoo%20shopping&show_color_wheel=1&orient=&commercial_ok=&media_type=images&search_cat=&searchtermx=&photographer_name=&people_gender=&people_age=&people_ethnicity=&people_number=&color=&page=1&inline=285600797">Niki Love</a>/Shutterstock

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America’s notorious gender pay gap isn’t the only inequality hurting women’s pockets these days. According to a new study, gender discrimination practices creep into everyday shopping experiences, costing women significantly more for nearly identical products aimed at men.

The study, released by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs this week, compared 8,000 different products ranging from children’s toys to shaving razors, and found that items specifically targeting women were on average 7 percent more expensive than their male counterparts, even when the products were virtually identical beyond their gender-based packaging.

For instance, as pointed out by Danielle Paquette at the Washington Post, Target sold two Radio Flyer scooters: one red, for boys, and one pink, for girls.

“The only significant difference is the price,” Paquette explains. “Target listed one for $24.99 and the other for $49.99.”

Items targeting women cost more 42 percent of the time. Men’s products were more expensive only 18 percent of the time.

NYC

While the study only focused on New York City stores, many of those analyzed were national brands and retailers, including Neutrogena and Rite Aid. It’s therefore likely the pricing discrepancies uncovered by New York exist far beyond the city.

But could progress be on the horizon? According to the National Women’s Law Center, the gender pay gap closed by one whole cent this year! So word of advice ladies, don’t waste your shiny new penny on “women’s products.” It’s time to start shopping like a man.

(h/t Washington Post)

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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