Throughout their lives, women deal with gender gaps in a number of arenas. On average, women don't make as much income as men for the same work. They're also forced to pay tax, otherwise known as a "pink tax," on essential products like tampons and pads, which should be available free of cost. After all, most women go through menstrual cycles each month for a good part of their lives. But sometimes, businesses do something to tip the scale and make the distribution a little more equal. On Monday, one New York pharmacy confronted a gender gap that's no so glaringly obvious if you don't have to deal with it on a daily basis. To give men an idea of the up-charges women frequently face, the pharmacy implemented a tax on them.
SoHo's Thompson Chemists pharmacy hung two signs in their shop windows explaining the new store policy. One read "All Female Customers Shop Tax Free," while the other proclaimed "All Male Customers Are Subject To A 7% Man Tax." According to Patch, shop owner Jolie Alony decided to institute the policy for Columbus Day only, but might consider extending it. Rather than thinking of it as a tax on men, she considers it as a discount for women. "I think it's a fabulous way to show the men that we're equal, and that we deserve what they deserve," she told Patch.
In 2015, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs released a report called "From Cradle to Cane: The Cost of Being a Female Consumer", which found that products in the city cost 7 percent more on average for women than they do for men. Although the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, women still earn only about 79 cents to a man's dollar.
And Thompson Chemists isn't the only business that has taken action to provide temporary discounts for women. On Equal Pay Day, for example, bars and restaurants ran promotions to give women discounts on drinks. In reality, the temporary discounts don't do much — at least financially — to make up for the "pink tax" and lower wages. They do, however, help to spark a conversation about the gender gap in America — and hopefully influence change.
While we still have a long way to go until women are finally on equal footing with men, actions from businesses like this help put a little dent in the old ways and enlighten those who may not be aware of that the gender gap exists in more spheres than one.