Bras, Tampons and Makeup, Oh My! Why It is More Expensive To Be A Woman Than A Man.

The expense of being a woman, is something that’s been debated on for a while. Tell us you haven’t reluctantly look at your bank account and wondered, “Is being a woman making me broke? I didn’t sign up for this!” But breaking news: the cost of being a woman is in fact more expensive than the cost of being a man! Cue a Angela Rye eye-roll for that double standard.


There’s the basic toiletries like body wash, shampoo and conditioner are that both the average man and woman top up on. But then there’s addressing the biological realities like bras, tampons/pads/menstrual cups, contraceptives, and gyno visits. Then you get into the more objective choices like that thing we love here – makeup. According to a 2013 study by Mint, the average woman spends $15,000 on makeup alone in their lifetime, which doesn’t seem that high. But when you think about overall skin care and all the retinoids, anti-wrinkle creams, face masks, and snail gels marketed towards us that number more than likely spikes.

Last year, Glamour made a great video breaking down the costs of a being a woman vs a man. Side by side you can watch as the two go through their normal routines racking up to the overall costs in year. Some could argue the actual price of things is completely objective and women could potentially just buy lower-end items to save or when it comes to things like makeup, just not buy it at all. But let’s not forget about that little thing called the “pink tax.”

The “pink tax” or the “women’s tax” suggests that women are actually paying more than men for the same exact products. According to a 2015 study, products marketed to women cost more 42% of the time. 13% of that goes to personal care products. Then there’s the “luxury tax” or “tampon tax” that suggests that even feminine hygiene products are unjustly taxed in the majority of US states (thanks to The Nation for the below upsetting image). It’s a disconcerting truth for a society that often treats a female menstruation as such a taboo topic, but in turn taxes it like a luxury.


Cases have been brought to the federal court against gender-based price gouging and have been dismissed. However, there are city/state state laws in place in New York City and California that prevent retailers from price differentiation based on gender. Sure these bans only came to play in the 90s, but there seems to be some recent progress.

Last year, New York, Illinois and Connecticut tossed the additional tax on feminine hygiene products by recategorizing them. Then just this month, badass New York Congresswoman, Grace Meng became the first politician to take a stand against the tampon tax on a federal level by introducing the Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2017. Her legislation would make feminine hygiene products accessible female inmates/detainees as well as employers with more than 100 employees, free of charge. It also will provide refundable tax credit to low-income women and allow feminine hygiene products to be purchased with a FSA.

So how else can we further mitigate this frustrating double standard? Check and compare prices any opportunity you can. Products like razors and shaving cream often only have minor production changes between those marketed between women and men. Pay attention to ingredients and see if it’s worth spending more just because it’s in a “women’s” section. Chances are it’s not. If you’re in a state where feminine hygiene products are still taxed, consider making the shift to menstrual cups as many of brands have a lifespan of years. We’re not gonna tell you to stop buying things like skin care and makeup, because well look at it us. But we can tell you to continue to make conscious choices in doing whatever’s best for you financially and mentally.

Saturday Standards Link Round-Up 1/21/17

Every Saturday here on we will do a round-up of what we’ve been reading and seeing in the world of how women are treated differently than men. Sometimes they are wonderful takes on how to survive and thrive and sometimes they are just disappointing.

This is an oldie but goodie  (in that it helps enlighten, not that it is good) that Mother Jones published a few years back. The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media (published a new (PDF) detailing the stereotypes, barrier, and sadly exploitation that define how badly women and girls are treated on screen. Go see the stats for yourself. 

Women are scarcer in prime-time shows and family films, and those films depict “fewer women in prestigious occupational positions,” the study notes. “Females are not only missing from popular media, [but] when they are on screen, they seem to be there merely for decoration.”WhoGetsToSpeak

If that is leaving you sad we’ve got some cheerful (kinda) from HerCampus analyzing some recent reports of gender bias lawsuits. It starts with a bummer of a story but the author takes it to a great place. When it comes to discrimination DON’T BE A TEAM PLAYER.

We must continue having these conversations and revealing these acts of sexism as a way to avoid normalizing them. Openly speak out and expose them. Embarrass the people who believe this sort of behavior is acceptable.

Sherry refers to the women who kept quiet about their experiences as “team players.” Of course, that definition of “team player” is one created by a male-dominated workplace: you’re a team player if you keep quiet about these injustices and develop a “thick skin.” I’m calling for the rebranding of “team player.” A team of men and women who support one another when they speak out about harassment in the workplace. A team that steps up to support a colleague experiencing harassment in the workplace and refuses to accept it.

This task shouldn’t fall solely on women. Men who see it need to speak up as well. It’s the unfortunate truth that a man speaking on sexism may be listened to more than a woman—especially by other men. That’s called exercising male privilege in a positive and effective way.

Women Would Ask For More

“A consequence of female self-love is that the woman grows convinced of social worth. Her love for her body will be unqualified, which is the basis of female identification. If a woman loves her own body, she doesn’t grudge what other women do with theirs; if she loves femaleness, she champions its rights. It’s true what they say about women: Women are insatiable. We are greedy. Our appetites do need to be controlled if things are to stay in place. If the world were ours too, if we believed we could get away with it, we would ask for more love, more sex, more money, more commitment to children, more food, more care. These sexual, emotional, and physical demands would begin to extend to social demands: payment for care of the elderly, parental leave, childcare, etc. The force of female desire would be so great that society would truly have to reckon with what women want, in bed and in the world.”

Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth

Saturday Standards Link Round-Up 1/14/17

Every Saturday here on we will do a round-up of what we’ve been reading and seeing that is utter nonsense in the world of how women are treated differently than men. Sometimes they are wonderful takes on how to survive and thrive and sometimes they are just disappointing.

We were digging into workplace harassment and found a study by British online survey of 25,000 people carried out by workplace gender campaign Opportunity Now and global professional services firm PwC in  2014. And the results according to MSNBC were pretty upsetting.  52% of women report being bullied in the workplace. Oddly no mention of how  many men reported feeling bullied in the workplace. But then only 2,166 men who took part in the study so maybe they just don’t worry about these things as much. Double standard perhaps? But based on the quote below they just don’t have as much to worry about.

While Inga Beale, the newly-appointed CEO of insurance market Lloyd’s of London, talked of an “automatic protectionism” among senior men – and said it was time for women to upset the status quo.

“At the moment we have guys protecting each other – it’s a club,” she said in the report.

“Women traditionally have not had that network of support that men tend to have, so in that sense they have nothing to lose by rocking the boat and challenging the way things are.”              


Now on to a lighter topic! Your appearance. You are being judged by your appearance by your boss everyday. 

According to the research, good grooming habits—looking “polished” or “pulled together”—is a professional’s most important physical asset. Women are judged more harshly here. While 83% of senior executives said “unkempt attire” (including wrinkled or too-tight clothing and visible lingerie) detracts from a woman’s executive presence, a slightly smaller percentage (76%) said it undermines a man’s.

Moreover, women’s professional polish includes tasteful accessories, manicured nails and a hairstyle versus a haircut. Whereas, a man’s polished look is based on clean nails, shiny shoes, a clean shave and manicured facial hair, according to the report.


The Bromance: Double Standards At Work

“Ladies, we are at a massive disadvantage in the workplace. Your male peers are flirting with their male bosses constantly. The average workplace is like f*cking Bromancing the Stone. That’s basically what male bonding is. Flirting. They’re flirting with each other playing golf, they’re flirting with each other going to the football, they’re flirting with each other chatting at the urinals – and, sadly, flirting with each other in after-hours visits to strip clubs and pubs. They are bonding with each other over their biological similarities. If the only way you can bond with them is over you biological differences, you go for it. Feel pressurised to actually f*ck them if you do? Then don’t flirt. Find it an easy way to just crack on? Then crack on – and don’t blame other women for doing it.”

Caitlin Moran, How to Be a Woman

Saturday Standards Link Round-Up 1/7/17

Every Saturday here on we will do a round-up of what we’ve been reading and seeing that is utter nonsense in the world of how women are treated differently than men. Sometimes they are wonderful takes on how to survive and thrive and sometimes they are just disappointing. Today we have disappointing stories.

How To Overcome Gender Stereotypes in The Workplace

We are SO confident this came from a good place in the author and assigning editor’s heart. Ladies get treated different so let’s help them overcome nasty stereotypes about women (we are mean, we gossip, we wear blouses that might show we have breasts, we cry). So they gave us this piece of advice

“Be excellent,” insists Brenda Fiala, Strategy SVP at Blast Radius. “Set for yourself an expectation of delivering excellent work, and strive to do it positively and consistently,” she says.

Gee, we hadn’t thought of that one. They also remind us to “appropriate wardrobe” (because that’s even a reality that is achievable) and “not be gossipy” if you think people believe women are gossips.

The Daily Wire Wildly Misconstrues Advice On Respecting Boundaries

Don’t ask her how she is doing. Don’t pay her a compliment. Don’t you dare ask her on a date. You know what, don’t even look at her. 

Wow you mad bro (or I guess bro-ette as the author is also a woman) Bust has a piece with some swearing on how to respect people’s personal space when women are wearing headphones. We don’t want to tone police because you know what it is kind of weird when dudes come up to us when we are out for a run wearing our headphones. But the Daily Wire thinks that is just NOT OK  Cool. Way to get offended at other people’s preferences.