Anti-Centric Blog #2

The products we have looked at bring to light the contemporary reality of the so called “pink tax”. The “pink tax” refers to the overpricing of goods being sold based solely on the target market they are aimed at, namely, women. The difference in the product usually has nothing to do with a true, justifiable, or explainable difference in the gender of the consumer. The difference in how products for females are advertised and the ability of firms to market them at an elevated price is due to the social preconception (and in many instances reality) that women are willing to spend more on something that will improve their appearance, or permit them to fulfill a socially desirable gender role. We see this in the Bic Pen ad, as well as in the MyCalvins ad, where inherently gender neutral products (jeans and pens) are marketed towards females in a way that sells a social preconception on how women should be, look, or act.

What is the social solution to this issue? Should women simply refuse to consume these products and buy products for men in form of protest? Perhaps it’s not so easy, as women as a collective will not find it convenient or be motivated enough to this to the extent that it would effect the companies that sell these products. Rather, there needs to be some sort of direct awareness within society and companies regarding the subtle misogyny that underlines gendered marketing for gender neutral products.

Along with the media eliminating gendered products, society in general must stop propagating to women and men an idealized vision of the gender roles. As long as we have gendered marketing for gender neutral products such as jeans and pens, this goal cannot be completely achieved. This is an example of how sexism in advertising transfers into real life, and a discussion of possible solutions to the issues raised by biased ads.

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