pink calculator

Columnist Sarah Poyer further investigates the logistics and legislation concerning the pink tax.

Money matters. 

Everyone needs money to be able to purchase and use necessities in their daily lives. Gender price discrimination affects the power one has over their own money.

Sexism exists in so many places in society, especially when it comes to spending and money. Pink tax makes items marketed toward women have a higher price. This gender-based price discrimination affects many products. Luckily, some legislative works are happening to combat this discrimination hopefully. Before discussing the legislation that is happening, we first need to understand just what pink tax is doing. 

So what exactly does pink tax affect? Unfortunately, it is seen in a wide variety of things, from calculators to clothes. According to HuffPost, the same calculator, which had the same functions and abilities, was one dollar more in pink. The black calculator was $6.99, yet the same calculator in pink was $7.99. This HuffPost article has many other examples, such as toddler’s bicycle helmets. The helmet that would be marketed toward boys is $20, while the one marketed toward girls is $25. A more noticeable difference than the calculators, but even the one dollar every so often adds up. Over time, women's bank accounts seeing this upcharge can take a significant toll.

Of course, combatting pink tax on a personal level is helpful and shows companies women are more than just a color or fragrance, but work higher up on a legislative level does more to benefit. Passing legislation makes it so that gender-based price discrimination cannot occur, according to Some states, cities and counties in the United States have already passed legislation. says California, New York City and Miami-Dade County of Florida have already made pink tax illegal in services.

That is unsurprisingly an insufficient number: only one state, one city and a county. Personally, it feels like the number should be much higher in terms of legislation. 

Good news, though, is that Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York proposed a plan to eliminate the pink tax. This would hopefully apply to the whole state and not just New York City. According to his website Governor.NY, Cuomo has done many things to combat gender-based price discrimination, such as prohibiting tampon tax and mandating equal pay for equal work; props to him for that! Gov. Cuomo is not the only one who has had pink tax on his mind.

The United States Legislative branch has also had pink tax on their mind. also says there have been multiple attempts in different years to repeal pink tax. Unfortunately, neither attempt (one in 2016, one in 2018) was successful. While this is again very saddening, a glimpse of hope can be seen in the fact pink tax was at least acknowledged in a powerful branch of the government. 

So we have acknowledged pink tax, but now what?

Do research, voice your opinion and hopefully incite some change. The information I have given in this column is not enough to form an opinion, but it is enough to get started. Look into the links and research on your own! Then, talk to people around you about this.

Make pink tax known.

Like I said last week, change your shopping habits. Once you have done all of that, consider reaching out to your senators and congressmen, getting them to care and writing another bill. Most importantly, don’t give up fighting for equality among men and women. Show people that women’s money matters and isn’t something to be tossed around carelessly. 

Sarah Poyer profile pic

Columnist Sarah Poyer is a senior in women's and gender studies with minors in philosophy and biology. 

Opinion Policies

Editorials are longer opinion pieces that are written by a group of community members recruited across campus who address relevant issues on a local, national and international level. Editorials are research-based. The purpose of the Editorial Board is to promote discussion concerning relevant issues in the community while advising on possible solutions. Topics are chosen via relevancy and interests of the members, which are then discussed by the Editorial Board in order to reach a general consensus concerning the topic or issue.

Feedback policy

If you have a grievance concerning the content or argument of the Editorial Board, please contact either Opinion Editor Peyton Hamel ( or the Editorial Board as a whole ( Those wanting to respond to editorials can also submit a letter to the editor through the Iowa State Daily website or by emailing the letter to Opinion Editor Peyton Hamel ( or Editor-in-Chief Sage Smith (

Column Policy

Columns are hyper-specific to opinion and are written by only columnists employed by the Iowa State Daily. Columnists are unique because they have a specific writing day and only publish on those writing days. Each column undergoes a thorough editing process ensuring the integrity of the writer, and their claim is maintained while remaining research-based and respectful. Columns may be submitted from community members. These are labelled as “Guest Columns.” These contain similar research-based content and need to be at least 400 words in length. The following requirements should be met: first and last name, email and relation or position to Iowa State. Emails must be tied to the submitted guest column or it will not be accepted or published. Pseudonyms are prohibited and the writer will be banned from submissions.

Read our full Opinion Policies here. Updated on 10/7/2020

(1) comment

Milty Friedman

Have you considered that few pink things are sold than black things? The more of a single model you sell, the more you enjoy economies of scale that the product cheaper. It’s that simple.

Of course, if you think pink things are too expensive, you can stop buying them and buy black instead. It’s that simple.

However, the best solution if you think pink things are overpriced is to start your own business to sell pink things cheaper and undercut the competition. Of course, that would require work when it’s so much easier to complain, isn’t it?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.