But a look into the reasons for this alleged price discrimination reveals legitimate market forces--not sexism--to be at work. In a provocative article on Marie Claire's website, "Why Women Pay More," writer Lea Goldman quite rightly points out that women pay more to dry clean shirts than men do. She also calls out more expensive women's shampoos and razors and different insurance rates for women. "We lose out in nearly every transaction we make," Goldman asserts.
Aside from that being a gross overstatement (the vast majority of the transactions we make are gender neutral--when you bought your morning coffee, did the barista make note of your gender?), many of Goldman's examples can be explained through simple economics, not sexism. Men's and women's shirts, for example, are not created equal. Men's shirts, because of their flat lines, are far easier to clean, and dry cleaners can use standardized machines to iron them. Women's shirts are, naturally, curvier, and require a more labor-intensive dry cleaning process.
Complicated and bureaucratic, yes. Sexist? Only if the tax difference always gave men a better deal for no legitimate reason, which it doesn't. Goldman also points out a fact of life that many couples have surely noticed: Women's self-care products tend to be pricier than men's. Shampoo, deodorant, and razors marketed to women tend to carry higher price tags than those sold to men. Perhaps women prefer fancier products, or maybe we're simply willing to pay more for our hygiene routines, but the market clearly supports pricier products for women.