What’s the Pink Tax? It’s easy. It’s women being duped into paying extra hygiene products just because they’re women.

Women do not only pay more for feminine hygiene products—they pay more for everything. Mens razors, shaving cream, deodorant, and anything else that can be used for personal hygiene purposes are always priced less. Women’s products are always feminine looking (meaning that they come in pretty packaging with flowers, feminine colors, cute designs, etc) and they always cost AT LEAST a few cents more. But as everyone knows, a few cents can add up quickly.

The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs did a study in 2016 and they found that women’s products were (on average) 48% more than those marketed to men. They also found that women’s jeans costed 10% more, along with “girls” bikes that costed 6% more. The study found that products marketed to women cost more 42% of the time.

The wage gap also proves that women make less than men do, but they are still forced to pay for products that shouldn’t be gender specific.

Women can easily buy mens products so they can “stick it to the man” (or in this case, the large corporations that are profiting off of our ignorance). Although women can buy products like shaving cream and razors that are “meant for men,” there’s certain things that they can’t buy.

Feminine hygiene products like pads and tampons.

There’s a certain stigma that surrounds women and getting their period— it’s something  that should never be spoken about. Why are women shamed for something natural that happens to them? Why are women shamed for something that they can’t control? And the most puzzling question of all: Why are women charged (and charged extra) for feminine hygiene products?

First of all, if women didn’t use pads, tampons, diva cups, or whatever they use to control their flow, people revolt. Hearing the words “free bleeding” makes someone shudder. If women are charged for products that help them cover something natural, and they’re shamed for free bleeding, where is the middle ground?

What are we supposed to do?

Now, I’m not advocating free bleeding by any means. I know it’s a very unhygienic thing to do, but here’s the issue: feminine hygiene products are classed as luxury, not necessity. That means that women pay for the goods themselves—but they also pay sales tax.

Women all around the world are protesting the Pink Tax by using the hashtag #PinkTax to bring awareness and to show large corporations that change needs to be made.

The best thing that women can do is make known that this injustice is happening. Change needs to happen– and who’s better at getting things done than women?