5 Hidden Costs Women Have to Deal With That Men Don't

In case you were worried that attacks on access to reproductive healthcare and rape culture weren't instilling the true je ne sais quoi of sexism into modern culture: There's financial stuff, too! There are plenty of things that women have to pay for that men don't. Women come from all types of economic backgrounds, and these hidden costs -- let's call them the Lady Taxes -- affect women at different ends of the socioeconomic spectrum differently. But the fact remains that no matter what a woman's financial status, she still has to make it rain for the Lady Tax. And all this while we're getting paid 79 cents on the dollar to men (and even less for women of color) for doing the exact same work. Here are the things you might not have considered women have to pay for that men are exempt from.


1. The Beauty Tax

Just as women are robbed of equal pay, the Beauty Tax takes that margin of difference and inverts it. Women are constantly paying more for the exact same self-care products that men buy at far more reasonable prices. Everything from deodorant to haircuts cost more under this gendered pricing scheme, which it's estimated adds up to a mean extra $1,400 spent annually by women on female branded products and services.


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2. Social taxes

If actual money taxes weren't enough, there's also research to show that women must pay a social tax if they want to negotiate their wages. Basically, a woman negotiating for more money is viewed unfavorably by her colleagues -- a sentiment that does not translate to men doing the same. The alternative to not paying the social tax, of course, is not negotiating, and earning less. So either way, women pay.

3. The cost of having a period

The natural process a woman's body goes through on a monthly basis is expensive as hell. Tampons, pads -- all the crap women are told they need in order to keep that flow as secretive as possible. It's estimated that menstruating costs a woman around $18,171 over the course of her life.


4. Reproductive health

Regular pap tests and the follow-ups that come from irregular ones are costly -- a visit to the doctor without insurance can cost between $175-$500 (I've paid that myself). Meanwhile, birth control can cost over $1,600 a year, not to mention the side-effects of daily ingestion, or ongoing implantation of hormonal medications into the female body. With the ACA and Planned Parenthood under attack, and the male pill taking its sweet time hitting the market, it's a bleak outlook.


5. Wool for pussy hats to wear to protests

Well okay, the knitted pussy hats aren't compulsory (although they are cute!), but the point is we're about to spend the next four years marching for our rights, which requires resources, from time to money spent.