/ Shopping

Would you be peeved if you paid more because of your gender?

Gendered products

A recent study has suggested that supermarkets are charging men and women very different prices for comparable products.

I’ve never been a massive fan of pink. I’ve always felt that I look like a piglet when I wear it, and I get annoyed when it’s illogically applied to things. Take pink camouflage – surely the fact that it’s pink completely defeats its purpose of blending in, unless you’re in a field of roses?

But I never realised my aversion to the colour could be a benefit to me.

Supermarket pricing

According to recent research by the Fawcett Society, a UK charity that campaigns for gender equality, there is ‘widespread sexist pricing’ in high street supermarkets.

It’s research found that with own-brand toiletries, including disposable razors, shaving cream and antiperspirant, women pay, on average, 31% more if it’s been gendered (such as being styled pink for women or blue for men). And at Morrisons, it’s up to 56% more – that’s a lot more to shell out for, say, a razor just because it’s pink.

The study also found that when purchasing comparable own-branded clothing, women pay, on average, 12% more. The exceptions noted by Fawcett were that men’s formal black trousers and plain white T-shirts are, on average, more expensive than comparable female products.

According to this research, gender-neutral items, offered by one supermarket, were placed alongside products targeted at men. If this were the case then this would make me assume on first glance the products are targeted toward men.

Even if I were sceptical during my shop, it’s hard enough figuring out the best deals in a supermarket without having to scan the shelves to find a cheaper, gender-neutral product that seemingly does exactly the same job as a gendered one.

Why pay more?

I can see an argument for products being more expensive if labour or materials needed to make them were more costly for the company. For instance, if a razor had six blades instead of two with a fancy design instead of a single colour. But surely it would need to be significantly different to justify the mark-up?

As it is, I get annoyed when I have to pay more based on need, such as when I’m all out of shampoo on a Sunday night and have to buy it from my local (more expensive) convenience store as it’s the only shop that’s open. I get it. But I really don’t want these extra costs to be my norm.

I don’t want to pay for stereotyping. I don’t want to pay more for my products and I don’t want my male family and friends to have to cough up more for theirs either.

Have you spotted any price differences in supermarkets? Do you feel like you’ve paid more for a comparable product because it’s been targeted at your gender?

Comments
Guest
Adam Shattock says:
13 September 2016

This is technically a breach of the Equality Act 2010 to price things differently because of gender. If the product is the exact same product but has different colouring then it is illegal. if the design is at least 20% different then it could fall to Copyright Law and be classed a sub-class of the same product. If anybody were to test this in a court of law it would test the Equality Act and also set a precedent that prevents greedy pig retailers from pinching extra pennies based on whether a person is born male or female.

Guest

You bet I would be angry ! Although to many I am classed as “not PC ” I am and always have been a supporter of REAL equality that means men and women treated equally in all aspects of life . But PC is not about real equality its about superiority , men are “put down ” in adverts continually . A recent yougov poll showed that among young men only 2 % of English men thought they were masculine, many were confused as to their gender . This isnt a natural phenomenon but a socially applied high pressure / intense “programming ” of male children from the cradle onwards while females become more masculine . This might be what BB wants and the new Western ” philosophy ” but I am glad I am un -reconstructed . What I find in real life as apposed to this feminist dream is that many women despise weak men and are attracted to strong masculine types who make better potential for producing strong babies and ,even in 2016 , will be a protector of them and their children . As a social type person having talked to 1000,s of women while at the “dancing ” and during 19 years of visits to their homes to fix equipment you had the domineering women and the more meeker variety , the same applied to men . Trying to group people into one mold doesnt work it causes psychological damage as , when you check the statistics in male deaths by suicide , its young men well to the forefront in this regard, females have more of a self preserving instinct because they carry babies to be born into this world . Would men buy feminine perfume ? feminine razors ? and dress and act continually as females ? I am talking the 92 % majority here . But this is where society is heading . people might not like me saying this , but I would like to debate this subject in a calm manner.

Guest

There are hundreds of toiletry products that unnecessarily differentiate between male and female versions. I see no need for soap, shower gel, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, and so on having a different formulation [I bet they don’t really] just because of the sex of the targetted user. They can have different fragrances but that should not lead to a higher price. Then there are razors, combs, and other grooming products that perform just as well in any colour or with any styling shape or design – yet the female-oriented version is priced at a premium for no justifiable reason. Duncan makes some interesting points but I don’t know that I go along with them all – no amount of product in masculine packaging will Tarzanise the male sex but I am not surprised manufacturers try to exploit and capitalise on our vanity. Luckily there are still plenty of functional products at sensible prices so spending more is just a conceit or an advanced form of peacockery.

Guest

@johnward I agree a lot of products don’t entirely need to be specialized in a male or female version. At times I even find it confusing, as I don’t know what I’m supposedly missing out on, or gaining, in the difference. Sometimes I’ll even take to reading and comparing ingredient labels to see if there really is a difference in composition beyond a specific scent.

Guest
dieseltaylor says:
14 September 2016

“Take pink camouflage – surely the fact that it’s pink completely defeats its purpose of blending in, unless you’re in a field of roses?”

I am afraid you are showing your US roots as in the UK it is perfectly acceptable when hiding in blancmange which very often is pink. : )

Guest

It never occurs to me to search for male toiletries or to price them so this comes as a big surprise to me. As I am naturally hypersensitive to highly perfumed products anyway I usually go for ones that are hypoallergenic and unperfumed in the women’s sector.

Gender difference is not on my list of high priorities but I do recognise they do exist and respect them. Ideally any male or female who can identify with and be in touch with their own opposite gender is preferable. To denigrate members of the opposite sex can often be attributed to a bad relationship or experience with either a male or female member of ones own family or a partner, (the latter often can be traced back to the former), or gender envy. Problems arise when the Alfa male or the over domineering female equivalent passes derisory remarks to their fellow mates in an attempt to try to boost their own ego which can lead to some of the problems expressed by Duncan.

As previously posted, alleged or supposed weakness can often be a sign of strength and no strong person whatever their gender will allow their subconscious to be influenced by a manufacturers sales patter, promoting unrealistic images that promise far fetched and starry eyed rewards and payoffs who are, to some extent, responsible for the high suicide rate amongst young males who may have already been subjected to ridicule or derision in their past private lives.

Guest

Razors . I don’t happen to shave , but how mad is that market ? And what’s with the pink razor for women that Venus promote ? And women buy into it ….

Guest

Vikki , it may surprise you but women have as much hair as men ,on average, but the hairs are a lot finer and harder to see . This again has sub-divisions depending on racial characteristics/DNA , blond/redhaired women have even finer hair while darker , Mediterranean types have darker more prominent hair . I have seen men with little body hair and women with a lot but thats life, its natural , many women in the continent and Russia , for example never shaved under their arms , while this might upset UK/US citizens it doesnt in those countries where this is natural . This is actually one point I agree with feminists , many of the pioneers refused to shave under their arms or wear bras , the only problem with no bras , breasts are not muscles and as women get older they head south . Its actually down to advertising and profit , just look at the money women spend on cosmetics/perfume etc ,its more than men spend on cars . Add to that when a woman has the change of life female hormones diminish so more hair appears and increases into old age . Again this is natural and men should accept this if they love their wife/partner/or whatever else they call their opposite number . I dont have a problem with it ,I have seen more naked bodies while working in a hospital than some people have hot dinners , some living and some dead. All this glamour is either to attract a mate or for self confidence in themselves , men are not really different doing body building or dressing “Italian sharp ” silk suites , Gucci shoes/watch /you name it . Its a game encouraged by BB for massive profit . I could do without women wearing loads of make up as I judge a female on personality , intelligence etc I learned early in life beauty can be only skin deep.