NYC Pharmacy Instituting 7% “Man Tax” To Highlight Gender Pricing Discrimination

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In an effort to bring awareness to discrimination in gender pricing — for example, charging a so-called “pink tax” on feminine hygiene products — one New York pharmacy has a new rule: male customers have to pay a 7% tax on items for men.

The folks at Thompson Chemists in the Manhattan neighborhood of SoHo posted two signs in the store’s windows on Monday, as seen in a photo posted on reddit: a pink sign that reads “New store policy: All Female Customers Shop Tax Free,” and a blue sign noting, “All Male Customers Are Subject To A 7% Man Tax.”

The pharmacy’s owner says she wants men to realize that women often have extra costs they have to deal with when they shop.

“We want to bring awareness on how it feels to be a woman, so the men actually get to feel it,” she told Gothamist.

The policy is being run as a promotion, and the owner says she’ll see how things go before she decides if she wants to make the tax permanent.

NYC officials with the Department of Consumer Affairs explain to Gothamist there’s no legal problem with this promotion, because it doesn’t discriminate in the pricing of services. There is no prohibition on price discrimination for goods.

The department released a study last year that examined gender pricing in New York City, comparing nearly 800 products with clear male and female versions from more than 90 brands sold in stores and online.

In all, the study found that on average across the five industries, women’s products cost 7% more than similar products for men.

Earlier this year, New York state lawmakers voted to repeal a sales tax on feminine hygiene products.

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