Newsom outlaws the ‘pink tax’ erasing discriminatory pricing in California

Sydney Johnson

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Assembly Bill 1287 (AB 1287), outlawing the discriminatory price differences on products marketed toward women. This now banned phenomenon is referred to as the “Pink Tax,” where women’s products are priced significantly higher than those identical to men’s, the only difference being the color or packaging of said products.

Filling Rite Aid shelves, razors, deodorant, and other items will now be subject to price equality to their counterparts marketed towards men.

The bill, introduced by Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan in February 2021, indicates a step in a more progressive direction. Bauer-Kahan addressed the acceptance of the bill in a press release shortly after Newsom signed it.

“The ‘Pink Tax’ is a gender-based penalty that harms women who are already paid less,” Bauer-Kahan said. “This type of arbitrary gendered pricing has no place in California. It’s long past time to eliminate this type of inequality. I’m grateful Governor Newsom has signed this bill to ensure price equality in California.” 

American women may experience gender inequality through income gaps, price discrimination and other economic double standards. Junior Sophie Letts identifies the value of AB 1287, but she also understands the inequitable gender standards that remain in America.

“This [bill] recognizes inequalities in our society, addressing the disproportionate standards applied to women, so evidently [the bill] will provide benefits. But companies shouldn’t be trying to profit off women’s necessities in the first place, and unfair price discrepancies and taxes make being a woman in America noticeably more expensive,” Letts said.

Letts also argues against taxation on women’s hygiene products, exemplified through a separate tax, the “Tampon Tax”. Taxes applied to menstrual products have been outlawed in many states, including California, but many states continue to tax women for necessary toiletry products.

Beaming out shades of pink, the abundance of colorful menstrual products give women a variety of options.

Companies who commit violations against AB 1287, which includes failing to alter price discrepancies on female marketed products, will face large fines, the first violation being

 up to $10,000. Such consequences should guarantee the immediate effectiveness of the bill. 

Additionally, in a press release, the governor’s office published Newsom’s address, in which he spoke about the various laws that he has recently signed in order to erase the “Pink Tax” and other equitable gender issues. 

We’re not letting up on our work to ensure all women in our state are paid their due and treated equally in all spheres of life,” Newsom said. “These measures bring new transparency to tackle pay gaps [and] end discriminatory pricing of products based on gender.”

AB 1287 will impact women across California, as those who are female can now expect equal prices on products identical to men’s varieties.

“Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I owe more money for necessary products,” Letts said.