The shop charging a 'Man Tax' of 7%

Sarah Coles
Man tax
Man tax

A chemist has created a storm by implementing a Man Tax. It has put up two signs in the window - one stating that women can shop tax-free, and the other that any male customers will be subject to a man tax of 7%.

The chemist, based in New York, told the BBC that it had adopted the policy to highlight unfair pricing in beauty products, help men understand how it feels to be on the wrong end of unfair gender pricing, and generate a debate.

The trend of making women's products more expensive than men's has become known as The Pink Tax ever since a New York study found that products aimed at women - including beauty staples - cost 7% more than the same products aimed at men - from deodorant to razors.

An investigation by The Times earlier this year discovered that the markup was matched in the UK.

A photo of the shop has been shared on Imgur, Reddit and Facebook, and it has certainly triggered a debate - just possibly not the one it was expecting.


The shop has been accused of sexism. One Imgur user said: "This is exactly why this new age feminism isn't liked. Feminism is about equality. This isn't." Anther added that: "If you are a offering a discount to women and not to men, it's gender discrimination!"

Others pointed out that sexism on pricing already goes both ways and that this is just 'Ladies' Night all over again.

And some even highlighted the fact the shop had used a pink sign for women and a blue one for men - demonstrating gender stereotyping of their own.

Some, however, supported the move. One reacted to the negative comments with "It sucks when you're discriminated against, doesn't it?"

The shop was forced to explain its position on Facebook, highlighting that men weren't actually going to pay any more for their products, but that women were in effect getting a discount.

Unusual pricing policies

It's not the first store to implement an unusual pricing policy that went viral. After the General Election last May, we reported on the garden centre that had introduced a Tory Tax of 10% on anyone who voted Tory - explaining that this was one of the 'tough' decisions he had to make in order to 'balance the books.' UKIP voters were invited to shop elsewhere.

There was also the French cafe which decided to make a stand against rudeness, and charged different amounts for coffee depending on whether the customer said 'please' or not.

The chemist isn't even the first place to implement a new charging policy to highlight the pink tax. Back in May, a coffee shop in Toronto started charging women more, than it charged men for the same items. Admittedly in this case it was all filmed for GirlTalk HQ as part of their #FightPinkTax campaign. Interestingly, women were shocked and angry about the pricing policy - despite the fact that they routinely paid more for products aimed at women.

Perhaps this would have been a less controversial way of making the same point. But what do you think? Is a Man Tax a good idea? Let us know in the comments.