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Million Bazillion Academy, Week 3: The pink tax

One of our inquisitive listeners, Isabella, noticed when she was shopping online that women’s clothing was more expensive than men’s clothing — and she thought that was unfair. Turns out, it happens a lot.

The same or really similar items, from school supplies to sports equipment, often cost more when they’re designed to look like they were made for girls. People have taken to calling this phenomenon the “pink tax.”

This week, we’ll learn more about why it happens and what’s being done about it. We’ll also ask some random kids a not-so-random question, and Bridget will introduce us to her new smart speaker — which has oddly great taste in music.

Listen to the episode above or click here to play in your podcast app! Here’s the transcript. After listening, click here to download this week’s worksheet. More discussion questions and links after the cartoon.

A four-panel comic explaining the "Pink Tax," not an official thing but a term that describes the average price difference between virtually identical mens and womens products — 7 percent on average.

Money Talks

Take a minute to recap the episode and review the key points. Here are some questions to get the kids going. Answers are at the bottom of the page!

  1. What is the name of Bridget’s smart speaker?
  2. What is a pink tax and why is it called that?
  3. What is it called when different people get charged different prices for the same thing?
  4. What’s the name of the song Sidekick played about the pink tax? Can you sing it?

Tip Jar

Some extra info for parents!

Our friend Isabella spotted a pattern and asked about it. Like her, some researchers and lawmakers have also been looking into why toys and clothes and haircuts for girls often cost more than the same things for boys. Gathering proof and data led the state of New York to pass rules against the pink tax, and it got some companies to change their pricing. Research: It’s “the secret weapon against tyranny!” as Jed put it.
Here are a few good sources:

If the kids are asking more broadly about economic fairness, here are a few resources on how to have those conversations:

Money talks answers

  1. Sidekick
  2. Answers will vary, but along the lines of: It’s the extra money charged for things that are specifically designed for girls and women, even when they’re often the same or very similar to those that are designed for boys and men. It’s called pink tax because a lot of things designed for girls and women are pink.
  3. Price discrimination
  4. “Attacking Pink Taxes With My Pink Axes”

That’s it for this week of Million Bazillion Academy! We’re here to make kids and their grown-ups smarter about money. Did someone send this page to you? Click here to enroll in our free email newsletter course!