Thursday, March 17, 2005


Gender Tax?

Sometimes there are things that you notice, that tick you off, but that you just kind of take as a given in life. Like transit systems...(no , not again, I was just teasing)

But then someone says, “Hey, you know, I don’t think this is right. I think maybe we should take a better look at this.” That’s what politician Lorenzo Berardinetti is doing with a new private member’s bill in the Ontario legislature, as described in a recent article from the Globe and Mail. It seems Berardinetti and his wife compared notes on a number of products and services for men and women, and found that women are generally paying a lot more for the same thing. Well, duh! But he asserts, and the more I think about it, the more I agree with him, that this entrenched inequality is discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

The Toronto Star conducted a bit of its own research, finding that women paid more for similar clothes at GAP, for deodorant, shampoo and cologne at Shoppers Drug Mart, for services at beauty salons and for dry cleaning. The only place they didn’t find a significant difference is in footwear –specifically, socks and running shoes.

But why stop there? I know there are more examples of this out there -- pockets, for one. Why, why, WHY there are almost never any decent pockets in women’s clothing? They wouldn’t dare make a pair of dress pants for men without pockets, so why don’t they put pockets in women’s pants? The absolute worst offenders are maternity clothing manufacturers. I don’t think I owned a single pair of maternity pants aside from jeans, nor a single skirt, that had pockets.

Have you noticed any other situations where there is a gender inequality that our hardworking politicians need to address?