Monday, October 17, 2016

Toronto cafe charges women more than men to highlight the "pink tax"

A Toronto coffee shop courted controversy recently when it started charging women more for their coffee than men.
Actually, it was a stunt organized by an American pressure group called GirlTalkHQ, which bills itself as "the global headquarters of female empowerment news media" (a rather awkward tagline, but you get the idea). The idea and the video it gave rise to are part of the organization's #FightPinkTax campaign to draw attention to the fact that women pay more for many product than men do for an essentially identical item, from clothing to toiletries to dry-cleaning to haircuts and beyond. By some estimates women pay up to $2,000 a year more than men due to this gender-based pricing.
The popular downtown Toronto cafe posted up new discriminatory prices on its pricing board, and the bar staff played along with the conceit, in order to get reactions from outraged customers. You can watch the results here.
GirlTalkHQ say they started this campaign in Canada because Canadians are already making some moves in the right direction on this issue. They give a special shoutout to Prime Minister (and soi-disant feminist) Justin Trudeau, who has made sex equality an important plank of his policy, and they make particular reference to his positive discrimination policy in his cabinet. You too can sign the petition which, it is hoped, will be handed to Mr. Trudeau and the Minister for the Status of Women with a formal appeal to end the imbalance.
Interestingly, though, some American jurisdictions are actually further ahead on this: the states of New York City and California have outlawed the practice of charging differently for products or services according to gender, and in California companies face fines up to $4,000 if they're caught breaking the law.

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