FOX 29 Explores The High Cost Of Being A Woman - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

FOX 29 Explores The High Cost Of Being A Woman

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The amount women across the country pay in excess markups The amount women across the country pay in excess markups
The cost for one woman. The cost for one woman.

Ladies, have you ever walked into a salon and wondered why a woman's cut is more expensive than a man's? Or maybe you've wondered how a big tube of deodorant for men costs less than that tiny little stick marketed toward women. There's a whole host of things that woman pay more for and the total dollar amount will floor you. FOX 29's Kerry Barrett takes a special look at the high cost of being a woman.

It is pricey being a woman, and it's not because women have a closet full of designer duds. FOX 29 asked some people on the street for their opinions.

"Statistically she is going to live longer; she's going to pay longer," a husband passing by weighs in.

"I pay out the behind to get my hair done, my nails done, take care of facial stuff, all of that. Everything is more expensive for women," says another woman.

However, most of those expenses are things that men also pay for, right? Yes, but here's the difference: women pay more.

"If it's really truly what's happening to us, that's not right," opines another woman.

It is what's happening to women and it's not right, says Women's Law Project executive director, Carol Tracy. There are no federal laws prohibiting it, and if there are laws on a state's or city's books, they're usually vague and difficult to enforce. And this doesn't even cover what gets shelled out for mortgages and health insurance.

"Many of the goods and services where we hear about disparities have to do with laundry at the dry cleaners, hair salons nail salons[;] those sorts of things... that requires a kind of enforcement that would require specialized law," explains Tracy.

Are you curious how all that nickel and diming add up? Data collected reveals that women across the country pay $151,000.000.000 (yes, $151 billion) in excess fees and mark-ups annually that men don't pay. That means you spend nearly $1,000 extra a year on the very same stuff as your boyfriend or husband. These statistics don't even take into account the lower average salary a woman gets paid and how much more a lady pays for things like insurance and mortgages. Want to know how much that is? A recent AOL study finds that over the course of your life, a woman end up shelling out nearly $850,000 just for being born a woman!

FOX 29 sent a producer into dry cleaners, salons and drug stores with a hidden camera, to do a little comparison shopping and find out exactly where women are being charged more. First we went to the dry cleaners:

At the cleaners: for a single $2.50; $5.75 for women.

Then our producer went to the hair salon: for men, $15-30 for cut and style. For women? $45-55.

Why such a difference? We wonder.

"Ummm... I guess cause men have short hair[.] I think that's the main difference," says the hair stylist, even though lots of men have long hair and lots of women have short,

Next, we go to the drugstore: When it comes to deodorant, women pay more; same with shaving cream.

In fact, women's shaving cream costs nearly three times as high.

And razors: $8.99 for a pack for men. $9.79 for a pack for women. Both were four packs.

And the same goes for shower gel and even medicine.

Imagine for a minute coming across a menu of services that discriminates based on race. It would not be acceptable in modern day. So why do women seem to accept discrimination based on gender?

"I don't know. Maybe we're just used to it. Maybe it's just engrained in us that we pay more for things," says Professor Jerry Wind. However, there could be more to it, says Wind, a marketing expert and University of Pennsylvania professor.

"It's basically not just the ingredients inside, but it's also the package, it's the design. It may be the colors or the image that the product portrays, so the purchase is the result of the totality of all of this," he explains.

Pretty colors aside, women could fight back, and it's pretty simple to do. Experts recommend to not spend money on products from companies that discriminate. Also, don't spend more for products targeted at women. If it costs less and does the same thing, it doesn't matter, buy the cheaper product. And lastly, get aggressive when it comes to comparison shopping. As the consumer, you hold more power than the manufacturer, so if you don't like the price of a product, don't buy it.

FOX 29 reached out to all the manufacturers in this story to find out why their women's products cost more. None responded to our requests for comment.

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