California Senator Wants to Pass ‘Equal Gender Pricing Bill’

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

California state Senator Ben Hueso of San Diego wants to force private companies to sell their products to men and women for the same price.

“It is unfair that female products are priced higher than men’s,” declared Hueso. “Why are retailers pulling extra money from women when data already shows that they earn about 84 cents for every dollar men earn? This needs to change. It’s about time we stand up to the retailers and fight for equal product pricing for all.”

His bill would force the companies to “eliminate price discrepancies on like products for men and women.” The companies also need “to notify customers of their right not to be charged differently for comparable merchandise.”

“All consumers, regardless of their gender, should pay the same price for the same product. Pink packaging or gender-based marketing is no justification for charging more,” stated Richard Holober, executive director of the Consumer Federation of California. “Anything less than an equal price is discrimination and blatantly unfair.”

If passed, companies must change their pricing within 30 days.

Men “probably pay a lot less because they don’t care as much about what it is they’re getting,” said Tom Haug, a consumer who believes women receive higher price because they’re picky, told a local TV station in Santa Barbara. “[W]omen just pay more attention to what they’re purchasing.”

His friend claims women pay more for products. “When you buy it at a salon, which is convenient, I just did it the other day and you spend $33 or $50 on a bottle of shampoo,” said Cindy Pratt.

A 2015 report by New York City Department of Consumer Affairs found that “women’s products cost more 42 percent of the time while men’s products cost more 18 percent of the time.”