An age-old excuse for letting men pay for dates is that women spend more time and money getting ready for them: From makeup to mani-pedis, clothes, accessories, and blowouts—you know. Everything adds up.
Granted, many of these womanly expenses aren't quite necessities—you choose to spend your money on this sort of stuff. However, this still begs the question: Do women pay more than men for things both genders tend to buy—like basic products and services? Cosmopolitan.com hit up some national retailers and small businesses to find out:
1. Socks (Fruit of the Loom at Kmart.com)
These socks look exactly the same. Except men's socks are a little larger. And the women's 10-pack version costs $1.50 more than the men's version.
2. Bathing Suits (Speedo at Speedo.com)
Even without the bikini top, the most basic bathing suit bottoms (both designed for "performance" as opposed to fashion) cost $2 more for women than they do for men.
3. Dry Cleaning (Spit Spot cleaners in Baltimore, Maryland)
It doesn't matter if your button down shirt looks exactly like his—if yours is designed to be worn by a woman, it costs more to dry clean. (The good news: President Obama has recognized this unjust situation and, while it might not be his top priority, he's working toward a solution.)
4. Shampoo (Target.com)
And the men's version actually contains both shampoo and conditioner.
5. Face Wash (CVS)
The face wash on the left is actually gender-neutral, but costs $2 more than the face wash specifically marketed toward men.
6. Body Wash (Duane Reade)
Another example of the men-specific product costing more than a seemingly gender-neutral option.
7. Antiperspirant (Target.com)
Men get an extra 0.1 oz to mask their manly stench. But their version costs a full dollar less than the one designed to wear with a dress.
8. Anti-Aging Lotion with Sunscreen (Target.com)
Guys and girls both need to protect their skin from the sun (and wrinkles!). But the unisex version of these multi-tasking moisturizers costs more than $4 more than the one designed just for men.
9. Fragrance (Walgreens.com)
This men's eau de toilette costs $27 less than a same-brand eau de perfume designed for women (though to be fair, perfume tends to be more concentrated than eau de toilette).
10. Razors (Walgreens.com)
Both packs contain 10 disposable razors. Both kinds of razors have two blades. Both are both designed for sensitive skin (which means they feature lubricated strips). The women's pack costs $3 more.
While the list above is frustrating, there are plenty of products and services that cost lessfor women than they do for men, FWIW:
1. Car Insurance
Rates vary widely, but men are typically charged more than women for some seemingly legit reasons: Statistics show that compared to men, women are safer drivers: They get into fewer accidents; are more likely to wear seat belts; are less likely to cause speed-related fatal accidents; are less likely to be arrested for drinking and driving; and more likely to choose a safer car. So it's riskier to insure men.
2. Hair Dye (CVS)
Men actually pay 80 cents more than women for hair dye, even though they're probably using less.
3. Spray on Moisturizer (Target.com)
The women's version costs 50 cents less.
4. Vitamins (Target.com)
Guys pay $1 more for their manly multivitamins.
5. Shaving Gel (CVS)
Guys: You should totally go for the pink stuff — it costs $1.80 less than the man version, smells more delicious, and has a better chance of making your stubbly face feel as soft a lady's legs. Win, win, win.
Extra reporting by Jessica Swany.
You should also check out:
The 14 Biggest Career Mistakes Women Make in Their 20s
The Lazy Girl's Guide to Saving Money Online
Mika Brzezinski's Foolproof Tips for Getting a Raise–Even If You're a Pushover
Elizabeth Narins is a Brooklyn, NY-based writer and a former senior editor at Cosmopolitan.com, where she wrote about fitness, health, and more. Follow her at @ejnarins.
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