ECONOMICS

Why It Costs More to Be a Woman

Women have long paid more than men for haircuts, clothes, and of course, those notorious dry-cleaning bills, which continue to charge more to clean a woman’s shirt than a man’s despite years of complaints. An article in the April issue of Marie Claire asks why women aren’t getting mad about it. Explains John Banzhaf, a professor at the George Washington University Law School: “This is a problem that has gone on for many years. Even though it’s well recognized, people sit back and go, ‘Well, that’s just the way it is.’ And if you compare it with all the problems women face, it’s certainly not in the top one, three, even five.” But does that make it OK? The magazine also points out that women can pay more than men for important services such as health insurance—a practice that will thankfully stop in 2014, due to a provision of President Obama’s health-care reform. Unless, of course, health-care reform gets repealed.