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We All Pay #TheFemaleTax Just for Being Women

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Saturday, April 30th, 2016
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We pay a price for being a woman in the world. Earlier this week, on Equal Pay Day, many of us noted the financial burden we carry because of gendered business practices and policies. But the price we pay for being women is more than just financial: it’s emotional, physical, and intellectual. As we at SheKnows began digging deeper into the results of our recent #TheFWord study on feminism, we looked at this price, and decided it made sense to call it #TheFemaleTax.

Several weeks ago, we released initial findings from our study on women and feminism. Last week, we shared an infographic of the “feminist personas” that represented how various members of our community related to “the F word.” Understanding those personas was a key objective of the study.

Today, we’re sharing a new infographic that digs a little deeper into a second key objective: understanding how women are benefitting from feminist advocacy in their day-to-day lives (if they are at all), and where work remains to be done. We discovered some heartening information, and some disheartening.

Women, whether they identify as feminist or not, are out there voting, getting credit cards in their own name, securing mortgages, opening businesses for themselves, taking birth control. These are all rights that didn’t exist for women 100 years ago (some of them, not even 30 or 40 years ago). I found it interesting to see that reaping these benefits was very consistent across our survey, regardless of where women lived or whether they identified as feminists.

But, frankly, I found it disturbing to learn the degree to which women still feel the brunt of sexist microaggressions. We’re being interrupted. We’re having our ideas overlooked, or taken credit for by others. We’re reporting lacking advancement and equal pay. We’re not being taken seriously — both in the workplace, and for staying home. And then there are aggressions that are anything but micro: A large number of women reported being sexually harassed.

Feminists are more likely to report experiencing all of these aggressions than those who don’t identify as feminist. But it may be an impossible chicken-egg question to understand whether coping with aggressions makes you more likely to see yourself as feminist, or if identifying as feminist makes you more aware of aggressions.

We hear a lot of talk these days about valuing and including women and their work styles on the job, so we asked our respondents if they had seen any results of this talk in their own lives and careers. The answer is clearly no. Of all the potential advantages of being a woman in the workplace, none was experienced by more than about a quarter of respondents.

In other words: We’re all paying #TheFemaleTax, and we’re still waiting in vain for a “refund.”

You can request the full set of #TheFWord study findings, third-party validated and analyzed by Research Narrative. More information about SheKnows Media can be found at


Feminists Tax

Feminist Tax

Feminist Tax 2


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