Perdebatan Seputar Pink Tax: Kenapa Ini Penting?

Beberapa dari kalian mungkin ada yang sudah notice atau paling tidak pernah mendengar istilah pink tax. Sebenarnya apa sih pink tax  itu sendiri? Terus dari mana istilah tersebut berasal? Dan mengapa pembahasan ini menjadi penting untuk diketahui? Perdebatan mengenai pink tax ini memang sudah ada sejak beberapa tahun silam.

Istilah pink tax (pajak merah jambu) sendiri adalah fenomena perpajakan yang seringkali dikaitkan sebagai bentuk diskriminasi harga berbasis gender dan dikenakan khusus kepada perempuan untuk produk atau layanan tertentu. Menurut pengamatan sejauh ini, yang dimaksud adalah harga produk yang berwarna pink (which is identically dengan produk khusus perempuan dan anak-anak perempuan), harganya bisa 1-2 kali lipat lebih mahal dari harga produk lelaki atau gender netral.

Lalu, produk seperti apa yang dimaksud?

Teman-teman pasti pernah melihat bahkan membeli produk yang berkemasan pink dan diberikan label feminine?

Contoh paling simpel, produk pembalut (tampon pads) yang seringkali kita gunakan setiap bulannya di saat menstruasi, juga dibebankan pajak penjualan karena (entah bagaimana ceritanya) pembalut dianggap sebagai barang mewah (luxury items). Coba bayangkan ya, kita setiap bulan harus merintih kesakitan karena menstruasi, pengeluaran bulanan bertambah lantaran kita harus membeli pembalut atau tampons, dan harganya juga terbilang cukup mahal lagi, belum lagi pay gap gaji bulanan kita sebagai perempuan yang seringkali berbeda dengan kaum laki-laki, padahal jenis pekerjaannya sama.

Contoh lainnya, ketika kita ingin laundry pakaian, seringkali dengan bahan kemeja atau kaos yang sama dengan laki-laki, perempuan harus bayar lebih mahal hanya lantaran mereka membersihkannya dengan cara dry clean dimana kemeja/kaos laki-laki hanya dicuci dengan laundry normal. Padahal keduanya meminta untuk dicuci dengan laundry normal saja. Juga hal lain seperti, baju-baju berukuran besar (plus size), perempuan harus membayar lebih mahal, dibandingkan dengan laki-laki yang juga membeli baju ukuran besar.

pinktax3
Source: Boxed, from Pinterest

Sebagai pencinta warna pink saya pun benar-benar merasa tertampar, seringkali juga berpikir kenapa kemeja perempuan lebih mahal dibanding kemeja laki-laki padahal dari bahan sama, kualitas juga. Belum lagi harga shampoo dan sabun khusus perempuan yang juga cukup mahal jika dibandingkan dengan laki-laki.

Beberapa waktu lalu, The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) mengeluarkan hasil studi perbandingan harga lebih dari 800 produk. Tujuan dari penelitian ini adalah untuk memperkirakan perbedaan harga pembeli laki-laki dan perempuan ketika mereka membeli jenis barang yang sama. DCA memperoleh harga rata-rata untuk 35 jenis produk yang berbeda berdasarkan analisis 794 produk individual dan kemudian membandingkan harga produk laki-laki dan perempuan.

Hasilnya? Ternyata produk untuk perempuan atau anak-anak perempuan harganya 7% lebih dari produk yang sebanding untuk lelaki dan anak laki-laki dengan presentase berikut:

pinktax4

13% lebih banyak untuk produk perawatan pribadi

8% lebih untuk pakaian dewasa

7% lebih banyak untuk mainan dan aksesori

4% lebih banyak untuk pakaian anak-anak

Perbedaan harga yang diterapkan kepada gender yang berbeda ini, tentunya berdampak pada ketidaksetaraan ekonomi berbasis gender antara laki-laki dan perempuan .

Sederhananya, upah perempuan dibayar lebih sedikit untuk jenis pekerjaan yang sama, membayar lebih untuk produk yang sama dan dikenakan pajak atas produk yang tidak akan pernah dibeli oleh laki-laki.

Di Malaysia, akhirnya pemerintah akan menghapus Pink Tax pada produk menstruasi termasuk diantaranya panty liners dan pembalut wanita. Hal ini tertera di dalam website Departemen Bea Cukai (Customs Department) yang mengungkapkan pembalut dan tampon tidak dikenakan Pajak Penjualan dan Layanan (Sales and Service Tax) yang dahulu ditetapkan sekitar 5 hingga 10%. Bahkan, Wakil Direktur Jenderal Departemen Bea Cukai, Datuk Seri Subromaniam Tholasy telah mengeluarkan pernyataan oleh media pada tanggal 30 Agustus 2018, bahwa produk sanitasi adalah salah satu dari 5.443 barang umum yang bebas pajak.

Jauh sebelum Malaysia, pada tahun 2014 dikenal dengan sebutan Kampanye Georgette Sand, adalah campaign movement yang bergerak sangat cepat hampir di seluruh wilayah di Perancis. Terdapat lebih dari 40.000 orang menandatangani petisi untuk mendorong Kementerian Keuangan Perancis untuk mengadakan penyelidikan terhadap produk-produk kewanitaan.

Bulan Juli 2018 lalu, sekelompok perempuan di Korea Selatan memutuskan untuk berhenti menghabiskan uang setiap hari Minggu pertama di setiap bulannya, sebagai langkah protes untuk melawan diskriminasi gender. Kampanye yang dimulai oleh group Facebook yang disebut Female Expenditure Strike dengan harapan dapat meningkatkan kesadaran akan kerusakan yang dilakukan oleh iklan yang meremehkan perempuan, diskriminasi gender dan pink tax yang mengacu pada jumlah ekstra yang sering dibayarkan perempuan untuk membeli barang, dibandingkan dengan laki-laki. Pada tanggal 1 Juli 2018, sekelompok perempuan melakukan boikot untuk semua jenis pengeluaran, termasuk makanan dan transportasi. Kampanye ini bertujuan untuk menununjukan kepada masyarakat bahwa tanpa konsumen perempuan, industri maupun produsen akan mengalami kerugian dalam jumlah yang cukup besar.

Beberapa bulan lalu, Burger King di USA juga turut serta menentang ketidaksetaraan gender dalam kampanye baru mereka. Di dalam videonya di bawah ini, mereka menjual Chick Fries dalam kemasan biru dan pink. Kemasan berwarna biru dengan harga $ 1.69 dan kemasan berwarna pink dengan harga $3.09, seluruh pengunjung perempuan sangat marah dan menolak perbedaan harga yang begitu jauh, dan salah satu pelayan mengucapkan “Chick fries ini keduanya produk yang sama, hanya kemasan saja yang berbeda dan untuk kemasan pink harganya jauh lebih mahal.” pembeli perempuan tetap kekeuh tidak mau membayar dan tetap protes karena perbedaan tersebut, lalu si pelayan menambahkan “Ketika kamu masuk ke dalam drugstore atau minimart dan kamu membayar harga $2 lebih untuk sebuah alat cukur, apakah kamu bisa berkata lain?” Disini Burger King berusaha untuk membuka mata para pembelinya akan adanya pink tax yang merugikan perempuan dan mengajak orang-orang untuk lebih pintar dalam memilih produk, juga untuk mendukung pencabutan Pink Tax Act.

Kalau kita tarik lagi dari awal sejarah, sejak dahulu memang sudah ada kritik feminisme lama terkait dengan budaya fashion dan kecantikan sebagai misoginis dan sangat patriarkis. Walaupun penetapan harga berbasis gender mungkin menjadi strategi bisnis bagi si pelaku industri, namun ada konsep diskriminatif yang mendasar yang diterapkan oleh pink tax. Terlepas dari berbagai stereotype umum jenis kelamin, gagasan bahwa wanita lebih konsumtif dan sebagainya, hal ini merupakan pandangan yang sangat berbahaya.

Awalnya memang pasti kita berpikir, “Masa iya sih? Ah, mungkin karena produk perempuan formulanya berbeda, lebih lembut, sensitive de el el…” ya itu juga seringkali dijadikan alasan bagi para produsen untuk membela kualitas dari produknya, tapi ternyata saya salah.

Lalu apa yang bisa kita lakukan untuk meminimalisir keadaan ini?

Dari hal-hal yang sederhana saja, kita bisa memulai dengan cara meningkatkan kesadaran masyarakat dan menyebarkan informasi baik melalui media sosial terkait dengan pink tax ini, jadi pergunakanlah media sosial untuk menyebarkan berita yang baik, bukan yang hoax ataupun sifatnya yang memprovokasi. Dengan cara ini, kita bisa membuka pikiran masyarakat agar lebih ‘melek’ dan bertanggung jawab atas barang-barang yang sedang atau akan dikonsumsi. Penting juga untuk mulai mencoba menghapus adanya stereotip negatif yang seringkali bias gender dimana pun kita berada.

Yuk, kita jadi konsumen yang bijak dalam memilih produk berdasarkan kebutuhan dan manfaatnya. Mungkin dari sekarang saya juga mencoba untuk mengabaikan pemasaran produk yang cerdik dengan menjual produk dengan warna-warna yang terlihat ‘lucu’ dan mulai membeli produk berdasarkan harga dan kualitas produk. Jika memang produk laki-laki memiliki kualitas yang sama dengan produk perempuan dan memiliki harga yang lebih rendah, why not?

Jadi, selagi kita bisa, yuk hindari dan tolak membayar pink tax dimana pun kita berada.

Untuk melihat video lainnya mengenai pink tax, bisa dilihat di tautan ini.

Sumber:

A Study of Gender Pricing in New York City. From Cradle to Cane: The Cost of Being a Female Consumer, 2015 [Link: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/dca/downloads/pdf/partners/Study-of-Gender-Pricing-in-NYC.pdf]

Which Retailers Charge the Largest ‘Pink Tax?, 2016 [Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/whynot/2016/01/07/which-retailers-charge-the-largest-pink-tax/#57b6a9ef381b]

No More Pink Tax for menstrual products, 30 Agustus 2018 [Link: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/08/30/no-more-pink-tax-for-female-menstrual-products/]

Asia One. South Korean Women Boycott Spending First Sunday Every Month Protest against Pink Tax, 3 Juli 2018 [Link: http://www.asiaone.com/asia/south-korean-women-boycott-spending-first-sunday-every-month-protest-against-pink-tax]

7 Things Why You Have to Stop Body-Shaming

Why your skins look so pale? Why you look even fatter than last month? Why your skin looks even darker than usual? Why, why, why…

I bet you all heard this kind of ‘illness’ conversation once in your life. Most of the times, in here we are getting used to starting a conversation with ‘Kok kamu gendutan sih? Kok kamu kurusan sih? Kok kamu kelihatan gendut di foto? Kok, kok, kok…’ instead of hearing people ask you with ‘How are you? How is your work? How is your family? etc’.

Why I said this conversation is ‘illness’? Because that conversations will leads to another problem of that person, which you may not or will never understand the reason.

And it’s absolutely body-shaming.

What?

Body shaming is the act or practice of humiliating someone based on their body type by making critical and/or mocking statements about their body shape, size, etc. A lot of media has framed the ideal picture of a woman is the one who has a sexy body, white skin and long hair. And, sorry to say, there are many social media platforms through its public comments also highly contribute the act of bullying and body shaming individuals for their appearance. Am I wrong, if I said that currently, media has contributed how we define a woman looking beautiful? And how our culture actually really love those thin and white women, which we can see it in print ads, video, movie, magazine, etc.

ff7f9dfbfa8989e4d5de340cdc082dfe

In our society, that kind of acts has been rooted since long time ago, it’s even has become the usual or common thing which done by closest friends who is shaming their friends like that. They think it’s fine to do body-shaming like that with their friends as an act that we-so-called-being-honest, but the fact, it is still considered not cool. At all.

Here is why I, you and we HAVE TO STOP body shaming:

  1. FYI, it’s not cool at all: Let me know is there a good thing that comes out of putting someone else down? By calling they are fat, too skinny, too many acne or any other negative things, it only creates hostility between you and other people around you. Me, myself never heard that bullying will solve any issues, no never. Not even to invites people to change their lifestyle so they will look perfect as you want. If you want to advise someone or your friend about their health, tell them by express your concerns without using that disgusting words. And nah, not in a social media.
  2. It can lead to their psychologies: People is different, how we look at people are different too! We never know someone that we bullying, may have a very sad story in their life. They may have such difficult times, to fight and reach life that they want. For someone with low self-esteem by listening how fat or skinny they are could make a very bad impact on their psychologies. They will think that they are not good enough to be with a handsome boy or beautiful girls because they think, they’re just physically not good enough. It also leads to hate. Hate about people which said that they’re ugly or at worst, hating themselves.
  3. Impact of their eating disorders: it also includes their eating disorders impact, such as; anorexia, bulimia, etc. In the Western world, anorexia is a very very serious problem. It is also highest mortality rate of mental illness in the world. I’ve ever watched a Netflix movie “To the Bone” with Lily Collins as the main actress. The movie was trying to show how is it like to live with anorexia nervosa and how they really struggling to face it. From that movie, I suddenly realized how is actually feel difficult to be like them. There are people who really want to be skinny so that they try so many diets tricks, but the other even have to fight and struggle to get their normal weight. But there is also another people who simply just want to continue their life, without having to think about what people said about them. I really love Demi Lovato and Ashley Graham, they are two of inspiring women for me. Demi is only one of the hundreds of actresses who has struggled with her bulimia and eating disorders for years. It must be hard for her to recovery from eating disorders. And Ashley… she just perfectly beautiful for me. As a body activist, she wants to empower women to fight with their body insecurity and how to love their own body. And I really love how she can be very confident with herself and showing that self-acceptance is way more important.
  4. Adding more enemies: if you really want to have and make some friends with people, just simply stop body-shaming them. We have enough problem in this world, just stop being controlling and telling people why and how they should live their lives. Stop give comments about what people look alike on their vlogs, stop hating people just by their looks without you really know about them, it is just not your job to scrutinize them.
  5. Stop ruins someone’s life: you really never know how someone who has low self-esteem can live their life, right? Making them feel that they just not worth in this world, also can be very dangerous. Dealing with this negativity is very tiring, we all know it. We never know how vulnerable they are. Lot of news I heard, girls committing suicide just simply they got bullied for being fat, skinny, or their sexual orientation is different. So stop ruining someone’s life!
  6. Increasing insecurity, decreasing self-esteem: I probably one of the hundreds of girls who sometimes still have low self-esteem, even from outside I look very ignorant. And I also have this insecurity feeling about everything, including about what people say and think about me. I always have the feeling that maybe I am the one who just too overthinking because I still experience it even until now. But seriously, being bullied by people around you will definitely contribute to this.
  7. What you plant now, you will harvest later: if you plant negativity, then that’s what you will get in return, vice versa. So stop body shaming and bullying, we just don’t want if this will contribute to our next generations. Love yourself first, before love other people.

Keep your self-love, self-acceptance and always be confident of what you look like with all our diverse shapes and colours, will make us fight back against bodies image on the media. Watch this short video, which still relatable with this post.

Love, Astrid.

Picture illustrations from Pinterest.

 

 

What You Really Need to Know About Feminism

It’s very inspiring every time I read some articles or books which talking about feminism, where most of the times people always seems pessimistic when they’re talking about feminism itself. It’s always full of debates when it comes to people who admit themselves as a feminist. Recently, I have read a simple, understandable and first-thing-first you really need to know about feminism when I was reading an article wrote in Magdalene. Where they are trying to explore the ten biggest misconceptions about feminism which you should know.

Here they are:

1. Feminists hate men: This one is the oldest and most tiresome fallacy on feminism. Feminism is a movement and ideology that champions equality for women in political, economic, cultural, personal and social spheres. It has never been an ideology of hate.

2. To achieve equality, feminism must emasculate men: Achieving gender equality does require deconstructing masculinity, but it is not the same as emasculating the male sex. In its hundreds of years of history (even before the word “feminism” was coined) the movement has cultivated a tradition of deep contemplation and rethinking of the social construct of genders as well as gender dynamics. It is supposed to actually improve gender relations, not strengthen one sex at the expense of the other.

3. Feminism only helps women: Feminism doesn’t just liberate women; it also liberates men by breaking down the standards put in place for women and men by the society. Feminism is about changing self-limiting gender roles, sexual norms and sexist practices. Men have the freedom to explore life beyond the rigid boundaries of traditional masculinity. Also feminism believes in equal access to education, which probably enabled your mom to get her university degree and get a job way back then, giving you and your brothers better opportunities in life. With education, women tend to make better life choices, resulting in healthier and more optimally functioning families and communities.

María María Acha-Kutscher illustrates women exercising their voices in political struggles. She says her work focuses on the woman, on “her story, the...:

4. Only women can be feminists: Feminists are committed to addressing daily problems like domestic violence, rape and sexual assaults, unequal pay, sexual objectification, etc. The best way to address these problems is to involve men, raising male employees’ awareness of gender sensitivity, teaching young boys to respect girls, getting fathers to share the housework loads and be more involved in raising their kids, and so many other ways.

5. To be a feminist you must be an atheist: While it’s true that some religions have highly patriarchal perspectives and perpetuate age-old discriminative practices against women, it doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvements. There have been many who bring women-friendly interpretations into religious teachings.

In Indonesia, we have this feminist ulema and this Muslim scholar and a few others. You don’t have to ditch your religion to believe that women are entitled to the same rights as men.

6. Feminists don’t believe in marriage: How silly. A lot of feminists are happily married. As long as a marriage provides personal, legal and social values to the two people involved, there’s no reason to reject the institution of marriage. What feminists are against is when the society values marriage as a “better place” for women, socially punishing those who are not married or divorced, and when a marriage is treated as a way to control women. Also, true feminists believe legal marriage should be allowed for all sexual preferences and gender expressions (yes, we believe in same-sex marriage!).

7. True feminists don’t wear bras and makeup: Rubbish! Feminism is about giving women choices – not limiting them – of self-expression. Can’t go out without your high heels? By all means, wear them. Fancy that little black dress? Why not. But expressing yourself in a traditional expression of femininity is a choice, not an obligation, and it should not define you as a person.  Personally, I like looking good, but I hate to waste too much time and energy on doing it, so I hardly wear make-up, save maybe brow powder and lip-gloss.

8. Feminism is a western concept: To be honest, this has been one of the main self-criticism within the feminist movement in the past: that feminism, the movement and ideology, is Eurocentric and dictated by white middle-class women. It was also criticised for its tendency to overlook class, caste, religion, ethnic bias and racial discrimination that complicate the idea of gender.  However feminism has long existed in non-western part of the world, from South America, Asia to Africa, though with slightly adjusted focuses according to the local contexts.

9. Feminism hasn’t changed for ages: Wrong! The first wave of feminism in the 19th hundred and early 20th centuries focused on civil and political equality, mainly women’s rights to vote. The second wave, which began in the 1960s all through the 1980s, widened the goals to include issues of sexuality, family, the workplace, reproductive rights and other legal inequalities. The third-wave feminists broadened the debates to focus on ideas like queer theory, abolishing gender role expectation and stereotypes. The current awareness in feminism – what is arguably sometimes called the fourth-wave feminism – embraces the idea of “intersectionality”, the multiple, interlocking oppressions of race, sex, sexuality and class. It is a movement and awareness that advocate people to make space for those who are marginalised politically, economically and socially because of their gender, sexual preferences, race and class.

10. There’s no need for feminism now because women are equal to men already: This cannot be more wrong.  Let’s revisit the women’s lib’s demands in the 1970s: The first four of them are equal pay, equal opportunity to education and work, a guarantee of their reproductive rights, and an end to violence or sexual coercion regardless of marital status.

Now let’s look at the facts today: According to a report by the UN’s International Labour Organization, women across the world earn only 77 percent of the amount paid to men, a figure that has improved only three percentage points in the past 20 years.  On top of that, many jobs are still not friendly to mothers, and top leadership posts in companies and governments are still overwhelmingly held by men. Secondly, in many developing countries including Indonesia, the number of girls dropping out of school is higher than boys because they are seen by parents as not worth the economic investment. Third, though contraceptives are widely available now, many countries (Indonesia including) still allow child marriage, which perpetuates domestic violence and poverty. Fourth, rape culture is actually thriving both in developed and developing countries alike. In countries like Indonesia, the law and law enforcers on sex violence cases are hardly on women’s side.

In connection to this, I will also show you the remake of Spice Girls video clip which promotes about the gender equality in SDGs as one of UN campaign specifically for women:

#WhatIreallyreallywant

Read more the original article here.