Georgina Gooley takes on the 'pink tax'

Her New York-based startup counters the retail tradition of charging a premium on products for women

By Suhashini Sarkar
  • Published 26.10.18, 9:50 PM
  • Updated 28.10.18, 8:53 AM
  • 4 mins read
  •  
Georgina Gooley co-founded the New York-based start-up, Billie Source: Georgina Gooley's Instagram account
In the United States of America, compared to men, women are paid ‘79 cents to the dollar’. It turns out that women also are forced to spend more, thanks to the ‘Pink Tax’. The latter is the price disparity between men’s and women’s products, with women’s products being taxed more.

A 2015 study by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs found that women pay an average of 7 per cent more than men across a number of categories. But personal care products (razors, shaving cream, shampoo) showed the biggest price discrepancies, with an average 13 per cent premium on products marketed to women.

Georgina Gooley co-founded the New York-based startup, Billie, to tackle this problem. Billie takes on the women’s razor market. It is an online subscription service that delivers discounted razors and other body care products. Billie’s $9-starter kit includes a razor handle, a magnetic holder that attaches to a shower wall and two five-blade razor cartridges, all of which are shipped free. It is cheaper than the retail price of a similar items for women.

A few months ago, Billie got its first celebrity investor: Serena Williams.

However, the world also seems to be slowly catching up. The mayor of the US capital, Muriel Bowser, said that Washington, DC will no longer levy a sales tax on feminine hygiene products. The exemption went into effect from October 1 for items such as tampons, sanitary napkins and menstrual cups. Bowser tweeted that “feminine hygiene is a necessity, not a luxury”.

The self-proclaimed “antifa witches” group invited people to join them for a public hexing of Brett Kavanaugh
The self-proclaimed “antifa witches” group invited people to join them for a public hexing of Brett Kavanaugh Source: Getty Images

Spirited fight

After the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court judge, protests broke out all over the country and on the internet. Also here to protest are the witches of New York City. You read that right.

On October 20, the self-proclaimed “antifa witches” group invited people to join them for a public hexing of the judge at Catland Books, an occult bookshop and spiritual space that sells spiritual literature, healing crystals, tarot cards, burnable incense and so on. There was a suggested $10 ticket price, with 50 per cent of all proceeds being donated to charity — both to the Ali Forney Center (a non-profit that helps youth from the LGBTQ community) and Planned Parenthood. But no one was turned away for a lack of funds.

The event page said that Kavanaugh “will be the focal point, but by no means the only target, so bring your rage and and all of the axes you’ve got to grind. There will also be a second ritual afterward — ‘The Rites of the Scorned One’ which seeks to validate, affirm, uphold and support those of us who have been wronged and who refuse to be silent any longer.” The hex took place inside the bookshop while a group, made up mainly of members of the Christian community, protested vehemently outside.

By the way, you did not need to be a practising witch to participate.

Dance the night away

Instead of lazing around in pyjamas on Sunday, New Yorkers can check out the open-air dance party BBQ instead. The converted warehouse on the border of Brooklyn and Queens, called Nowadays, was opened in 2015 as a permanent site for the dance party known as ‘Mister Sunday’, which was hosted in temporary spaces across Brooklyn for nearly a decade.

Every Sunday, over the summer and into the fall, hundreds of people paid between $10 and $20 to dance from 3 pm to 9 pm. The last ‘Mister Sunday’ party of the season commenced last Sunday. It offered free outdoor movie screenings hand-picked by the former senior curator of film from the Museum of Modern Art and residencies from the DJ collective, Working Women. Along with the $1,00,000 sound system belting out disco songs, the food scene involved an outdoor Caribbean food truck and BBQ stand. In addition, the venue offered local beer, margarita and sangria on tap.

‘Mister Sunday’ attracts a variety of people. Entrepreneurs, young parents and college students all find their way there, lured by the non-judgmental and open environment. Pictures are not allowed on the dance floor so that guests do not feel self-conscious. The founders are hosting ‘Mister Halloween Night’ on October 27, offering a disco ball with music, drinks and even a fire pit.

Keep watching

The Netflix true-crime series, Making a Murderer, swept the nation in 2015. Now fans can finally binge-watch Season Two. The first season focused on the disappearance of Teresa Halbach in 2004 and the trial of Steven Avery in 2005, and Avery’s two defence lawyers’ attempts to prove him innocent in court. In the second season, Avery’s new lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, and her team search for evidence to recreate what happened to prove literally any other theory of how Halbach could have died. Season One brought on a flurry

of national media attention, which led to benefits for Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, who was also prosecuted as an accomplice. They got letters of support, fundraising campaigns, high-profile attorneys and online users digging through every inch of evidence for proof of their innocence. (Avery and Dassey, both convicted for the murder, have always maintained their innocence.) According to The Independent, after the release of show, Netflix’s shares rose by 8 per cent and it got 5.59 million new subscribers. While Halbach’s family never hid their dislike for the docu-series, they green-lit a second season.

Human’s Best Friend on Instagram offers 20 “photo moments” for you and your pet
Human’s Best Friend on Instagram offers 20 “photo moments” for you and your pet Source: Instagram account of Human's Best Friend

Footnote

The pop-up experience never ends. These temporary, always Instagrammable events have centred around dreams, colour and pizza. Now, there is one for dogs. Human’s Best Friend, on till November 12, offers 20 “photo moments” for you and your pet. It has eight themed rooms with 20 photo-ops. The themes include “Lady and the Tramp” as well as a toy pit, a bone yard and a water bowl room. The pet supply company, Petmate, donated over 10,000 balls to the exhibit.