A Government minister has ridiculed different dental floss for women, amid a growing row over ‘gender marketing’.
Caroline Dinenage, the minister for women and equalities, scoffed at the idea during a Commons debate over different products for women, some at higher prices.
Ms Dinenage started by highlighting a lady ballpoint’s pen – available ‘in pastel shades’ – as an example of a product that had been ‘largely met with ridicule’.
And she added: ‘I have seen, as I am sure we all have, special women’s Sellotape, dental floss, earplugs, energy drinks and even blenders.
‘A personal favourite of mine is the men’s and women’s versions of unperfumed deodorant – because people might guess – and let us not forget that old favourite, man-sized tissues for man-sized noses.’
Ms Dinenage said there was ‘a serious side to the issue’ if such gender marketing involved women being charged more for the same product.
She said: ‘It is absolutely right that we empower consumers to ask whether there is a clear difference in the products and production costs, or whether the manufacturers believe that women can be persuaded to pay more than men.
‘Consumers are within their rights to ask retailers to explain why.’
The Times newspaper kick-started the debate, by revealing that the cost of clothes, beauty products and toys for women and girls is higher than equivalent items for men and boys.
The gender price gap was found at many of Britain’s biggest retailers, including Tesco and Boots.
In one case, Tesco charged twice the normal price for 10 disposable razors that are pink.