Nurdles are an apocalyptic science fiction but true

Norma sat comfortably but anxious as the Uber drove from the airport to her beachfront community in Siesta Key. She felt warm, though the car seemed to be blasting cool air. She took a issue from her plastic pack of tissues and wiped a tear just beneath her right eye.

It’s been almost a year since Charlie died. She and Charlie were married over 40 years in a coastal town in Maine. When their kids moved, She and C (as she called him) bought the condo off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. This is the first time Norma snowbirded alone, a little early for the season. She felt she couldn’t bear the cold another year without C.

It’s a long trip from the Tampa airport. She pulled a plastic bag from her carry bag. She tried to get an organic roll. She was frustrated trying to remove its plastic Stay-Fresh package but her stubbornness and hunger aided her.

Norma disliked plastic. But she realized how much plastic was reality. She enjoyed non-stick pans and used plastic utensils. Her phone, tablet, and computer are plastic. Not to mention her travel bags, and some of her clothes. My, plastics were all around!

She and C respected proper disposal of plastic products. Their children were both conservationists, as scientists for studying climate change. “But”, Norma said to herself, “So many people don’t recognize that we need to balance benefits and act responsibly with consequences.” She placed the emptied package into her carry bag.

It was mid-morning as the sun peered through her windows. “From 25 to 80”, she smiled. Norma was dressed and ready for the beach.

“Odd,” she thought as she approached the sandy area. “there’s nobody around”. The sand beneath her feet wasn’t fine and flat. It felt coarse, as if walking on salt. She thought that there might be a maintenance issue. She never reads her e-mail memos.

Time for a short dip. She walked into the water. Although the water was warm, she screamed. When she came ashore, Norma was bleeding and bruised.

Was it a sea creature? A baby shark? A monster from the deep? An alien?

Actually, it was more ominous and dark. It was of this planet and they seemed to be everywhere. They are man-made creatures called Nurdles.

Nurdles are small plastic pellets about the size of a lentil. Countless billion are used each year to make nearly all our plastic products but many end up washing up on our shores. A nurdle is a pre-production plastic pellet.

Plastic resin pellet pollution is a type of marine debris originating from plastic particles utilized in manufacturing large-scale plastics. Commonly referred to as nurdles, these plastics are released into the open environment, creating pollution in the oceans and on beaches. These are manufactured at factories near large bodies of water. In the USA and in other manufacturing countries.

Nurdles the pre-production building blocks for nearly all plastic goods, from soft drink bottles to oil pipelines. Nurdles are bought in bulk for melting, molding, extruding for millions of products used world-wide. Plastics originating as nurdles are in your car, in rails, boats and jets. They may be disguised as metallic or wood. When you touch them, they are plastic.

The Earth Day statisticians state: More than 480 billion plastic bottles were sold worldwide in 2016. That is up from about 300 billion only a decade ago. About one trillion single-use plastic bags are used annually across the globe. That’s nearly 2 million every minute. The amount of bubble wrap used around the world may be wrapped around the equator 10 times. All these and more may owe their origins to nurdles.

Researchers say nurdles weigh an average of approximately 20 milligrams each, and may be found virtually everywhere. It is estimated that more than 250,000 tons enter the ocean annually. If marine life ingest nurdles, they may be endangered. Research shows that nurdles can absorb chemicals like DDT, a now widely banned insecticide; PCBs, a group of manmade industrial chemicals; and mercury.

A report commissioned by Fidra in 2016 estimates that up to 53 billion nurdles may be spilled each year from land-based sources in the UK alone. That’s equivalent to losing up to 88 million plastic bottles to sea over the course of a year.

At the small-end of nurdles infestation is pollution can also lead to significant economic losses, for example through losses in revenue from tourism and the cost of beach cleaning.

So what’s the source of nurdle pollution?

In consideration that nurdles are pre-production synthetic cells that make up most plastic products, pre-production plastic factories are the main source.

A plastic pellet is manufactured. A catalyst is combined with ethylene or propylene in a reactor, resulting in “fluff,” a powdered material (polymer) resembling laundry detergent. After that the polymer is fed to an extruder where it is melted. Melted plastic is cooled then fed to a pelletizer that cuts the product into small pellets. Pellets are shipped to customers. But as a byproduct of manufacturing, pellets make their way to waterways near factories.

Nurdles that become lost during transit or manufacturing are also an environmental hazard. In the ocean and along coastal waterways, they absorb toxic chemicals and are often mistaken for food by animals. At an average size of a 2mm ball these may be mistaken for food.

According to Business Insider, In 2018, thousands of pounds of nurdles wound up in a stream in Pennsylvania after a semi-truck that was carrying them crashed along a highway. The following year, piles of nurdles washed up on Sullivan’s Island beach near Charleston, South Carolina. The state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control later attributed the pollution to a spill from a local shipping company.

Finding actual sources are difficult. There are a few in and near Texas’ gulf coast. Thes pre-production plastic factories provide employment to depressed communities. Generally, pre-production plastic manufacturers have an unaccountable worldwide network.

Much like Earth Day is the annual Global Nurdle Hunt. The Great Global Nurdle Hunt is an annual event (first run in 2019) which aims to build upon the worldwide engagement around the issue of nurdles and support calls for effective mitigating action at industry and government levels. It is scheduled for March 13 – 22 in 2020. The Nurdle Hunt collects data and advocates solutions, albeit mostly focused towards increasing personal responsibility. Nurdle Hint has no legislative authority.

Climate change has some very precarious resources from volcanic vents to nurdle pollution. These will definitely impact the planet in 2050 and prevention requires serious, stern, and authoritative accountability so humans can survive many centuries. At this point, Nurdle Pollution and unacceptability to legislation is as serious as nuclear war.

As far as Norma’s beach incident, she’s fine. Fortunately, the community has a filtered swimming pool. Common charges will increase as staff places netting to prevent further nurdle pollution to accumulate. Sand will be replaced. Yes, new labor for a disconcerting future. Norma is happier.

Global warming from within ocean hydrothermal vents

Climate change is a comprehensive issue. Has the world always had climate changes? They were reported in the biblical book of Genesis of the Old Testament. Of course they didn’t track weather patterns then. Burning forests may be the result of human error – an incorrectly disposed cigarette. Hydrothermal vents deep in our seas and oceans are recent discoveries where molten magma meets nearly frozen water. Are warming waters a problem from these natural hydrothermal vents?

Climate change is one of the major challenges confronting the future of planet Earth as we know it. All those Deep Planet videos we might watch demonstrate that beneath the oceanic depths are cracks, fissures, nooks, crannies as dangerous as the highest mountains above sea levels. Discoveries of hydrothermal vents at the ocean bottoms raise serious questions of warming waters and melting ice. Are we cooking from within?

Seismologists track the planet surface movements 24/7 at hundreds of points. Their information is critical predicting earthquakes and earthquake severity. Some movements are like hums while others crackle and pop. Global warming from within occurs during those innocent hums. That’s when hydrothermal vents form.

Hydrothermal vents occur at both diverging and converging plate boundaries. Heat is released as magma rises and cracks the ocean floor and overlying sediments. Seawater drains into the fractures and becomes super-heated, dissolving minerals and concentrating sulfur and other compounds. Sea creatures in those depths either thrive or die. At those greater depths via exploration equipment technologies many thrive.

Cold water meshes with extremely hot molten rock magma as vents burst through ocean floor. Discovered only in 1977, hydrothermal vents are home to dozens of previously unknown species. Huge red-tipped tube worms, ghostly fish, strange shrimp with eyes on their backs and other unique species thrive in these extreme deep ocean ecosystems found near undersea volcanic chains. These are the fit that have survived the initial heat blasts of formed hydrothermal vents. For us, these vents are as foreign as radio waves from galaxies 900 million light years away. But they exist throughout our planet.

For the most part these occasional hydrothermal vents for magma are relatively small…a few centimeters. For the most part, earth crust at ocean temperatures act as potent barriers. Then there’s human impact. In the past, the main human impact affecting deep-sea ecosystems was the dumping or disposal of litter into the oceans. If it were only litter. Humans have tossed some heavy items and waste that landed on ocean floors. All it takes is a tiny crack and a century to make a hydrothermal vent.

Hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor may have some impact at releasing volcanic heat into our water systems, impacting ice formations and weather patterns as extreme heat converges with extreme cold. The severity is there may be communities of these hydrothermal vents deregulating a regulation system formed over millions of years.

People use hydrothermal energy for survival. Regulation of body temperature in vertebrates is a function of a central mechanism and the main thermoregulatory organ is again the hypothalamus, particularly the preoptic area (POA), where the sensory input on the brain temperature and core temperature is integrated. Other parts of the central nervous system, such as the brainstem and spinal cord, are also involved in thermo-regulation. Our bodies sweat because our skin has pores that help maintain thermoregulation.

Your hypothalamus is a section of your brain that controls thermoregulation. When it senses your internal temperature becoming too low or high, it sends signals to your muscles, organs, glands, and nervous system. They respond in a variety of ways to help return your temperature to normal.

The problems encountering ocean floor regularization are that if there may be one vent then there may be more hydrothermal vents forming a community. Each involves a hot/cold exchange and regulation is a war of average potentials.

And that process helps sustain a deep ocean balance. Most living things on earth depend on sunlight as the ultimate source of energy. Green plants use sunlight to make food by the process of photosynthesis. In the darkness of the ocean depths there is no sunlight for photosynthesis. So how do living things survive in such an environment? The answer is found in bacteria that can use another source of energy to make food.

Water coming out of a vent is rich not only in dissolved minerals but also in chemosynthetic bacteria. These bacteria are capable of utilizing sulfur compounds to produce organic material through the process of chemosynthesis. The bacteria are autotrophs that oxidize hydrogen sulfide in vent water to obtain energy, which is used to produce organic material (i.e. grow themselves).

Chemosynthetic bacteria are the primary producers and form the base of vent food webs. All vent animals ultimately depend on the bacteria for food. So hydrothermal vents are very beneficial to creatures living at the dark oceanic depths. For all we know, these vent/water exchanges have been present since the earth first developed its crust. Billions of years ago, according to science theoretical models.

Presence of hydrothermal vents probably have little to do with global warming. Releasing noxious gas and waste into our ecosystems may have had more impact. These vents may be natural players that rewrite regulation parameters of planetary climates. Climate change refers to the changes in the global climate which result from the increasing average global temperature. For example, changes in precipitation patterns, increased prevalence of droughts, heat waves, and other extreme weather, etc.

The debate is serious. On the nay side, earth’s weather patterns have only been recorded for the past 150 years. Yet, since the industrial revolution, about 300 years ago, new chemicals found their way into our vast ecosystem. Also, we are discovering more fluctuations of the space of our solar system and scientists are exploring phenomena such as hydrothermal vents. So there are statistical outliers that boggle finite conclusions. But, in our lifetimes, changes in climates have been observed.

Within hydrothermal vents, influences on water temperatures are vague. Hydrothermal fluid temperatures can reach 400°C (750°F) or more, but they do not boil under the extreme pressure of the deep ocean. As they pour out of a vent, the fluids encounter cold, oxygenated seawater, causing another, more rapid series of chemical reactions to occur.

Based on global water temperature statistics: The average temperature of the entire ocean surfaces usually ranges from 15 to 17 degrees Celsius (59 to 62.9 degrees Fahrenheit). There is a barrier between the surface water and deeper layers of the ocean that are not mixed. The barrier begins around 100 meters and can extend another few hundred meters downward. The average temperature of deep-ocean water is only 2°C (36°F). The water coming directly from a hydrothermal vent can reach up to 350°C (662°F) and is rich in dissolved chemicals. The hot spring water forms a plume above the vent, somewhat like smoke rising from a chimney into the air. Temperature-sensing instruments, towed behind research vessels, can detect these hot-water plumes and aid oceanographers in locating hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor.

Like hot springs and geysers on land, hydrothermal vents form in volcanically active areas—often on mid-ocean ridges, where Earth’s tectonic plates are spreading apart and where magma wells up to the surface or close beneath the seafloor.

These hot plumes of water from reactions with hydrothermal vents may contribute to ocean water temperatures from within.

As far as carbon dioxide releases into the air, results revealed that dissolved organic carbon is efficiently removed from ocean water when heated. The organic molecules are broken down and the carbon converted to carbon dioxide. The entire ocean volume circulates through hydrothermal vents about every 40 million years, according to theorists studying at University of Georgia.

Climate effects from vast forest fires, waste disposal, and gluttony for fossil fuels may be stressing our planetary biomes. They may arise from ignorance, irresponsibility, profit, convenience, and other factors. The vast fires of Australia may have been started by campers and smokers. 14 people have been arrested. Humans and humanity may be more significant drivers of climate changes than hydrothermal vents.

On seismology offices the earth is humming. Is it a happy or sad tune?

Do not touch me Sensory Processing Disorder SPD

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My early research was in sensitivities. I wasn’t all that interested with allergies, the immune system, and emotions. I was interested in how our 5 senses plus nerves/muscles interact and adapt to our environments, learning, talents, relationships, and mobility. How did our brains process our awareness? Adaptations and conflicts? My interests focused on hyposensitivity (Hyposensitivity to touch and movement refers to low or abnormally decreased sensitivity to motion and sense of touch) and Hypersensitivity (high sensitivity to the environment can be defined as acute physical, mental, and emotional responses to one’s external (environmental, social) stimuli. Highly sensitive people feel and sense things far more strongly than others do). That was a pretty full plate about 30 years ago. Stemming from peers, more sensory research and advanced technologies brought about a new condition affecting children and adults. Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD has opened new scopes of research that in some ways bridge and compete with autism, obsessive-compulsive and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders.

Estimates believe that 1 in 20 may have SPD or 5% of the population as studied. While some may be hypoactive, most studies focus on hyperactive situations that lead to learning disorders and advanced interactive conflicts. ADHD is fairly close at 12.9 percent of men will be diagnosed with ADHD, compared to 4.9 percent of women. ADHD has treatment via prescription pills. Thus far, SPD does not. Hypersensitive behavior in people is found in 15 to 20% of the population. So the focus is justifiable.

There appears to be a tendency, made popular by ADHD and Autistic Spread Spectrum, to cluster unique behaviors in children and adults. SPD is a malfunction of body awareness, perceptions, and related balance. Some kids seem to have trouble handling the information their senses take in—things like sound, touch, taste, sight, and smell. Some of those kids take it to adulthood.

Is it due to behavior? Genetics? Upbringing? Maybe. Few studies have been able to validate or invalidate why SPD develops. Those with Sensory Processing Disorder, sensory information goes into the brain but does not get organized into appropriate responses, according to neuroscience studies. In these ways neuroscience has established how SPD is associated with Autism Spread Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD).

SPD is not one specific disorder, but rather an umbrella term that covers a variety of neurological disabilities. Because the child with SPD has a disorganized brain, many aspects of his behavior are disorganized. Being classified as a disability would require extensive documentation as SPD isn’t fully recognized in children and adults.

Modern theorists point to our individualistic characteristics and development. For example fingerprints are very unique to the individual. Many things are unique, such as blood and tissue types, features, diseases. Brains filled with many neuronal networks may have deviated “wiring”, making ASD, ADHD, SPD and other diseases like DDX3X difficult to treat. It may be the result of genetics and hereditary as causes. Deviated wiring may be the effect among kids that otherwise appear normal and happy. Yet, in school or social settings, they tend to perform with difficulties. Children with SPD struggle with processing stimulation, which can cause a wide range of symptoms, including hypersensitivity to sound, sight and touch. Yet, knowing this, may indicate that SPD may be more of a problem than ADHD or ASD. Think of it as a form of dyslexia of the brain.
SPD can be hard to pinpoint, as up to 90 percent of children with autism also are reported to have atypical sensory behaviors, and SPD has not been listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by psychiatrists and psychologists.

One of the things common in SPD and ASD (but not seriously studied in ADHD) is bursts of overload attacks. Think of variation of brainwaves that allow us to remain alert, relaxed, and asleep. These kids are always on beta (alert) waves that may be painful and distracting.

Scientists are just beginning to understand and tinker with how people can live and excel with SPD, with some very good successes from very small samples. Use of medicines, special diets, lifestyle changes were included but no firm method. Traditionally, SPD made use of occupational therapy but with mixed results.

Historically, SPD gained little attention as diagnostics were poorly developed. Scopes and PET scanners were only diagnostic tools. As the 21st century rolled in more studies recognized SPD, despite its absence from the DSM. In 2013 a breakthrough study hypothesized that there were more SPD cases than ASD cases in schools.. Yet, how did scientists test for SPD and were those tests reliable?

For adults ADDitude made a self-test survey that adults could fill out. Surveys are subjective and not considered scientific. Provides guidelines of what questions were answered more or less.

In children, SPD may be observed by parents as toddlers experience problems. Parents notice that a child has an unusual aversion to noise, light, shoes that are deemed too tight and clothes that are irritating. They may also notice clumsiness and trouble climbing stairs, and difficulty with fine motor skills like wielding a pencil and fastening buttons.

Of course there are many child development disorders that offer similar symptoms but SPD subtly differs at sensitivities to light, touch, noises, and clothing.

Diagnosis may be a little tricky. Most doctors may jump at ADHD or ASD, as there is some symptom overlap. More thorough exams may explore genetics to reveal DDX3X, dystrophies, and other possibilities. If you report hypersensitive issues to many sensory stimuli, doctor may refer you to an occupational therapist. These professionals can assess children for SPD. They will likely use a series of questions and observations to make a diagnosis. They may observe how your child reacts to certain stimuli. Occupational therapy (OT) is considered a viable therapy for SPD prospects. Beware, their observations may be skewed. OT has had mixed results at efficacy as a treatment.

Adults with SPD also get confused with misdiagnoses. OT is less effective. They have already adjusted to dressing comfortably. Some find role-play effective for compromising actual situations involving mobility at work or shopping or other things that require mobility. Interaction is generally mild. Hypersensitivity means people with SPD people have very low thresholds to variances of others and loudness.

People with SPD experience over reactive processing which can amplify the senses and create over sensitivity to stimuli resulting in sensory overload. To a person without SPD, a train is loud but tolerable, but to a person with SPD, that sound can be stifling, intolerable and even painful, creating anger and avoidance. Travel by public transportation is usually avoided. Yes, a crowded elevator or interior space may be unnerving.

Dating and intimacy are particularly challenging to the SPD and the other. Does the person reveal she has SPD? Some might prefer something out-of-the-box, something people call kinky. Socially, sadomasochistic communities and dominant/submissive relationships may be an integrative comfort zone for a person with SPD. While they are not mutually SPD friendly, the SPD dater doesn’t necessarily share an SPD diagnosis.

Someone dating someone with SPD is flaunting with unique everyday challenges. If you think, “Not tonight, dear, I have a headache” is a flimsy excuse, what would you think about “Not tonight, dear, you’ve put the wrong sheets on the bed again and the refrigerator sounds terrible, and you smell like you just got off an airplane, and my cocoa had lumps in it, and therefore I’m overwhelmed and can’t bear to be touched”?

That is not to say that a person with SPD has to kiss intimate relationships adieu. For people with tactile defensiveness (very sensitive to touch, gets irritated) type of SPD, sex is especially difficult. Since sex involves a lot of touching (including kissing, cuddling, fondling…and touching all the way and I have to stop mentioning the obvious details), some people with tactile SPD are averse to sexual activities. But, by adopting masochistic tendencies, may tolerate and exceed their threshold. The pain is rationalized within a supportive relationship.

Adults with sensory dysfunction issues have to cope with the challenges of everyday life while struggling with their neurological responses to such things as ceiling fans, background noise, off-gassing synthetic carpets, too many people talking at once, uncomfortable work clothes, and so on. So…typical dating environments might be like a tunnel of horrors.

Sounds, sights, smells, textures, and tastes can create a feeling of “sensory overload.” Bright or flickering lights, loud noises, certain textures of food, and scratchy clothing are just some of the triggers that can make kids and affected adults feel overwhelmed and upset.

SPD is not a mood disorder. It should not be confused with autism or ADHD, though symptoms overlap. Using Concerta for ADHD may help some symptoms of SPD but not all. SPD clearly stems from a brain that has been developed slightly differently, per University of California San Francisco study.

In studies, SPD is emerging as a new, exciting star but so much more research is necessary. Part of the problem is the condition is not professionally accepted. Although sensory processing disorder is accepted in the Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood (DC:0-3R), it is not recognized as a mental disorder in medical manuals such as the ICD-10 or the DSM-5. This restricts orthodox treatment.

Sensory processing is the way each of us responds to incoming sensory information. We learn and grow through our senses which include touch, sight, sound, smell, taste, proprioception, and vestibular sensations. We manage our day-to-day activities through all the information our bodies take in. Ninety percent of this information is actually below our conscious level of awareness. A worker with SPD may find these normally unconscious stimuli as disturbing, in a condition that evolves with age.

Many workplaces have ways they can adapt for medical conditions or they can get assistance from an occupational therapist in order to make ADAAA accommodations. Most companies may not even be aware of sensory processing issues and how much they can affect some people’s lives. Awareness is key and simple changes can drastically affect some people’s lives and work performance.

Like individual fingerprints, muscle and nerve issues, skin issues, brains follow specific guidelines when developing. Takes about 3 to 5 years on average. SPD develops in the brain as a form of distortion affecting senses at varying degrees. For the most part, adults with SPD are smart, articulate, and welcoming. Beware the hypersensitivities. You must be super-tolerant.

Being part of the human race, there are so many permutations and combinations that alter ourselves and realities. At our most normal, we disguise our frailties. Throughout conflicts, betweens, and hugs, our bodies and minds have differing capacities. We must join together to battle challenges. From my early efforts of understanding sensitivity in the 1990’s, we’ve slowly crept to understand that when someone says “Do not touch me”, it might be sensory overload or SPD. Answers lie in ever afters.

Pink Tax gender gaps subtly make feminism costly

Expectant parents know the gender of their child early on. Great for figuring what colors to get for clothing and furniture. Blue for boys. Pink for girls. As they grow to teen years, the spread goes beyond color. Pink seems to be a premium. In this post-feminist generation, is there a pink tax?

Being pretty in pink usually refers to a female. Women are leading consumers. Yet, many are unaware of a nearly invisible discrimination. It is called a Pink Tax. The pink tax refers to the extra amount women are charged for certain products or services. Things like dry cleaning, personal care products, and vehicle maintenance.

Watching new westerns, female heroines wear form-fitting jeans as if they were custom made. Haute couture in the feminine wild west? Reality was women wore men’s jeans. Then came the 20th century and women became alluring females. Modern feminine fashion was born and generated billions of dollars toward the economy. All variables changed. Feminism changed the political and economic outlooks. In the debates of life, death, and taxes, women encounter one divisible invisible – a special tax for women – a Pink Tax. According to the New York Times, in 2014 that “women’s” products with the same ingredients and/or materials were often far more expensive than “men’s” products. The pink tax refers to the extra amount women are charged for certain products or services. Things like dry cleaning, personal care products, and vehicle maintenance.

In this modern day and age, the pink tax not only affects women but has also been observed by the transgender population. You need to be rich to compete as a woman among women. Men pay less.

According to a study from NYC Consumer Affair, Products for women or girls cost 7% more than comparable products for men and boys. The Consumer Federation of America indicates A 2015 study by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, one of CFA’s members, documented that gender price discrimination exists in a wide variety of consumer goods, from clothing to personal care products. This is essentially a gender tax levied on women that adds up to thousands of dollars over the course of their lives. The department compared nearly 800 products with clear male and female versions from more than 90 brands. They found that in all but 5 of the 35 product categories analyzed, items for female consumers were priced higher than the same items for male consumers.

7% more for toys and accessories
4% more for children’s clothing
8% more for adult clothing
13% more for personal care products
8% more for senior/home health care products

Pink tax refers to this invisible cost that women have to pay for products designed and marketed specifically to them, while the generic or male equivalent of the same products are available for less. It is not just big corporations in the retail space that push women to spend on their appearance. Social scientists and retail experts say that this stems from the fact that society in general, typically, holds women to a higher standard when it comes to their appearance.

According to Healthline, “Gender-based pricing, also known as “pink tax,” is an upcharge on products traditionally intended for women which have only cosmetic differences from comparable products traditionally intended for men.” Scents and packaging are obvious differences. A cologne for men has leather and wood fragrances while women get floral scents. Packaging is black or blue for men. Pastels are used for women.

For example, a five-pack of Schick Hydro cartridges in purple packaging cost $18.49, while the same count of Schick Hydro refills in blue packaging cost $14.99. Again, other than their packaging color, the products look exactly the same.

Is it nature or nurture?

A recent discovery is that women actually have more rods and cones in their eyes than men. This allows women to see more detail, which partially explains why men sometimes see an ordinary room, while women see complete filth. Men simply aren’t able to see dust and finer particles as easily as women, and therefore are unaware of its presence. However, there are other scientific reasons why female perception differs from that of their male counterparts. Many studies cite evidence that there are gender differences among male and female brains. Do these justify pink tax rates?

One of the more curious things about the pink tax is that feminine hygiene products mostly have no sales tax. Contraceptives catering to females do carry a tax.

A typical men’s haircut may be around $30. A typical haircut for a woman might start at %50. While men do get manicures, men are charged around $10. A woman….$15 and up. The discrepancies are staggering!

So while the US Congress was preparing impeachment proceedings on President Trump, the H.R. 2048: Pink Tax Repeal Act was introduced on April 3 2019.

While this act hasn’t been processed by the US Senate, Canada also has a pink tax. The “pink tax” refers to the phenomenon of gender-based price discrimination, where items whose ads target women are often priced higher than similar products advertised towards men. For example, a 2016 study found that women in Canada pay over 40 per cent more than what men pay when it comes to personal care products.

Good Housekeeping Magazine indicates:

“Women are consistently paid less than men for the same work. Currently, women make 80.5 cents for every dollar a man earns, a gender wage gap of 20 percent. For women of color, the gap is even wider. Women are also often charged a higher interest rate for mortgage loans, despite their consistently higher credit ratings.”

Feminism changed women’s lives and created new worlds of possibility for education, empowerment, working women, feminist art and feminist theory. The US Congress and US Senate elected more women in 2018 as a historic landmark. Yet, when it comes to cosmetics and fashion women spend considerably more than men. And, worse, are often evaluated critically by other women.

While it is valid that women’s fashion menus are wider than men’s, data was not collected. Conceivably most high fashion designer dresses cost more than 3 men’s suits.

Tailoring clothes are usually higher for women than men for off-the-rack clothing. Many women choose haute-couture limited editions that are custom made at prices that only the rich can afford. A haute couture garment is always made for an individual client, tailored specifically for the wearer’s measurements and body stance. Women wear them to award shows. Designer couture gowns typically start at $30,000. Men suits are usually off the rack. Hemming pants and sleeves are usually $50.

We aren’t even talking shoes and accessories!!

When it comes to appearance, women may dress bolder but far more expensive. Good thing is that one of the women at Golden Globe 2020 is auctioning her dress for charity. I believe more do the same.

The pink tax may be unfair and I hope the repeal passes the US Senate. Yet, it is a tiny step for feminism. Let’s see how future generations fare.