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How a Sexist Phenomenon Inspired Man Repeller’s First Comedy Tour
04.30.19

In partnership with European Wax Center

Not to brag, but I love to laugh. So you can only imagine how thrilled I was when I heard we would be putting together a three-city comedy tour with European Wax Center and their Ax the Pink Tax campaign. Molly AustinFareeha Khan, and Tribble tore it up across the good old U-S-of-A with their incredibly sharp comedic stylings, all while raising awareness about the absurdity that is the Pink Tax.

In case you don’t know (which I didn’t before this tour!) the Pink Tax is the average amount women are charged for basic goods and services, just for existing. It’s a sneaky little bugger and is oftentimes hard to notice, as men’s and women’s products are rarely next to each other in the store or dry cleaners or whatever. One study by the great state of California suggested that on average the Pink Tax costs women an extra $1,351 a year. Think of all the oat milk lattes you could buy! It was a very funny time about a very un-funny thing, and it was such a treat to see so many Man Repeller community members out and about!


We kicked things off at The Hoxton in Williamsburg. The crowd was gorgeous, the cocktails were pink, and the laughs were plentiful. Fareeha sang a truly beautiful song of the Pink Tax (you had to be there) and shared that she is the proud owner of a fur coat fashioned from her own body hair. Everyone mixed and mingled over tiny cupcakes while browsing the display of actual products that were almost identical, except the “boy”-branded products cost less than the “girl”-branded products. We also had a custom-made ax (not a real weapon, please don’t arrest us) for #axthepinktax while posing in the photo booth and calculators to help folks figure out exactly how much they’ve lost in their lifetime due to the Pink Tax. Can’t get any better than this! I thought — and I was wrong!


Full disclosure, I am from Chicago, and being from Chicago is 80 percent of my personality, so imagine my delight when EWC said we could throw an event there! Fine midwestern folk (including my mom! hi mom!) gathered at The Robey for another night of comedy. Underscored by the gentle rumbling of the blue line overhead, Chicago based comic Tribble let everyone know about an actual honest-to-goodness suffragette named Carrie A. Nation who used to bring an actual honest-to-goodness ax to bars to promote the temperance movement. In other words, the event was as educational as it was fun! There were shots of Malort, giant belly laughs and plenty of pledges to be on the lookout for the Pink Tax.


Houston, we have a problem, and the problem is that I don’t live there. Home of the Knowles family, NASA and BB’s, it might be the best place on planet earth? Our final event offered sweeping views of Houston’s gorgeous treetops, so much MEAT and one final, glorious Texas crowd. We met folks who drove from New Orleans, one reader brought us the most delicious cupcakes, and there was a very cute 3-year-old boy who slept through the whole thing (but we won’t hold it against him). The comics were on fire for the final show as Molly told everyone about breaking her vegetarianism for a hotel steak, which did not go well for her, but she bounced back to deliver a truly incredible set. The food was delicious, the drinks were still pink, and the crowd was just as delightful as the other two!


The whole shebang (lol) was about calling attention to the fact that woman are charged more for everyday goods and services. Learn more at axthepinktax.com, stop into a European Wax Center to grab a window cling for any pink-tax-free business you know or own, or take a photo of the Pink Tax in action and hashtag it with #axthepinktax. Thanks to everyone who came out; it was so good to see so many Man Repeller folks out of New York!

Photos by Ken Castaneda (New York), Juliet Cangelosi (Chicago), and David Wright (Houston).

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