Phyllis Schlafly is a career woman who built a highly successful career “out of telling other women that they should not have highly successful careers…” Younger women may not know of her—but many women of my Baby Boomer generation cringe when we hear her name. Erin Gloria Ryan of Jezebel put it well when she wrote that Schlafly “is known for reciting mushy half-microwaved sexism casserole from the 1950’s and calling it conservative philosophy.”
I hadn’t heard any news or read any stories about Schlafly in years. (Maybe I’ve just ignored the mention of her name.) I had assumed that Phyllis might have gone to meet her maker in that heavenly home where women “know their place” for eternity in the post-life-on-Earth society in the ether. Not so. She recently stirred things up a bit in the media after she penned an op-ed for The Christian Post in which she noted the positive aspects of a having a wage gender gap in this country. According to Schlafly, the wage gap helps women to find “suitable” husbands. Go figure!
Ryan says that Schlafly is someone whom she usually ignores—unless she wants “to laugh ruefully at a dying way of life.” Ryan thinks that Schlafly really outdid herself this time when she wrote her op-ed tiled Facts and Fallacies About Paycheck Fairness.
Excerpt from Schlafly’s op-ed:
Another fact is the influence of hypergamy, which means that women typically choose a mate (husband or boyfriend) who earns more than she does. Men don’t have the same preference for a higher-earning mate.
While women prefer to HAVE a higher-earning partner, men generally prefer to BE the higher-earning partner in a relationship. This simple but profound difference between the sexes has powerful consequences for the so-called pay gap.
Suppose the pay gap between men and women were magically eliminated. If that happened, simple arithmetic suggests that half of women would be unable to find what they regard as a suitable mate.
The pay gap between men and women is not all bad because it helps to promote and sustain marriages. Since husband and wife generally pool their incomes into a single economic unit, what really matters is the combined family income, not the pay gap between them.
Schlafly posits that the best way for women to improve their economic prospects “is to improve job prospects for the men in their lives, even if that means increasing the so-called pay gap.” Who knew? It’s a good thing we have this wise conservative elder woman to “splain” things to the young women of today.
So…ladies, why fight for equal pay? Why ask for a raise at work? Just go out and find yourselves some nice fellows who earn more than you—maybe for doing the same work—and you’ll be set for life…with a “suitable” mate.
Facts and Fallacies About Paycheck Fairness (The Christian Post)
Phyllis Schlafly’s funny logic on the wage gap — and the husband gap (Washington Post)