“The best way to improve economic prospects for women is to improve job prospects for the men in their lives, even if that means increasing the so-called pay gap.“
So, right. It’s over. This is our quote of the year. I mean, come on, really: Yes, she said that.
Well, wrote it, specifically.
Now, in the first place, this is Phyllis Schlafly, after all. We expect nothing less than bellwether insanity. To that end, perhaps we should avoid considering her alongside Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN7) and other women put out front as lipstick for the male chauvinist pig that is the conservative outlook on the sexes. After all, the underlying thrust of her argument is not particularly original compared to, say, Michael Reagan:
Moreover, giving Mom a day off from cooking dinner by a making a family trip to the nearest hamburger joint would be seen as a gift to her rather than one of the mortal sins in an imaginary list of dietary commandments.
Their menu may be fattening, and viewed as one of the Lord’s practical jokes on his children by making such fare lip-smacking good, but enjoying it is not a flagrant violation of the dietary Ten Commandments. Slathered with mustard and ketchup it’s just plain tasty — fattening but tasty.
A happy home is one in which moms teach their daughters how to cook tasty meals for their future families and dads teach their sons that one of their roles in family life is drying the dishes and otherwise doing chores around the house to lighten Mom’s burdens.
Finally, women should understand and act on the time-honored truth that the fastest route to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and not always through the drive-in window at the nearest fast-food restaurant. That’s one way we can begin to put the family — and America — back together.
Yes, he wrote that. Really.
Three and a half years later, as sex discrimination takes another turn in heavy issue rotation, cue Phyllis Schlafly:
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.
Obviously, I’m not saying women won’t date or marry a lower-earning men, only that they probably prefer not to. If a higher-earning man is not available, many women are more likely not to marry at all.
Don’t laugh. She seems entirely serious. And before you suggest otherwise, yes, it can get worse. After all, Schlafly managed to add a new twist:
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.
In two segments of our population, the pay gap has virtually ceased to exist. In the African-American community and in the millennial generation (ages 18 to 32), women earn about the same as men, if not more.
It just so happens that those are the two segments of our population in which the rate of marriage has fallen the most. Fifty years ago, about 80 percent of Americans were married by age 30; today, less than 50 percent are.
Just a coincidence? I think not. The best way to improve economic prospects for women is to improve job prospects for the men in their lives, even if that means increasing the so-called pay gap.
You know, innovation. Bellwether.
She wrote that.
Schlafly, Phyllis. “Facts and Fallacies About Paycheck Fairness”. The Christian Post. April 15, 2014.
Reagan, Michael. “Kitchen is not a Dirty Word”. The Cagle Post. December 17, 2010.