Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly wrote an op-ed Tuesday in favor of the gender wage gap — her reasoning being that women prefer to be paid less so that they may marry higher-earning men.
Writing in the Christian Post, Schlafly, the president of Eagle Forum, argued that the “reasons for women voluntarily choosing lower pay are now beyond dispute among those who have looked at the facts.” The reasons she lays out are familiar, including that women tend to pick a college major that pays less in the labor market or opt for reduced work hours.
But Schlafly also puts forward a less conventional line of thinking: that women interested in finding a husband are attracted to jobs that pay less.
From the op-ed:
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.
Schlafly goes on to argue the pay gap shouldn’t be maligned since “it helps to promote and sustain marriages.”
“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,” she wrote.
Schlafly’s op-ed follows Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s (R-TN) affirmation this past weekend that the GOP has “led the fight for women’s equality.” Blackburn’s comment came in the wake of Senate Republicans unanimously voting to block debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act.
h/t Think Progress
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.