Phyllis Schlafly has never been a big fan of feminism or of efforts to promote equality between men and women in general. Schlafly is, after all, notorious for her stated belief that it is impossible for a husband to ever rape his wife because “when you get married you have consented to sex.“
Given this sort of outlook, it is not surprising that Schlafly opposes things like the Paycheck Fairness Act and efforts to close the gender pay gap, arguing in an op-ed published in The Christian Post that closing the pay gap will actually harm women.
As Schlafly sees it, women want to marry a man who makes more money than they do. As such, if women and men make the same amount, then women will be less likely to get married because they will be “unable to find what they regard as a suitable mate.”
The solution, obviously, is to increase the pay gap so that men will earn more than women so that women, in turn, will have a better opportunity to find husbands:
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.
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.