Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the “pro-family” organization Eagle Forum, is making the Conservative case against women earning equal pay for equal work.
According to Schlafly, if women make the same as men, it will ruin their chances of finding a “suitable mate.”
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.
Schlafly also stated that women do not deserve equal pay because they “work fewer hours per day, per week, per year” and “place a much higher value on pleasant working conditions: a clean, comfortable, air-conditioned office with congenial co-workers.”
Much like the beliefs of the Republican Party, Schlafly’s argument is straight out of the 1950s. The fact is, when women make equal pay for equal work, it helps everybody. The economy suddenly has more money flowing through it, and families have more disposable income.
Perhaps most amusing, or infuriating, about Schlafly’s statement was this remark. According to Schlafly, the best way to empower women “is to improve job prospects for the men in their lives, even if that means increasing the so-called pay gap.”
Republicans are on the ropes trying to explain why they oppose women earning the same as men for equal work. People are not asking for special treatment or an unfair advantage. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Women are simply looking for an equal opportunity.
Unfortunately, women like Phyllis Schlafly and Representative Blackburn are setting the movement back nearly 60 years. “Mad Men” was not meant to be a model for the future.
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