Remember Phyllis Schlafly, the conservative activist who worked tirelessly to defeat (and succeeded in defeating) the Equal Rights Amendment back in the 1970s? Well, she’s baaaaack! And her sentiments, recently published in an op-ed for the Christian Post, are as troubling as ever. We “feminist friends [of President Barack Obama]” have really pissed her off this time.
In Schlafly’s view, the gender-based pay gap doesn’t exist. In an insulting attack on women’s work ethic, she claims that women are only paid less because they work less than men and “take time off for personal reasons.” Apparently, women are delicate little flowers who cannot tolerate difficult working conditions, while men put their lives on the line for grueling, thankless work.
Schlafly goes on to assign fault to women, asserting that the pay gap is resultant from a heterosexual female preference that male spouses earn more. She also claims that women tend to go into fields that are less valued in the marketplace, refusing to consider that perhaps jobs that tend to appeal to women are devalued for that same reason: women will and are expected to work for less.
The most shocking and insulting words perhaps are these: “the pay gap between men and women is not all bad because it helps to promote and sustain marriages.” The pay gape is lowest amongst millennials; under Schlafly’s absurd reasoning, this is the direct cause of statistically fewer marriages in this generation.
She argues that in order to sustain the institution of marriage, the pay gap should be increased. This flawed argument, this ridiculous display of faulty ad hoc ergo propter hoc logic, is damaging. Sex-based discrimination harms people of all genders; it makes for an unsustainable economy, which in turn effects marriages and families. The fact that the ERA has yet to be passed in beyond discouraging, as is the notion that our media still heeds the scholarship of the woman who helped defeat it.
Thanks to Think Progress
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