Professional antifeminist Phyllis Schlafly – perhaps best known for her fervent opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment – seems to have been channeling the manosphere in a column she published yesterday on the issue of “paycheck fairness.” Turns out she thinks such fairness is actually a bad idea, because ladies love marrying rich guys more than they love earning money.
According to Schlafly, equal pay messes with the fundamental female desire for “hypergamy” – that favorite manosphere buzzword – and undermines marriage:
[H]ypergamy … 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.
Indeed, Schlafly argues, women love marrying men who earn more than them so much that when the pay gap is eliminated some of them just won’t marry at all. Which is apparently the end of the world, or something.
The pay gap between men and women is not all bad because it helps to promote and sustain marriages. …
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.
So it’s not enough that most people end up getting married; civilization will crumble if more than half of them don’t marry before the age of 30!
And so, she suggests, if American women knew what was good for them they would be begging for employers pay them even less, relative to men.
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.
Hmm. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that Schlafly – a best-selling author and popular speaker on the right – didn’t send back any of her royalties or speaking fees so that she would feel more like a woman and her late husband would feel like more of a man, and I doubt she’s doing so now, as a widow. She’s also been unmarried for more than twenty years. Coincidence?
NOTE TO MEN’S RIGHTS ACTIVISTS: When you find yourself agreeing with Phyllis Schlafly on pretty much anything (beyond, say, the existence of gravity, the need for human beings to breathe air, and other widely accepted beliefs of this sort), this is an indication that perhaps your movement isn’t the progressive, egalitarian movement that you like to pretend that it is, and that in fact it is sort of the opposite.
That said, I should also note that Schlafly’s notion of “hypergamy,” while sexist and silly, is decidedly less obnoxious than the version peddled by PUAs and websites like A Voice for Men — congrats, Men’s Human Rights Activists, you’re actually worse than Phyllis Schlafly!
She just uses the term to indicate a desire to marry up. For many manospherians, by contrast, “hypergamy” doesn’t just mean marrying up; it means that women are fickle, unfaithful monsters who love nothing better than cuckolding beta males in order to jump into bed with whatever alpha male wanders into their field of vision. (I’m guessing Schlafly hasn’t actually been going through the archives at AVFM or Chateau Heartiste looking for column ideas.) While many MRAs love to complain about hypergamy, many of them also seem to think that it’s unfair that “beta” males with good jobs aren’t automatically entitled to hot wives.
In case anyone is wondering, the actual definition of the word “hypergamy” involves none of that. According to Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, the word means “marriage to a person of a social status higher than one’s own; orig., esp. in India, the custom of allowing a woman to marry only into her own or a higher social group.”
That’s it. It refers to the fact of marrying up, not to the desire to marry up, much less to the alleged desire of all twentysomething women to ride the Alpha Asshole Cock Carousel. The manosphere’s new and not-so-improved definition came from a white nationalist named F. Roger Devlin.
ANOTHER NOTE: Big thanks to the people who emailed me about this story. If you ever see something you think would make for a good Man Boobz post, send me an email at futrelle [at] manboobz.com. I get a lot of ideas from tips!