In 2010, according to the US Census Bureau, women made roughly 81 cents to every dollar a man makes. Of course, this is an average across all industries and this number doesn’t take other factors into account. The wage gap is closing; it used to be 77 cents to every dollar. That was the magic number heard all over the place. Should women be happy about this? Recently, I wrote an article about the language used to discuss women in power. In that article, I discussed how the media and women themselves use language to put women down. While reading EliteDaily, I found an article called, Prominent Republican Says Women Should Earn Less In Order To Find Husbands. Katie Gonzalez takes a quote by Phyllis Schlafly out of context for her own agenda. The original quote can be found in an article by Phyllis Schlafly herself called Facts and Fallacies about Paycheck Fairness. The quote that bothers her so much is:
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 continues to say at the end of the article that 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.”
Gonzalez takes the quotes and makes a moving pro-women, pro-choices article, but I am wondering if she read the entirety of Schlafly’s article. Schlafly argues that women makes choices and that the majority of women are more willing to choose a comfortable life with a comfortable job and nice coworkers. Men are more willing to do dangerous jobs, work in uncomfortable situations and work more than 40 hours a week. And that is why they are paid more. She also states that the wage gap hardly exists for millennials and women without children.
While I fully believe in equal pay for equal work, that’s what exactly it should be. More women need to ask for it: ask for that raise and promotion. And if you want the same job you have to be willing to put in the same work. Millennials are starting to understand this; with men who are also willing to stay home, and the rise in paternity leave as well as maternity leave. The wage gap will close when the expectations change over who will stay home and run the house.