Which came first, the diabolical chicken or the egg?

“Whatever is, is right,” Alexander Pope once wrote.

Phyllis Schlafly seems to have done a good job of imbibing this flawless logic.

Forget debating the degree to which a pay gap exists between men and women, which is something that one could do. This conservative activist moves beyond that to argue that the existence of such a gap is a good thing because it means MORE ELIGIBLE MEN. Which is, er, certainly one tactic.

“Suppose the pay gap between men and women were magically eliminated,” she wrote in the Christian Post. “If that happened, simple arithmetic suggests that half of women would be unable to find what they regard as a suitable mate.” Why? Well, “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.”

There you have it, ladies. Money or a mate? Remember, money is not going to sit there patiently and wait for you to make it a sandwich and iron its good work shirt.

If women make less money than men — that’s wonderful news. That means more young men to choose from! The best thing of all is for a woman to make no money at all, because then her pool of eligible fellows includes EVERY man! Forget earning potential. Maximize your husband-earning potential!

MORE HUSBANDS, LADIES! That’s the key! Marry your way to money in the time-honored fashion.

Isn’t this logic beautiful?

“Do you want to choose a mate from the large pool of men who make more money than you do, because ‘men who make more money than you do’ is, by and large, a synonym for ‘men’? Or one who makes less than you, which, depending on your field, probably is about seven guys, including Weird Gary Who Treats His Stuffed Animals Like They’re People?”

If women make less than men, this is actually a feature, not a bug! Schlafly notes that most women, who have traditionally made less money than men, want to marry men who make more money than they do. By no means pause to consider which of these is the chicken and which is the egg.

Any attempt to bring the earning levels into parity is bad. It will just decrease the pool of eligible men. Women, remember, PREFER a little inequality. It adds spice to married life. Marry an equal? Nope. Next you’ll want them to split child-rearing and cooking duties. Next you’ll want them to DRIVE instead of just PASSENGE!

Women want a mate who makes more money than they do because they hate making money and like to look up to their menfolks, not because they don’t make as much money and want more money for the household or because “men who earn more” make up most of the pool. That couldn’t possibly be it. No, no. That’s why any attempt to bring wages closer together will RUIN EVERYTHING FOR EVERYONE.

Women will be sad and unmarried, the worst possible combination of things to be. Men certainly won’t want them. Make as much as they do or more? What is this, 2243? What’s next, marrying a higher-earning robot? No. Keep the gap, at all costs. Whatever is, is right.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".