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Gender equality debate

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 23, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Personal Story" segment tonight. Gender equality, as you may know, there's a theme among the Democrats that women should be equal to men pretty much everywhere, but especially in the salary arena. Recently conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly wrote an opinion piece that argued that so-called pay gap between men and women is not really a bad thing. Because if the ladies start making more money than the guys, they would have a harder time finding suitable mates or something. The implication being that women like to marry successful men. Joining us now from Los Angeles Leslie Marshall and from Washington Kate Obenshain. All right. Now, this is very confusing to me. Did I portray it to the audience accurately, first of all, Kate, and what do you think about it?

KATE OBENSHAIN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Actually, I think you did. I think what Phyllis is saying is that there is this natural instinct among women. I think Phyllis stirs the pot just by pointing out the obvious that you are not allowed to with feminists. But she says there is the thing called hypergamy, which means women look to marry men who are more successful, they make more money. That's actually been proven. It's not something that she just sort of made up. Men like to marry women who they think are better than they in certain areas like they are more attractive, they are younger. This is just a fact. And Phyllis is pointing it out. But she does so - by this ...

O'REILLY: Why do you have to back up that women like to marry successful guys though? What do you have?

OBENSHAIN: The National Bureau of Economic Research reported last year this is not a right wing group. They did an extensive study. There has been studies as far back that I know about in 1989. And many studies since then that have shown that women look to marry men who are more successful in part, Bill, so they can take time off. Raise their children. It's a natural instinct.

O'REILLY: Sure. To have family and not have to worry about the economic repercussions.

OBENSHAIN: Yeah. That's right. It's absolutely.

O'REILLY: Sure. It makes sense.

OBENSHAIN: And when they don't marry, when they marry somebody who is less successful, their marriages are less satisfying and they are more likely to end in divorce.

O'REILLY: Wow. All right, Leslie, from your perch you say, what?

LESLIE MARSHALL, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Wow. Kate, I thought we were going to agree on this. Let me tell you, when I first married my husband he made a lot less. He was in residency, and I didn't marry him because of money. Out here in Los Angeles we call those gold diggers if I was going to marry for money, Bill, I would have married you. The problem here is that it is 2014. I would hope that women are not marrying men just because they make ...

O'REILLY: Well, hoping - hoping and wishing, I mean with all due respect to Dusty Springfield, wishing and hoping doesn't really matter.

(LAUGHTER)

O'REILLY: Kate had a pretty - pretty - Kate had an excellent summation based on the facts of a study that says American women feel more secure, more comfortable if the guy they are marrying can provide more now, do you dispute that?

MARHSALL: But the United States Census Bureau has told us since 2007, up until the latest numbers of 2012, that women don't makes a much as men, Bill, and that is what this fight -- war on women is about, and so the reason marrying men that make more is because they make more. The men make more than we do, of course (inaudible).

O'REILLY: You're missing the point on purpose or you are not understanding, and I'll go over to Kate so you can rethink. The point of it is that the research shows American women feel more comfortable marrying men who are more successful than they are economically. Therefore Phyllis Schafly puts forth, not Bill O'Reilly. I want to stay out of this, all right? Puts forth that this gender income gap isn't really that important. Do you buy that opinion, Kate?

OBENSHAIN: Well, first of all, she points out that the 77 cents myth is a myth.

O'REILLY: Yes. And we have destroyed that here, yes.

OBENSHAIN: She is talking about a much smaller income gap. And she says the reality of that is it is because of the actual choices that women make. They continue to choose less profitable industries. They continue to work less.

O'REILLY: (inaudible) established beyond a reasonable doubt. But the core remains, and I want to give Leslie the last word. Do you believe the research on this, Leslie, that it isn't a big deal among women if they make a few cents less than men, because they would rather have more men who are successful for social purposes? Last word.

MARSHALL: No, I don't. I think that most women want to be treated fairly and equally. And I think because of the opportunity, and a lot of choices that women have had, as Phyllis recommended when I recommended her years back to stay home, means that they're behind with education, skills, work experience, and that's why they hold the majority of the top ten jobs that pay less than $10.10 an hour. That's what we want to change. I think we can get married to great guys who make more than us or equal to us, which is certainly my hope for the future.

O'REILLY: Or less, Leslie, or less.

OBENSHAIN: Women do make the same as men.

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