Pissing Down Your Leg

Thoughts on Economics and Economic Policy

Libertarians and Feminism

with 2 comments

I just came across two different posts that show libertarians uncomfortable stance toward feminism. The first was from Noah Smith showing that Peter Thiel thinks that allowing women to vote was a bad thing (at least for libertarians).

The second was from Mike Konczal that showed how uncomfortable women’s rights and female sexuality made Ludwig von Mises.

From a purely philosophical point of view, you would think that libertarians would welcome feminism as it increased the amount of freedom in the world by opening up new opportunities and giving new rights to half the population.

But libertarians (often, not always) seem to worry about protecting the rights and liberties of themselves and people like them, rather than extending them to others. Thus we end up with misogynistic and racist white male libertarians. One question is how women and minorities can feel comfortable in these groups.



Written by Liam C Malloy

February 13, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Posted in Libertarians

2 Responses

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  1. Yes you have a point. Many of the blogs I visit are not used to the presence of women in the blogosphere. But there is something you need to consider. Overall, the policies of the right of center keep more women in the workplace than the policies of the left, which seeks to raise the bar for everyone. I was abandoned by the left in the workplace decades before I was abandoned in the workplace of the right. This is a cultural discussion we have not even had yet, in that the solutions of the future entail a real dialogue among everyone, as to how services can be restructured in the future that allows real freedom and economic access for everyone.

    Becky Hargrove

    February 21, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    • I’m not sure what you mean. The overall feminist movement, which very much came out of the left, led directly to the increased participation rate of women in the labor force. Which groups on the right want to keep women in the workforce? Not the Christian right. I would have assumed it was the libertarians, and I’m sure that many if not most libertarians are not the misogynists from the original post.

      But why do you feel abandoned by the left? It is the left that supported the (unratified) Equal Rights Amendment. If we ever get more maternal (and paternal) leave policies, they will come out of the left. The only thing the right has done (that I can see) is keep median wages down (through union busting, less progressive taxes, what else?) thus encouraging, if not requiring, both parents to work.

      The main point of the post was really that I was surprised by two instances of anti-woman feeling coming out of the the one area of conservatism that I thought would support equal rights.

      Liam C Malloy

      February 21, 2012 at 2:19 pm

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