Freedom Feminism Still Isn't Either

Any so-called “freedom feminism” that includes Phyllis Schlafly and the anti-choice wing of the conservative movement is not libertarian, says Sharon Presley.

Christina Hoff Sommers says that I misrepresent her in my review of her book, Freedom Feminism. I say that she misrepresents me. Par for the course.

In her response, Sommers writes: “Presley seems to be captive to a 1970s–style of 'free to be you and me' feminism that sought to free human beings from the constraints of gender.” This is not only insufferably condescending but is an ad hominem attack that ill behooves a woman of her stature (I criticized only her ideas and her research, not her personally). Then she says, “Presley’s instinct is to ignore or dismiss research that challenges her worldview.” Unlike her? I don't think so and neither do others. In fact this “captive” of “instinct” is a retired psychology professor who has been reading academic gender research articles and books for over 30 years, Apparently my real sin, therefore, is not coming to the same conclusions as Sommers.

So let's talk about gender. I agree with individualist feminist Mary Wollstonecraft that we don't know what women are capable of until there are no restrictions on what they may do or be. Sommers appears to believe that there are no longer cultural restrictions or pressures on women (see p. 78 of her book). She may be the only feminist philosopher who thinks so. Most psychologists and sociologists would certainly question that conclusion. Though there have been huge strides in the last 50 years, the idea that we are now free from pressure to conform to gender role stereotypes is neither warranted nor consistent with research. All you have to do is go into Toys "R" Us with its pink and blue aisles to see that the pressure begins when the kids are very young: little homemakers or little warriors by the age of six. I have never seen a gender textbook (and they are all peer-reviewed and based on research, not polemics) in my many years of teaching Psychology of Women that concludes that there is longer socialization pressures to conform to gender stereotypical behavior. By way of example, here's a link to a typical gender textbook chapter focusing on the role of socialization.

‎Sommers cites research to show that women and men have differences, a point I never denied. By emphasizing, however, that men and women are “different,” she makes it sound as if men and women are like apples and oranges, Mars and Venus. In fact, serious psychologists, not just my “favorite feminist authors,” agree that the differences that do exist are mostly small, greatly overlapping and that “Differences within sexes are far greater than differences between sexes.” So how much “difference” are we really talking about? 75 percent? 50 percent? No, the amount of variance accounted for by gender alone for most behaviors is very small, no more than three percent. For example, studies by Robert Plomin, a professor at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, found a mere three percent of the variation in young children's verbal development is due to their gender. Another study of other behavior found a one percent to two percent variance. This means that only knowing the gender of a person will not allow anyone to predict with any accuracy how individuals will score on most measures of behavior. A summary of a recent article titled “Men and Women Are From Earth: Examining the Latent Structure of Gender,” published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, one of the more prestigious journals of the American Psychological Association (APA), said: “Average differences between men and women are not under dispute, but the dimensionality of gender indicates that these differences are inappropriate for diagnosing gender-typical psychological variables on the basis of sex. “ Oops.

Furthermore, in some areas once thought to have gender differences, the picture is not so clear anymore as a series of meta-analyses done by prominent research psychologist (and former president of the APA) Janet Hyde shows. “In the case of most traits, such as self-esteem and mathematical ability, Hyde found that men and women live on the same page—and not in different books altogether...In 78 percent of cases, Hyde found little or no difference between the sexes...”

By emphasizing that men and women are “different,” Sommers continues to perpetuate the same old tired cliches about gender stereotypes that caused libertarian feminist Cathy Reisenwitz to write that what Sommers offers is just old (gender stereotypes) wine in a new (conservative) bottle. I agree with Cathy.

Sommers also makes a big point that most women prefer part-time work in order to discredit what she thinks I said. To the extent this is true, it might be instructive to ask why many women do. Sommers simply assumes that they just want to spend more time with their kids because, presumably, it's in their genes. But there is a great deal of evidence that supports the phenomenon of the “second shift”--that women, even when they work full-time outside the home, are responsible for and do more of the domestic work than men. No wonder they want to work “part-time;” they have another job at home.

From a summary of a book on just this issue:

Determining who cooks and who cleans in a household may feel like a personal decision arrived at by individual couples, but UCI sociologist Judith Treas says culture and societal characteristics have a major influence on how domestic duties get divvied up in homes around the globe. In Dividing the Domestic: Men, Women, and Household Work in Cross-National Perspective, Treas, coeditor Sonja Drobnic, and international collaborators combine international survey data with sociological analysis to explain why the lion’s share of domestic responsibilities still rests with women, even as more women are working outside the home. The coeditors find that while certain countries, such as Sweden, are closing this gender chore gap, other countries may be reinforcing traditional roles through policies that allow women time off for housekeeping and caring for children.

My question: does Sommers think women have a housecleaning gene and actually want to do most of the housework or have they just been taught that it's their role? Furthermore, though men are helping more than they used to, when they do help, they do more of the fun things with the kids (e.g., taking them to the zoo) and less of the not fun things like diaper-changing. What woman wouldn't want a rest with a job like that waiting for her at home?

Sommers says that freedom feminism “stands for the moral, social, and legal equality of the sexes—and the freedom of women (and men) to employ their equal status to pursue happiness as they choose,” as if this were different from all other kinds of feminism. Please reread the last paragraph in my original essay. You know, the part about how only choice is libertarian. Sommers sets up a false dichotomy, wherein most other feminists are anti-male and irrational and only her own “humble” self and a few liked-minded women are not. That's just not true.

Both liberal and libertarian feminists define feminism in similar terms and include men in their groups. One liberal feminist organization that's been around since 1995 writes, for example, that “In the most basic sense, feminism is exactly what the dictionary says it is: the movement for social, political, and economic equality of men and women.” In regard to males, they write “After all, equality is a balance between the male and female with the intention of liberating the individual.”

Some myths about feminists, including that they are anti-male, are humorously debunked by a male feminist here.

The majority of women who vote now define themselves as “feminist.” According to my calculations based on several census reports from 2010, that's over 32 million women. Isn't it really a bit much to believe that all those women (except the conservatives) are man-hating and irrational?

Sommers doesn't get to define the feminism she disagrees with by the extreme outliers—the small number of radical man-hating feminists who get most of the media attention while the average feminists don't. Otherwise, we might as well say that the racist, homophobic quasi-libertarian hangers-on get to define libertarianism. I don't think so. Furthermore, nowhere in Sommers' book did she provide evidence that the majority of feminists hate men and that they are “irrational.” Is it a case of everyone is irrational except me and thee and I'm not so sure about thee? And insinuating that most feminists (except her type) are irrational is hardly a way to start a coalition.

Sommers claims that her freedom feminism is “libertarian.” That's odd. Nowhere in her book does she say that. When did this happen? All she talks about are conservatives, including, in very approving terms, Phyllis Schlafly, who is about as anti-feminist as you can get and still be female. I'm not buying it and I don't think too many libertarian feminists are buying it, either. Sommers wants libertarians to align with conservative “feminists,” including the ones that are busy trying to destroy our reproductive freedom. Any so-called “freedom feminism” that includes Schlafly and the anti-choice wing of the conservative movement is not any “feminism” I want to be part of. There's nothing even remotely appealing or smart about that coalition.

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  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Who are you going to believe - these social science studies or your lying eyes?

    "Phyllis Schlafly, who is about as anti-feminist as you can get and still be female"

    I'm glad she made the cut - a bit more conservative and she'd be a man!

    Ultra-conservative women, apparently, don't get to define themselves as female, but men do - or does this author reject the transgender movement?

  • entropy||

    Heh. Yeah we're suppose to call Bradley Manning a she because he likes it, otherwise it's great injustice, but half the women in the country can't get democrats to accept them as female and that's OK, no big deal.

  • entropy_factor||

    hello again, name kinsman.

  • entropy_factor||

    at this point- what does it matter? Both of these hussies need to get back in the kitchen!

  • ||

    I'm glad she made the cut - a bit more conservative and she'd be a man!

    I want to be a woman who has lots of sex with hot lesbian women.

    If I become progressive enough will it change me from a man to a woman?

  • BambiB||

    I agree with individualist feminist Mary Wollstonecraft that we don't know what women are capable of until there are no restrictions on what they may do or be.

    Which is why nobody should take you seriously.

    The failure of women in various fields can always be ascribed to putative "restrictions". The College Entrance Board has identified several areas where women just don't do very well compared to men. Is that because of "restrictions"? Or because women just can't measure up?

    Women are not as good at dead reckoning, spatial relationships, abstract reasoning of any kind. Is that because of "restrictions"? Or because their brains don't work the same?

    And what about the flip side? How will we know what women are capable of as long as there are preferences that benefit women? Female military personnel have a completely different set of physical standards. If the standards aren't important, why have them at all? If they are important, why are they so diluted for women that a 19-year-old woman gets more time for the standard run than a 55-year-old man? Why do male Marines have to do chin-ups - while BAMs only do "flexed-arm hangs"?

    In fact, no woman is expected to meet the same standards as the men. Without these special exceptions (the opposite of restrictions) there would be virtually no women in the military.

    Why should anyone take you seriously when you call for an end to "restrictions" without a call to eliminate "entitlements"?

  • fanofc4ss||

    Wow, that's a twisted reaction. If you check out the Facebook page she manages called Association of Libertarian Feminists, you will see much pro-transgender commentary.

  • Marshall Gill||

    reproductive freedom.

    Orwellian.

  • entropy||

    reproductive freedom

    Can I return this record? I think it's defective. There's only 1 song on it.

  • Brett L||

    Apparently there is one and only one issue that defines womanhood. Strange. Many of the women I've known and liked are creatures with many varied talents and interests that have no connection at all to their reproductive organs.

  • Snark Plissken||

    No, the amount of variance accounted for by gender alone for most behaviors is very small, no more than three percent. For example, studies by Robert Plomin, a professor at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, found a mere three percent of the variation in young children's verbal development is due to their gender.

    Well, if that isn't solid proof that gender is mostly a social construct, I don't know what is.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Ugh! Me caveman, not talk fancy like girl. Oog not need fancy voc, uh, vooc, uh, big words!

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Oog have simple tastes. Bash men's heads with club, drag girls by hair, meet with friends to discuss existentialist poetry over wine and cheese...wait, scratch that!

  • Brett L||

    I have some concerns about whether prepubescence is necessarily the best time to evaluate gender differences.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Girls progress much faster verbally at a young age, this 3% difference is PC bullshit.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Girls progress much faster verbally at a young age

    & how we let this travesty continue without any interdiction is the height of immorality. These is no question where this comes from and any reasonable person will agree - the matriarchy of home care, day care, and early childhood education.

    & until the matriarchy is forced to make reasonable accommodations to fix this inequality, they are part of the problem.

    Sure - they'll tell you all of this is just ridiculous, but we see it every day. Matriarchal privilege exists, and any objection to the idea by, especially by those who benefit most from it, is laughable.

    & doing nothing isn't an option. Justice late is justice denied.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Well done.

  • Daniel||

    I read that whole thing and am not sure why...

    Gender identity and stereotypes....

    Perhaps Ms. Presley can explain why in less than 100 year, we can eliminate thousands of years of cultural habit....

    'Male feminist'? Is he on permanent friend status?

  • Marshall Gill||

    Perhaps Ms. Presley can explain why in less than 100 year, we can eliminate thousands of years of cultural habit....

    How about millions of years of evolution?

    Is sexual dimorphism a tool of the Patriarchy?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Here, let me explain this for you:

    Shut up, you mansplaining chauvinist pig!

  • entropy_factor||

    +1 burning bra

  • OldMexican||

    She may be the only feminist philosopher who thinks so. Most psychologists and sociologists would certainly question that conclusion.


    Oh, god, I'm having a feeling of deja vu all over again. Is she really arguing by saying the equivalent of "study after study shows..." which was the usual unsubstantiated boilerplate said by feminists in some of those old Sally Jesse Raphael shows?

    In fact, serious psychologists, not just my "favorite feminist authors," agree that the differences that do exist are mostly small[...]


    Still, Sharon, the qualifier "serious" sounds too much like your own opinion. I had sisters and I can tell you that they played completely different games than what my brother and I played, and that without much intervention, as far as culture goes, from my mom or dad. What I think is happening here is that these psychologists are showing their own biases and giving us an "ought" rather than an "is."

    In other words, I still think you're quoting charlatans.

    Sommers wants libertarians to align with conservative "feminists," including the ones that are busy trying to destroy our reproductive freedom [sic].


    You meant abortion rights, didn't you?

  • 110 Lean||

    In fact, serious psychologists, not just my "favorite feminist authors," agree that the differences that do exist are mostly small[...]

    Have the stupid bitch read this.

  • SusanM||

    It's not as clear-cut as we'd like to think

  • OldMexican||

    Give me a break.

  • SusanM||

    cualquier...

  • ||

    So are Priests who take an oath of celibacy 3rd gender people?

  • SusanM||

    No, they're just really lonely.

    I wish I could explain the concept of transgender here but without writing a massive article about it I really couldn't explain (transplain?) it well enough. And I'm perfectly aware a lot of it sounds like bullshit on a first look anyway. :)

  • mr simple||

    Most psychologists and sociologists

    Are no nothing blowhards practicing a half-science.

  • Kevin47||

    Half?

    You are generous, sir.

  • fanofc4ss||

    Amazing how many people here care nothing for actual research from psychologists and neuroscience. Prefer parroting conservatives who have only their opinions?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Sommers says that freedom feminism “stands for the moral, social, and legal equality of the sexes—and the freedom of women (and men) to employ their equal status to pursue happiness as they choose,”

    And if your pursuit of happiness should violate the rights of others, what then? My rights? Or your happiness?

  • OldMexican||

    One liberal feminist organization that's been around since 1995 writes, for example, that "In the most basic sense, feminism is exactly what the dictionary says it is: the movement for social, political, and economic equality of men and women."


    Yes, that is exactly how most liberal (i.e. leftist) feminists define the term Feminism. You got that one right. Achieving equality where there's none, at the point of a gun.

    Rather than celebrating the differences betwee the sexes (Vive la difference!), which is the point that Sommers is trying to convey, feminists like Presley want to suppress these by denying them, quoting crankish sociologists and psychologists as a way to say that those who see these differences are either crazy or delusional, which is not unlike relying on psychiatry to suppress dissidence in Kruschev's Soviet Union.

    Some myths about feminists, including that they are anti-male, are humorously debunked by a male feminist here.


    I especially like how Sharon links to a page called "It's Pronounced Metrosexual," which is the buzzword for effeminate.

  • GILMORE||

    "the movement for social, political, and economic equality of men and women."

    Jesus, then was was all that shit on Jezebel about the Shame of her reeking fertility-symbol?

    Does 'equality' mean that I get to be like like Rog in Life of Brian?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFBOQzSk14c

  • SusanM||

    If that's who you are, then yes.

  • scareduck||

    Actually, I think most gender feminists think they want social, political, and economic equality for women. The reality is they wish to employ the state to stand on the necks of men when it suits them.

    I have gotten into it with various and sundry about how feminism isn't really anti-male. For us to believe that, you would have to also believe that its founding documents are somehow absent this taint. If Susan Brownmiller's Against Our Will didn't launch the "rape culture" nonsense that accuses all men of being rapists -- or benefiting from rape -- she certainly popularized it among feminists. I leave it to Wendy McElroy to destroy.

  • GILMORE||

    Whats the male version of 'feminist'?

    Masculinist?
    Phallocentrist?
    Chauvinist?

    before being written off as typical gliberarianism, I'd ask: if there *is no* definable 'masculine'-identity philosophy because - as we all know from our extensive graduate work in "gender(female) studies" - ALL philosophy pre-dating this kind of gender-consciousness is by default, 'the embedded, dominant male POV codified in our very language', am I to suppose that NO 'feminist' accepts a single word of any historical socio-political-economic-philosophy, because, uh, MEN?

    I.e. if 'people' are so entirely, necessarily defined and limited by their 'gender', I find it kind of odd that women have an entire body of 'philosophy' entirely unique to their group of chromosomes, yet the en-dicked are somehow just generically responsible for 'everything else'.

    Its this part that prevents me from ever being able to believe 'feminism' really *is* anything. Of course, that's my typically male need for a dialectic of dichotomy and 'opposites', or something. Cause feminisms is *inclusive* and supra-lingual and stuff.

    but again, I don't really see how its an 'ism' if its just a bunch of arbitrarily conceded ideas about what Women Are/Are Not supposed to be.

    discuss. please, no references to Iron John or Robert Bly.

  • mtrueman||

    "if 'people' are so entirely, necessarily defined and limited by their 'gender'"

    I get the impression there is much you don't understand about feminism, starting with your strange search for a male counterpart to feminism. But let's look at the quote I lifted from your comment. I don't believe that feminists would say they are limited by their gender. I think they would argue that the notion of gender gives them a degree of freedom that pre-feminist thinkers would deny them. These pre-feminists would discount 'gender' and insist that we conform to (and limit ourselves to) clear cut sexual differences.

    I would have thought that libertarians should have been more open to the freedoms that feminists are trying to open, and instinctively cringe away from the ideas of biological determinism.

  • OldMexican||

    Determining who cooks and who cleans in a household may feel like a personal decision arrived at by individual couples, but UCI sociologist Judith Treas says culture and societal characteristics have a major influence on how domestic duties get divvied up in homes around the globe. [...]The coeditors find that while certain countries, such as Sweden, are closing this gender chore gap, other countries may be reinforcing traditional roles through policies that allow women time off for housekeeping and caring for children.


    Presley's lack of sophistication in economics is clear to me just by reading her interpretation of the results, as it seems not to have dawned on Presley that the time-off policies of those other countries are not the ones driving the role for women in the form of an incentive to do house chores and child-rearing, but that it is the other way around: the policies were instituted out of political pressure from women who wanted time-off to keep a clean house and happy children.

  • OldMexican||

    For instance:

    All you have to do is go into Toys "R" Us with its pink and blue aisles to see that the pressure begins when the kids are very young[...] by the age of six.


    Again, is it the fact that the girls toys are in pink aisles and the boys toys in blue the driver of social behavior in boys and girls? Or is it the other way around: The toy store simply responding to people's purchasing behavior?

    I have listened and read many arguments on the idea that gender roles are mainly learned and driven by cultural mores. It doesn't take long to see that such arguments are baseless when one sees the behavior of boys and girls in neutral settings like a playground or daycare: girls tend to be more social and adept at group games, whereas boys tend to be more competitive, rowdy and even violent.

  • GILMORE||

    CIS-NORMATIVE OPPRESSION ALERT!!

  • OldMexican||

    So she uses the above to says this:

    Though there have been huge strides in the last 50 years, the idea that we are now free from pressure to conform to gender role stereotypes is neither warranted nor consistent with research


    This is ludicrous. The fact that you have vendors acting in their own commercial interests does not mean that gender roles are driven by cultural pressures in a top-down manner and not by an intrisically human component. Women like to use makeup to look younger and healthier, wear skirts to show their legs and tight blouses to show their tits. Their purchasing choices and decisions are what drive culture and not the other way around. Women go with what works, not with what others are pressuring them to do. We're not talking about Saudi Arabia here, but Western Civilization.

  • Square||

    Which aisle does my daughter who's obsessed with Lord of the Rings legos go to?

    You're missing Presley's point as absolutely as you feel she's missing yours.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Square,

    Which aisle does my daughter who's obsessed with Lord of the Rings legos go to?


    The one right behind the cash register lines, next to the Chima and Ninjago sets.

    Again, you're not even close to impressing me, S. You are a very clumsy debater.

  • Square||

    There's no arguing with commitment.

  • JWatts||

    Don't be intentionally obtuse and think that it will appear as nuanced to other readers. OldMexican makes some good points and your post does not really address them.

    "Which aisle does my daughter who's obsessed with Lord of the Rings legos go to?"

    No one is saying that girls shouldn't play with Legos. What they are saying is that there is indisputable empirical evidence than Girls and Boys have different behavior patterns and that Feminists that claim these are all a social construct are ignoring reality in favor of how they'd like the universe to behave.

    Feminism of that type is just a form of religion. There is skant evidence to back up their claims and the studies that support it aren't any better scientifically that the studies that support Intelligent Design.

  • Square||

    A playground is in no way a "neutral setting." Peers enforce gender roles more than any other single social factor. When you talk about social pressure to conform, peer pressure at places like the playground is exactly what is being talked about.

    And before you claim that if children act a certain way it must just be nature, then how is it that different cultures in different places and different historical periods have constructed gender SO differently, given that its so inherent and natural?

  • ||

    Peers enforce gender roles more than any other single social factor.

    IOW, you are oppressed by the very act of having to participate in society. Quantum gender bias. Handy premise.

  • Square||

    I find it endlessly fascinating that so many who call themselves libertarians and talk themselves blue in the face about their own rights and how evil it is for people to turn to the government to solve their problems cannot understand an argument from social influence that doesn't appeal to government interference.

    Is libertarian knee-jerk anti-authoritarianism really just disguising your inability to conceive of anything happening in society without it being initiated by the government?

  • ||

    Nothing in that argument about social influence had anything to do with government. Social influence exists without government - it's the sum of human beings interacting with each other. Which is why placing an inherent inequity in "social influence" is such a fun argument, since it makes one inescapably, permanently and irrevocably a victim by nature of being human. Nice work if you can get it.

  • Square||

    The fact that social influence can exist apart from government is not a reaason to throw up your hands and go "hey, it's social influence. Nothing we can do about THAT, since we only know how to address problems the GOVERMENT causes!"

  • Marshall Gill||

    The fact that social influence can exist apart from government is not a reaason to throw up your hands and go "hey, it's social influence. the very essence of Libertarianism.

    Think the mask slipped here a little bit. Social pressure can come from two places. Individuals acting in concert or government through coercion. I wonder which one is Libertarian?

    Perhaps you have confused Libertarian with Libertine? A common mistake.

  • Square||

    So if I suggest to a child that maybe taunting the little boy who likes to wear pink is uncool, is that government coercion?

  • Marshall Gill||

    So if I suggest to a child that maybe taunting the little boy who likes to wear pink is uncool, is that government coercion?

    Hard to tell what you mean, Mary. If you were not implying government coercion when you said this just previously, what was your point?

    When you talk about social pressure to conform, peer pressure at places like the playground is exactly what is being talked about.

    Yeah, sometimes social pressure does not respond in the way that some people would prefer. Unless you wish the government to do something about it, so what? Liberty does not imply the "liberty to force" people to agree with you.

  • ||

    The fact that social influence can exist apart from government is not a reaason to throw up your hands

    You misstated the premise. It's not that social influence can exist apart from government. Social influence does exist apart from government, every government, everywhere, all the time. Social attitudes aren't the purview of the NAP since they don't involve force, fraud or coercion. So there's no reason from a libertarian perspective to give a shit. You can get your moral indignation on under a different banner. Which is why terms like "libertarian feminism" are retarded non-sequiturs, as we discussed at length in the previous 3 threads on this topic.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    People are pressured to believe in an invisible man in the sky. Doesn't mean it's a part of being human.

    Look at East Asian. Japan in particular. They've been bending gender for thousands of years. In some island cultures there are more than two gender identities.

  • ||

    People are pressured to believe in an invisible man in the sky. Doesn't mean it's a part of being human.

    Religion is on the same biological footing as gender.

    THIS IS WHAT FEMINISTS ACTUALLY BELIEVE!

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    The gender differences being argued only apply to heterosexuals. Non-heterosexuals don't feel the same.

    I thought feminists were about women and not people who don't fall on one side of the traditional masculine/feminine fence.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Square,

    I find it endlessly fascinating that so many who call themselves libertarians [...]cannot understand an argument from social influence that doesn't appeal to government interference.


    The objection to the argument is not derived from an aversion to government interference whether there is one or not. The author is clearly denying the differences between man and woman, arguing that gender roles are a social construct. I don't apply libertarian ethics to the argument because it is not a moral argument but an epistemological one.

  • Square||

    "The author is clearly denying the differences between man and woman"

    From the article:

    "‎Sommers cites research to show that women and men have differences, a point I never denied."

    Don't let your jerking knee bruise your face.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Stop being obtuse. The author clearly tries to minimize the effect of sexual dimorphism using a bunch of pretty shitty studies.

    What is your point exactly? Social pressure exists therefore...what?

  • mtrueman||

    "Social pressure exists therefore...what?"

    Therefore use it in a way to expand the sphere of human freedom. Does a libertarian really need to have this pointed out?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Square,

    A playground is in no way a "neutral setting." Peers enforce gender roles more than any other single social factor.


    Oh poor dretched human, how thou hath suffered!

    Give me a break, S. As little toddlers, girls act different than boys. Boys are rambunctious, girls much less so.

    When you talk about social pressure to conform, peer pressure at places like the playground is exactly what is being talked about.


    No, it is not. Presley is simply extrapolating her own biases over situations that she cares little to understand. She's already convinced that gender is a role that can be unlearned and not a situation defined by biology, chemistry and yes, experience.

    then how is it that different cultures in different places and different historical periods have constructed gender SO differently, given that its so inherent and natural?


    Give me an instance of what you mean and we'll talk. Otherwise, fuck off.

  • Square||

    Early medieval Europe. Ancient Rome. Ancient India. Pre-Columbian Americas.

    Educate yourself before being a pompous jackass.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Square,

    Early medieval Europe.


    Europe is a big place and early medieval is a historical period, not a culture.

    Ancient Rome.


    How ancient? Pre-Republic? Republic? Civil War? Empire? Eastern and Western Rome? Christian Rome?

    Ancient India.


    How ancient? Which period? What are you talking about?

    Pre-Columbian Americas.


    You really think that the different civilizations of the Americas were that homogeneous in their culture?

    Educate yourself before being a pompous jackass.


    Coming from you, who just spewed historical periods as if these were specific cultures, is laughable.

    You failed to impress me, S.

  • Square||

    If you knew jack shit about anything you're talking about in this thread, you would have caught the nature of the examples.

    If you can't manage to think on your own without being led by the hand, please study the ninth century Anglo-Saxon law code. Share your results after doing so.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Until this post, I assumed a new commenter. Now I am starting to suspect yet another incarnation of Mary.

    She was off her meds a few days ago, and this new one seems indicate the possibility of a new medication that seems to have some, not surprisingly, negative side effects.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Again, these very vague examples you've given are few and far between. With enough complex systems you will find outliers.

  • Thomas O.||

    "As little toddlers, girls act different than boys. Boys are rambunctious, girls much less so."

    Spend a day with my 3-year-old daughter and you might change your opinion. :P

    I guess the old "nature vs. nurture" argument might come into play here.

  • JWatts||

    I have twin toddlers, a boy and a girl, and the girl is more rambunctious.

    That being said, if you ask my daughter what her favorite color is, she'll loudly (she's very loud) say Pink! If you ask my son what his favorite color is, he'll give you a confused look and clearly indicate that he can't understand why anyone would have a favorite color.

    Then he'll go back to playing with his trains, cars or blocks. And his sister will play with her dolls. And occasionally come "play" with the blocks. Which really involves taking a block her brother was using to illicit a reaction out of him. He'd rather play alone a lot of the time, whereas she generally wants to play in a group. I've almost never seen her playing with the blocks or cars by herself, but she's been playing with dolls since she was 14 months old.

    A few years of raising a twin boy and are distinct differences in the behavior of the sexes that show up by 16-18 months or so.

  • mtrueman||

    I'm sure your experience is typical. But I'm sure also that if you raised enough children you'd sooner or later come across boys and girls who don't follow the typical pattern. What would you make of them? Would you see them as freaks or sick, in need of medical attention? I think the good thing, and the libertarian thing, about feminism (and queer studies) is that it allows space for kids to follow their tastes, even though they differ from the normal behaviour you've observed without being stigmatized.

    It's surprising to see self-styled libertarians here so hostile to this.

  • Cytotoxic||

    then how is it that different cultures in different places and different historical periods have constructed gender SO differently, given that its so inherent and natural?

    These are exceedingly rare and don't make the point you seem to want to make.

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    Peers enforce gender roles more than any other single social factor.

    What? In the play ground, peers mostly enforce dominance over the group. Once the hierarchy is understood by the group THEN issues like fucking with the girls are addressed.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    TEND TO BE are the keywords. The gender differences being argued only apply to heterosexuals. Non-heterosexuals don't feel the same.

  • mtrueman||

    But heterosexuality is the standard against which all behaviour and identity is measured against (and found wanting). In pre-feminist thinking, if non-heterosexuals don't feel the same, it's because they are freaks, sick, or in some way lacking when compared to normal heterosexuals.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    Sexual orientation and feminism are mutually exclusive. People also use to view both autistic symptoms and atheism as forms of psychopathy. I guess to you that also counts as "pre-feminist" thinking even though, again, it has nothing to do with feminism.

    Also I thought feminism pertained to women and not those of us who have both RuPaul's Drag Race and Counting Cars on the same DVR.

  • mtrueman||

    "I guess to you that also counts as "pre-feminist" thinking even though, again, it has nothing to do with feminism."

    What makes you so sure? The anti-psychiatry movement of Laing, Foucault, Deleuze and others came about in the 1960's, exactly when feminism was getting off the ground. They share the same intellectual roots and approaches. I think feminism pertains to us all, just as the anti-psychiatry movement does.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    Correlation doesn't equal causation, and I don't think being non-conservative counts as having the same roots. Libertarian Thomas Szasz was a notable figure in the anti-psychiatry movement.

    So you think autistics and atheists are psychopaths? I guess you were a bully in high school who believes there's an invisible man in the sky?

    If there's a union for people who work in mental hospitals then they would love you in office. The prison guard and police unions would probably love you to.

  • mtrueman||

    "So you think autistics and atheists are psychopaths? I guess you were a bully in high school who believes there's an invisible man in the sky?"

    No and no. Any other questions about me?

  • JWatts||

    "TEND TO BE are the keywords. The gender differences being argued only apply to heterosexuals. Non-heterosexuals don't feel the same."

    That is not the argument that Presley is making above. You may be right. But Presley is clearly wrong.

  • Bean Counter||

    I am unwilling to tell someone what to do with their body as long as they're not harming anyone else. Abortion is problematic simply because the infant (or fetus) is completely dependent on the woman carrying it. While the infant has the potential to become a cute little baby that grows up to be a productive citizen, it also has the potential to develop problems that can endanger the woman's life and health. We don't require people in any other scenario to risk their health or life to protect the life of someone else, even if they were the proximate cause of the other person's predicament. Eg, if I shot you and you needed a transfusion that only I could provide, I can't be forced to give you my blood. Thus I am reluctantly pro-choice.
    Just be honest enough with yourself to recognize that, in all likelihood, an abortion puts an end to a human life.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Bean Counter,

    Abortion is problematic simply because the infant (or fetus) is completely dependent on the woman carrying it.


    So is a newborn baby. An elderly grandmother with Alzheimer's or Parkinson's is also completely dependent on her family. Neither is excuse or justification to take a life and thus violate the Non Agression Principle.

    it also has the potential to develop problems that can endanger the woman's life and health.


    That in itself is debatable, it will all depend on the situation. For instance, an ectopic pregnancy can be hazardous to a woman's life with the possibility of carrying the child to term being almost impossible. In such a case, you can talk about a therapeutic abortion. A risky pregnancy that could mean the premature death of the mother can be taken also as justification for a therapeutic abortion, if medically there can't be anything done for the baby. After all, doctors are not gods.

    However, those cases are extremely rare. The vast majority of abortions in the U.S. (55 million and counting) have been made by choice and not because of medical necessity.

  • Square||

    Maybe the next time you come across a woman who wants to get an abortion, you should offer to carry the baby for her! Problem solved.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Square,

    Maybe the next time you come across a woman who wants to get an abortion, you should offer to carry the baby for her!


    Many thousands of deals like that have been made, Square, where childless couples offer to pay for the expenses derived from an expectant mother's pregnancy and birth. You're not even close to impressing me.

  • Square||

    I was speaking of you personally. As a man.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Square,

    I was speaking of you personally. As a man.


    Once again, you have failed to impress me, S.

    Only women can bear children, the same way only hens can lay eggs. We're biological beings, the result of 500 million years or evolution, not constructs made up by feminists with complexes. I cannot carry a woman's child anymore than she can impregnate me. Each has a role to play for the sake of our survival as a species, but those differences do not grant a woman a special right to kill a person.

  • Square||

    "Only women can bear children, the same way only hens can lay eggs."

    Good. As long as I didn't impress you.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Square,

    Good. As long as I didn't impress you.


    And you didn't. The argument that "only women can bear children so they get to choose to terminate a life" begs the question - you assume a woman has a right to kill.

  • Square||

    I assume a woman has a right to remove organs from her body. I think all of your positions are really really easy positions for a man to flippantly take and then pompously preach about.

  • ||

    I assume a woman has a right to remove organs from her body.

    Which would be relevant if a fetus was an organ.

    I think all of your positions are really really easy positions for a man to flippantly take and then pompously preach about.

    ZOMG! TEH PATRIARCHY!

    Like I said, how convenient to subscribe to an ideology where gender is only relevant when you want it to be.

  • ||

    Differences between the sexes are very important in this particular case. But no other.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Which would be relevant if a fetus was an organ.

    It may as well be. It's less than a dog. I don't even care about really young infants to be honest.

  • ||

    It may as well be. It's less than a dog. I don't even care about really young infants to be honest.

    A dog isn't an organ either for mostly the same reason. And I'm not sure how valid your biological hierarchy is in scientific terms. But points for consistency on the infanticide thing.

  • Marshall Gill||

    But points for consistency on the infanticide thing.

    Interestingly, it also validates my assumption below.

  • ||

    I wasn't being entirely snarky. Given the biological differences between, say, an 8 month old fetus and a 1 month old baby, there's not really a consistent position for granting one full human rights but not the other based on any objective criteria. Even if I may not agree, I appreciate the moral consistency in a viewpoint that doesn't draw such an arbitrary distinction.

  • Marshall Gill||

    I wasn't being entirely snarky. Given the biological differences between, say, an 8 month old fetus and a 1 month old baby, there's not really a consistent position for granting one full human rights but not the other

    I am not either. The first thing that those with murder in their hearts do is dehumanize those that they would kill. Someone who doesn't even recognize the right of born children, much less the unborn, can hardly be called "libertarian".

  • Marshall Gill||

    I am reluctantly pro-choice. Just be honest enough with yourself to recognize that, in all likelihood, an abortion puts an end to a human life.

    You are almost there, just one more step.

    "In all likelihood"? No, as scientifically certain as anything can be.

    Once you recognize that an unborn human being is still a living human being, the Liberty of the mother becomes secondary. The positive actor, except in the case of rape, is the woman and male partner, not the child. Unless she was raped, the woman is the one who caused the child to be inside her. The fact that she did not desire the results or responsibility of her actions is immaterial to the right of the individual inside her to not be killed.

    If you wish to continue to rationalize evil, I suggest that you learn some common terms. "Personhood" and "clump of cells" and "accidental pregnancy" are incredibly important, but stay away from "personal responsibility".

  • Square||

    In the first trimester a woman's kidney if more of an individual than the fetus. Sorry, "baby."

  • ||

    Dude, that is like, so clever! Have you heard "masturbation is murder" or "every sperm is sacred"?

  • Marshall Gill||

    In the first trimester a woman's kidney if more of an individual than the fetus. Sorry, "baby."

    An organ is more of an individual than different DNA? So you are completely scientifically ignorant. Never heard of DNA? It provides very scientific proof of individuality. Even the fairly rare cases of duplicate genetic identity (maternal twins) do not have the same DNA as the mother.

    Please tell me you are 4 and have not been "educated" in the "public school system".

  • Square||

    Does melanoma have rights?

  • Marshall Gill||

    Does melanoma have rights?

    Are you suggesting that melanomas are the beginning stage of human development?

    Is a child an adult? If it isn't, then a fetus isn't human, or alive? Are you really suggesting that we don't know the difference between a melanoma and kidney and a human being in it's fetal stage of development?

    So you were "educated" in the public system.

  • Square||

    And the goalposts go "whoosh" . . .

  • Marshall Gill||

    Sure, I suggested that DNA was the only way to distinguish an individual.

    Are you claiming that kidneys and melanomas are individuals? Explain to me the scientific confusion between the beginning stages of human development and kidneys and melanomas.

    Mary, this new medication is an improvement. You seem almost lucid.

  • Bean Counter||

    "as scientifically certain as anything can be"
    Not really. The baby can be stillborn or fall prey to the most prolific abortionist of all - God.

  • Marshall Gill||

    "as scientifically certain as anything can be"
    Not really. The baby can be stillborn or fall prey to the most prolific abortionist of all - God.

    In which case it would not be human? A dead human becomes a kidney? The fact that an unborn child can die is exactly like the fact that a born child can die and all living things die. How does this address the subject of the morality of killing them? We will all die, so killing each other is OK?

  • Cytotoxic||

    an unborn human being is still a living human being

    Is a dog a living human being? May as well be for all of the similarities there are.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Is a dog a living human being? May as well be for all of the similarities there are.

    Because similarities equal being exactly the same? So you are a gay fish?

  • ||

    Dear Powers that be at Reason,
    Please stop publishing Sharon Presley.

    Warren

  • ||

    Hear hear

  • entropy_factor||

    +1 shaking fist

  • JWatts||

    Actually, I think Presley is wrong and not much of a Libertarian. But as a "response" to the previous posts, it does give a good back and forth exchange.

    I may not agree with her points or even find her arguments particularly logical, but at least I hear the other side.

    So, I'd rather see the posts get published. It's not like you have to read them.

  • Cbalducc||

    I wish people would stop using the euphanism "choice" when it comes to abortion!

  • Bill Dalasio||

    So let's talk about gender. I agree with individualist feminist Mary Wollstonecraft that we don't know what women are capable of until there are no restrictions on what they may do or be. Sommers appears to believe that there are no longer cultural restrictions or pressures on women (see p. 78 of her book).

    When, for the love of God, are we going to do away with this notion of being genuinely restricted by culture? Some people might not like what you do. That isn't a limit on your liberty. If the only infringement on her rights and liberties Presley has ever faced is cultural restrictions or pressures, she's never had a restriction on her liberties. Period. Full stop.

    The fact that Presley is whining like a little bitch that the entire known universe isn't lining up to give her a participation medal just reinforces the most egregious stereotypes that women are, in fact, unfit to fill the roles men play.

  • Square||

    "Presley is whining like a little bitch that the entire known universe isn't lining up to give her a participation medal."

    Which part of the article did you see that in? Did you read the same article I did?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    That's the entire point of a claim that people are "restricted" by social pressure. They aren't. That some people assume masculine or feminine behavior isn't a restriction on anyone's liberty. Unless you're a full scale neurotic who can't ever dream of not fitting in, you're free to act against others' expectations.

  • Square||

    I think you're reading in something that she isn't saying. What she says right at the beginning of the article is that she's offended by Sommers' suggestion that individuals freeing themselves from socially constructed gender roles is somehow naive and antiquated, and goes against "scientific" research showing inherent behavioral differences between genders (deviation from which needs to be curtailed by social forces, for some reason).

    Presley calls "bullshit" and points out that denying the existence of social pressures on people to conform to certain gender roles (especially in the context of actively advocating a return to those "norms") is willful blindness to social reality.

    I didn't see her asking for a medal or really whining about anything. Not sure how you got what you got out of it. Explain?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    I really don't see how I can make my point any more plain. The entire notion of claiming that social pressure to conform is some sort of infringement on liberty (which Presley unequivocally does) is bullshit. You have a right to have no one interfere with what you choose to do, not a right their approval. To demand as much is the act of the worst sort of totalitarian. Whatsmore, it's the act of a moral coward. If you think something is the right thing to do, you oughtn't make your choice of actions contingent on others' okay.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    Pressuring people to believe in an invisible man in the sky doesn't violate the non-aggression principle but it's still medieval.

    Is former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson totalitarian for supporting the Civil Rights Act (even the parts pertaining to public employment)? This was one of the things that made me give up on the libertarian ideology. I'm against the existence of unions, the minimum wage law and the surveillance state and I believe in open borders and free trade so how does lacking regard for racist business owners put me on the same level as Stalin? Unlike New Hampshire I oppose ALL property taxes.

  • Cytotoxic||

    how does lacking regard for racist business owners put me on the same level as Stalin?

    How does someone this stupid expect to convince the rest of us that they were ever libertarian?

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    Read my username. CENTRIST CLASSICAL LIBERAL.

    Free market civil libertarian =/= libertarian

    Think former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson or economist John Stuart Mill at a young age.

  • ||

    Gary Johnson might take issue with your categorization.

    Also, if you don't believe in freedom of association, you're not a civil libertarian.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    Johnson would take issue with my categorization because of the letter beside his name. As a a big R Republican he preferred "libertarian-leaning" or "classical liberal".

    Civil libertarian =/= the non-economic side of the libertarian ideology

    I was referring to the ACLU. My constitution would essentially be part Milton Friedman, part Mises and half ACLU. No i'm against tax funded abortion and forcing employers to pay for birth control.

    You can be anti-union, anti-minimum wage and pro-NAFTA and be pro-ENDA and pro-1964 Civil Rights Act at the same time.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    *even the parts pertaining to PRIVATE employment

  • Bill Dalasio||

    "Is former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson totalitarian for supporting the Civil Rights Act (even the parts pertaining to public [private] employment)?"

    A totalitarian? No. Wrong and on the side of totalitarians on the issue? Yeah, basically. Freedom to do what the majority of people want you to do isn't freedom. Just as others' disapproval of your actions isn't a violation of your freedom.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    I think government-built sidewalks and boat ramps are cost-effective in many areas. I guess that also puts me on the same side as totalitarians.

    Just because I don't follow an ideology does not put me on the opposite end of the diamond chart as you. I'm still north.

    And again you can have a complete lack of regard for racist and homophobic business owners and still make the average Republican look like a socialist.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    "And again you can have a complete lack of regard for racist and homophobic business owners and still make the average Republican look like a socialist."

    Sure you can. What you can't have, though, is a complete lack of regard for their rights. That you seem to be willing to do so with no compunction suggests to me that any libertarianism you claim is one of convenience and not one of principle.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    Well again I said I was a classical liberal not a libertarian. All libertarians may be classical liberals but not all classical liberals are libertarians. I'm also a utilitarian. There is no ideology that consists of "the right to bear arms and government-built sidewalks where cost-effective" unless you count utilitarian classical liberalism.

    What's so convenient about holding beliefs that have no clear label? Classical liberal is big, clunky and awkward, and "moderate libertarian" brings out alot of angry questioning and eyebrow raising from all sides.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Some myths about feminists, including that they are anti-male, are humorously debunked by a male feminist here.

    Your male feminist might have a little more credibility if he were blogging from a site called itspronouncedmetrosexual.com

  • XM||

    If you're not libertarian because you oppose abortion, then you're also unlibertarian for supporting the civil rights act. An employer should be allowed to hire whoever he wants, right?

    If the definition of feminism is broad enough to include everyone who supports some sort of supports women's rights, then yeah, they're not "anti-male". But mainstream feminists and activist types are down with eroding liberty to support equality. I haven't heard many feminists criticize title 9.

    I'm liberal on a number of issues, but I won't be caught dead calling myself one, but of the way that term is understood nowadays. Feminists in America are more or less among the "empowerment" groups that's even less compatible with libertarians than many conservatives.

    The author seems convinced that men and women are essentially the same. This idea and the many ramification are decidedly unlibertarian.

  • XM||

    "because of the way"

  • ||

    Good to see Presley finally dispense with any pretense of "libertarian" and just stick with the orthodox gender feminism she was always hawking to begin with.

  • ||

    This is not only insufferably condescending but is an ad hominem attack... (I criticized only her ideas and her research, not her personally)

    ...

    All she talks about are conservatives, including, in very approving terms, Phyllis Schlafly, who is about as anti-feminist as you can get and still be female.

    Stay classy, Sharon.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Stay classy, Sharon.

    While I disagree with many of Phyllis Schlafly's positions, her nearly single handed defeat the the horrid ERA should be worthy of praise of any Liberty minded individual.

  • ||

    Much more importantly, she bypassed any criticism of her research or ideas and went straight for her identity as a woman. 4 paragraphs after patting herself on the back for being above the fray and accusing her opponent of invoking ad hominem. Pots and kettles and all that.

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  • JeremyR||

    The problem with articles like this is that they assume abortion opponents are trying to repress women.

    But in reality, they honestly, truly, really believe that unborn babies are people, and thus have the rights of any other person (you know, to not be killed).

    Instead, pro-abortion types apparently just think that anti-abortion types agree with them in thinking unborn babies are not people yet, but are lying about it.

    This actually is how most left-wing politics works. No one honestly believe low taxes help people, it's all about making the rich, richer. No one could possibly believe welfare is bad in the long run, it's all about being evil racists.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Instead, pro-abortion types apparently just think that anti-abortion types agree with them in thinking unborn babies are not people yet, but are lying about it.

    I don't only think that they are "people", I know for a fucking, scientific fact that they are human beings and alive. I have yet to hear a scientific definition of "person" by any who support murder for those not deemed one.

    Declaring obvious living human beings as "unpersons" is a rationalization for murder, nothing less. History backs me up on this, in spades.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I know for a fucking, scientific fact that they are human beings and alive.

    It is cute when Socons play scientist. Like little kids doing pretend karate.

  • Marshall Gill||

    It is cute when Socons play scientist. Like little kids doing pretend karate.

    Wow, you totally refuted my point. Cute? It is sad when idiots pretend knowledge which they clearly do not posses.

    Refute, scientifically, that a human life does not begin at fertilization, turd. Even my 9 year old understands such basic biology. Opps, clearly above your intellectual level.

    Attempting to define obviously living human beings as "non-persons" is what Nazis did/do.

    Oh, I forgot to whom I speak. You already knew that.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    Even if a clump of cells was a human it would still be impractical and not-cost-effective to outlaw abortion.

    Free market abortion with no subsidies or price controls would be a very good thing. It would create jobs, wealth and parking spaces!

  • B Walker||

    ..and play historians and psychologists, he has his spade and bucket to back him up.

  • B Walker||

    ...reason comments section again doesn't fail with its ignorance, bigotry, misogyny.

  • Marshall Gill||

    ...reason comments section again doesn't fail with its ignorance, bigotry, misogyny.

    The definition of "Troll" is one who makes non-arguments and then does not follow them up.

    Do you actually have a point to refute? Obviously not.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    I can't say I see bigotry in this comment section (haven't read every single comment) but I don't see how the anti-feminism here is much better. Feminist and MRA groups both consist of people who have had bad experiences with the other sex and have become paranoid.

  • ||

    I can't say I see bigotry in this comment section (haven't read every single comment) but I don't see how the anti-feminism here is much better.

    You don't see how opposing a collectivist ideology built on a foundation of victimhood is appreciably different from bigotry. Let me find my shocked face.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    I didn't say the anti-feminism was was on par with bigotry, I meant it was no different than feminism itself.

  • lap83||

    I'm a woman who has had bad experiences with the other sex, but I'm anti-feminist. So that kind of puts a damper on your theory.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    I didn't say everyone who had a bad experience with the other sex was a feminist or an MRA. I said feminists and MRAs tend to be those people.

  • Kevin47||

    Re: anti-choice, reproductive freedom.

    Can it. This really should be the one forum where we can have honest conversations. You think women ought to he able to abort whatever it is you think they are pregnant with.

  • Rhino||

    The fact is, calling the baby a fetus or just a bunch of cells is dehumanizing language used to make it easier to justify killing much the same way a soldier would call Iraqis rag heads or Vietnamese gooks. Conservatives are right, the baby has a right to life and the mother had the obligation to keep the baby alive or to give it up for adoption by someone more willing. Liberals are also right. The woman has the right to own her own body and what's inside it. But the moral answer would require the appropriate level of force. Walter Block has a great speech about evictionism. I think it's the best answer to the problem of unwanted pregnancy.

  • lap83||

    Why does Reason continue to pretend there's a debate among it's readers about feminism? Is it to attract more female libertarians? As if female libertarians can't be as independently minded as their male counterparts?

    This leads me to the ACTUAL last word on freedom feminism. You can't value freedom and collective thought at the same time. There's. No. Such. Thing. As a "freedom feminist".

  • mtrueman||

    "Why does Reason continue to pretend there's a debate among it's readers about feminism?"

    I think it's because feminists and queer studies folks are taking the lead in questioning gender and promoting the freedom to define one's own gender and live lives according to one's own tastes, and not bound by a strait jacket of biological determinism. Most of us probably don't have any problem with such a strait jacket, but I figure a 'freedom feminist' would support those who find these restraints uncomfortable.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    There's no such thing as either a freedom feminist or an equivalent MRA. The individualist view on gender is the same as race, ie pure indifference.

  • mtrueman||

    "The individualist view on gender is the same as race, ie pure indifference."

    You mean an individualist, given the choice of a sexual partner, will be indifferent on the matter of gender? I doubt this. Most of us have strong tastes that run in one direction, and are anything but indifferent. Race is another matter.

    That may not be what you are driving at. But society's views on gender are not indifferent. One of my favourite gays, the mathematician Alan Turing, was jailed and forced to undergo quack hormone therapies that drove him to suicide. Are individualists indifferent to this kind of abuse? If so, they can collectively go to hell. You really want to be an individualist? Get rid of that floppy, bendy thing running down your back and get yourself a spine.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    I didn't say that an individualist had to be bisexual, don't play coy with me.

    How is being indifferent to gender in any way similar to being indifferent to an individual having their rights taken away and driven to suicide?

  • mtrueman||

    "How is being indifferent to gender in any way similar to being indifferent to an individual having their rights taken away and driven to suicide?"

    I should have made it clearer that Alan Turing was persecuted because of his sexuality. That should not be a matter of indifference to decent people, whether they style themselves as individualists or not. You can turn a blind (or indifferent) eye to society's bigotry, but don't try to pass yourself off as some kind of heroic individualist. You are cowed and spineless.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    Gee you twist things. Being indifferent to gender is also the same as being indifferent to bigotry? and Alan Turing had nothing to do with this discussion, but since you bizarrely tried to make me look like a homophobe (just about every comment i've made on this post makes it obvious i'm not) I happen to be bisexual and my last partner was of the same sex, in fact I thought I was gay at first and identified as such.

  • mtrueman||

    Alan Turing is just an example of someone who fell afoul of society's bigotry against his sexuality.

    I think an attitude of pure indifference on the matter lacks moral courage.
    Not indifference, is called for but support for people like Turing. or yourself, or indeed anyone else to express their sexuality as they see fit. Being against bigotry is not enough. I think the moral stance is to take a stand in favour of Turing and others. You can't do that as long as your attitude is one of pure indifference.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    By indifference I wasn't talking about not being supportive of fellow LGBT people, I meant disregarding traditional rolls, like if a woman can make more money than her husband and her husband happens to be a better cook then it shouldn't matter which one works and which one stays with the kids. Again it's about the individual not their gender. I also find it very irrational that females are allowed to wear to pants and the color blue yet males can't wear skirts or the color pink.

  • BambiB||

    I agree with individualist feminist Mary Wollstonecraft that we don't know what women are capable of until there are no restrictions on what they may do or be.

    Which is why nobody should take you seriously.

    The failure of women in various fields can always be ascribed to putative "restrictions". The College Entrance Board has identified several areas where women just don't do very well compared to men. Is that because of "restrictions"? Or because women just can't measure up?

    Women are not as good at dead reckoning, spatial relationships, abstract reasoning of any kind. Is that because of "restrictions"? Or because their brains don't work the same?

    And what about the flip side? How will we know what women are capable of as long as there are preferences that benefit women? Female military personnel have a completely different set of physical standards. If the standards aren't important, why have them at all? If they are important, why are they so diluted for women that a 19-year-old woman gets more time for the standard run than a 55-year-old man? Why do male Marines have to do chin-ups - while BAMs (Big-assed Marines) only do "flexed-arm hangs"?

    In fact, no woman is expected to meet the same standards as the men. Without these special exceptions (the opposite of restrictions) there would be virtually no women in the military.

    Why should anyone take you seriously when you call for an end to "restrictions" without a call to eliminate "entitlements"?

  • Rhino||

    Ha. Second shift. My wife tried to use that a similar line on me (stay at home mom). I told her what she does all day (watch the kids, clean up the house, etc) is what I do in my free time.

  • Acosmist||

    Among real scientists, nature has soundly defeated nurture. Your ignorance of science is sure supporting one stereotype, though; it's sort of funny, so I can't exactly beg you to stop. I'm laughing too hard.

    Are you also bad at math?

  • Maldoror||

    Excelent article. The only point I disagree is this:

    "Sommers doesn't get to define the feminism she disagrees with by the extreme outliers—the small number of radical man-hating feminists who get most of the media attention while the average feminists don't. Otherwise, we might as well say that the racist, homophobic quasi-libertarian hangers-on get to define libertarianism. "

    Clearly there are far more racists, homophobic libertarians in the movement than man hating feminists in the feminist movement. One just have to check places like Lewrockwell or even the Mises institute to prove it. And let´s not even mention the commentaries section of Reason, as this article proves, is full of anti feminist - and in many cases mysogenistic- nutcases. Libertarianism is a far greater philosophy than most of its US so called followers.

  • KFitz||

    Absolutely. I'm a lifelong libertarian and feminist, but wow. There's a reason I almost never comment on Reason or other Libertarian sites, and it's not because I don't care. It's because the comments tend to be a seething mass of angry men shouting their woman issues - even when the topic at hand isn't women - often justified by the idea that women aren't Libertarians.

    Here's a hint - behavior like this is why participation on Reason is almost entirely male, because most women can't be bothered with the repetitive, poorly reasoned rage and contempt.

    There's nothing inherently misogynist about Libertarianism. Most fellow Libertarians I've met in person have been decent people capable of carrying out a civil conversation without ad hominem attacks and straw man arguments. But the comments section... it does seem to bring the nastier elements out to play.

  • B Walker||

    Agreed.

  • mtrueman||

    "One just have to check places like Lewrockwell or even the Mises institute to prove it."

    If you know of any libertarian site that isn't overwhelmed with angry cranks, please do tell. Doesn't have to be big and famous.

  • pob||

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  • Maldoror||

    Maybe the Bleedinghearth libertarians...but it still has its share of "angry cranks"

  • briannnnn||

    What a boring article...

  • pob||

    just as Roger replied I am inspired that a mom can get paid $9023 in a few weeks on the computer. did you see this link ➤➤➤➤➤➤ www.works77.ℂℴ¬m

  • julia14juli||

    my best friend's sister-in-law makes $70 /hour on the computer . She has been without work for 7 months but last month her check was $12532 just working on the computer for a few hours. you can look here

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