Sharon Presley on Libertarian Feminism


"Many libertarian men are fairly ignorant about women's issues. Some of them are outright hostile to feminism because they've never bothered to find out what it is," says Sharon Presley, Ph.D. 

Presley is a founding figure in the libertarian movement and author of the book, Standing Up to Experts and Authorities. She sat down with Reason.com's managing editor, Tim Cavanaugh to discuss libertarian feminism and what libertarianism looks like in 2012.

Shot by Tracy Oppenheimer and Paul Detrick. Edited by Detrick.

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  1. We libertarian troglodytes are hostile because feminism is largely a pseudopod of the Left’s amoeba and controlled entirely by it.

    1. True. I don’t think it’s hostility toward female equality, but hostility towards those who have captured the “feminist” label.

      1. did you notice Sharon said nothing about “equality”? She said women should be judged as “individuals just like men”.

    2. –Libertarians know better than to believe what they read in the media about libertarianism. But somehow, some of them believe in the media what they read about feminism. Hello! That’s not very consistent.

      I don’t think you actually watched the video.

      1. I watched it. The very fact that she’s a director with the Association of Libertarian Feminists says something, no? If not, why the “Libertarian” qualifier?

        1. Because she’s trying to get more women to be libertarians.

          I don’t like libertarians, even though I agree with many of their policy positions, because I think they are “largely a pseudopod of the Right’s amoeba and controlled entirely by it.”

          1. So, if feminism was even somewhat close to libertarianism, surely libertarians wouldn’t be so hostile to it, no? Presley’s contention is that libertarians’ hostility to actual feminism as it is defined today is misplaced, but her contention is refuted by the very name of her organization.

            It’s laudable that Presley wants to make more women libertarians by preaching feminism, but she has to first take back the word from the Stalinist cabal that owns it now.

            1. So your disagreement boils down to “I don’t like the word Feminism”

              1. Pretty sure he means “I don’t like what the word Feminism has come to represent.”

              2. You have honed your cluelessness to a science, TD.

          2. Feminism is merely a branch of the Left. All of their positions can be found within the group of positions known as “the Left.”

            Libertarianism, on the other hand, has only a few positions in the sphere of “the Right.” So if you think libertarianism is controlled by the Right, you obviously don’t know what you’re talking about.

  2. There’s gotta be a “c-word” joke in here somewhere.

  3. Only somewhat OT:


    Ed Brayton posted another mention of Penn Jillette on his blog, and the commenters are calling for an all-out purging of libertarians from the skeptic/atheist movement.

    Some liberals haven’t forgotten the lessons of their Stalinist forefathers, have they?

    1. I’m surprised Penn even bothers with the skeptic crowd. I guess it goes back to his admiration of James Randi. Who is fucking awesome.

      1. Randi, the Mythbusters, Phil Plait, Richard Dawkins still to a large degree, and I can think of a few others are all fine speakers and worth supporting, but the movement hasn’t been as interesting as it once was.

        1. Okay. I’m convinced the folks at free thoughts are not in fact skeptics. Or they are selectively skeptical when it suits they interest.

          Wouldn’t a skeptic dig a little into the rex nutting figures and not just tout it as true?

          1. It’s like the Florida recount of 2000 or the Minnesota Senate recount of 2008 – once the right guy gets ahead, the recount is over. QED

            1. You forgot Washington state governor recount of 2004.

              Still none of this bothers me all that much. Someone has to win and when it is a statistical tie it makes sense that the powers in power get to choose.

              Peaceful transfer of rule is important.

              Better that then having a constitutional crisis that could threaten our Democratic Republic.

          2. the nutting graph, which i think is actually a CBO graph, is just one more example of far the debate has been framed by statists.

            Austerity now means higher spending and higher taxes.

            Spending cuts now mean slowing the growth of spending.

            Now prudent spending is measured as percentage increases rather then numerical increases. So Obama kept spending huge increases and even raised it. I call bullshit.

            Anyway the graph is fucked because it puts the march of 09 stimulus package signed by Obama in the Bush column.

            Apparently Obama gets all the credit for “saving our economy” in his first 100 days in office but Bush gets the bill for it.

            1. Obligatory statement that Bush was also terrible on spending.

            2. Tax cuts also = spending in the liberal hive-mind.

          3. Not too surprising. It’s a lot easier to call yourself a skeptic than it is to be one.

            1. The only real skeptics are these guys

              1. Why should I believe that?

                Because you, wikipedia and some old-ass books claim it?

                I don’t think so.

                1. Simply because there are very few beliefs that stand on a foundation impregnable to skeptical inquiry.

                    1. I’m taking you seriously because I want to have a real philosophical discussion on Reason for once.

                    2. Skepticism is one of those thing that is fine when the nature of it is only probed very shallowly. Dig too deep and absurd notions abound. Every reference to past fact is an appeal to authority, and therefor fallacy. Our senses, being imperfect aren’t reliable; same for the machines that record reality for us.

                      That will usually bring in some pseudo-scientific talk of the nature of measurement and its effects on reality, ala quantum mechanics.

                      I mean, for you, what constitutes proof of an assertion? Mathematical certainty? Statistical significance? Probability? Group consensus?

                      I think there is a danger is too much skepticism, in that no facts, only opinion exist. And, the only group right is the one that yells the loudest and has the biggest guns. Hell, meander over to that “skeptics” site and see all the wacky shit they’ve bought into lock, stock and barrel.


                      How you been man? How’s school goin’? I’ve been doing some computational chem research this summer and I really like it.

                    3. Well yes, I would agree that an honest attempt at skepticism leads straight to nihilism, which I tend towards in my darker moods.

                      School’s been OK. I’ve been losing alot of sleep over my work though, hence my infrequent appearances on Reason (I’m sure you all have noticed and been missing me dearly). I never got into comp chem, but some of my friends are doing it and it seems sorta interesting. I swore off chem after college though.

                    4. Fuck man, last semester we had a cluster go down and all of the data that I worked really hard to obtain was lost. I have been busting my ass just to get back to where I was last christmas. Needless to say that my backups are now triply redundant.

                      Regarding skepticism, I think that it’s good to admit that we sometimes take things as a matter of faith. Like libertarianism. We regard liberty and NAP as ends, but to a utilitarian it would seem as we sacrifice well-being for abstract concepts. Where is it written that the freedom of the individual supercedes the needs of the many? Me, I just think it does, as a matter of opinion.

                    5. We have this great little program called Redmine where we store all our data. You should look into some kind of cloud to keep your data in.

                    6. Where is it written that the freedom of the individual supercedes the needs of the many?

                      Yeah I find it funny that commenters who claim to be skeptics say that libertarians can’t be skeptics because libertarianism (unlike their liberalism) is faith-based.

                    7. Yeah I find it funny that commenters who claim to be skeptics say that libertarians can’t be skeptics because libertarianism (unlike their liberalism) is faith-based.

                      These “skeptics” suffer from the delusion that just because the preconceived notion of the “guaranteed favourable outcome” will not manifest in a free market is indicative of a flawed system and lends credence to the flawed belief that libertarianism is “faith-based”. Just because you don’t get the outcome you desire is not indicative of a flawed system. I would argue so-called “feminists” suffer from this same delusion as well.

                    8. Where is it written that the freedom of the individual supercedes the needs of the many?

                      Well, with certain limits and exceptions, the Constitution, for one.

                    9. Fuck man, last semester we had a cluster go down and all of the data that I worked really hard to obtain was lost. I have been busting my ass just to get back to where I was last christmas. Needless to say that my backups are now triply redundant.

                      Good thing you didn’t fudge your data like those lovely people at East Anglia and IPCC are prone to do. Ethics and veracity are so…passe.

                    10. Where is it written that the freedom of the individual supercedes the needs of the many?

                      Not written, but simple deduction brings us there.

                      Under libertarianism, individual rights are paramount to everything else, and, therefore, under a libertarian system the state would never be able to assail individuals because some larger group of people think it’s prudent. Everyone is (theoretically) safe from being dicked by the state. Statism relies on sacrificing individual people.

                    11. Actually heller, I have noticed and it’s nice to “see” you again in a non-snark capacity. You just don’t strike me as a sentimental type. 🙂

                      With you on the dark moods. Here, have some Joy Division, one of my all time faves.

                    12. one of my all time faves.

                      Mine too

                    13. Well yes, I would agree that an honest attempt at skepticism leads straight to nihilism, which I tend towards in my darker moods.

                      As does Utilitarianism.

                    14. I don’t like it when libertarians use utilitarian arguments to advance the cause. If you convince someone that a free market will bring upon better outcomes for them specifically then you’re writing checks that your ideology can’t cash.

                      For me, freedom of the individual is the end, stop. If we legalize drugs there will probably be more drug abusers,though without the legal penalties the consequences of addiction will be greatly reduced. A free market will most likely make losers of a lot of people, probably mostly for the crony capitalist set, though(feature, not bug!).

                    15. Good thing you didn’t fudge your data like those lovely people at East Anglia and IPCC are prone to do.

                      One thing that I have found working with computational simulations is that they are a wonderful tool to mirror and study reality without the messiness and cost of reality. On the other hand, if you know what answer you want to prove your hypothesis it is unbelievably easy to reproduce the results you want.

                      If you read papers in the area you’ll see a lot of parameters set “arbitrarily” of “by convention”. Usually if you trace the references back to the source the convention was set by someone who knew what the outcome should be using trial and error to formulate a method.

                      Don’t get me wrong. I’m just saying that though the potential for abuse is there, but without computational simulations nothing resembling the modern world would be possible.

                    16. OK, I’ll admit to not being au courant on computational chemistry. But at least in my dim memory, the parameters that were set were pretty solid, stuff like the charge of an electron for real ab initio stuff, or zeroing out differential overlap, or putting in experimentally derived vibrational constants.

                      Now, the QSAR stuff I see biologists doing, that’s pretty fucked up, I’ll grant you.

                    17. @OMwC

                      We do large molecule simulations. Proteins and stuff; so you could say it’s closer to biophysics. It can get pretty messy when you’re dealing with 1000’s of atoms.

                      Me, I am testing code that others have come up with to make sure that it gives consistent results, I then try to run the code in novel ways(using statistics and probabilities from many short simulations). I don’t even care if something is mirroring reality, I’m looking at consistency of data, and maximizing cluster time. Later the data can be analyzed to see where we give ‘real’ results and the simulations can be tuned to that.

                    18. GBN, n to the 5th is a bitch, ain’t it? That sounds closer to the QSAR stuff I’ve been looking at to predict ligand binding affinity to estrogen receptors. As a goof, I had someone run a popular QSAR package on a list of molecules, then separately, I eyeballed them to make predictions. When we compared our results to experiment, my r-squared was better than hers.

                    19. I’m with OMWC. The eye is a shitty medchemist, but it’s way better than molecular dynamics. I remember saying that a heuristic model was better than ab initio, and that someone was going to write a program the let humans fold proteins, and then three years later david baker did it with a videogame.

                    20. R squared isn’t everything you know. Did you check residuals and standard errors?

                    21. It isn’t everything, but it was enough to prove my point. 😉

                    22. “Well yes, I would agree that an honest attempt at skepticism leads straight to nihilism”

                      I think it leads to egoism, or even solipsism. I think therefore I am, right?

                      “If you convince someone that a free market will bring upon better outcomes for them specifically then you’re writing checks that your ideology can’t cash.”

                      Most people are both utilitarian and ontological. They want to do the right thing, but not if it’s going to lead to some dystopian outcome. So you have to employ utilitarian arguments.

                      But it’s also good to point out that pure utilitarianism leads to some pretty repugnant behavior like eugenics.

                    23. I think it leads to egoism, or even solipsism. I think therefore I am, right?

                      Yeah but that’s basically a tautology, not a belief.

                    24. Skepticism led me to epistemological nihilism. I see agents in a struggle to justify their beliefs as true, but ultimately being unable to escape from agrippa’s trilemma. However, that’s a far cry from believing that all beliefs have equal justification.

                      Ethics discussions are so damn silly. Deontology does not contrast with consequentialism. All ethical theories must be able to be expressed in formal, rule-based frameworks or else they wouldn’t make sense. All rules respond to consequences. When people complain about either one, they’re just saying that they find the associated frameworks’ rules to be inconsistent and/or opposed to their own preferences. This false dichotomy often ends up overshadowing meaningful discussion over ends, means, positive/negative rights, simple/complex rules, monopolistic/polycentric law, common/roman law, etc.

                      The best way to persuade others is find out what ends they desire and explain, using consequentialist arguments, how your ideology fosters those ends.

                    25. Not really, since Utilitarianism is fundamentally based on a belief that nihilists would reject.

                2. Now this is skepticism.

    2. They just know that the concept of a “liberaltarian” is doublethink. The entire organizing principle of leftism is the subjugation of individuals and groups under the aegis of the Central State. The occasional nod toward civil liberties is entirely pragmatic and will be jettisoned as soon as it interferes with the consolidation of power (see: Free Speech Movement and outcry over Citizens United decision).

      1. I really think you are wrong. The entire organizing principle of leftism is “we ought to be running things”. “the subjugation of individuals and groups under the aegis of the Central State” is to abstract for most of these twerps.

        1. I think that’s a distinction without a difference. And once the Central State’s mandate is “everything,” it’s really no different.

    3. calling for an all-out purging of libertarians from the skeptic/atheist movement.

      So they want to what…convince libertarians there’s a god? Or something?

    4. Totally OT:

      Dragon’s Dogma is a superior game (of the type) then Diablo III.

      1. Looks interesting; too bad it isn’t on the PC. I am not drinking the Diablo III Koolaid as I don’t like the always-on thing.

        1. Too bad it isn’t on the PC.

          Really? Crap. I probably should have known that. Being a Blizzard game and all.

          let me rephrase.

          Dragon’s Dogma the console game that is as good or better then Diablo III on the PC.

          1. Lately it seems there are a lot of games I’d like to play coming out on consoles and not the PC. It is kind of frustrating, but I suppose it is making me consider getting one! I am sure the child unit wouldn’t object either.

            1. And if they even do port to the PC, they’re generally half assed ports that don’t take the different control style in account.

              That really pissed me off with Oblivion (and probably will with Skyrim, if I ever get the money to buy it and a rig that will run it). Morrowind had an awesome PC interface. They should have kept it for the Oblivion PC version, but instead they kept the console interface.

            2. This made me think of having kids myself. It’s nice to know I’ll always kick their asses in games.

    5. I used to read FTB all the time but, as has been noted, it’ a tough hangout for libertarians.

      The thing I find most diappointing about this is that they’ve made their niche by spreading the word of biological evolution. PZ’s written some great posts that essentially boil down to “evolution of species is moderated by how much energy is to be sacrificed to gain this one new trait.” There’s an economic pass/fail in nature that never turns off and they all totally get it.

      Then, talk about conserving economic resources via controlling government spending and they just can’t seem to do a cost-benefit analysis anymore. You’re just a heartless, selfish libertard who can’t reason as well as they can. That was the end for me there.

      As far as I can tell, the survival of a species and the survival of an economy rest – while I’m admittedly no expert in either field – on largely the same principles. If you overspend on something that doen’t improve your chances of surviving, you’re most likely increasing your chances of dying. I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why that’s so hard for them to follow or even discuss without the libertarian bashing.

      If this is the group taking responsibility for encouraging using evidence and logic to understand the world around them then evolution’s in big trouble.

    6. “Skeptics” who use words like “good” in their comments, referring entirely to conditions meeting their own obscure criteria, crack me up.

    7. The many skeptics suffers from multiple personality disorder. Prime example of mine was listening to a skeptic podcast where this quasi-famous guy in the community was being interviewed. He spent half an hour explaining the logical fallacies and debate tactics of evolutionists, conspiracists, and various woo-mongers. Then the topic turned to climate change, and he spent the next two minutes USING EVERY ONE OF THOSE FALLACIES defending his belief in anthropogenic climate change. You could almost hear the froth and spittle in the audio.

      When it comes to climate change, the skeptic community has made up their minds and come down firmly on the side of particular political agenda.

      1. That would be because their entire movement is based on said political agenda.

        Most skeptics are not skeptics because they’re utterly convinced there’s no god, but because it goes against everything those stupid rednecks on Team RED believe.

    8. Odd. Every time I post at freethoughts, my post gets taken down. Hmmmm….in fairness it is freethoughts, not freespeech.

  4. If you view women as individuals, and not as a collective based on their genitalia, there is no need for feminism. Women are people just like anyone else, to be judged as individuals. I don’t know why this seems so hard for some people.

    1. +1. People are people, period. Individual rights, individual people, and that’s it, regardless of characteristics.

      1. You have noticed that some have tits larger than others, right?

        1. Some tits are more equal than others.

    2. This is an easy one for an objective thinker, Epi. But for the left, they do not seem to be able to grasp that concept at all. They seem to have some basic need to divide people into groups so that someone has to be oppressed. If not for the oppressed group of the week, their movement would lose all meaning and fall apart.

      1. Well, yes, but supposedly the point of this video was “libertarian feminism”, which seems like either a remarkably redundant concept, or a complete oxymoron.

        Redundant because libertarianism is all about treating people as individuals, which is about as equal as you can get, and an oxymoron because either you want to treat people as individuals or you want to treat them as a group by gender, and that’s just incompatable.

        1. –Libertarians know better than to believe what they read in the media about libertarianism. But somehow, some of them believe in the media what they read about feminism. Hello! That’s not very consistent.

          I don’t think you actually watched the video.

          1. So Jezebel and Feministing are not accurate depictions of feminism? Because that is what people here generally refer to when they are talking about feminism. Not MSNBC, CNN, or FOX.

    3. To me, feminism is basically JUST “women are individuals.” A lot of the other shit people associate with feminism, I don’t think most of is actually feminist at all.

      1. Why is feminism often branched under Philosophy departments at school? Social science, OK, but philosophy? How is it a philosophy?

        Shit like that is why people hate feminists.

    4. “If you view women as individuals, and not as a collective based on their genitalia, there is no need for feminism. Women are people just like anyone else, to be judged as individuals. I don’t know why this seems so hard for some people.”

      It should be called “anti-Feminism” then.

  5. True feminism? Great. Who here, for example, doesn’t support equal rights for women?

    Modern, militant feminism? Horseshit of inimitable proportions and acidity. Its proponents can go fuck their bigoted selves with rusty crowbars.

    1. They wail “I’m a victim!!” even as they use the State’s stormtroopers to kick in doors people are reluctant to open voluntarily.

      1. Don’t oppress me because I’m a woman, Brutus. All I want is for the government to force that company we both applied to work at choose me because I have a vagina. Your scores are better, but you’re a man, and men suck. Women, on the other hand, are strong and passionate and smart! Hurumph! Stupid man!

        Stop being so sexist!

        1. Stop resisting!!

            1. I’m reporting all of you to http://www.microagressions.com!

      2. Claiming that have no power while abusing the power thay in fact have…

        1. Machiavellianism at its most cynical.

          1. Brutal.

  6. “Some of them are outright hostile to feminism because they’ve never bothered to find out what it is.”

    Possible, or it’s because feminism in practice is outright hostile to libertarianism. It doesn’t need to be, insofar as feminism dedicates itself to righting historical inequalities, but popular outlets hardly ever touch on individual equality. If we eliminate man hating, attractive woman hating, bemoaning sexual mores, fawning over Democrats and tabloid fare about red carpet dresses, I’m pretty sure Jezebel and Feministing cease to exist.

    1. bemoaning sexual mores

      Bemoaning men’s sexual mores, that is. Women’s sexual mores are wholesome, positive, accepting, curious and beneficial; if not, it is still theirs and as such, nobody’s business except theirs.

      1. Stop raping me with your male virtual gaze!

    2. I disagree with the quoted comment as well. Many libertarians are hostile to “feminism” not because they “never bothered to find out what it is” but because feminism has become (or maybe always has been) flagrantly sexist and anti-libertarian. Much like the Civil Rights Movement, it has become what it supposedly abhors. It seeks to punish or reward purely based on gender. It seeks equal outcomes rather than equal opportunities.

      1. Yes. I think many libertarians are hostile to what feminism has become (in the minds of almost all those who call themselves feminist), not because they haven’t bothered to find out what it is, but because they have.

        Presley notes that we don’t accept it when others misrepresent libertarianism – but there’s a significant difference. The majority of people who call themselves feminists are what we judge feminism by. The majority of people who call themselves libertarians are nothing like what opponents characterize them as – and, in fact, seeing as libertarians are really classical liberals, it should be noted that libertarians have already discarded a label that no longer represented their views. Perhaps it is time for classical feminists to do the same thing.

      2. If you’re hostile to the “civil rights movement”, you’re never going to win a national election in the United States. You have to distinguish between the belief that all people are equal (which all feminists believe) and the belief that state intervention will correct historical sexism (which many feminists believe).

        1. Of course, the fact is the state was the primary codifier and enforcer of unequal treatment in the first place. Now both the civil rights movement and feminists seem to want to use that same power to codify and enforce yet more unequal treatment.

    3. Exactly. Hostile to Libertarianism and to men in general. I have two daughters. I’m all about equal rights and fair treatment for them. But the feminist use the government to try and screw over men every way they can. The divorce system is like women’s sharia law. A woman can screw around with another guy, get pregnent with his child, leave you through “no fault” divorce and you not ony have to pay her alimony, you have to pay child support for his kid while they live together. Not to mention you lose most basic rights with your own children. Fuck that shit, I’m not hotile to feminism because I don’t understand it, I’m hostle to it because I understand it perfectly. Wasn’t there a recent Reason article where feminist in the Obama organization worked to stack the stimulas money in favor of women’s jobs? Dr. Presley is obviosly a very intelligent woman with a great understanding of the chaalenges for libertarianism but I don’t think she said anything to change my mind about feminism.

      1. ^^^^This^^^^^

      2. The divorce system is like women’s sharia law

        Great analogy. I had never thought of that one, but it is so true.

      3. Well said.

        I think Presley got into feminism at a time when it was still wholesome, and by sticking around others like herself she hasn’t noticed that the environment has changed around her.

      4. Any legal partnership that can be unilaterally dissolved at the expense of the partner who doesn’t agree to the dissolution (rather than the partner who desires dissolution having to pay to leave) is a form of theft.

        1. Yerp.

          BTW: love the handle!

    4. Your comment sort of reminds me of the way people treat Objectivism. “[Strawman of Objectivism] is terrible” some people say. “Maybe you don’t really know what Objectivism is” some Objectivists say. “But I don’t like [non-Objectivist traits] of [Strawman Objectivism], they’re stupid and horrible.”

      A lot of the things you, Amakudari, seem to identify with Feminism, I don’t think are a part of Feminism at all; and I’m willing to bet that Sharon Presley doesn’t either. Some people may call themselves Feminists, and some movements may identify themselves as Feminist, but that doesn’t necessarily mean all of their views and beliefs are Feminist views and beliefs.

      1. I identified nothing with feminism. I identified only what self-proclaimed feminists discuss in popular, self-proclaimed feminist outlets.

        There’s an enormous problem when what a theoreticians means and what a lay person — or a typical adherent — hear are two different things. By and large, “gender feminism” is the norm and individualist feminists occupy the same position libertarians do in the Republican party. Libertarians addressed it by discarding the nebulous “liberal” or prefixing it with the “classical” qualifier.

        1. * “addressed it” = “addressed the confusion over who was ‘liberal'”

        2. Hostile to Libertarianism and to men in general

          That’s the sort of thing I’m talking about. You’re making an implicit assumption about what sort of traits are included in Feminism, and declaring them hostile to libertarianism (and men in general). Pretty much any trait or value you can attempt to ascribe to Feminism as being hostile to libertarianism, or men, is a trait or value I won’t think is Feminist at all.

          1. The operative phrase being “in practice.” Theory can be complementary to libertarianism, but I made a point to speak only of typical practitioners. If you want to claim that fighting for laws enforcing anti-discrimination, contraception subsidies, pay equality, family leave, affirmative action, are not feminist, fine, but feminism as a movement sure hasn’t done much to excise those elements.

            My chilliness toward popular feminism has nothing to do with its intellectual roots but rather with the metamorphosis of its most visible elements to no longer seek equality but rather state-enforced, gender-based privilege.

          2. “Feminism as being hostile to libertarianism, or men, is a trait or value I won’t think is Feminist at all.

            Explain that to the Feminist 404. I’m not trying to make a semantics argument about feminism which is a waste of time. I’m talking about actions. What’s the old Henry Adams quote “What you do speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you are saying”. What feminism SHOULD stand for is different and probably the complete opposite of what feminist do stand. If you want to point me to all the feminist literature, legislation and websites that are pro-libertarian and pro-men, I’d be happy to check them out.

    5. Reason why so many here intellectually feel hostile towards “feminism” is because it is a useless and unecessary concept today. The speaker talks about ending “patriarchy”. Well, it ended. All women have choices, (at least in America). With the possible exception of American Muslims, even the Amish allow a window for their kids to pick their lifestyle. Hard to support a concept which honestly has little factual basis. Honestly, (this is for the ladies) how many have had their “civil rights” violated based on their gender? I am a woman and can say that the only instance of discrimination I have seen is the refusal of small business owners of women with children. Had one male owner tell me (I was a teenager at the time) that he didn’t like to hire women because it cost him money due to them having to take time off work when kids were sick. As a libertarian, I can’t truthfully fault this man for his cost analysis. Was he wrong? No, because day care cannot have sick children, and women often “choose” to be the one to care for the children. For every choice there is a consequence. If women truly want equal rights they have to learn to accept not only the “good” consequences, they need to accept the “bad” – just like men do.

  7. Some of them are outright hostile to feminism because they’ve never bothered to find out what it is

    I found out what it is, which is why I’m against it.

    If we eliminate man hating, attractive woman hating, bemoaning sexual mores, fawning over Democrats and tabloid fare about red carpet dresse

    Then you have doomed the left to abject despair and oblivion. The left cannot exist wihtout those things, and without an all powerful central government to save them from their oppressors.

  8. And besides, Libertarian Feminism is an oxymoron. One of the basic principles of Libertarianism, IMO, is that all people are equal, and should get equal treatment under law. The thought that any one group should receive special treatment has no place in Libertarianism.

    Our court systems and legislative governments are totally overrun with feminazis and leftists. Why? Because most of us sat around watching stupid fucking TV shows while a very small portion of the population assumed complete control.

    1. all people are equal, and should get equal treatment under law

      Yeah, but that’s evil patriarchal formal equality while feminists/leftists champion substantive equality (ie. equal outcomes).

      1. ie. equal outcomes

        Even absent equal effort of course, which is a guaranteed effect in their system. So, they are not bettering anyone, but pretending that they are makes them feel good.

  9. “Some of them are outright hostile to feminism because they’ve never bothered to find out what it is,” says Sharon Presley, Ph.D.

    This is right up there with the only reason anyone can possibly not support Obama is because they do not understand the message or because of racism.

    1. because they do not understand the message

      … which is a variation on the old Marxist “false consciousness” trope.

    2. Or the only reason people aren’t libertarians is because they don’t understand it.

      1. They understand it. They understand it means less free shit. They like free shit.

  10. Hi, Sharon.

    I think the trouble here is that libertarian feminism is an -ism that has practically no reason for being. Practically all the individual liberty goals of feminism have been achieved in the advanced countries, and show no sign of slipping away, while in the rest of the world the most obvious way to achieve them is thru general libertarianism rather than feminism per se.

  11. I have about as much use for the modern collectivist feminist movement as I do for those Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche type books that were popular in the 80’s. The exact same level of tripe.

  12. What I know about feminism hasn’t come from reading about it in the media, it’s come from reading about it from feminists. As the first comment suggests, most mainstream feminism is an arm of old-left ideology, and will subjugate itself and its own ideals for the larger old-left movement, even if the outcome is decidedly anti-feminist.

    They’re are many feminists I like, and as Presley suggests, they want to be treated as individuals, not judged by their gender. Show me an old-left feminist who believes this. In my experience, they’re rare. Most are deeply steeped in identity politics.

    1. Remember all of the feminists that came to Sarah Palin’s defense in 2008?

      Neither do I.

      1. Camille Paglia wrote quite positively of Palin, mostly on Salon, during the election and even afterwards. She of course was crucified pretty mercilessly by the left commentariat there.

        1. Whatever happened to Paglia anyways?

    1. It is not Texas. That could have happened anywhere. America is becoming a truly horrible place.

      1. It’s the law everywhere that kids have to attend school, or else.

        It isn’t enforced with the same fervor everywhere. Kids skipping school in Hawaii doesn’t result in jail time, AFAIK.

        1. This is moronic. She’s over 16, so she could quit school if she wanted to. (Unless Texas has some fucked up laws about that, too.)

          Is there anything we could do to help her?

          1. The obvious thing to do would be to set up a fund so she doesn’t have to work two jobs. Alternatively, the school could just graduate her, but I don’t see any way we could really affect that.

            1. Ok, I’ll start it off with $100. If anyone wants to donate, email me at baked.penguin@yahoo.com

              I plan to try to reach her through either the TV station, the newspaper, or lastly, one of the jobs mentioned.

              1. Here’s a link to the story from a Houston news site. If you scroll down to the comments, you’ll see a work address where money can be sent. I’ve seen another fund that’s being set up, but I can’t find the link now.


                1. Thanks, RGaines! Less work for me.

                  1. Whoops! Sorry, Baked Penguin. I didn’t click through your site. I’ve given the same link as you have.

                    Oh well. Better to show up to the party an hour late and half drunk than not at all, I suppose.

              2. You’re a good egg, BP.

                1. Not really, HM, this was just really too much for me. It was such a injustice, I felt I had to do something.

                  There is a fund being started, the Asian American Action Fund has a link, but they are apparently still trying to verify that it’s legit.

    2. Another win for Zero Tolerance policies.

      1. Zero tolerance == zero thought.

    3. Here is where the feminists could do some good. The girl (if the article is correct) is the sole breadwinner after her parents divorced, and she takes advanced credit courses, but she was too tired on many days to make it into school. (I wonder how her grades compare to her non-truant peers?)

      This would be a great time for feminists to stand up for the girl – and if anyone gets arrested, it should be the parents and the legislators who – by enacting the divorce laws, enabled the parents’ behavior.

      1. and if anyone gets arrested, it should be the parents and the legislators who – by enacting the divorce laws, enabled the parents’ behavior.

        This is what I don’t understand. How does divorce allow you to abandon your children?

    4. Well, Gods knows what would happen if you let the little house apes forgo their indoctrination.

  13. Feminism is silly in many ways. The biggest problem I have with feminism is the denial of physical differences between men and women. Its not PC but women, being smaller and weaker for the most part, should be protected by (and from) men.

    1. Or at the very least have guns. Seriously, read a gun thread on Jezebel. Some of them do own/carry, but I would say most have an attitude of, “Ewww! Guns are icky and weird!”

    2. But there is nothing silly about the outcome of it. Mens rights are abused daily in U.S. courtrooms across the country. And our manginas and feminazis in congress can’t wait to vote in new laws that make it even worse. I don’t really like the long term survivability odds of a totally effiminate society.

      1. You don’t like feminists because they dislike sexism, and you’re a sexist.

        1. “You don’t like feminists because they dislike sexism”

          See, this is your ignorance showing, some of them firmly believe in sexism as a form of reparations until “true equality” is achieved. It’s frequently used as the justification for affirmative action.

          Which you apparently didn’t know, but you decided to take a pot-shot and make a fool of yourself anyway.

          1. Fine, let’s be really pedantic.

            You don’t like feminists because they dislike sexist slurs like “mangina”, and you like to use sexist slurs like “mangina”

            All feminists want to eliminate sexism in the long run.

            1. No let’s listen to what we’re saying to each other. Feminists are not liked by libertarians because

              1. They use the State to punish sexism.

              2. They use the State to enforce sexism.

              3. Numbers 1 and 2 are contradictory. Therefore feminists are hypocrites.

              1. It’s just as hypocritical as libertarians who support school vouchers, or that want to lower tax rates rather than eliminating taxes.

                1. Nope, those are difference in degree, not in kind.

                2. No they aren’t. Supporting school vouchers is not supporting theft, because the theft occurs with or without that support. Moving the money from a sunken cost is not hypocritical.

                  Some libertarians are minarchists who only want to minimize government, not eliminate it. There are no libertarians who want to lower tax rates but also eliminate them at the same time, hence no hypocrisy.

        2. You fail miserably at basic logic. Or maybe you are just trolling.

          I want women and men to be treated equally, so I am a sexist. Feminists want to be treated more than equally, so that makes them fair and balanced. Typical leftist drivel.

    3. First off, it’s absurd to say that feminism denies there are physical differences between the sexes.

      What they are saying, I bet, is that the differences don’t amount to anything so substantial that there are any jobs a woman can’t do.

      I happened to have served in the same battalion as the first, female infantry Company Commander in Marine Corps history. The Marines still don’t send women into combat (anti-libertarianism?) but they let one woman train USMC infantry.

      She could have, if she wanted to, have ripped my head off. Right off my spine. Then, when she was done, she could have kicked the ass of everyone who works at Reason. And then, just for laughs, beaten the crap out of you. mike c.

      Her toughness was completely unrelated to the fact that she had a uterus.

      Just because, on average, east Asians have higher IQs does not mean that you, personally, are unqualified for every job, and every Asian should get one before you.

      Although, you do come off as a bit of a dumbass.

      1. “What they are saying, I bet, is that the differences don’t amount to anything so substantial that there are any jobs a woman can’t do.”

        That is what feminists say. I say they are wrong.
        I was in a REMF unit in the first gulf war, 90% of the women in my company were a liability. They were incapable of doing any heavy lifting. They took up spots that could have been filled with able-bodied men that could have helped the rest of us.
        If we must have women fighting for us they should have to follow the same standards as men and not have separate facilities.
        I’m sure a girl could beat you up.

        1. If you really think the US Marine Corps would let anyone but a physical monster take the job as 1st female Infantry Company Commander you are not so bright.

          But that was already kinda clear.

          1. I may be a dullard but at least I don’t want women to risk themselves and fight for me.
            You, Josh, are not a gentleman.

            1. I hope no one has to risk themselves and fight for me, but if someone wants to do it, I’m not going to tell them they can’t because they happen to have a uterus.

              1. Josh, the armed forces should not be a jobs program. Having women adds cost and decreases efficiency.

                1. This is absolutely true and study after study has shown it. Fred Reed gets into this in more detail at http://www.heretical.com/miscella/frcombat.html

                  It’s funny how lefties love to talk about cutting defense spending, but balk at a practical way to do this (reduce the number of females in the force).

                  1. Thanks for that article. It says that about 3% of women would be in the top half of men. Would you rather have a below-average male, or a woman who could beat him?

                    1. What it actually says is that 3.4% of females achieved a score equal to the male mean. As with any standard distribution, 95% of males will be within two standard deviations of that mean (and 99% will be within three), but those females are well above the female mean. I have to wonder why we spend money to select a train such a small minority when we can get comparable results more cheaply from another demographic.

                      That’s leaving aside all the other stuff Fred mentions (the fact that females are 5 times as likely to suffer fractures, or the fact that the Navy determined that there were tasks that 99% of females failed to preform-even after training-which only small minorities of males failed to accomplish). One group is clearly a better bet for our defense dollar, but we continue to throw money after the other for reasons that have nothing to do with military efficiency.

                    2. You forget that the presence of females tends to keep the males better behaved.

                      Of course, this could be more cheaply accomplished with prostitutes.

                    3. Only to the extent that they do not end up fighting over the available women or to the extent that the women do not use their sex as a bargaining chip to set the men against one another (cause, you know, that never happens).

                    4. Wow, Josh. You sure know how to set yourself for a beating. You are either a glutton for punishment or you have been attemping to, in your language, breech an obstacle without good intelligence. You didn’t prepare yourself for this and will keep, again staying with the analogy, taking heavy fire and suffer casualties.

                      Look: no one wants a bad soldier or marine. I want the best out there – and I’m not in any way doubting your abilities or commitment – but I suspect that you passed the test. That should be the only criteria applied and I suspect that you’d agree.

                      But you’ve presented what apparently seems to you like some sort of “Gotcha!” with your 2-option choice that has excluded all of the other available options. What you don’t seem to know is that many commenters have been practicing the art of argument – most far more able then I – and immediately say “Whoa there, Buddy. You just threw a False Dilemma (or, commonly, a False Dichotomy)“.

                      What makes it a fallacious defense of your argument is that you’ve tried to convince us that there are only two options: 1) any man or, 2) a good woman. That is not at all what anyone here is saying. Only you are.

                      My daughter is 19 and was MD State Gymnastics All-Around Champ last year. She broke the school record for pushups her freshman year and only ever did them again to re-break records as the manly men would try to beat her.

                    5. Were we to take the same PT, she’d clobber me. But she is also only 5’4″ and maybe 115 lbs and I’m certain that I could kick her ass all over the dessert even now.

                      So, if the options are actually (and they at least include): 1) someone who can pass the physical test or, 2) someone who can fight, we’d all take the fighters regardless of their doo-dads, I’m pretty certain.

                    6. @PI Guy: So far, you haven’t been nearly as noxious as nitwits like Sevo, so, I’m trying to be generous, but I don’t think I put forward that possibility at all.

                      I was reiterating that few women have the physical stamina as a fit West Point cadet. I was also saying, though, some do, and it is simply sexist nonsense to say that “Even though you are stronger and smarter than some people we are letting in, you, because you have a uterus, can’t join.”

                      Congratulations on your accomplished daughter, but both of us know that the type of fitness required for gymnastics is distinct from the kind required to be a soldier, just as long distance runners have different physiques than sprinters.

                      The woman who served as the first female Infantry Company Commander could outfight most Marines. That’s not that much of a challenge, though, since 75% of Marines aren’t in the infantry. I’m also sure she could outfight a lot of the infantry.

                      She’s rare, to be sure, but she’s real.

                    7. Does your pussy hurt, Josh?

                    8. mike c: “If we must have women fighting for us they should have to follow the same standards as men”

                      JoshSN: “Would you rather have a below-average male, or a woman who could beat him?”

                      You’re not too bright are you Josh?

      2. What they are saying, I bet, is that the differences don’t amount to anything so substantial that there are any jobs a woman can’t do.

        Feel free to list all the women who have made it into the NFL. Or the NBA.

        At that elite level, the physical differences mean so far zero women have had the physical attributes to make the cut.

        1. @protefeed

          Kicker? It could happen.

          NBA? Height differences are critical in basketball.

          Are you saying the best WNBA player can’t outplay the worst NBA player? I don’t believe you, if you are saying that.

          1. Not only would the best WNBA player not outplay the worst NBA player, she would sit the pine on an average college team.

            1. There used to be a joke that Reggie Miller was the only guy on scholarship who couldn’t beat his sister one-on-one. His sister, Cheryl, is one of the best women players ever.

              But it was a joke, Dude. Non one thought Cheryl could beat Reggie. And, as it turns out, Reg’s has an outside shot at the B-ball HoF.

              Guess who laughed last?

          2. Not even a kicker, Bro. I saw former Ravens kicker at a publicity event a few years back – after he’d retired. He was at least 6’2″ and built like a freight train. If you only knew he played pro ball, the uninitiated could’ve easily been convinced he was a SS or WR. He was huge.

            Kicking a ball 50 yards requires some serious strength and, again, I’m betting it’s pretty unlikely that any woman could beat him out for his job just based on size and strength alone.

            1. Pi Guy-this is true, kickers have massive thighs when you see them up close. Earlier this year there was some discussion on PTI that a female soccer player was going to try out for kicker at Auburn and they showed some footage of her hitting FGs from 45 yards. But they were quick to point out, she couldn’t play on kickoffs because she would get killed and Josh is clearly not taking into account the violence of trying to make a tackle (yeah, sometimes the returner will run OOB, but only because he can’t just steamroll the kicker, who will usually at least get a good hit).

              I remember the Millers and Cheryl was a great women’s player, but again Josh does not understand that there are guys who never played past High School who would dominate the WNBA.

              1. I didn’t say anything when someone put forward the absurd idea that a WNBA team couldn’t beat the “average” college basketball team, but you are simply smoking crack cocaine, excessively, if you think they would lose to guys who didn’t play past High School.

                Stop smoking so much crack rock cocaine. It is not good for you.

                1. Josh-read it again. 1) I said that the best WNBA player would sit the pine on an average college team and she would. The WNBA champions would get murdered by any college team and probably struggle against good high school teams.

                  Also, I said that guys who never made it past high school would dominate the WNBA and they would. Those guys, 6’3″ forwards who were too small to play in college or 6’1″ guards who just weren’t quite good enough, would post the women up on offense, murder them on the boards and run them ragged up and down the court.

                  It’s obvious that you are delusional as the the degree of difference that exists between elite female athletes and merely average male athletes. A girl who went to my HS played in the WNBA-Kerri Gardin. She was Miss Basketball in NC her senior year (the best player in the state) and started for four years at Virginia Tech. However, she could not play above the rim-like many males and all of her advantages over females would count for nothing in competition with males.

                  1. “…any college men’s team…”

                    1. Just for comparison: the women’s long jump world record is 24 feet 8 and 1/16 inches-Olympic athlete. Male high schoolers in NC jump over 25 feet. High jump women’s world record is 6’10, that’s less than the male record for my high school. I could go on and on.

            2. Meant to note that the kicker was Matt Stover.

      3. For a Marine, you sure sound like a candyass.

    4. mike c., if someone believes there are no physical differences between men and women, they aren’t being Feminist, they’re being STUPID.

      1. There’s also emotional and psychological differences. See estrogen vs. testosterone.

  14. I don’t think you need to convince libertarians. I think that you need to deal with the fact that none of the blogs on the first two pages of a google search for “Feminist blogs” are even remotely libertarian. You need to deal with the fact that many of these sites argue that the right to an abortion (or, really, anything) requires the state to pay for it. Now, this isn’t an abortion debate: This is a positive v. negative liberties debate, and it is one that many of these blogs have decided in favor of positive liberties.

    Yes, men and women should be politically, socially, and economically equal. But the argument to have isn’t with libertarians. It is with the vast array of feminist websites and blogs, most of whom debate a larger state and more coercion.

    1. That Negative vs Positive Rights article by Richman has gotten a lot of traction around here. I’ve used it myself several times. I think it was a fantastic piece .


      Was this a concept before Sheldon wrote about it in February or did the concept come from his brain?

      I feel it is an EXTREMELY insightful way of delineating “rights”. If he came up with it on his own…I’m greatly impressed.

      1. Are you relatively new to libertarian thought? It’s been around a while.

        1. Am I new to libertarian thought?

          Depends. I’ve been a libertarian, perhaps more an Objectivist (or a mix), all my life…even before I knew what a libertarian was. Always seemed the natural order of things. I didn’t read Atlas Shrugged until I was 42. It didn’t “change my life”. For me it was more like, somebody had put the correct way to live into words.

          I’m admittedly not a well read student of the philosophy (or philosophy in general). Have recently started to take more of an interest in the academic aspects, so I guess in that respect, I am new to libertarian thought.

          1. And in retrospect, I probably should have Googled it rather than look the idiot.

            1. Not idiotic, it just depends on what you’ve read. I’ve come across it a lot, so I took it as a standard concept.

      2. Wikipedia says the modern definition dates to a 1958 lecture by Isaiah Berlin, but the basic concept probably goes back much further, perhaps to the ancient Greeks.

  15. Libertarianism and feminism ought to go hand in hand: they’re both in favor of individual autonomy and equal treatment before the law. Not all feminists are the collectivist, man-hating type a lot of y’all seem to like to focus on, and it’s good for libertarian feminists like Presley to get more attention. There’s no need to continue the hostility and lack of critical thinking.

    I like what she has to say about teaching libertarianism as more than just theory – that will probably go much further convincing feminists of libertarianism’s validity than continuing to complain about feminist stereotypes.

    1. There’s no need to continue the hostility and lack of critical thinking.

      I think you’re equating critical thinking with hostility — don’t recall seeing any comments on HR ever that were hostile to individualist feminists pushing individualism.

    2. Not all feminists are the collectivist, man-hating type

      True; only those are the ones which get most media and political play.

      1. Ah, I should watch the video before posting.

    3. I agree, a lot of what the commenters here are associating with Feminism are things I DON’T THINK ARE FEMINIST AT ALL. But when you get a whole lot of people glomming onto a word (such as “liberal” or “conservative” or “feminist”) without understanding it, it really screws with people’s perceptions of the idea the word is supposed to represent.

    4. It’s the 99% of the bad cops misogynist socialist self-identified feminists who give the other 1% a bad name.

      1. Actually, feminists would be “misandrists”, not misongynists.


        1. Thanks. I meant misanthrope.

          1. That works for a lot of them, too.

  16. OT: would it be possible to poison those server squirrels which eat the ampersand characters?

    1. The + character still works.

      1. Yeah, but that means “plus” while I routinely use the ampersand to mean “and” only to have it disappear.

        1. Weird. Doesn’t look like you CAN use an ampersand. Tried both the Regular ampersand and the HTML entity; neither worked.

          1. It’s especially obnoxious for links containing parameters. They’re impossible to post correctly.

    2. The ampersand “ban” is new. I often refer to “HR” or “Hit Run” when commenting and this is the first time it hasn’t worked. I assume the sqwerls are blocking code.

    3. Hmmm, no ampersands? Poor critters.

  17. Nothing against Sharon, but I think she’s the one who doesn’t understand feminism. Her view is in the extreme minority within feminism; feminist academic circles are at best left-leaning social democrats, and often outright Marxists. I hope that her views gain more traction within feminism, but I’m not optimistic: political feminism is just redundant in a framework where people are treated the same under the law, and non-political feminism, like Buddhism or musical taste, has nothing to do with libertarianism one way or the other.

  18. HR comments are steeped in rape culture.

    1. But then, what isn’t?

  19. I thought her book title Standing Up to Experts and Authorities was funny given that her name followed by a “Phd” was on the cover.

    But then she made the appeal to authority fallacy when she said “the founders would be appalled.”

    Maybe I am just nitpicking.

  20. If we don’t find a way to make libertarianism more appealing to women, we’ll never get much bigger than we already are.

    And we’re not big enough.

    1. If we don’t find a way to make libertarianism more appealing to women,

      And how do you propose do do that, Mr. Shultz?

      1. I suggest he start a movement to restrict use of the “C” word.

        1. The one that rhymes with mosmopolitan?

          1. mosmotarian, I mean.

            Its been so long since I used it, I mistyped it.

        2. More people who get offended when you restrict words then when you use them.

      2. And how do you propose do do that, Mr. Shultz?

        That’s an excellent question. I maintain that if we’re doing stupid shit that turns women off generally, then we should probably avoid that. Certainly, there used to be more women hangin’ around than there are, and when I’ve listened to some that used to hang around here talk about why they don’t anymore…

        I think the sausage fest’s idea of the perfect place can make most women want to run for the exits. Our idea of what’s appealing and their idea of what’s appealing, it’s just not always the same thing.

        Anyway, I’m not about to say that’s the whole answer. I don’t really know what the whole answer is, but I think listening to self-identified feminist libertarians when they talk about feminism is probably a really good idea.

        Kerry Howley had some really interesting things to say; in fact, anybody that missed it the first time should give Howley a listen on the subject of feminism again:


        Why listen to each other talk about feminists when we could listen to Kerry Howley talk about “why feminism shouldn’t be the province of the left”?

        1. Any -ism is going to come down to individualism if it’s going to be consistent with libertarian thought. Whether it be gender, sexual orientation, color, nationality, etc ultimately libertarianism is about ending collective punishment/favortism by the government. Why we would have to further subdivide that philosophy into feminism and other categories feels like an unneeded feel-good complication.

          And I can’t think of anything more sexist than to believe that women won’t vote libertarian because of its potty-mouthed adherents. Sure, a man is reasonable enough to look past that, but we must be diligent to not offend the womenfolk, you know, with their delicate sensitivities and all. What the fuck, Ken? Are you saying that you could’ve of been a marxist had you stumbled on the right message board at some point in time? Because it seems like you’re implying that that is how women get their philosophical groundings.


          1. You know why there aren’t a lot of libertarians, male and female, Ken? It’s because people don’t like the ideas and tenets of libertarianism. It ain’t a marketing problem, man. Soccer moms and Nascar dads aren’t ever going to be okay with a Walmart that sells heroin legally to their precious Tylers and Madisons. Ever.

            You know what will make this cuntry more libertarian? It’s when the political class gets so disconnected and arrogant that they don’t even try to hide their controlling ways behind a veneer of caring and concern for the children. We’re seeing that now.

            1. Actually, libertarianism should be about as popular as the Declaration of Independence. While it may be the case that there are and always will be a lot of people who really don’t want to make choices for themselves, the idea that we should all be free to make choices for ourselves, rather than have politicians make our choices for us, can and should be a lot more popular than it is.

              If you listened to what Howley said by way of that link, by the way, you’d have heard her make a persuasive case in regards to what feminism and libertarianism have in common. If a big chunk of feminism is anti-paternalism, the idea that women don’t need men to make choices for them, then why doesn’t that dovetail nicely with the idea that women don’t need men in Washington DC making their choices for them either?

              I’d also point out that if, as this thread would seem to indicate,your average libertarian dude has problems articulating that feminist libertarian pitch to women, then in addition to whatever problems we have with the general acceptance of our ideology itself, we also have a marketing problem.

            2. “Soccer moms and Nascar dads aren’t ever going to be okay with a Walmart that sells heroin legally to their precious Tylers and Madisons. Ever.”

              Why on earth would Wal-Mart sell heroine to kids? Does Wal-Mart sell porn, even though it’s perfectly legal?

              1. It’s not that they would. It’s that a large chunk of society is afraid that that’s the logical end-game of libertarianism.

                Recall Ron Paul’s diatribe on herion from the SC prez debate. He’s right: a large chunk of the people are sure that, if drugs are legal, it’s only a matter of time before the gov makes you take them. Or something.

            3. Incidentally, the world could get a lot more libertarian and still leave heroin illegal.

              Libertarianism isn’t really an all or nothing proposition. I’d rather have the lot of it, personally, but in the meantime, I’ll definitely settle for just a more libertarian public policy.

              If we could just slash the budget and taxes, that would be great.

              It doesn’t have to be all about legalizing heroin and sticking up for people who diddle their dogs.

        2. I think there are more women here now than there used to be, they just arent as obviously women. If that makes sense.

          1. I’ve seen women use the term “sausage fest” to describe the comments section here.


            Promise, what looks to us guys in the comment section like a lot of fun, can look to a lot of women like not just going to an MMA fight, but actually jumping into the octagon.

            Sure, there are women who think this is fun, but we need more. More women, more minorities, we just need to get a lot bigger than we are if we’re ever gonna see a significantly more libertarian world in our lifetime.

            But if tryin’ to get people not to do the obvious shit that turns other people off is like pulling teeth? then maybe libertarians being more receptive to libertarian feminists (or libertarian minded fundamentalists, or libertarian minded environmentalists, etc) is just hopeless.

            I can play warrior-poet of the forlorn hope with the best of them, but this shouldn’t be hopeless. None of us were born libertarians. We all got this way because somebody who treated us decently talked to us or recommended we read something.

            Christianity and Marxism got started with less than we have, but then both Jesus and Engels based some of the important stuff they did on what we would now call feminist concerns.

            1. Promise, what looks to us guys in the comment section like a lot of fun, can look to a lot of women like not just going to an MMA fight, but actually jumping into the octagon.

              But I dont think you attract women by making the men less men. I probably wouldnt post here without the octagon aspect of it.

              I would still be a libertarian though.

              1. Yeah, I’m not asking anybody to emasculate themselves.

                But, you know, if we want to get lucky? Then, on the first few dates, we probably shouldn’t act obnoxious, call them names, stuff like that…

                What I’m picturing, it’s not like Christian witnessing, exactly; it might be a little more like selling Amway. Except, we’re not actually asking for money. We are, however, makin’ a sales pitch. And if you want people to be receptive to that, then it always helps if they don’t dislike whomever’s making the pitch.

                The world needs ogres, douche bags and frat boys, too, but generally speaking, acting like an ogre, a douche bag or a frat boy on the first date isn’t gonna get us very far with very many women.

                There are plenty of people who now associate libertarianism with support for gay marriage–if we survived that without losing our masculinity, surely playing nice with the ladies isn’t about to hurt us any.

                1. Dude – we’re not trying to get laid. We’re trying to change attitudes about freedom. This is as much a Free Speech Zone as any there is. If you can’t tolerate free speech (recall- no right to NOT be offended; avoid if you must) you’re just not going to make it as a libertarian.

                  1. Oh, I can tolerate free speech. It isn’t about what I can tolerate; it’s about whether the way we’re presenting ourselves is conducive to bringing about a more libertarian world.

                    I’m not into banging my libertarian head against the wall for the fuck of it. I actually want to see and live in a more libertarian society, and if that requires playin’ nice with the ladies, then I think we should consider doing that.

                    Roughly half the people out there we need to influence are women, and if libertarians influencing them is the only way to win? Then taking what women find appealing (or obnoxious) into consideration is something we should consider.

                    This really shouldn’t be controversial.

            2. I watched the vid expecting a female former HnR commenter bashing the comments section. Instead, I learned that the real way to get more women-folk into the fold is to ply them with alcohol.

              I beleive this idea has merit.

              1. I watched the vid expecting a female former HnR commenter bashing the comments section.

                Wasn’t meant to be false advertising. Kerry Howley talking about what feminism has in common with libertarianism speaks directly to this thread.

                Incidentally, more Kerry Howley is always better.

                Dude – we’re not trying to get laid.

                It was just a metaphor, but it’s the same principle.

                There’s a reason why Coca Cola, McDonalds, and BMW don’t insult their customers in their television advertising. If we want women to buy what we’re selling, then needlessly antagonizing them should probably be avoided.

                Again, shouldn’t be anything controversial there. Some people (not you) are really fragile; when you call out the stupid shit they say, it freaks them out completely.

    2. It’s a good thing libertarianism appealed to the women who were so influential in popularizing it.

      1. I thought Ayn Rand hated libertarians.

        Or is there another one?

        1. “Or is there another one?”

          More than one.

        2. Rose Wilder Lane.

          1. Isabel Paterson.

    3. I just don’t think it’s possible.

      Women are hard wired by nature to love big government.

      1. Not all. A tendency, but not all.

        1. And blacks too, right?

          1. The Derider|5.26.12 @ 9:59PM|#
            “And blacks too, right?”

            Yes, and?

            1. Why do you think women and blacks have the tendency to love big government? Is it an innate trait, or something else?

              1. The Derider|5.26.12 @ 10:14PM|#
                “Why do you think women and blacks have the tendency to love big government? Is it an innate trait, or something else?”

                OK, in the case of women, it is probably biological; a result of evolution. Pregnancy is a pretty vulnerable condition, so those dealing with the fact or the possibility of same are probably hard-wired to favor some outside ‘protection’.

                In the case of blacks (limited to those in the US), it’s a recent learned response; government has handed out goodies based on skin color, and if you get freebies based on skin color, why, who you gonna call?

                In the first case, it’s an ’emotional’ response, similar to those who still bleeve in a sky-daddy. In the second, it is a (mostly) rational response, which is bought by those in government passing out the loot.

                1. There’s something you’re missing. Any black person who’s seen the story of James Meredith et.al. is an easy sell for the notion that our rights are granted to us by the government. That same notion is the foundation slab for today’s Big Government. [Look at how it allows for so-called positive rights, for example.]

                  That’s why so many blacks who proudly eschew the goodies keep voting Democrat all the way.

                2. Good summation, Sevo. Watch it fly over Derider’s fevered noggin, like a midget going through a turnstile.

            2. Black people don’t like big government. They like Democrats more than republicans and the big government follows from that. Most people have one or two issues that are important to the them and just follow the party after that. For a lot of black people, obviously, racial issues are dominant.

              1. What D M Ryan said.

                Oh, and The Derider can go fuck himself.

    4. “If we don’t find a way to make libertarianism more appealing to women, we’ll never get much bigger than we already are.”

      Yeah but most women don’t like feminists, either.

  21. “Many libertarian men are fairly ignorant about women’s issues.”

    Some feminist women are too partial towards the sweeping and unsubstantiated generalization.

    Some of them are outright hostile to feminism because they’ve never bothered to find out what it is

    I disagree – many of us are outright hostile because we have found out exactly what it is: Just another iteration of collectivist ideology: The presumption that certain individuals will always share the same needs, wants and purposes only because they share a trait.

    1. Women’s suffrage was pretty cool….well apart from that bit about not drinking.

      Plus if i ever have a daughter it is nice that I can give her my house in my will.

    2. Yeah, because you never make sweeping generalizations about “liberals”


      1. “Yeah, because you never make sweeping generalizations about “liberals”

        Ah yes, the old “because you do it, I can both denounce you for doing it and then do it myself” line of thinking.

        Which is stupid.


        At least you were nice enough to sign your post.

        1. gulo gulo|5.26.12 @ 9:18PM|#
          “”Yeah, because you never make sweeping generalizations about “liberals””

          Ah yes, the old “because you do it, I can both denounce you for doing it and then do it myself” line of thinking.”

          Well, not really true. Derider makes such claims from abysmal ignorance, while OM makes such claims backed by evidence.
          So, yes, Derider is trying to use OM’s efforts, minus OM’s reasons for doing so.
          Derider isn’t real bright.

          1. What evidence does OM offer? Please enlighten me.

            1. The Derider|5.26.12 @ 9:54PM|#
              “What evidence does OM offer? Please enlighten me.”

              Sorry, teacher is off-duty. Pupil will have to do some research.

              1. “while OM makes such claims backed by evidence.”

                What evidence?

              2. Ah, the “there’s evidence but I won’t present it” ploy. Nice one.

        2. What sweeping generalization did I make in my post? You’re confused.

      2. Yeah, because you never make sweeping generalizations about “liberals”

        When people self-identify with a political philosophy that has distinguishable characteristics it is perfectly alright, and sometimes necessary, to paint with a broad brush. This is different than applying stereotypes to attributes people have that are beyond their control.

        There is nothing true for all black people other than they are all black, or for women in that they are all women. For adherents of political philosophies there are attributes that they must necessarily possess to be defined as such.

        If you don’t believe that the drug war is wrong then you cannot be defined as a libertarian; it comes with the label. If I say that “All liberals want to forcibly take the earnings of people that make a lot of money and give that money to people who don’t work” I would be making a sweeping generalization but I would also be correct. To not believe such would place one outside of liberal political philosophy.

        1. One way to come up with a valid generalization is to keep tabs on who gets kicked out of the movement and why. Works well for the Left.

          1. True. Every movement has its apostates, and apostasy is a good measure of what beliefs the group feels are central to their identity. So yes, we can make broad generalizations about a group based upon what heterodoxy a majority of the adherents won’t tolerate among the ranks.

  22. I think there is much that classical feminism (e.g. women are human beings and deserve to be treated that way, etc), but the things that it has morphed into with its current incarnation is pretty much anathema to libertarian values, especially with the focus on identity politics. I don’t know what can be done to rescue it; I honestly don’t consider that I have anything at all in common with most modern feminists. And they think I am a “gender traitor,” as apparently my desire to make choices and have beliefs of which they do not approve consigns me (and women like me) to some sort of pariah status.

    1. You can’t get with the program, that’s why! You haven’t learned how to redefine “fair” as meaning “unfair to my benefit” yet!

      Also, you haven’t cultivated the art of intellectual laziness. Shame, shame!

    2. And they think I am a “gender traitor”

      We’ll take it. In the long run it’ll do more good for women as it will simply do more good for everyone.

      Keep up the good work annd hang tough!

  23. If one is a libertarian, what’s the need for feminism? What does feminism bring to the libertarian party that (A) isn’t already there, or (B) isn’t inconsistent with libertarianism?

    1. Female voters.

      1. “Female voters” are “already there, or (believe in policies) inconsistent with libertarianism?”

        So, your answer is stupid.

        1. I’ll spell it out for the reading impaired.

          “What does feminism bring to the libertarian party that (A) isn’t already there”

          And my answer was:

          “Female Voters”

          Because the libertarian party has more women than men.

          1. Whoa, typo. Should read “more men than women.”

          2. The Derider|5.26.12 @ 9:47PM|#
            “I’ll spell it out for the reading impaired.”

            Don’t bother. No one here is so ‘reading impaired’ as to presume you have a brain cell.

            1. Sigh

      2. The Derider|5.26.12 @ 9:00PM|#
        “Female voters.”

        That’s GREAT, bozo! Keep it up, and I can get a booking for you at a dinner show.

        1. It’s pretty obvious. I don’t think calling him a “bozo” really refutes his point at all, it just makes you look like a dumbass.

          1. Sevo is a bona fide American Fucking Hero. Who the fuck are you?

          2. You really don’t think his comments mak him look like a dumbass?

  24. I saw this video and I thought “Oh shit, Libertarians might actually get some female votes.”

    And then I saw the comments and I was relieved.

    1. “I saw this video and I thought”

      There’s your mistake, assuming someone cares what you think.

    2. The Derider|5.26.12 @ 8:54PM|#
      …”I thought”…

      Nope. Not a chance.

      1. Either you and gulo gulo are the same person, or you’re star crossed lovers.

        1. The Derider|5.26.12 @ 9:49PM|#
          “Either you and gulo gulo are the same person, or you’re star crossed lovers.”

          Neither one, bozo, just recognizing stupidity wherever it shows up.

          1. How can you know what gulo gulo’s motivations are… (dun dun dun!) Unless you’re the same person?

            1. The Derider|5.26.12 @ 10:05PM|#
              “How can you know what gulo gulo’s motivations are…”

              Reading fail. I responded (clearly) to your lie about Sevo.

            2. I’ve been wondering the same thing of you when I read Darius404’s comment.

              “Hmmmm… The Derider has a buddy. Either that or they’re both in the same mother’s basement, on the same computer, wearing the same outfit at the same time.”

              I’m starting to lean toward the latter.

    3. Gaining votes is what you think is the ultimate objective of whatever movement you adhere to, libertarianism is not about votes, but greater individual rights. Pander to whatever voting blocs you think will gain you greater power, I like to view people as individuals.

  25. There are plenty of sane feminists, including some (not all) of the libertarian feminists. This has been true throughout history.

    The difference today is that the insane feminists have much more mainstream status than the sane ones. The insane ones have always been there, but they haven’t been able to delegitimize the sane perspective the way they do today.

    This goes beyond libertarian feminism. Let some feminists say that, gosh, abortion is bad for children and women and ought to be discouraged, and they get excommunicated. Let a female working mother take on the (male) power structure of her state, while daring to be republican and conservative, and she’s scarcely a woman at all, let alone a feminist.

    It’s not the male libertarians who are dismissing the sane feminists, it’s the insane feminists, who are the feminists you tend to find in the media, academy, bureaucracy, etc.

    Susan B. Anthony wouldn’t qualify as a feminist today because she didn’t like abortion.

    1. And the sane ones tend to actually be hotter.

      1. I don’t know what level of irony you intended with this post, but it’s a 10/10.

  26. OK, I got a question:
    To libertarians, WIH is a “feminist”?
    Isn’t that, by definition, a ‘request’ for special treatment for a specific set of humanity? Which special treatment can only come from the government.
    How about an “asianist”? A “blue-eye-anist”?
    The term alone makes it a non-issue.

    1. Let me stand up for the *sane* feminists (remember, they’re hotter, and maybe they’ll make me a sandwich).

      If you find laws or policies which disproportinately harm women – say, sex slavery – then focusing on that problem to the exclusion of, say, prostate cancer, might make you a feminist.

      If you’re focusing on opposing China’s one-child policy, you’re not only a feminist (because it disproportionately hurts baby girls) but an asianist (because the victims are generally Asian).

      And if someone were going around with a corkscrew putting out blue-eyed people’s eyes, maybe those who fight that can be called blue-eyed ists.

      If your political effort is focused on problems which mainly hurt women, then I would say you could probably call yourself a feminist. Maybe you’re even more interested in working on women’s causes than men’s causes. You can still be a perfectly sane and sensible feminist.

      If you’re focusing on the *wrong* issue – “never mind one-child policies, we need more abortions!” – then you’re probably an insane feminist.

      But focusing on women is not per se wrong.

      1. Eduard van Haalen|5.26.12 @ 9:41PM|#
        …”But focusing on women is not per se wrong.”

        It’s not that it’s wrong (although it’s that also), it’s that it’s counter-productive from a libertarian perspective.
        Why, when attempting to reduce government intrusion into someone’s life, would you use an exclusionist label for your activities?

        1. Try another example:
          The “Innocence Project” (I didn’t do a search; maybe that’s not exact) doesn’t call themselves the “Black Innocence Project” in spite of the fact that blacks are probably rail-roaded by the ‘justice’ system far out of proportion to their population.
          Those folks don’t care about whether the falsely-imprisoned is black, white, man or woman.
          I’m down with that.

    2. No, that’s not the definition of a feminist.

    3. merriam-webster.com has two interesting definitions of “feminism”:
      the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
      the presence of female characteristics in males

      The second one makes more sense than the first, which seems to also be “masculism”. However, we also have
      Masculism … considers the sexes complementary and interdependent by necessity.

      I suppose I’ll never be a social scientist when I grow up.

      1. You’re right, if we’re going to reform words like “history” because it’s got a masculine pronoun, “feminism” and “masculism” shouldn’t be OK, either.

  27. Can I suggest we appoint The Derider as Thread Cop before he anoints himself as same?

    1. Naah.
      Random bozo. Nothing more.

    2. The Derider as Thread Cop

      Thread Cop Wannabe.

      1. “Thread Cunt”

        1. So the C-word isn’t “cop,” I take it.

          1. SHHHH! You’re alienating potential libertarians with your filthy language!

            1. SHHHH! You’re alienating potential libertarians with your filthy language!

              Well yes, actually. There’s nothing quite like insulting people to get them off your side, you know.

              1. For sure, dude. I was totally going to be a marxist, but some asshole in the comments section of a socialist blog was rude to me.

                I don’t even know what libertarianism is or what they believe, but this guy, Ken Shultz, was so polite to me I signed up immediately!

                1. cap l, please stop being so cuntrarian. I’ll need to report you to http://www.microagressions.com!

                2. Most people decide who they agree with based on who they would rather have a beer with, so yeah it works.

                  Speaking of beer, I recommend this one after working out in the sun all day.

                  1. Well, if it’s any consolation for you loserdopians I’d rather have a beer with y’all than any freepers or koskids.

                  2. I recommend this.

              2. There’s nothing quite like insulting people to get them off your side, you know.”

                My experience is that the quickest way to get people off your side is to praise their enemy.

    1. Wrong link

      Click this: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..amily.html

      1. Some flightless avian dude set up a fund for the girl so that she can go to school.

        Here’s the link.

        1. Ah of course someone already posted this. Thanks for ruining my moment.

  28. I’ve been found out

    1. Her answer reminds of an inside joke I used to have with my parents when I was much younger. Every once in a while they would threaten to send me and my siblings to the “Little Flower Orphanage” if we didn’t behave ourselves. I would then counter with the threat that I would send them to the “Withering Weed” old age home.

    2. Whoa whoa! Now just wait a goddamn minute here.

      Archduke PantsFan?!


      When the hell did this happen?

      Jeeze man.

      1. He got a promotion, General.

        1. And I’ve decided to become a viscount.

        2. The previous archduke died. To avoid his fate, stay out of Sarajevo.

  29. Libertarianism is about individual rights, not voting groups. Even in some apocalyptic world where women were all slaves for men, if one were libertarian (male or female) then “feminist libertarian” would be a redundant term.

  30. “Some of them are outright hostile to feminism because they’ve never bothered to find out what it is,”

    People are hostile to feminism because they DO know what it is; Sharon Presley, Ph.D(!), is apparently talking about something else.

  31. That sounds like a pretty good idea dude, I like it. WOw.


  32. What are these enigmatic “womens issues” that even libertarian men are so confused/mystified/unconcerned with?

    The words “feminist” and “feminism” are poison. A shellgame used against men to no end and no purpose other than to push men around for the amusement of women so they can prop themselves up as know-it-alls forever exasperated at how clueless “men” are at understanding their “issues.” The eye rolling says it all. Men understand women a lot better than women understand men.

  33. It’s hilarious to expect libertarian men to understand women’s issues when most of them only know how to relate to women of the inflateable variety.

    1. You left out “dog whistle” and “Somalia”, Adamson.

  34. I would like the names of libertarian men who are hostile to feminism. I don’t personally know any libertarian men who are anti-female unless it is anti NOW type feminism and opposition to NOW is ideologically based not gender based.

    For instance, I support FFL and CWFA.

  35. at moral panic over alleged bad http://www.vendreshox.com/femm…..-c-15.html

    behavior of the leaders of tomorrow – and a coming federal ban on “bath salts” and fake marijuana or “spic

    1. Following your link, it appears as tho the leaders of tomorrow are concerned about which style of Nike women’s tennies shoes they should wear in France.

      Did I miss something?

  36. The interview is a little disappointing in that Tim didn’t ask her to cite examples where libertarians are, in her mind, failing women. That was the supposed topic, was it not?

  37. If the Republicans were less into Jesus and shoving religion and church down my throat, I would vote for them. But I don’t think a female, libertarian atheist could ever vote Republican, and it’s a shame because they’re the party I’ve mostly agreed with on economic principles.

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