Radical feminism, libertarianism, and the terrifying feminist menace to men’s wing-wangs

A couple of weeks ago, I criticized an article by David Gordon that criticized left libertarians who criticized Ron Paul. (David Gordon later criticized my criticism of the criticism of the criticism; I posted a rejoinder; and Gordon posted a reply to the rejoinder.) Along the way in my first remarks, I mentioned (by way of an example) my views on libertarianism and anti-statist radical feminism:

I don’t think that libertarianism should be subordinated to certain cultural values such as radical feminism. I believe that libertarianism, rightly understood, is both compatible with and mutually reinforcing with the cultural values of radical feminism, rightly understood. (For a more detailed explanation of the different kinds of links that there may be between libertarianism and radical feminism, see my reply to Jan Narveson on thick libertarianism.) The independent merit of radical feminism is one reason to support libertarianism as a political project (because opposing the patriarchal State is of value on feminist grounds), but that’s never been the sole reason or the primary reason I have suggested for being a libertarian. The primary reason to be a libertarian is that the libertarian theory of individual rights is true. From the standpoint of justice, the benefits that a stateless society offers for radical feminism are gravy.

The views I was briefly referring to here are views that I already expressed in much greater detail in an essay on libertarian feminism that I co-authored with Roderick Long, which was linked from the same post. Over at Liberty & Power, Keith Halderman picked up on the shorter version of my remarks on radical feminism and lodged objections. You can see how it goes from there in the comment section; I complained that his post indulges in a ridiculous cheap shot, that it falsely attributes a view to radical feminists that as far as I know none of them actually held or hold, that it falls into some vulgar libertarian confusion between free market principles and defending the socioeconomic arrangements that actually exist in our unfree market, and that libertarians perhaps oughtn’t get so worked up about the dreadful menace that angry feminists pose to the safety of men’s penises.

Halderman then responded to my complaints with what I think amounts to more confusion, along the way questioning [my] commitment to limited government. As well he should, I suppose; but his suspicious glances are pointed in the wrong political direction, and based on a clear misreading of my comments. For replies, see my first and second follow-up comments.

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  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2008-01-04 – Refuge of Oppression #4: Non sequitur edition:

    […] I received over the holidays, from a friend of men’s college sports, a protector of men’s endangered penises, and a defender of virtue, righteousness, and old time religion generally against the assault from […]

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