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Why Libertarians Need Feminism

Here's a pretty old legacy post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 23 years ago, in 2001, on the World Wide Web.

I ran across an interesting article by Libertarian feminist Joan Kennedy Taylor (whose articles I have often admired) today giving a critical view on why so few women are involved in the Libertarian movement, citing many Libertarians’ reflexive antifeminism and the movement’s marginalization of women’s issues, as well as hostility by Libertarian men when criticized on these grounds. She advocates that Libertarians work with and try to reach out to mainstream liberal feminists. Well, I think she errs in defining radical feminists as the enemy – I think that radical feminists (especially those that are, well, anarchists/anarcha-feminists) are by and large going to be far more amenable to the argument that male-dominated government is hostile to women’s interest, than the average liberal feminist is going to be. Unfortunately, for the time being, even self-proclaimed Libertarian feminist groups (such as Wendy McElroy’s ifeminists online community) remain mostly oppositional in nature: they set themselves up as Libertarian feminists and then spend most of their time criticizing other feminists for not being Libertarian enough—rather than forging more respectful alliances between Libertarians and feminists. I hope that Joan Kennedy Taylor’s article may be the first step in the right direction towards that goal.

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