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Posts tagged Megan McArdle

Proof by ostention

So, Kerry Howley (of Reason) and Megan McArdle (of The Atlantic) have a discussion about libertarianism and feminism, criticizing the reflexive anti-feminism that goes on in many circles, the deeper affinities between radical libertarianism and radical feminism, which, when you just think about it in the most basic terms, ought to be quite obvious. A book like The Second Sex is nothing if not placing itself in opposition to something like a group identity. It’s a book about individualism…. (The two often agree, although Howley seems generally more sympathetic to both the feminist tradition and contemporary feminism, and McArdle more inclined to paint it as broadly statist.) It’s an interesting dialogue, well worth taking the time to listen to; watch the whole thing. McArdle and Howley cover a lot of ground, and get into some really interesting arguments about the intellectual intersections between the two traditions.

Then a link was posted to Hit and Run.

Here are the first four comments that this post received.

Brian Sorgatz | August 4, 2008, 3:13pm

Since you’re sporting enough to call yourselves lipstick libertarians, I’ll have to blog about your discussion in some detail at Reflections on Playboy soon.

It’s politically complicated for a guy to mention, but you two are reinforcing the positive stereotypes about brainy brunettes. I don’t know if it’s good, bad, or neutral for feminism, but it’s fascinating.

Warty | August 4, 2008, 3:16pm

In my imagination, you two are planning a rainbow party. I’m not about to watch the video and spoil that image.

Your Mother | August 4, 2008, 3:24pm

You girls would be so pretty if you just did something about your hair and makeup.

Fratboy libertarian | August 4, 2008, 3:27pm

Kiss! Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!

Further down the thread:

shrike | August 4, 2008, 4:21pm

Any chick who classifies themself as a libertarian, atheist, or Tom Waits fan automatically gets extra Hotness points – but not quite as many points as “bisexual” garners.

And:

ktc2 | August 4, 2008, 4:42pm

Kerry is hotter. She wins. No need to watch the video unless they get naked and wrestle in some jello.

And:

MikeT | August 4, 2008, 3:41pm

If one is really a libertarian, then how can one subscribe to an ideology that has to be redefined in such a tortured manner to be individualistic as feminism? The very idea of feminism is a collective identity political system. Not that I am surprised, since many libertarians are so enamored of left-wing politics.

Of course, Howley (in particular) gave several arguments for seeing feminism as a mainly individualistic movement, and echt-feminist texts — The Second Sex, for instance — as basically individualistic in spirit. But why bother engaging with those arguments, one way or another, when you can just run off at the mouth about it? Why even act like there’s an argument at all, when two women having an intellectual conversation about feminism obviously serves no function at all other than an opportunity for blowjob jokes and lesbian jokes and hamhanded attempts at flirting with complete strangers?

Take a look at these two threads of conversation — the original dialogue, and the thread in reply to the link. Of these two, which kind of libertarian movement would you rather be a part of?

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