Recently by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.: Can We Live Without the Fed?
Julie Borowski, who goes by Token Libertarian Girl on YouTube, makes some good videos and is a smart libertarian. The other day, though, she ran afoul of the Libertarian Thought Police, Humorless P.C. Automaton division.
Julie made a video exploring why the libertarian movement attracts so few women. It is a two-minute video describing some of her anecdotal impressions, not a peer-reviewed journal article. She gave an incorrect answer, according to the Banishers. The correct answer, evidently, is that libertarians are mean and say mean things, and that this general libertarian perversity keeps women away. The possibility that any kind of difference between men and women might at least be partially responsible for the disparity is not even raised, needless to say.
Julie was thus subjected to the kind of stern ideological correction one would expect from leftists who have had their p.c. pieties challenged. This is no surprise, since these folks’ criticism of other libertarians is that we don’t embrace leftism with sufficient gusto.
I won’t go through the whole dreary, predictable thing, which you can read for yourself.
Among other things, Julie’s critics say she “slut shames women who engage in casual sex.” (Shows how sheltered I am: evidently there are people in the world who use the phrase “slut shames.”) Doesn’t Julie know that such behavior, far from being a “cause for shame,” is just one of the “complex choices that smart, thoughtful women can and do make”?
And while of course the author of a blog post is not responsible for the comments readers leave, I found this one revealing: “Why does she [Borowski] rail against other women’s choices? Surely a core libertarian value is neutrality between different conceptions of the good?”
Actually, no. I replied: “The core libertarian value is nonaggression. ‘Neutrality between different conceptions of the good’ has nothing to do with libertarianism. If you were truly neutral between different conceptions of the good, you wouldn’t be arguing against Julie’s conception of the good.”
Unfortunately, this kind of thinking dominates a certain wing of the libertarian movement, which congratulates itself for its “thick” libertarianism, as opposed to the (I guess) thin kind embraced by the rest of us. Yes, yes, they concede, nonaggression is the key thing, but if you really want to promote liberty you can’t just oppose the state. You have to oppose “the patriarchy,” embrace countercultural values, etc.
Then, once libertarianism has been made to seem as freakish and anti-bourgeois as possible, these same people turn around and blame the rest of us for why the idea isn’t more popular.
Physician, heal thyself.
Incidentally, by the reasoning of Julie’s critics, one would be led to the equally patronizing conclusion that the reason there are so few female chess champions is that women can’t succeed, or won’t even try, unless everything is just so. Since male/female differences are ruled out, what other explanation is left? Not enough “role models” for women? Then how did anyone, anywhere, ever start doing anything?
Thomas E. Woods, Jr. [send him mail; visit his website], a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, is the creator of Tom Woods's Liberty Classroom, a libertarian educational resource. He is the author of eleven books, including the New York Times bestsellers Meltdown (on the financial crisis; read Ron Paul's foreword) and The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, and most recently Nullification and Rollback.