Sunday, February 15, 2015

Progressive vs. libertarian feminism

Carceral Feminism and the Libertarian Alternative | - Elizabeth Nolan Brown:

Janurary 28, 2015 - "Libertarian feminism is 'part of an honorable individualist tradition in America,' as Sharon Presley wrote here recently. But to many in 2015, it seems either an oxymoron or a lost cause. In part, this stems from the path popular feminism has taken through the latter part of the 20th century and on into this one; many now see feminism as an ideology demanding state action (an association that may have been true in recent practice but is far from natural or necessary). And, in part, this stems from a lack of awareness, promotion, or concern around gender issues in the modern libertarian tradition.

"Yet as ideologies and movements, libertarianism and feminism have a lot to offer one another. Not every libertarian matter is necessarily a feminist one, of course (and vice versa). Libertarianism can, however, provide a lens through which to view gender issues, and in doing so help counter the monopoly that a more coercive, carceral feminism has come to enjoy.

"'Carceral feminism' is a term that’s gaining popularity, and it’s in many ways synonymous with progressive feminism these days. Progressive feminists will identify gender-based concerns, then immediately look to the state for solutions — via strict regulation, at least, or criminalization and jail in many instances. Carceral feminism is the relatively small but incredibly vocal voice within millennial feminism that says due process can be sacrificed if it means catching a few more rapists, hate speech should come with a jail sentence, and images promoting 'unrealistic' female body standards should be banned by the government, among other things....

"Libertarian feminism seeks to provide an alternative way of viewing these issues, one that emphasizes the negative, unintended consequences of increased government intervention and policing power. It can provide a jumping-off point for considering less coercive, less reactionary, and less rights-infringing solutions; be a third-way between patriarchy-preserving social conservatism and the intolerant, illiberal feminists sometimes referred to as 'social justice warriors' these days.

"And for libertarians, a feminist perspective can enrich the scope of our battle to lessen government coercion and maximize liberty. Libertarian feminists bring overlooked or under-emphasized issues into the liberty movement, such as reproductive freedom (not just abortion but things like making birth control available over-the-counter, state coercion of pregnant women, surrogacy law, and the emerging legal issues surrounding things like IVF and artificial wombs), state overreach into parenting, the over-regulation of female-heavy occupations, how decriminalizing sex work fits into overall criminal-justice reform efforts, and the growth of women as a percentage of millennial libertarians....

"As more women are exposed to libertarian ideals — through the generally growing profile of libertarianism; their own increasing numbers in law, econ, and political science; Ron Paul and student activism; or however — the ranks of libertarian-identifying women are swelling. And as more women are assuming active roles in libertarian activism, writing, and scholarship, we’re starting to see more focus on gender issues in libertarian spaces and greater acceptance of these issues."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment