On the one hand, there's this quote from Kim Gordon on Pussy Riot that's been sitting in an opened tab for about a month (here), waiting for me to write something on feminism. The quote:
"Women make natural anarchists and revolutionaries because they've always been second-class citizens, having to claw their way out."
On the other, there's a post at BHL about how unfriendly libertarianism can be towards women. In my experience of libertarian and classical liberal circles, that's true, and it does appear as something odd and in need of explanation.
The one I will venture is this: modern libertarianism and classical liberalism is almost always concerned with questions of coercion--the government's attempt to curb rights and liberties, particularly through policies that invade the private sphere of individual people. Though it's not a logical consequence, this often means other forms of rights- and liberties-interfering behavior get ignored; it's why there are periodic stupid arguments about whether the 1890s were a golden age of liberty, or whether the Civil War was an unjust coercion of people who should have had the freedom to be wrong about whether other human beings could be property. There's no sense of urgency about questions of domination--those threats to liberties and rights that come from civil society, organized sub-governmental groups, or just people acting in general spontaneous ways. The fundamental questions of feminism--the thing that makes women natural anarchists and revolutionaries--are exactly those sorts of questions. The willingness to think deeply and be critical of coercion is very important, but a greater (which is to say, equal) focus on domination would go a long way towards remedying the gender gap.
Labels: classical liberalism