Apparently women would be libertarians if they weren’t brainwashed by liberals

That’s the conclusion libertarian Julie Borowski proclaimed last year online (not a direct link). Women are brainwashed by popular culture, which is easy because most women are scared to do anything out of the mainstream or nonconformist; men, by contrast are fine with nerdy stuff like science fiction and computers and don’t mind embracing a philosophy that’s not popular. And magazines such as Glamor brainwash women into thinking liberally, telling them they should have “taxpayer-funded birth control” (I’ve no idea if she refers to the birth-control mandate in Obamacare—which isn’t taxpayer funded—or to something else), and that abortion is acceptable (she’s a forced-birther) and that the government should stop the “pay gap” (which she present in a video in air quotes). Plus the magazines keep pushing outrageously expensive products women can’t possibly afford!
The last part is a headscratcher. Sure lifestyle magazines encourage us to spend, spend, spend (if Borowski imagines this is unique to women’s magazines, she’s dead wrong. Just check out Men’s Health or similar publications), but how is that liberal in particular? It seems precisely like the free market at work, which is something libertarians usually support (possibly she’s an unconventional libertarian on this point, in which case more power to her).
That aside, her piece is a libertarian reworking of a classic conservative theme: Hollywood/pop culture is dominated by liberals making liberal propaganda to brainwash the sheeple, therefore conservatives/libertarians must fight back with conservative/libertarian propaganda. As Roy Edroso has observed in many columns, most people who announce this usually don’t want to make culture themselves, they just expect someone, somewhere to do the work now that they’ve issued the proclamation.
Of course, as noted at the initial link in this post (which is also by libertarians), women have fought for unpopular causes for years. Birth control. The right to vote. The right to equality (Stephanie Coontz’s A Strange Stirring shows what a radical thought that was 60 years ago). And plenty of women like science, nerdy pursuits and science fiction; women were huge fans of Star Trek when it was laughable to be such, and writing slash when gay erotica was anything but mainstream.
If Borowski wants to know why more women don’t agree with her positions, she can blame libertarian. It’s not just her putdown of women, we also have Bryan Caplan who claims women had more freedom in the 1800s than the 2000s. Sure, they couldn’t vote, were subject to their husbands (including spousal rape and abuse) and could almost never get divorced, but surely that was trivial compared to the freedom from lack of economic regulation (libertartian David Boaz guts Caplain’s argument here). Or various libertarians who think “have sex with me or you’re fired” is a reasonable use of an employer’s authority. Or those who like Borowski oppose abortion (and I gather, birth control) and don’t admit sex discrimination can affect a woman’s pay.
And let’s not forget most men aren’t libertarians either. It’s not a movement that enjoys wide support, probably because most of its positions stink. The 1800s (the era Caplan considers so fabulous) show that a country with no regulation on business, no protection for workers, no restriction on selling tainted products, etc. was bad for most people. This Roosevelt Institute post points out that libertarianism is also close to feudalism, which didn’t work so well for the common people either.
As the Roosevelt Institute notes, despite libertarianism’s supposed brilliance there’s no nation, anywhere, organized along libertarian lines, probably because most people know better. So there’s no reason to assume something’s wrong with women if they’re not libertarians. They’re just a better judge of what policies work than Borowski.


Filed under economics, Politics, Undead sexist cliches

3 responses to “Apparently women would be libertarians if they weren’t brainwashed by liberals

  1. Pingback: Introducing the Libertarian Arts Journal, Part 2 | Johnny Lemuria

  2. Pingback: Art is lost the conservative said, let us weep for the soul of man. | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  3. Pingback: But wait, there’s much much more links! | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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