Fighting Sexism, Sexily

I’ve long contended that libertarians have a habit of downplaying or denying certain problems when they don’t like the proposed solutions. For example, when people talk about sexism, or the wage gap, it’s common for a libertarian to retort that the wage gap isn’t real, or can be explained by individual choices. I understand this desire to avoid the coercive solutions many people suggest for fighting sexism, like quotas and mandated pay rates. But sexism is real, my friends, and you can’t just explain it pernicious effects away with charts and graphs.

When certain, awesome libertarians like Murray Rothbard saw a problem that didn’t seem to have a non-state solution, like property rights enforcement, currently offered through police and courts, instead of saying that a state monopoly on force isn’t really a problem, he got to work trying to propose and sell alternative, private solutions.

The thing is, Rothbard was super bothered by a state monopoly on force. We libertarians need to get really bothered by sexism. And then we need to come up with cultural, and not state, solutions.

Like K2, who didn’t like the sexy girl poster up at her workplace, and decided to make a (cooperative, funny, effective) point:

First she convinced her co-worker, artist Sam Kirk, to make a second poster, this one featuring a scantily clad dude (named, of course, “Bro-sie the Riveter”). They snuck into the office and hung it up, unsure of what the reaction would be.

And this is what happened. The boss said:

“That was a brilliant prank. You called me on exactly the bullshit I need to be called on. I put up pictures of half-naked girls around the office all the time and I never think about it. I’m taking you and Sam to lunch. And after that, we’re going to hang both prints, side by side.”

This is the kind of creative thinking I want to see libertarians bring to the table to confront thorny problems that seem to only have state solutions.

4 Comments

  1. Sexism is very real, but we do ourselves a disservice in fighting it by holding up myths like the 70% gender-wage gap. It has nothing to do with not liking the proposed solution – it’s just a fact that it’s a statistical mirage generated by Omitted Variable Bias.

  2. […] Cathy Reisenwitz @ Sex And The State (May 15, 2013): Fighting Sexism, Sexily I’ve long contended that libertarians have a habit of downplaying or denying certain problems when they don’t like the proposed solutions. For example, when people talk about sexism, or the wage gap, it’s common for a libertarian to retort that the wage gap isn’t real, or can be explained by individual choices. I understand this desire to avoid the coercive solutions many people suggest for fighting sexism . . . The thing is, Rothbard was super bothered by a state monopoly on force. We libertarians need to get really bothered by sexism. And then we need to come up with cultural, and not state, solutions. . . . (With an example of creative thinking and guerrilla theater, featuring a cheesecake pin-up poster of Bro-sie the Riveter.) […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.