LRC Article Demonstrates Why the Liberty Movement Has a Women Problem

 

 

 

One Thing Bonnie Kristian, Julie Borowski, and Cathy Reisenwitz All Agree Upon

On Tuesday, July 23, LewRockwell.com published a piece headlined on the site’s primary article list for the day as “Sexual Integration Is a Bad idea.” Penned by one Fred Reed, the article was remarkable for only two reasons:

Its wildly misogynist and collectivist perspective, which plays out in arguments that should make any self-described libertarian cringe; and

2) Its amazing ability to demonstrate in fewer than 1,200 words exactly what should never be published on major libertarian websites if we want the liberty movement to succeed.

A response seemed appropriate, and so here we are. It should be noted that the authors of this joint reply — JulieCathy, and Bonnie — are perhaps best known as a group for where we disagree on the subject of women and libertarianismOur perspectives on differences between the sexes, sexual mores, and how to attract more women to the liberty movement run the gamut. When it comes to Reed’s commentary, however, we have no disagreement.

The diatribe begins with what are evidently intended to be amusing anecdotes — one of which informs the reader that the inclusion of women absolutely ruined the National Press Club, an establishment in which women should apparently be rendered silent and nude in oil paint and hung above the bar.

When a living, breathing, thinking women who was very much not displayed above the bar invited Reed to an event planned by some of the new female members of the club, he responded by tendering his resignation, because evidently the event in question “just wasn’t what men did.” The revealing implication: Men should never do what women do, as this would be shameful. Women should be quiet (and possibly naked) and should stay out of the way when the men are having grown-up conversations.

Next, Reed moves on to a discussion of the well-known question of why girls seem to be more successful in the American school system. Now, there are many, many critiques to be made of the way school is organized in the United States, and — perhaps more seriously — the way our government puts that organization into practice. Research shows that our schools are “average” by world standards when it comes to language and science, and below average in math. And, yes, girls have pulled ahead academically.

There are many possible causes for this. Maybe it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Maybe it’s instructional fads which do more harm than good. Maybe it’s biased grading. Maybe it’s a combination of any number of reasons — most phenomena in real life are — but you know what is unquestionably the #1 factor? The government runs our schools. And it runs them on a one-size-fits-all, test-focused, nationally-administrated model which will never and can never serve diverse students and learning styles well. Period.

And whatever the problem(s) for boys may be, we already know how to fix it: Take your boys out of the government’s schools.

One would suppose that an article printed on a site which bills itself “anti-state” and “pro-market” would recognize this fact, but Reed makes not a single mention of the state’s deleterious involvement in education. Instead, he blames everything on women: Women don’t like to study matters of substance. Women focus too much on polite behavior. Women “don’t want boys in the schools anyway.” (Yes, that really is a direct quote.) Women can’t teach boys. Women put all our boys on psych drugs.

Rather than going after the root causes of trouble in our education system, Reed hacks away at his least favorite branch. His arguments are not only grossly unreasonable, but they’re strongly anti-individualist. We don’t need remove women from our schools; we need to remove the government — or, failing that, our children.

Next, our author claims that resegregation is desirable at the level of the university as well as in primary education. But for whom? At what point has separate but equal ever actually worked in practice? And how can separation from the other sex for the majority of men’s lives possibly make them better prepared for success in and after school?

Reed places blame for men’s dropping out, barely getting through, or failing to go to college in the first place on the fact that women are there. How weird it is that the presence of women hasn’t kept college-age men out of bars and clubs! — quite the opposite, in fact. But Reed refuses to countenance the possibility that men aren’t going to college because they’re unprepared. Or that they’re unprepared because our monopolistic, sclerotic public education system has utterly failed them. Or that it failed them because it is monopolistic and sclerotic. No, Reed, concludes, men definitely aren’t going to college (or failing to thrive if they do attend) because there are — gasp! — ladies there. This is preposterous, and diverts attention from the real problems in our schools.

Our author likewise wants us to believe men who go to college find themselves in a sea of “hostile feminism.” Meanwhile, everyone from theNew York Times to the Washington Post has written about how feminism has brought to college the “hookup culture,” a.k.a. easy sex. We can debate the merits of easy drunken hookups, but I think we can agree that they really cannot be counted as hostility to men.

Furthermore, Reed dismisses “silly Take Back the Night nonsense by hysterical adolescent females.” When one in four American females is sexually assaulted before she graduates college, it’s pretty disgusting for anyone to speak of attempts to deal with rape (and an environment which doesn’t always take it seriously) so flippantly. Sexual assault may not be a concern for Reed, but that does not justify his arguments against a voluntary, peaceful movement against violence — a libertarian cause if there ever was one.

Reed also demonstrates a collectivist mindset when discussing women in the military. He argues that “the physical weakness of women is only the beginning” of the problems with integrating women into front line units, a statement which seems to be intentionally provocative because it is absurd to generalize all women as physically weak. No one would dare call tennis star Serena Williams or MMA fighter Ronda Rousey “weak” to their faces.

Certainly, the front lines of combat aren’t for everyone. Not all women are qualified to be combat soldiers. And frankly, not all men are either. The front lines require a high level of physical and mental capability that not many people have.

Reed, however, is more focused on the gender of soldiers rather than their physical skills (let alone the bigger issue of the foreign policy our soldiers of any gender are used to effect). Gender shouldn’t be a qualifying factor for military service.  A strong man or woman is needed to move injured soldiers, carry heavy equipment for long distances, and do other physically demanding tasks that the job entails.

Reed’s main concern is separating combat units for men and women. If sexual assault is such a problem, perhaps the military needs stronger background checks if some soldiers cannot be in the presence of a woman without sexually assaulting her.  This is a morality problem, not a gender problem.

A better goal would be ensuring that the military’s rigorous physical standards are equally applied to men and women. Everyone must pass the same arduous physical fitness tests at boot camp to prove their strength and ability. For national security reasons, the military shouldn’t allow physically weak people to serve in combat roles. Their gender is irrelevant.

Calling women weak is no way to spread the message of liberty. And, more broadly, reinforcing negative stereotypes and making sweeping statements about groups as big as gender is the antithesis of individualism. Yet, this is the sum of Reed’s arguments throughout his essay.

If ever there was an article which distracted from the true problems in our primary and secondary educational systems and military — problems of government involvement and aggressive foreign policy — this is it.

So is LewRockwell.com “anti-state, anti-war, and pro-market,” or does it support the misdirecting collectivism of Fred Reed? Because it can’t be both.

Signed,

Julie Borowski
Cathy Reisenwitz
Bonnie Kristian

Photo by Gage Skidmore

94 Comments

  1. Liberty_First

    “Reed’s main concern is separating combat units for men and women. If sexual assault is such a problem, perhaps the military needs stronger background checks if some soldiers cannot be in the presence of a woman without sexually assaulting her. This is a morality problem, not a gender problem.”

    “A better goal would be ensuring that the military’s rigorous physical standards are equally applied to men and women. Everyone must pass the same arduous physical fitness tests at boot camp to prove their strength and ability. For national security reasons, the military shouldn’t allow physically weak people to serve in combat roles. Their gender is irrelevant.”

    I don’t understand what any of this has to do with libertarianism. Why should Reed, Borowski, Reisenwitz, St. John, or any other soi disant libertarian care one way or the other how the imperial legions are arrayed?

    It is laughable to suggest that the “morality problem” of unwanted sexual advances is the chief issue here. How about the morality problem of being willing to sign up to kill for empire? You can hardly be surprised that men who are willing to kill strangers for money and glory might be less than respectful with the ladies. The government military is a living monument to evil. At best, every soldier is a welfare king/queen, and at worst, a murderous psychopath.

    • LibbyBells

      If he was being facetious or satirical, he missed the mark entirely by using tired old arguments repeatedly dredged up by the GOP.

  2. Andrea Castillo

    Wow. Lots of thoughts on this. Here goes nothing.

    I read the LRC article before I read yours in an attempt to temper framing effects. I found it pretty uncontroversial upon first read, if not entirely rigorous, and was curious to see where your criticisms would lie.

    I think you’ve taken an incredibly uncharitable interpretation of the article, or “diatribe,” in your words. A close reading of the article makes it clear that Reed brought up the National Press Club not to say that women “ruined it,” as you claim. Reed makes it clear that welcoming women into the professional organization was just – “It is one thing to exclude a sex from a social club, quite another from a professional organization” – but his larger point is that “men and women have different modes of socializing.”

    The writers at ToL regularly make this point; just as women desire spaces where their concerns can be freely aired, men too value male spaces. Reed, here, sees both sides of the coin: “I noticed that if a group of men were talking and a woman entered the group, both atmosphere and behavior changed. I presume the same is true when a man joins a group of women.”

    So far, so good.

    Except apparently not. Somehow, you ladies concluded that because the author was not interested in wearing Spanish costumes to a “South American (?) night,” that he believes that “Men should never do what women do, as this would be shameful. Women should be quiet (and possibly naked) and should stay out of the way when the men are having grown-up conversations.”

    What a leap! Reed never said this: *you* interpreted this. He didn’t say that “all” men resigned, he said that many of them did. Did he “shame” the others? No. He simply observed that several of his male colleagues preferred to socialize in other ways. He also observed that his female colleagues sometimes preferred that men not enter their spheres. He explicitly stated that he would respect women’s desire to “have a place of their own,” but was doubtful that the respect would run both ways. If anyone is “shaming” here, it is you ladies!

    This kind of word-twisting is dishonest. I think you can make your points in a more dignified way.

    Moving on: I think you’re right that many of the problems with our education system stem from government control. This observation, however, merely begs the question: If the government was out of the equation, would we see more gender segregated institutions? If we did, would there be a moral problem? Would it help or hinder outcomes?

    Reed’s suggests that gender segregated institutions could bring better results. This is an empirical question. Did you consult the literature? This write-up from the APA is a good summary: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/02/coed.aspx. There is evidence to suggest that same-sex education improves outcomes along several margins, but there are problems with data consistency and multicollinearity. A more competitive private education system could experiment more with same-sex education so that we could tease out more associations.

    Again, your discussion of this section is hyperbolic: Reed does not say that we need to “remove women,” but *allow same-sex education.* He does *not* “blame everything on women,” but points out how many institutions tailor more towards female socialization styles. These are *your* characterizations, not his words.

    Pointing out that rich white girls get drunk and promiscuous in college does not dispute that colleges may be hostile to men. His claim may be untrue, but your counterargument does not establish this.

    That 1 in 4 number is simply statistically and factually incorrect. Did you know only 27% percent of those “1 in 4” women in the study on which is was based even considered themselves to have been raped? University-backed estimates range from 1 in 50 to 1 in 100. You should be careful about your use of statistics, particularly with such an important issue. http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9502/sommers.html

    Regarding the military, do you disagree that the median of the male bell curve for physical strength is greater than that for women? If so, what evidence do you have to support this?

    Regardless, this wasn’t Reed’s main point for suggesting segregated military units, it was to prevent sexual assault! Interesting that you accuse him of not caring about sexual assault and then conveniently neglect to include this point of his. Background checks aren’t cutting it, ladies. Do you care more about your priors than the outcomes that you think they will achieve?

    “Calling women weak is no way to spread the message of liberty. And, more broadly, reinforcing negative stereotypes and making sweeping statements about groups as big as gender is the antithesis of individualism. Yet, this is the sum of Reed’s arguments throughout his essay.”

    This statement is the height of irony. Your entire argument is that mean old Mr. Reed is being rude to women and that’s why there aren’t more female libertarians. And you say *he* calls women weak? Give me a break!

    There is an intelligent critique to be made of Reed’s essay, but this is not it. For the record, I’m not responding because I necessarily agree with the article, but because I was very disappointed by the quality of the response. Misrepresenting someone’s argument and indulging in unrelated sanctimony does not really cut it if you are honestly trying to show how his argument is flawed.

    To borrow your caustic words: if ever there was an article which distracted from the true problems of discussions on gender differences, this is it.

      • Andrea Castillo

        I said nothing about “driving people away from libertarianism.” I said that this kind of sloppy, biased thinking makes scientifically-grounded discussions on gender issues almost impossible because you poison the well.

        Great response to my comment, by the way. Really deep thinking.

          • Andrea Castillo

            Sounds like a “you” problem. Or is the truth that you are unable to adequately respond to my points?

          • tiffany267

            Your points are terrible. There’s no need for her to respond at all. The bell curve comment alone was so misogynistic and irrational I almost couldn’t finish reading.

          • TroubleBaby

            “The bell curve comment alone was so misogynistic and irrational I almost couldn’t finish reading.”

            I would like to formally invite you to the “Flat Earth Society”.

            Our next meeting will have a speaker discussing why dinosaur fossils pre-date the creation of the earth 6700 years ago.

          • tiffany267

            Actually considering that I’ve been a lifelong militant atheist, the irony of this idiotic stab is amusing.

            Especially coming from someone who wrote this about women’s rights “She should have stuffed them in her ears to prevent more of her brain from leaking out.”

          • TroubleBaby

            So you’re not attending? Only men should be on the received end of insults when they are stupid and not women? I thought you wanted “equality”?

        • Darian Case

          not really, seen you quote your ‘science’ in other comments sections, doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. pushes your ideology.

      • Chris Pacia

        Cathy, I largely agree with Andrea here. I felt your characterization of the article was way off.

        First let me say I find it unfortunate that Lew Rockwell periodically goes out of his way to publish intentionally politically incorrect and controversial material because it distracts from our message. But despite that the man is number 2 behind only Ron Paul in terms of the number of people he’s converted to libertarianism, maybe a little more charitable interpretation is in order.

        Now back to the article. I read yours first and came away with the impression that the author blamed all the problems in the world on woman. It’a women’s fault that men perform so bad in school, etc. I thought, holy cow Lew rockwell finally went off the deep end.

        But then I read his article and came away with a completely different impression. The thing is, there are men who believe that having strong father figures and male role models is necessary for a boy’s development. That only by having strong men in a young boy’s life can a child develop into a strong, manly, well disciplined and successful adult.

        Most men can relate to this idea to some degree, even if they don’t express it in as extreme of a form as the author.

        But the author wasn’t so much throwing blame on women for the struggles of young men, but rather the lack of strong male role models (such as male teachers). Again, i don’t agree with all of that but it was pretty clear to me that was his message and its one that most men would find at least understandable.

        His use of the buzz word ‘segregation’ is of course designed to be provocative, but I didn’t take that to mean forced segregation, but rather a suggestion that parents put their kids in male only schools. Even someone who wouldn’t put their kid in an all-boys school (such as myself) wouldn’t vehemently object to his belief that such a decision would be good for a young boy.

        Also consider your treatment of his opening paragraph. He was clearly stating his preference for an all male club where men can bask in each others manliness and do manly things. He wasn’t implying that women ruined the press club as you say, but rather their inclusion changed the dynamic away from it being a manly hang out for men. Your interpretation was way off.

        Consider if you were all pumped up to go out on a “ladies night” with your friends only to express disappointment when you bumped into your boyfriends while out and they decided to tag along. You wouldn’t be sexist for being bummed out. It’s basically the same situation.

        Maybe it’s impossible for you to relate given that you aren’t a man, but you really did take the least charitable interpretation of that article possible. And I say that as someone who didn’t agree with everything expressed either.

          • Chris Pacia

            Because I clearly was talking about David duke and strom thurmond.

            Not to mention I went out of my way to say I find it unfortunate he publishes some of the stuff he does.

          • Pochy

            So? Why guilt by association? An British Royal originally loved hitler and visited the country in 1938.

        • Mike Moceri

          “He wasn’t implying that women ruined the press club as you say, but rather their inclusion changed the dynamic away from it being a manly hang out for men.”

          He quit. That’s pretty indicative of his feeling that the Press Club should have remained a segregated institution (i.e. that women ruined it).

          “Maybe it’s impossible for you to relate given that you aren’t a man…”

          Maybe it’s impossible for you to believe that women and men can relate to one another, but I haven’t found that to be the case.

          • Chris Pacia

            Are you serious? He makes it pretty clear that the reason he valued his membership was because it was a “masculine place” where “Men could hoist a brew, enjoy male company, and tell war stories.”

            When the woman started having Spanish costume parties and pinatas, he quit. Obviously it was no longer a place where men could hoist a brew and tell war stories. You really have to be pretty zealous to read sexism into that.

          • Mike Moceri

            You believe that women shouldn’t be involved in hoisting brews and telling war stories? Or just that you believe that women have nothing to contribute to such social interactions?

          • Chris Pacia

            You’re an idiot.

            Has political correctness clouded your mind that much?

            Have you every told your girlfriend you were going out and when she asked to come you said, “sorry only the guys tonight”?

            Does that mean you hate women or believe women shouldn’t be involved in drinking beer and have nothing to contribute to social interactions?

            I can’t believe I even have to respond to such asinine statements.

          • Mike Moceri

            Actually, no. I’ve never said that. And I wouldn’t date someone who would, either.

            You seem to have a very binary view of sex and gender. You might want to read up on some of Marilyn Frye’s work; she does a good job of explaining how traditional conceptions of gender function as a “soft cage,” to control and restrain people.

          • Darian Case

            I doubt if he can even read, his knuckles are so scraped from dragging they certainly wouldn’t turn any pages.

          • Darian Case

            you’d be stuffed without pulling that political correctness stunt out of your pocket. just haven’t got over women getting out of the kitchen have you?

      • Pochy

        Egalitarianism is anti-libertarian belief. BEcause these good people, then want power to spread their “goodness” around. That’s american foreign policy with NATO and SEATO. Individualism is not caring for only one’s self. But knowing one controls his own life, and cannot control another. Its confused with thinking himself as the center (which is objectivism.) Libertarianism should not attract people that want to spread goodness with government or corporate means. Usually those two go together like bread and butter. Maybe you should get out of DC for awhile. Then again, I live in New York City.

      • Pochy

        By the way, How is DC doing? where are the Anti War Marches that Obama is getting because he is just a black Bush?

      • tu_ne_cede_malis

        Fred Reed points out the well-known fact that when women join a men’s social organization, the dynamic of the organization shifts. The authors only seem to be proving his point by joining the libertarian movement and engaging in shoddy, weak-minded argumentation.

        Thankfully, Andrea’s comment demonstrates that women in the liberty movement are capable of well-reasoned discourse. Hopefully she is not a rare exception like Serena Williams.

    • LibbyBells

      You don’t seem to have a good grasp on the issue of sexual assault. Your numbers are off and your apology for his idea to segregate sexes to prevent sexual assault is just plain wrong. Since you can’t seem to wrap your head around this basic facet of women’s daily lives, I think your finding of this article to be “uncontroversial” to negate anything else you wasted your time writing.

    • genecallahan

      “A close reading of the article makes it clear that Reed brought up the
      National Press Club not to say that women “ruined it,” as you claim.”

      Yep. They lied. I was shocked at how different the original piece was from their claims about it.

    • Lynne Kiesling

      You find his stereotyping and overgeneralization about both women and men uncontroversial? I find them flabbergasting.

    • Andrea, I’ve noticed some of your recent postings on this site and others affiliated with Disqus, and I want to thank you for repeatedly bumping up the quality of discourse through your comments. I especially appreciate your willingness to directly quote those who you critique and to reference data and sources by providing links, and to write as long as necessary to make thorough and appropriate critique. I also like the way that you generally refrain from sarcasm and ad hominem attacks, and often invite challenge and criticism.

      I won’t let you off any more easily though should you stray from the path! However, I’m happy to say that at the moment all I have is somewhat of a nitpick. Namely, when you criticized the posters’ use of the in/famous “1 in 4” figure, you shifted to “rape” without acknowledging that they used the more general term “sexual assault”. More likely than not, they were thinking of rape, because the “1 in 4” figure is most often used that way; however, I just wanted to point out, for what it’s worth, they used the more inclusive term “sexual assault” rather than the less inclusive term “rape”.

      (I’ve recently explored some possible “libertarian” expansions of the definition of rape to include situations where one person–through a type of fraud–misrepresents their achievements, income, character, career, etc., in order to bring about another person’s consent to have sex with them, but that is a discussion for another time.)

  3. genecallahan

    “The diatribe begins with what are evidently intended to be amusing
    anecdotes — one of which informs the reader that the inclusion of women absolutely ruined the
    National Press Club, an establishment in which women should apparently
    be rendered silent and nude in oil paint and hung above the bar.”

    You know, out and out lying about what someone else wrote is not a nice thing.

    • Spatial Orientation

      Right, because writing something to the effect of “the National Press Club before women were allowed was the epitome of manliness and masculinity, so I resigned almost immediately when I was exposed to women and their icky mode of socialization when they were allowed in,” doesn’t imply that women ruined it at all. Just that…oh, yeah, it implies that women ruined it. Or that the author is afraid of lady parts.

    • Mike Moceri

      I think the hyperbole is obvious.

      I also think it should be obvious that Reed isn’t particularly fond of the idea of having women in his social circle.

      Which transgression is more odious?

  4. LeftyLassie

    “Lew strives to present a diverse daily selection of interesting articles from our writers and other sites, but he does not necessarily endorse every view expressed.” Chill

    • David

      Actually, having written for him for four years, he does basically agree with anything he publishes. He will NOT print something that he is 100% against.

      • FlyingComic

        That’s incorrect. I once messaged him when he published 2 medical articles in as many days and one directly contradicted the other. He stated that LRC doesn’t have any official medical stance. Presumably he published them because he thought they were interesting and of interest to his readers.

        I’ve also read many articles published on LRC where there were pro-government snippets a libertarian would abhor, but the overall article made some point a libertarian might favor. That is especially true of many left-wing anti-war essays where it is clear the author is not anti-government, or even anti-big-government, but the author is anti-war.

        • David

          Once in a while he will print contradictory articles—especially about dieting, but the vast majority of the time he agrees with what he publishes, otherwise he wouldn’t publish it.

  5. JPeron

    There is a reason I won’t read Lew Rockwell sites. I like to be able to eat lunch and keep my food down. Reading the trash that Rockwell produces allows neither. If you aren’t straight, white and male, then Rockwell klan is going to have problems with worrying about your rights.

      • JPeron

        How can I rebut an argument that is the equivalent of a child sticking his tongue out. Considering their history of publishing people with racists views and anti-gay views, I stand by my position. Hoppe has said that gays must by “physically removed” from a libertarian society. Gary North has said that the church, in the libertarian world, can stone gays to death. I suggest Rightwatch.tblog.com. They documented a lot of this years ago.

        • Perry Mason

          That is not what Hoppe actually said. Please read Democracy, the God that failed.

          Why do self-identifying libertarians keep falling for the decivilizing social doctrines of the left?

          • DaRightRadical

            The lines between libertarianism and libertinism are blurred.
            Somehow tolerance of certain behavior and of one using free will is viewed as approving of it.
            It is not.
            We do in fact have libertinism currently, and it’s even state subsidized in many cases. Not that it is working out that well.
            At least that is the jest I get from perusing the archives on here.

      • Steve Kellmeyer

        Well, that could be turned around, right?
        Could any man say, “As long as we live in a liar’s culture, there’s no such thing as an innocent woman.”?

        So, if it is ALWAYS justifiable to accuse a man of rape, and thereby destroy his life, what would you say to a man who responds that it is always justifiable to rape a woman?

        Somehow, I don’t think you would like that.
        But that’s what you are saying – it is always justifiable to rape a man.

        • tiffany267

          That is possibly the most stupid thing I have ever read. And the most brazenly dumb attempt to put words in someone’s mouth.

          • Steve Kellmeyer

            Which means you have no response.

            About 25% of the men accused of rape are falsely accused. They end up in jail, losing years of their lives that they never get back.

            Women can and do rape men – statutory rape, where the woman gets pregnant, has the kid, then successfully sues the teenager she rapes for child support. Years of his life will be spent supporting his rapist and her child. It’s happened frequently in this country – google it.

            If it’s a rape culture, women are guilty of creating many of its nastiest components.

          • tiffany267

            That’s like saying black Americans enslaved white Americans. Quite simply, you’re (1) using strawmen and (2) ignoring facts, which is an indication that you don’t like acknowledging reality, especially when the reality exposes your masculine privilege. Our culture actively promotes the subordination and objectification of women. Every man who accepts the norms of this disgusting culture is guilty, whether or not they ever touch someone. The patriarchal writer at LRC who wrote that piece of trash presents precisely the mentality that encourages sexual assault – the view that women are not human beings. Evidently, since you are holding on this stubbornly to the plainly stupid idea that somehow YOU’RE a victim, you are part of this mentality and therefore the enemy.

          • Steve Kellmeyer

            Tiffany, I’m the only one presenting statistics in this argument. Last time I checked, scientific studies were considered facts.

            All you’re blowing is feminist rhetoric. That’s your choice, of course, but I would advise against it. I can’t help it if you’re single and your biological clock is ticking, so don’t take it out on me. You’re never going to get a husband and children with that attitude.

            I understand that you’re angry about that. So is Maureen Dowd. But no man wants to get involved with a witch. Well, except for Bill Clinton.

  6. FlyingComic

    Saying that women are driven away from the liberty movement because someone writes an arguably insensitive article about how men and women socialize differently is in itself insulting to women. Are you really saying that women are so intellectually thin and driven by their emotions that they cannot read and interpret an article for themselves?

    When I read Reed’s article last Tuesday, I had the impression that he had some things right (like the behavior of men in a group changes dramatically when one woman enters the room), and he dramatically overreached on other things (like boys and girls should absolutely be educated separately). Some of the statements came off as tongue-in-cheek, but I can’t say that was Reed’s intention.

    Nonetheless, I was able to interpret one man’s opinion all by myself, and I managed to do that without condemning an entire movement.

    It’s sad that women apparently can’t do that. I hadn’t realized that until I read this open letter.

    • Perry Mason

      Great comment. I would quibble that segregating the sexes for education is not a “dramatic overreach”. The bulk of Western civilization was created by a society that amply practiced sex-segregation. Even today, elites send their children to sex-segregated private schools and boarding schools.

      I suspect that, for natural elites anyway, they know the limitations of the human medium (particularly the testosterone laden teenage male), and focus their sons/daughters on their studies. Such children can then handle the complex world of sex-relations when their minds and habits are better formed.

    • tu_ne_cede_malis

      “Are you really saying that women are so intellectually thin and driven by their emotions that they cannot read and interpret an article for themselves?”

      Actually, in most cases, yes.

  7. Jill Stone Pyeatt

    Somehow I missed Fred’s article earlier in the week. I just read it.

    It is utterly beyond me that anyone (meaning men included) would find the article to be uncontroversial.

    Thanks, Julie, Cathy, and Bonnie for a thoughtful and non-hostile reply.

    And Andrea–whatever. You’re welcome to your opinion, but it certainly isn’t mine.

  8. chrismalllory

    You do realize that except in a very few extreme cases, a physically “strong” woman is still weaker than a physically “weak” man.

    Also, Reed was not focused on the “gender” of the soldiers. He is concerned with the biological sex of the soldiers.

    When we make everyone pass the same physical tests that 90% of men pass and 90% of women fail, are you going to come back and demand test norming for sex?

  9. Brendan Moore

    The people who don’t think the original piece is offensive boggle my mind. This passage in particular is so full of shit I can barely smell anything anymore:

    “The school will likely strike [a young man] as academically appalling. Outside of the hard sciences, virtually all courses will be heavy on victimization propaganda. In addition there will be whole departments dedicated to juvenile narcissistic self-pity: Women’s Studies, Black Studies, Lesbian Chicana Transvestite Studies, Queer Studies, all of which could be subsumed under an overarching Department of Moron Studies. Not being stupid, and not being intellectual ungulates, young men quickly see that they are not going to learn anything since this is no longer the purpose of a university. They drop out.”

    Reed can go fuck himself if he thinks that all courses about African American, Queer, Chicana, or Women’s Studies are of no relevance to the real world. I really don’t think anything else needs to be said. To anyone confused: I would direct you to any history of university curricula prior to the 70s, when college students were still primarily white, male, heterosexual (nominally), Protestant, and cisgender, and anyone else was routinely persecuted or just written out of the syllabus. For the Humanities to ignore the fact that most of “humanity” is NOT white, male, straight, Protestant (or Christian in general), and cisgender, would not only be a great injustice – THAT would be true “Moron Studies.”

    • Perry Mason

      They are of no relevance to the real world. Sorry. Any salient facts or points could be better presented in a course that targets things that do have relevance in the real world.

      The great majority of material in those courses is trivialities, de-civilizing false premises, or confused historical narratives. I should know, as I took some in Chicano history, to my everlasting shame.

      Also, to a libertarian it should be obvious that male students by and large avoid these courses, showing that they vote with their feet.

      There are two ways to go about society. As a misanthropic cultural marxist who rails against middle class males that don’t adopt Spartan gender doctrines. Or as a genuine person of good will who seeks to understand others, their reasoning methods, their cultural assumptions and practices, and find common ground, and perhaps engage in conversation for truth seeking.

  10. tiffany267

    Thank you for this great piece. Wendy McElroy linked to you, and I’m so glad that she did. I read the original piece and was disgusted beyond description. You are exactly right in pointing out that patriarchal trash like the original article is precisely what is hurting the libertarian movement.

    Please see my related essay here:
    http://tiffanysopinions.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/feminism-and-libertarianism

    I have reblogged your write-up on my other WordPress project here: http://tiffany267.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/superb-response-to-patriarchal-bs-from-pseudo-libertarian-site

    I encourage you to follow my blog as I am following yours 🙂

    Thank you again for speaking up about the voice of patriarchy within the libertarian movement!

  11. DaRightRadical

    Talk about collectivism!

    This article should have been posted on Salon, not on a website devoted to libertarianism.

    Reed is merely pointing out that there are differences between the genders. To deny that there are not, is a prime example of Cultural Marxism run-a-muck!

    What do you want to want to do?

    Pass a law that forces men and women to communicate, and socialize equally? Or perhaps the state could create set asides with so some bureaucrat could formulate the correct median height and strength per person for combat units, that way quotas could be set correctly (well at least in the bureaucrats eyes). Yes all we need is another bunch of (victimless) state crimes!

    All Reed has done has engage in praxeology (the basis of Austrian economics), through his own observations over his long career as a journalist, student, and servicing in the armed forces. If he believes that some boys would be better served in an all boys school; based on his own experience as a man, and a student. Is it a crime to merely point that out?

    The true shame of it is with our monopolized government school and armed forces. We have a long way to go in finding out whether Mr. Reed’s theories are indeed correct. Since if we had a true free market in those services. He might very well be confirmed as right.

    Meanwhile the state’s reckless money printing is killing free markets everywhere while promoting poverty everywhere, and it’s spying is even more egregious, but the argument is that the liberty movement is not “politically correct” enough!

    • Seth MacLeod

      Reed did not use praxeology; he used thymology. As has been pointed out by his critics, his analysis was atrocious.

      • DaRightRadical

        Could be.

        Regardless, in the opinion piece Reed wrote. It is my belief he wrote from what he has written about and observed over many decades. Which is some gender separatism in certain situations could possibly yield more positive results.

        Furthermore, there is no doubt that it would exist (like it or not) in a stateless society, where one has the right of free association.

        • Seth MacLeod

          I don’t think the authors of this piece would disagree with that. Their main criticism is that Reed’s analysis was misogynist and collectivist.

          And it was.

          • DaRightRadical

            I really think you should read the article again, and point out where it is misogynist.

            He only notes that men work out differently, communicate differently, bond with men differently (then they do with women), learn differently, and have more physical strength.

            Trying to square the circle, that men and women are no different except for the equipment they are endowed with, and that one shouldn’t account for their differences.

            Seems more collectivist to me.

          • Seth MacLeod

            “He only notes that men work out differently, communicate differently, bond with men differently (then they do with women), learn differently, and have more physical strength.”

            Why bother rereading it when you can just demonstrate my point for me?

            This statement is not: Some women, or most women, or lots of women, but women, period. It is a collectivist mindset because it ignores the variations among women as well as ignoring any similarities between certain men and women.

            Plenty of men gossip even though it is a stereotype of women. Plenty of men vent and let off steam – without expecting the person with whom they are talking to “fix” the problem, though yet again this is a stereotype of women that they just need to vent to their boyfriends and husbands.

            Even if certain traits and attitudes are more common among men than women, the fact is that Reed did not make such a distinction – his attitude was women are this way, period.

            Even if he doesn’t outright hate or dislike women per se, at the very least his article suggests a general lack of respect.

            But, let’s look at this little tidbit by Reed: “Reward performance, not patience, and excellence, not being docile and cooperative and good in groups. Offer advanced courses that appeal to smart boys—calculus, for example—and grade on math learned, not homework done on time. Problem solved. It should gratify women, who don’t want boys in the schools anyway.”

            One would think that on an allegedly anti-state website that the analysis would be that certain members of the state want docile students and don’t care about actual performance. But no, Reed’s analysis is that it is in fact women who prefer this outcome.

            This point was already made by the authors of this critique. I don’t really see a need to restate their criticisms.

          • DaRightRadical

            One would think that on an allegedly anti-state website that the
            analysis would be that certain members of the state want docile students
            and don’t care about actual performance. But no, Reed’s analysis is
            that it is in fact women who prefer this outcome.”

            No. He said the women who run the schools want this outcome.

            Implying that they are biased toward female students.

            And being that they are all STATE employees and trained in LEFT WING universities.

            He is probably right!

          • Seth MacLeod

            But again, the argument is still “the women who run the schools want this outcome” instead of “the people who run this school want this outcome”. Ultimately, the distinction comes down to men versus women, and considering the great variations in personalities, it is collectivist to generalize that *only* women want this outcome, even if it is state employed women versus state employed men.

            My teachers have had all sorts of different personalities, whether they are male or female. I would sooner generalize about their personalities based on their politics and worldview than on their sex.

      • Perry Mason

        It’s a daily article written based on tacit knowledge, i.e. intuition. This is a valid form of reasoned dialogue for truth-seeking, despite its known limitations.

        Reed’s general observation on the value of segregating the sexes (i.e., it would lead to better outcomes measured by human flourishing) is largely correct, but, the article was written for an audience that understands the limitations of the medium. His audience sees that the humor and context indicate that Reed would acknowledge the occasional exception to the general rule.

        It is not an article for apoplectic college freshman who, despite libertarian leanings, can’t help but buy into the decivilized doctrines of the new left.

        Taking Reed’s point further, which it deserves, it is interesting to note that historically, societies that did not have high levels of sex-segregation tended toward the artificial, e.g. Sparta, or those dominated by large Western 20th century governments. There is ample literature on this point.

        Also, taking a Hoppean angle, I imagine Hoppe would find that at elite levels of society, there would be more cultural fluidity. This is because, as Hoppe trenchantly observes, elite leaders in a free society are the cream of the crop in self-control, education and intelligence. They therefore could better face the challenges of greater cultural or gender diversity. But even that would have its rigorous customs and “dance”, as the elites would know their limitations.

        • Seth MacLeod

          It has not been my experience that segregating based on sex would improve anything. The current model of schooling is severely flawed, and Reed’s analysis was a slight variation on the status quo, which is odd for LRC.

          It may have been meant as a humorous piece, but it was superficial and did not offer anything insightful.

          Obviously Reed’s piece was not limited to schooling, but David Friedman and his son Patri have far more interesting and insightful ideas that are actually against the status quo.

          • Perry Mason

            Fair comment. If I had a big disclaimer on my comment, it would be that the only moral approach is to leave schooling to the market. I do expect you would see greater sex segregation overall, but it is equally if not more possible we might see something new, given that a market will continue to have innovators.

            I think we can all agree that the current model of centrally planned “design” is inefficient and has no innate capacity to develop.

    • tiffany267

      No one said he committed a crime. There are so many strawmen in your comment it’s hard to know where to start.

      • DaRightRadical

        Sure he did. He committed a thought crime. According to the enlightened ones above (and you), who want him shunned. They called his writing “wildly misogynist” for crying out loud.

        Other then being labeled racist, anti-semitic, or homo-phobic; it doesn’t get much more Cultural Marxist then that.

  12. Rod Van Mechelen

    Whenever Julie posts a new video I always rush to embed it on my main home page. Her commentary is always so reasonable, well informed and entertaining. So I was absolutely astonished to find that she evidently believes the hateful and purposely sexist lie, promulgated by Mary Koss and Ms. Magazine, that 1 in 4 women are victims of sexual violence. Originally it was 1 in 3, in follow up studies they lowered it to 1 in 4, and at that time it was necessary for Koss and her researchers to tell women they had been sexually assaulted or raped, because their subjects said that was not the case. Since then, the general public has heard the big lie so many times that it has become self-perpetuating. My source on this is not Karen Straughan, as my work predates hers by more than 20 years, but like Julie she is a competent vlogger, and in her vlogs on YouTube she has done an excellent job of summarizing several of the thousands of critiques that have exposed the one-in-four claim as a vicious myth on par with the myths that were promulgated to justify lynching black men in the 19th century. I hope Julie will stop parroting the misandrous lies of the feminist hatemongers and read some of the people, many of whom are libertarians, who truly stand for freedom and liberty. These include Warren Farrell, Christina Hoff Sommers, Cathy Young (in case you don’t know, her 2nd book was called Ceasefire! and is still available on Amazon), and Erin Pizzey. I have a ton of old articles archived on my crusty, dusty old website, as well as links to thousands of more current articles in the Drudge-Report-Style newer section. Regarding Fred’s article, as Robert Wenzel pointed out, Fred was generalizing, and his generalizations were accurate. Do I agree with Fred’s conclusions? Not entirely. Fred’s an old Marine whose website is almost as old as mine and he has a curmudgeonly style that appeals to a lot of folks, but I agree with your assertions that women who measure up to the same standards as male recruits should have the same opportunities. Is Fred a collectivist? Maybe I’m not one to judge, as I am a Ron Paul Republican (statist! albeit of the minarchist variety, though when I was at the Libertarian National Convention when Ron Paul and Russell Means ran for the LP presidential nomination, I was an anarcho-capitalist); worse, I served for almost 10 years as a member of my tribe’s tribal council, and at least according to the progressive liberals (as opposed to the progressive conservatives), tribes are collectivist as all get out. So my perspective may be suspect. Nevertheless, in my suspect view Fred is no collectivist, and anyone who has read more than one of his rants would probably agree.

  13. nicholasstix

    Sorry, I thought this was a libertarian blog. I seem to have stumbled into a feminist blog. That would explain the dishonesty and ad hominem attacks.

    There seem to be a lot of people who hate libertarianism these days calling themselves libertarians. Not that I’m a libertarian, but it would save a lot of time if people would
    just say, for instance, “We’re feminists who hate libertarianism,” but I guess that wouldn’t fit with your program of rent-seeking and political takeovers.

  14. Jesse Voluntaryist Mathewson

    LRC loves misogyny, i.e. Bill Buppert, Fred and many others. Individuals alone matter, any stance outside of individual voluntary interaction really is statist to some degree.

    Well written ladies.

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