8 Comments

  1. bspa

    This seems to be a weird application of Hayek to me. Hayek himself recognized the importance of tradition, including in promoting liberal values. Traditional sexual mores may be a really useful evolutionary development. Some law and economics scholars have even suggested that monogamy has been more beneficial for females than males. If we reject traditional sexual mores and attempt to supplant them with our constructivist reason (like sex-positive feminism, possibly), there may be unintended negative consequences not only for society as a whole, but for women in particular.

    • I mean it’s true. But monogamy has negative consequences for some. The point is that in economics as well as sex one size doesn’t fit all. So no one should be shamed for finding their own way.

      • bspa

        My inner Hayek is telling me this:

        Another way of looking at shame or stigma is that it is how traditional mores are primarily enforced. This is true even in places where acts transgressing them are illegal, but is especially the case when civil society is completely relied upon to promote them. To work to eradicate stigma on the basis of an unconstrained vision like sex-positive feminism may end up hurting the ability of civil society to regulate itself and have unintended consequences.

        Liberal values might be promoted better, on the whole, in a monogamous world. But, maybe not. I guess the point is that we don’t know as much as we think we do. Perhaps tradition, and in this case, traditional sexual mores, have societal benefits that outway the costs. Of course, what works changes over time in response to changing conditions. Maybe sex-positive feminism is a conscious attempt at adopting a new model.

        What does any of this have to do with libertarianism-qua-libertarianism, though? Probably not a lot as long as no one is attempting to use government power to enforce one vision of the world. And that goes for both traditionalists and feminists. Sneaking shame in as part of the definition of coercion complicates the matter unnecessarily.

  2. Jake Hill

    Can you define “enthusiastic consent” more fully?” Is a dispassionate “yes” not consent? Assuming no threats, I see a “yes” as consent, regardless of the level of enthusiasm.

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