Blogs > Liberty and Power > McElroy vs Long

Jan 14, 2005 1:42 pm

McElroy vs Long

Please, let us all remember that to the extent that there is or is not a man hating element to feminism, gay or otherwise, it only becomes a true societal problem when it is expressed through coercive tactics and legislation. The real difficulty with modern feminism has always been socialism not lesbianism.

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Roderick T. Long - 1/15/2005

If you mean "political" in the Oppenheimerian sense of coercive force, then of course I agree. But in the sense of "political" that Charles and I set out in our paper (see the section on the "authoritarian theory of politics"), then a "political" solution is *precisely* what I think is needed.

M.D. Fulwiler - 1/15/2005

Certain forms of discrimination against women ~may~ be a "social problem" in some sense, but as long as there is no coercion involved there is no valid political "solution."

I consider most religion to be a "problem" (say did anyone see the Paul Johnson column where he asserts that God killed all those tsunami victims?) and hate the homophobia that often springs from it, but there are no legitimate political means at my disposal to deal with it, as long as the religionists are peaceful.

Roderick T. Long - 1/14/2005

The question is whether class-analysis feminism has to be collectivist feminism. Since I'm a class-analysis feminist but not a collectivist feminist, I'm inclined to answer no.

Incidentally I'm in complete agreement with McKitrick's paper. McKitrick was *agreeing* with Okin's account of the systematic ways in which women are disadvantaged, but *disagreeing* with Okin's governmental solution. The agreement fits in with class analysis, the disagreement fits in with individualism.

Aeon J. Skoble - 1/14/2005

It's a main reason why _individualist_ or liberty-oriented feminism is complemetary with libertarianism, but not why class-analysis (i.e., collectivist) feminisim or socialist feminism is. I took that to be the well-documented conclusion of McKitrick's paper (at the same symposium at which yours was presented).

Roderick T. Long - 1/14/2005

Well, but one of the claims Charles and I were defending in our paper is that something doesn't have to be "expressed through coercive tactics and legislation" to become "a true societal problem." Though coercive tactics and legislation certainly make societal problems *worse*. Feminists tend to have a keener appreciation of the first fact than of the second; libertarians, vice versa. That's one of the main reasons for conflict between them -- though I also think it's the main reason that libertarianism and feminism are ultimately complementary rather than contradictory.