Friday, April 16, 2010

I've Just Met a Wonderful Feminist Libertarian!!! So, apologies to any other pro-radical feminist libertarians, from me for making gross generalisations about ALL libertarians

[image is from here]

 So it turns out there is such a group as the

Association of Libertarian Feminists 


The Purpose of ALF is to:

  • encourage women to become economically self-sufficient and psychologically independent
  • publicize and promote realistic attitudes toward female competence, achievement, and potential
  • oppose the abridgement of individual rights by any government on account of sex
  • work toward changing sexist attitudes and behavior exhibited by individuals
  • provide a libertarian alternative to those aspects of the women's movement that tend to discourage independence and individuality  

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For reasons which shall become clear shortly, I'm also including, from ALF's website, this book information. Look for the book by Sharon Presley, titled:

Standing Up to Authorities: How to Avoid Being Intimidated, Manipulated and Abused.

I'll state at the outset here, in this post, that any white man who spends most of his time arguing with women about feminism has WAY too much privileged time on his hands, and ought to be told to shut the fuck up. I rarely, but occasionally, do take on class-privileged white women misogynists. I challenged some writing and analysis by Ariel Levy, and I'm challenging Angela Keaton. Or, rather, I have challenged her, and I'm about done. I made a promise to Andrea Dworkin to challenge misogyny. She believed that profeminist men had a moral and political obligation to take on misogyny, no matter from whom it spewed. She didn't believe men ought not critique or criticise women, if what is being stated by women, or one woman, is antifeminist and misogynistic. I found Ariel Levy's intro to the 20th edition of Intercourse to be both. (Read all about it *here*. I stand by every word I wrote there and have no regrets writing it. I firmly believe it was written and published with Andrea's blessing.)

I find Angela's writing to be both misogynistic and antifeminist as well, but in a far more virulent, hideous way. I accept that Ariel is feminist, but she's not the sort of feminist I want to associate myself with, as she's far too willing to be congenial to pimps and some other virulent misogynist-antifeminists to whom, I believe, she owes nothing at all, not even respect. Angela is in a whole other league of misogyny, however. Ariel understands and discusses how something sometimes termed "porn culture" doesn't have women's best interests at heart, if it has a heart. And that it is designed to keep women from knowing themselves in many ways. I'd recommend Female Chauvinist Pigs to some people who have had no exposure at all to feminism. Not many, but some. I don't hate the book. But I do despise what she did in the foreword to Intercourse. Angela, however, is just saying stuff that is disgustingly putrid. In my opinion.

Here it is: the whole exchange, to date, to moment from Angela Keaton's FB page. As you'll see, Angela has been unwilling to substantively respond to me regarding her positions and statements about Andrea Dworkin. She has had the link, the URL, to come here and explain, and has not done so. I draw no specific conclusions based on that. She may well be busy. She may have eight thousand better things to do with her time than respond to some whiteboy calling her out on her misogyny. But I suspect she just doesn't want to deal with this because she doesn't have anywhere to go except to admit she's a misogynist and antifeminist. And she doesn't have to admit that here. Her words already uttered speak for her just fine.

The reason I'm putting this discussion thread up, the whole thing, to date, to moment, is that I've discovered in this process a few things that I'd like to share and have be available for review, particularly by you, dear reader/visitor.

1. There's yet another whiteboy asshole to add to the pile of CRAP infested antifeminist dick-whipped masculinist beings. His name (Chris Baker) and words appear below. And it's so striking how alike they all seem to be. (Let's hope the Lorde Our Goddess broke THAT social mold that some men were created in! lol)

2. Angela goes on with her attribution to Dworkin of non-feminist and negative social realities. Ah, well. Let's not have a bothersome thing like how powerful white het men are in determining most things in US society get in the way of claiming one very marginalised and intensely mocked and stigmatised radical feminist has ALL THAT POWER. In my experience, some feminists DREAM of having as much power as antifeminists attribute to them. The term "femi-nazi" was designed by "mascu-nazis" to deride and falsely divide up "feminism" into camps. Cognitive, histerical camps loaded up with histerical levels of cocky concentration, manifesting verbally or textually in  imaginings that are not politically/socially/structurally existent. Things like, say, "Fascist Feminists". I don't tend to use terms like "Nazi" and "camp" in proximity to the word "concentration" flagrantly. I hate the appropriation of Nazi-era/Nazi-specific terminology into other cultural and temporal conditions. Not a fan of that at all. And the paragraph here is likely as close as I'll get to doing so. Moving on...

3. I've discovered a white feminist libertarian named Sharon Presley (yes, you've heard that name before, above, as the author of the book libertarian feminist book title I cite). Her words and arguments below are not, for me, antifeminist or virulently hateful. I have "Friended" her, and we'll see if she responds in accepting it. She's doing some fascinating work on obedience and authority, as noted by the title of the book. Truly cool stuff, to me, anyway! And hopefully to many other people.

I could quibble, were I in a quibbling mood, with some of what she says about Dworkin making up stuff about the effects of pornography. I know men whose behavior bears out precisely what Andrea predicted and described, for whom her ordinance written with C. A. MacKinnon would come in handy, assuming, of course, that those victimised had access to good legal representation and even wanted to set foot in a courtroom, which, as so many know, is a terribly hostile environment to everyone who isn't a white het man. (Strange that: white het men designed the laws and court systems!) I firmly believe the women who could use the law, as yet not passed in the U.S., are the women who are very marginalised and very silenced by the abuses pornographers encourage and "eroticise". I state this because I think social reality is, in some sense, what you know exists. And given that so much of women's suffering isn't socially real to men, and the suffering of women of color isn't known or felt by many whites, women or men, this means that what most of humanity experiences daily and systematically isn't factored into what white Westerners "believe to be true". But that's for another post, perhaps.

Anyway, I welcome further engagement with Sharon, wish her well with her work, and hope she accepts my Friend Request. I have removed the photos of the women in the discussion below, as it is policy, stated or not, that I won't put photos up of women, especially if identifiable, and when accompanied by their names, without their permission.

Here's a snippet from Chris-the-antifeminist, which is hilarious to me given the typo!!!
The second women's movement has been about victimization, misandry, entitlements, false accusations (such as Duke Lacrosse), and destruction in the name of equality. It is simply about destorying men. This is Betty Freidan, Dworkin, and Mackinnon. -- Chris Baker, an antifeminist and woefully ignorant white guy

Now, on with the show...

Angela Keaton: On the fifth anniversary of Andrea Dworkin's Death

Angela's Notes|Notes about Angela|Angela's Profile

On the fifth anniversary of Andrea Dworkin's Death

Yesterday at 3:43pm

Five years later, it is still clear to me that Andrea Dworkin was one of the most destructive women of the 20th century.
Author: Angela

Date: 06-07-05 12:34 POD-girl asked me if I saw the REASON article on Andrea Dworkin. Here at

Yes, the article which marks a first in Cathy Young’s career–taking a stance.

While I can defend and enjoy radical ideology of all sorts, Young takes only the easiest shots against Dworkin as did better minds all throughout Dworkin’s profoundly influential career. Let’s examine the outright manipulation of facts which should have been grappled with.

First, Dworkin and MacKinnon used fabricated statistics in front of a congressional committee and the Meese Commission. When Oliver North lied in front of the same jackasses, there was a perjury charge and chicken little cries of constitutional meltdown. Dworkin set back the Sexual Revolution about 120 years. North merely traded dope for guns then had the nerve to lie about it. Dworkin’s “research” goes unquestioned among the “courageous tellers of truth” (had to throw a Paglia in there) who exposed Alfred Kinsey. Guess exposing bad science is an ideological crusade, ne c’est pas, Dr. Reisman?

Speaking of lies…

Second, the twice married Dworkin–once to the now infamous Belgian batterer (his story? anyone?) and survived by the noxious John Stoltenberg– allowed lesbians to believe she was one of them. Why, I couldn’t speculate but her cronies still protect her and cocktail liberals hold enough homophobia to like, even crave the “man hating lesbian” stereotype. (Think Kevin Smith’s artless “Chasing Amy.”) She knew what sold.

Third, Dworkin managed to create a web of deceit in Jerzy Kozinski/I, Rigoberto Menchu style which became an impenetrable of wall of credibility (and pity) no polite person dare question. Her vague claims of childhood abuse, her stint as a prostitute as a student at one of our finest liberal arts colleges, and her bizarre 2000 Parisian rape tale were more likely the result of heavy drinking and creative hysteria.

Fourth, Young hasn’t written anything that the liberal establishment hasn’t written 1000 times before. So what? Everyone had something nasty to say about Dworkin from Paul Fussell to Adam Parfrey. Hating Dworkin was the official position. Two points, however: What is rarely said is that Dworkin was in fact an excellent craftsman in the use of the English language. Unlike MacKinnon who was a notably incompetent writer among the semi-literate creature known as “law professor,” Dworkin was a master of sentence structure and formal grammar.

The other point is what the entire debate actually rests upon. Dworkin’s influence among social workers, psychologists and the popular culture is matchless. It is not unfair to hold Dworkin accountable for everything from our poisoned relationships between the sexes, recovered memory syndrome, the further shredding of our First Amendment thanks to the sexual harassment codes, and the concept of “date rape” further removing women from any responsibility for their own sexual choices.
Written on Thursday

Chris Baker
Actually, the idiot Cathy Young has taken a stance before. She is quite adamant in her belief that there are no libertarians in foxholes.
Yesterday at 3:55pm ·

Angela Keaton
Chris, are you trying to get my blood pressure up?
Yesterday at 4:03pm ·

Chris Baker
I've never checked it before. Is it low?
Yesterday at 4:04pm ·

Marja Erwin
Well, Dworkin claimed to be pansexual, not lesbian, at least in "Woman Hating." And, even from what I've read, it's clear that she had issues surrounding her sex and sexuality.

Where she's good, she's good, but where she's bad, she's very bad.
Yesterday at 4:11pm ·

Marja Erwin
Dworkin also caused trouble with her politics of androgyny. I don't know how steadily she held to that through her whole career, but she pushed it at the critical moment, and she appropriated both transsexual and intersex experiences to do so. That has caused no end of added difficulties.
Yesterday at 4:21pm ·

Angela Keaton
"Where she's good, she's good, but where she's bad, she's very bad." That's almost a perfect summary.
Yesterday at 4:24pm ·

Angela Keaton
The trouble Dworkin caused for sex workers and any woman who chooses to be sexual free agent is here for a few generations. It's a shackle to be sure.
Yesterday at 4:25pm ·

Sharon Presley
Cathy Young is among those libertarians who rush to be politely incorrect and wear it as a badge of honor. I don't care whether something is politely correct or incorrect; I care about the truth. As for Dworkin, she wore her ideology like a badge. Ideology is both a blessing and a curse. If it leads to truth, it's great; if it blinds you to the truth, not so good. The studies on the effects of pornography (her big thing) are not on her side, so yes, she would have to make them up.
Yesterday at 4:36pm ·

Anthony Gregory
Lap dances in her honor! Sorry. That was gauche.
Yesterday at 4:40pm ·

Marja Erwin
I had interpreted her as the major target of cultural feminism and the major precursor of queer theory, so it's kinda surprising that she's so anti-sex-work.
Yesterday at 4:43pm ·

Sean Haugh
I'm going to let Hugh Akston (the artist formerly known as Ragnar Danneskjold) speak for me on this one.
Yesterday at 5:55pm ·

Dave Brady
She was for sure three bags full of it. I'm in favor of sex work and still taking appointments ;)
Yesterday at 7:09pm ·

Chris Baker
Cathy Young is not a libertarian.
Yesterday at 7:09pm ·

Sharon Presley
She has written for libertarian publications like Reason and is seen by nonlibertarians as representing libertarianism, which makes me shutter.
Yesterday at 7:27pm ·

Chris Baker
Sharon, you called her a libertarian. REASON is no longer a libertarian publication. It used to be one.
Yesterday at 7:29pm ·

Sharon Presley
I haven't looked at Reason in years so have no opinion. But nonetheless whatever you or I may think she is, Young is seen by some as a libertarian and even as a libertarian feminist. So I shutter. Now that I am retired and have more time (ha--busier than ever) I'll just have to work on giving libertarian feminism a better name!
Yesterday at 9:54pm ·

James Solon
The Dworkin-McKinnon study was treated as gospel by religious-rightist James Dobson, who in a true case of "politics making strange bedfellows," was an ally of Dworkin in the antiporn crusade.
Yesterday at 10:26pm via Facebook Mobile ·

Chris Baker
When nutcases on the left and the right get together, it's never good.
Yesterday at 10:27pm ·

James Solon
Well-said, Mr. Baker.
Yesterday at 10:47pm

Julian Real
More destructive that, oh, say, Hitler? You said, women. How about Thatcher? She actually ordered the murder of people. Dworkin ordered and had the State power to carry out how many murders? That would be "none". And this is the problem with you goddamned libertarians: you equate "ideas" being expressed with "harm being done". Assholes. Women I knew are either dead or raped because a battering or domineering boyfriend or husband took them out or used gross force to violate them. Dworkin did nothing of the kind. White Nazi women did atrocious things to Jewish women in concentration camps, and you have the fucking audacity to call a human rights activist who fought male supremacist power "one of the most destructive women of the 20th century". You are one privileged person, to even get to believe that's true, let alone type it out. And of course you get to. Free speech, right? Except for radical feminists, who aren't entitled to be respected for speaking out against rape, sexual harassment, battery, and other sexual and sexist atrocities. How DESTRUCTIVE, eh? Maybe potentially injurious to the entitlements of the oppressors to do as they please with impunity. But, well, Dworkin didn't even have that much power. She just wrote books and spoke out. And of course that's just about as criminal as it gets, to libertarians, huh?
12 hours ago ·

Angela Keaton
Thanks, Mr. Real, I enjoy a good lecture from a white male about my rights. Much appreciated. Thanks for allowing me to live.
11 hours ago ·

Julian Real
So you play the woman victim only when it suits you, eh?
9 hours ago ·

Julian Real
But you'll be heartless when putting down women who fight for women's rights. Gotcha. Wasn't it one of those libertarian dudes who you cite, who calls out social hypocrisy? You're comfortable railing against radical feminists, and because a man comes here and calls you out on it, you get to cry "sexism". Sorry.
9 hours ago ·

Chris Baker
Angela, remember what Ayn Rand wrote (from my memory): "Is there something worse than the women of the women's lib movement? Yes, the men who support it." This is from an essay which appeared in _The New Left_.
8 hours ago ·

Angela Keaton
Chris, yes, they are dangerous to women and will use violence to achieve their anti-porn ends.
8 hours ago ·

Chris Baker
These "men" remind of the _Family Ties_ episode in which Alex Keaton decides to get involved with feminist causes because he is interested in one of the girl activists. It's so funny they way he plays the role of the feminist activist. Eventually he gives it up. I actually think that a lot of these "men" feminists are just like Alex was in that episode.
8 hours ago ·

Sharon Presley
Julian: I am a libertarian feminist and have been for over 40 years. In fact I am the National Coordinator of the Association of Libertarian Feminists. Though I disagree with Dworkin's stand on pornography because the scientific evidence in my field (I am a social psychologist) doesn't support her contention, I don't agree with Angela's statement about Dworkin and I am reasonably certain many of my colleagues would also disagree. I agree with you that many others have been far more destructive. It is inappropriate of you to generalize to all libertarians on the basis of one person or even several people. Your nasty sniping is not going to convince anyone of your position. You have presented an argument with valid points but undermine it with wild sweeping generalizations about libertarians that don't fit.

Chris: As for your comment: Rand was wrong about the women's movement. She was wrong about a lot of things. Shall we go down a checklist? Her opinion on this issue is quite worthless IMO. So invoking her is quite inappropriate too. She had her blind spots as do many libertarians about what they imagine the "women's movement" to be about. I've read many books on the topic. How many have you read? Or are you one of the many libertarians who read stuff about feminism in the paper and believe it even though you would never believe stuff they write about libertarians?
5 hours ago ·

Chris Baker
Sharon, the first American women's movement truly was about empowerment. It was about voting, political rights, freedom. It was about raising up women. This was Susan B Anthony and her allies.

The second women's movement has been about victimization, misandry, entitlements, false accusations (such as Duke Lacrosse), and destruction in the name of equality. It is simply about destorying men. This is Betty Freidan, Dworkin, and Mackinnon.

It has lead to a culture of death. Just look at Europe and their birth rates.
4 hours ago ·

Chris Baker
Sharon, are you interested in attacking Rand and me personally? Or are you interested in attacking ideas? Angela herself has acknowledged Rand's influence on her own thinking, and so have people like Wendy McElroy.
4 hours ago ·

Sharon Presley
Chris, I thought I was disagreeing with Rand's ideas about the women's movement and with your ideas about it. Why do you think this is an attack? Aren't you being a bit defensive? I too was influenced by Rand, but it is not an either/or position. I agree with many of her ideas and disagree with some. Do you think we are to agree with everything she said?
3 hours ago ·

Sharon Presley
As for American women and feminism. I repeat my question that you did not answer. What books have you read? Have you actually read Friedan's Feminine Mystique? I have. It was an important early statement of women's yearning for individuality and freedom to step outside the prescribed roles demanded of women. I found little to object to. Please give me something specific about Friedan that you find objectionable.

Your sweeping generalizations tell me that you actually don't really know much about what the larger women's movement. It's easy to attack Dworkin and MacKinnon but they are hardly the entire movement. Many efforts are unsung and ignored by the media because they don't make juicy copy like Dworkin. Many women since the 1960s, for example, have worked to decrease stereotypes against both men and women through research, writings, speeches, and consciousness-raising groups. The real women's movement is about seeing women and men as individuals and allowing for freedom of choice to be what you want to be, not what society tell you you must be. Women and men are now much freer psychologically than ever before in history because of the moment you despise.

The citation about the birth rates in Europe is so off the wall that I am at a loss for words. Where did THAT come from? I challenge you to come up with actual scientific evidence that even remotely supports your point.

If you are not willing to answer my questions and tell me what you have read by women in the women's movement (excluding Dworkin and MacKinnon who only speak for a part) that has led you to your conclusions, then we have nothing more to say to each other. I am not interested in discussing issues with someone who only wants to spew out unsubstantiated, emotional ideas that fit one's preconceived notions. I, on the other hand, could include a list of books, articles and journal research pages long if I could remember everything I have ever read. I taught Psychology of Women for over 25 years and I'm pretty sure I know way more about the women's movement than most people, including you. I also wager that I know a whole lot more about women's history than you do too, so I don't need a lecture about it.

So, do you have anything specific from specific authors?
3 hours ago ·

Chris Baker
Sharon, I have read very little about the feminist movement and very little of their works. The only feminist I can honestly say that I have read is Emma Goldman, and it's kind of a stretch to call her one. I haven't read any of Wendy McElroy's books either, although I own some of them.

My judgments are based mostly on my own experiences in life. I've seen how women behave nowadays. It's not pretty. This garbage is all the result of the likes of Betty Friedan and the like. Sadly, some of the ones influenced by Rand are some of the worst.

I have noticed, for example, that women who have not been to college are more sensible than ones who have.

You claim that women and men are freer psychologically now because of the feminist movement. I do know that stuff like the phony Duke non-rape case is definitely a result of the feminist movement.

I know a guy who asked a woman in his workplace: "What are you doing this weekend?" He had no romantic interest whatsoever in this woman. In spite of this, this woman took this question as a question of asking for a date and bitched about it. He got a bunch of crap from his employer because of this. All this crap is the result of the feminist movement you love, Sharon.

The research about declining birth rates in Europe is everywhere. It is generally common knowledge that civilized Europe has chosen extinction. Most of the people having kids in Europe nowadays are the Muslim savages.
about an hour ago ·

Sharon Presley
Chris, anecdotes are not science and they prove nothing.

Your experiences may be different than others. Many people, including me, have had very different experiences. I've had lots of young women in my classes find the research about gender stereotypes (and how they are just that--stereotypes) very freeing and inspiring. Every one of those textbooks I use is written by a feminist. I have read a lot about sexual harassment (including Joan Kennedy Taylors' book from a libertarian perspective). For every woman who misuses the concept of "hostile environment" (what you are describing above) there are hundreds, if not thousands, who really were mistreated in inappropriate ways. So, sure, there are women with bad attitudes. What's new? There are a lot of men with bad attitudes. What does it prove? That feminism "caused" bad attitudes? That would be like saying that libertarianism makes people run wild in the streets.

Since you have read next to nothing, you are on shaky ground. Isn't it Rand who said we need to look at rational evidence. All the "evidence" you have is anecdotal. That isn't evidence. I am trained as a scientist so I want studies and facts. I've read the studies and facts. Like any widespread movement, there are sensible feminists and there are ones who have a chip on their shoulder. So what? I could name a bunch of libertarians who have chips on their shoulders and are REALLY poor representatives of the ideas. Does that mean that the ideas are bad? Of course not. It is not rational to reach conclusions about an entire movement based on only a few anecdotal incidents.

As for birthrates in Europe, first of all, you are very far from "proving" that it has anything to do with feminism. Birthrates are increasing in the US, which is at least as feminist as Europe. Birthrates go up and down for complex reasons; one of the most common reasons for decrease is increasing prosperity, not ideology. Your statement about "common knowledge" is a variation on a logical fallacy my critical thinking text (I taught that too) calls a "proof surrogate"--something that claims a legitimate source when there isn't one; no attribution that can be traced. "Common knowledge" to whom? First I heard about it and I'm a well-informed person. Guess it's not so common after all.

As for your remark about Muslim "savages", that is too ugly a prejudice to even require comment among people who believe in reason.

You yourself say you have read nothing of the feminist movement. You offer no studies. So here we have it; your conclusions seem to boil down to anecdotes and prejudice, rather than hard evidence. What would Rand say about that?
33 minutes ago ·

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