More Equal Than Others

Some interesting debate here recently on the correct libertarian response to feminism- here is my contribution.

In my view, the equality pursued by feminists is the same as that pursued by socialists. Both are based on the notion that, because we all share the same broad genus, human beings deserve to be valued identically.

Whist any rational person examining the world will swiftly conclude that all human beings do not have equal value, the socialist will see this and conclude that the reason some seem to have greater value than others is due to the inequalities perpetuated by capitalism and they seek to repair this by having the state impose equal value legislation. There is no logic to it but they believe that, if there were only equality of opportunity, there would eventually be equality of value.

Feminists ought to have an even greater problem selling their ideology because the clear biological differences between men and women have to be downplayed or ignored in order to justify their equality agenda. Males are generally more powerful physically than women and their brains are, on average, larger. (This is factually true but such is the strident nature of the feminist culture we inhabit that it feels somewhat criminal to mention it).

So as a result of physiological differences, men and women cannot compete against each other on a level playing field at sport and women tend to do less well at purely cerebral activities like chess or bridge. Yet although women cannot compete equally there is a strong agenda to have them rewarded equally. At Wimbledon, for example, women have achieved parity of prize money (despite apparently being considered incapable of playing the same number of sets!!!).

But despite the difficulties in justifying equality where there is a direct competitive measure, when this is taken away from the area of activity it becomes easier to ignore reality and blame inequalities on discrimination. So we hear arguments that the reason women have statistically done less well in any sphere of activity is for one of the following reasons.

1) They had to take time out to bear children.
2) Power in the organisation was already held by men so they were discriminated against for promotion.
3) They were handicapped by the gender roles assigned to them in childhood.

And of course the solution to the relative failure of women in public life is to tackle discrimination by the imposition of laws and positive discrimination quotas. There must be equal numbers of women and men in senior roles in political parties, in the Civil Service and in boardrooms. Selection should be made, not on merit, but on gender.

We have still to see the full results of such policies in action but it is unlikely they will be encouraging. Indeed, I think it is possible to trace the debilitating effect on the current Labour Party who have pushed positive discrimination and adopted women only shortlists for the last 15 years. In my view, all organisations would be well advised to avoid both positive and negative discrimination and make promotional appointments based on ability alone. And, in fact, if they are allowed to that is what they will do.

Socialism is much easier to oppose than feminism because most people are eventually persuaded by rationality and outcomes are more easily measurable. It is possible to study what happened in Eastern Europe or Cambodia in the last century and conclude that socialism is not the best way run a society if you want to make peoples lives better.

Whereas voicing opposition to the feminist hegemony is to deny that men and women have equal value. To do that is to invite accusations of bigotry and misogyny and, in the current climate that feminism has created in Western societies, there are not many willing to put their heads above that particular parapet.

OK shoot!



  1. In the 19th century the law was biased against women – such things as the Married Women’s Property Acts dealt with this injustice.

    The last great holdover from this injustice in the law was the obscene doctrine that there could be no rape in marriage for, as Kant put it, a marriage was a contact by which both parties agreed to the other using their sexual organs. This revolting view that there could be rape in marriage was defended by many great legal thinks (yes I know “all men”) and took a very long time to defeat.

    Other than legal injustice related to property and the revolting doctrine of no-rape-in-marriage the law was held to be biased against mothers in relation to the custody of children – now it is claimed that the bias is against fathers. And certainly the “Family Courts” are troubling – they seem to ignore all the basic principles of open justice.

    Voting was another area of concern. Strictly speaking voting is NOTHING TO DO WITH LIBERTARIANISM – however the “right to vote” was a major concern for many people and it was not settled till the 1920s.

    All this leads me to my conclusion – there were indeed legal injustices against women in the past, but this was actually long BEFORE the rise of modern “feminism”.

    It is possible to call people who, for example, campaigned for the Married Women’s Property Acts “feminists”” – but they were certainly not feminists in the modern “movement” sense.

    Modern feminism appears to be a “solution” without a problem – women are not discriminated against by the law, if anything men are discriminated against (both in “family” matters and in the punishment for most crimes).

    As for claims that “capitalism” discriminates against women by “paying them less” – this whole case is based on blatant LYING.

    Women who are NOT doing “the same jobs as men” are presented as evidence that women are paid less for doing “the same jobs as men” – and no rational profit maximising employer would employ a man when a woman would do the same job better.

    Men and women are NOT the same (Ken Ferguson is correct to point this out) – if women really want to be “the same” as men then women would have to embrace early death (we do not tend to live as long as women) and many other negative aspects of being male.

    So the correct answer to “I want the same money, and so on, even though I am not as strong as you – and, therefore, can not do this particular job as well” is …..

    “Oh dear, how sad, never mind”

    Ditto to the demand that a woman have children and still have the same job prospects as a man – the BIOLOGY is different.

    If a women wants children her promotion prospects are going to be undermined by the time off take – that is not “injustice” it is biology.

    As for me. I am as poor as a church mouse – and have no prospects (other than death).

    The idea that, as a “straight, white, male” I am part of a capitalist conspiracy “oppressing women” is absurd.

    There is no capitalist conspiracy oppressing women – the message of modern “feminism” is a lie.

    What does oppress women in the modern world is Islam.

    But Mr Cameron will get upset if I say anything more about that.



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