Julie Borowski (TokenLibertarianGirl) tells us it’s because women are slaves to pop culture and Cosmo is liberal propaganda. Steve Horwitz and Sarah Skwire (Bleeding Heart Libertarian) tell us it’s because Julie Borowski tells women they are slaves to pop culture. Daniel Kuehn (Facts And Other Stubborn Things) tells us it’s because women are smarter than men.
Certainly, Steve Horwitz and Sarah Skwire are on to something. If Borowski is in any way representative of the view of women that many libertarians hold (and while I have no scientific evidence, my impression is that it is true to a point) this makes the libertarian movement very unfriendly to women.
However, I think there is another force at work, which is quite simply that the libertarian movement appears to have mostly tied the knot with conservative movement. And the conservative movement is very unfriendly to women. Conservatives have in recent history been absolutely terrible with women’s issues. And while the conservative movement has taken on very libertarian fights such as opposing government-provided birth control and abortion, it has also historically been associated with very anti-libertarian fights such as prohibiting birth control or abortion. The conservative movement is also host to some prominent personalities who engage in slut-shaming and other less-than-friendly-to-women activities, not to mention make statements of doubtful biological accuracy. Of course, not all conservatives are Rush Limbaugh, but it’s people like him that get the microphone these days.
This is bad. I understand the tactical advantages of not going alone. But this is the price we pay: we get associated with people who do want to roll back women’s rights a couple decades. And so women are understandably wary of hopping on.