Feminism, Libertarian Roots:

I bet you thought that feminism was just some progressive or “new left” thing. Actually, it was originally libertarian. In the VIDEO below, Joan Kennedy Taylor offers a brief history of the feminist movement and how it started out from libertarian roots (she uses the term “classical liberal”, which is the same as “libertarian”, because we were the original liberals). Then, the feminist movement got divided and contradictory as it was taken up by the “progressive” and socialist movements as libertarianism mostly died out in the early 20th century. She talks about the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) for women favored by libertarian feminists, and how this amendment was resisted by the progressives and their government institutions such as Women’s Bureau of Department of Labor, Eleanor Roosevelt, AFLCIO, League of Women Voters, and JFK’s Commission on Status of Women. These “new left” folks opposed an Equal Rights Amendment because it would treat women equally under the law, which would nullify all of the special laws that the progressives were passing to specifically favor women; for example, it would nullify the Protective Labor legislation that regulated women’s pay, hours, and working conditions. The government passed laws that treated women special apart from men, and progressives wanted this instead of equal treatment under the law. Only in 1970 did progressive feminists temporarily change their minds and join libertarian feminists to almost get the ERA passed. But, they ultimately failed and reverted to statism and we still don’t have the ERA in our constitution. So, the progressives and “new left” types oppose progress of equal rights for women. Video by Libertarianism.org:


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