Libertarian does not equal libertine. Libertarianism is strictly a political philosophy that has to do with the proper role of government. That’s it. Libertarians can be socially conservative, socially liberal, libertines, or indifferent. Being personally socially conservative does not make you less of a libertarian.
So my recent YouTube video titled “Addressing the Lack of Female Libertarians” has created quite the stir online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nASPjBVQkQk
My main point was that women tend (key word) to be more socially conscious than men. We tend to be more concerned with being socially accepted and fitting in with our peers. From my experience as a woman, there is a lot of societal pressure on women to conform to what is considered “normal” by popular culture standards. That may not be the most pleasant thing to hear (to some people) but it is the truth the way I see it.
The pressure exists for men too, but I believe it’s not nearly as much.
Men generally care less about fitting in, there probably isn’t as much pressure to conform, and their male peers likely don’t judge them as harshly for being “different.” They tend be less social and don’t care if their interests seem nerdy to others– video games, anime, Star Wars, etc. There are far more male atheists, which is typically seen as an alternative viewpoint.
Libertarianism is not widely accepted in mainstream society. Not because our ideas aren’t right (contrary to some people’s view, I believe our philosophy has little to do with the lack of libertarian women), but because most people have no idea what a libertarian is– therefore, it’s “weird and strange.” It’s a funny sounding word that a lot of people have never heard of.
Women that express different viewpoints are more likely to be ostracized by their peer group. I probably care less about fitting in than most women, but I have been excluded for being different. Even over silly stuff like my hair wasn’t straight like the other girls.
As my Facebook friend wrote, “To all the people hating on Julie Borowski. You might not agree with her. You might not understand what she’s talking about. But as a former sorority girl who was active in my campus libertarians club, I can tell you that I did not tell a single of my sisters about my political activism – because I didn’t want to be alienated.”
I can definitely relate to this. I found out about Ron Paul at the end of my freshman year in college and I remember women started looking down upon me and thinking I was strange for my Ron Paul “obsession” — as they called it. When I told them I was thinking of starting a libertarian club, they gave me a weird look and told me to stop being a “nerd.” I became an outcast to my female peers because of my political views.
But it was “cool” to be a liberal activist. I remember my friends doing activism for Darfur.
The video is simplistic and generalizes because it is a 2 minute YouTube video.
I was attempting to show that some women believe that being liberal is “normal” due to popular culture. Liberalism is everywhere in popular culture. Popular women’s magazines promote casual sex which I disagree with– but my views on casual sex have nothing to do with my libertarianism. It was merely a point to show that popular culture is well, liberal. Abortion is also a liberal viewpoint that is promoted by pop culture. Though some libertarians are pro choice.
I then poked fun at current pop culture that is targeted at women. It has always been funny to me how popular culture women’s magazines have really expensive products in them and then support taxpayers funding birth control. If you can afford $200 lipstick, you should be able to afford birth control. Of course, if you watch my other videos you’ll know that I like my videos to be more on the fun side.
Not all women are the same and we do not all fit into gender stereotypes. Clearly. Most libertarian women that I have met have been confident and care far less than the average person about what other people think about them. To proudly and publicly hold a belief that is outside the mainstream– you have to be a certain type of person.
As my Facebook friend continues to say: “Just because the situation isn’t the best doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be acknowledged and that she doesn’t have a point. Freedom should be popular. Everyone is welcome to these views. — The problem is that these views are not necessarily welcome to everyone else.”
I do not think women are “stupid” or incapable of thinking on their own. I just realize that there are a lot of societal pressures on women to act and believe a certain way. There are likely numerous reasons why there are far more males than females in the libertarian/liberty movement but this point should be made: men are more likely to embrace views outside the mainstream.
I want more men AND women in the libertarian movement. That’s why I want to make it a part of popular culture.