Apparently, Feminists support drunk driving.
The CDC released an infographic warning women against the dangers of binge drinking. Feminists were outraged. I mean, it’s just like those silly drunk-driving commercials – people should be able to get drunk and do whatever they want without being held accountable for the consequences. Right? Right?
Admittedly, I’m being a little facetious here, and straw-manning their outrage. They don’t support drunk driving per se, but the point is that their argument is the equivalent of that.
A core component of modern feminism is the notion of hypoagency – the idea that certain individuals (e.g. women) lack agency in their own actions. They lack control. They are not actors … rather, they are acted upon. The corollary to that argument being that they are NOT responsible for their own actions.
In essence, the argument is that certain individuals (e.g. women) are children.
This view lies at the heart of the “victim mentality” that underscores modern Feminism and Progressivism, i.e. “playing the victim”. But make no mistake, it is in reality a cleverly disguised play for power. Turning their “position of weakness” into strength, into control. A corrupted form of power. But power nonetheless. And such power – unconstrained, unchecked – leads to tyrannical behavior, morphing into a method to control without seeming to be in control.
The real problem though is that the notion of hypoagency is in direct conflict with the principles of Liberalism … with the Doctrine of Individualism. If individuals are not actors responsible for their own actions, their own choices … then there is no need to empower individuals. For it is personal accountability and rational self-interest that fuels free markets and free speech, that engenders the vibrant discourse a democracy requires. Yet the argument of Progressives and Feminists/SJWs is that those things do not exist, at least not for certain members of our society. That certain members are not capable of such agency, and must be “protected”.
Or, to say it more simply, modern Feminists and Progressives are arguing for the opposite of Liberalism.
This of course brings us to the “Pink Tax” outrage that’s been going on for the last year or so, and recently has reared its ugly head again in a slew of publications (e.g. this or this). Of course, the so-called Pink Tax is largely a myth … in that it ignores the fundamental basis of Supply and Demand in free markets.
In reality, women constitute 70-80% of consumer spending. Companies charge more for female-oriented products because they can. Women spend more money, are are more likely to buy “luxury” options of goods like shampoos and cosmetics, and more invested in the social standing such spending represents. Women, for whatever reason, like to shop. This isn’t fucking rocket science.
The Reason had an excellent article (“The Pink Tax” is a Myth”) about how, given the facts in the preceding paragraph, you either have to accept the fact that women are choosing to pay more for products because they view them as “worth” it, or argue that women are being beguiled by marketers because they are too gullible. The latter argument essentially suggesting that women lack intelligence and/or agency. Yet the latter argument is exactly what Feminists are suggesting … seriously WTF?
Alternatively, perhaps, could it simply be the case that in order to get Men to buy fancy shampoos and stuff, you have to lower the price?? Crazy idea, I know …
Of course, none of these arguments about Supply and Demand matter to Feminists or Progressives. Even though the free markets are operating as intended – aligning efficient societal mechanisms with individual behavior and proper incentives – they are outraged. Or to be perfectly clear, they are outraged by free markets operating as they should. They, like all authoritarians, want to control the market in order to make it benefit certain groups over others.
That is NOT a liberal stance. It underscores the fact that progressives and their feminist/SJW allies are NOT liberals. I’d venture to say they don’t even understand liberalism.
I could get into the fact that men, despite only constituting 20-25% of consumer spending, pay 60% of federal taxes in the United States, and roughly 66% in Canada. Which just reinforces the point that, as a proportion to personal wealth, women spend a lot more than men. They actually even spend a lot of other people’s money, after you factor in those women who are married and/or spending government assistance dollars.
But the real point here is that Feminists and Progressives omitting all the evidence pointing to the fact women ARE being treated fairly in free markets – in order to undermine those markets – should be a warning to all true liberals that feminists and progressives/SJWs are NOT liberals. I don’t think the point can be made any clearer. The danger is not the “other side” of the spectrum … it is extremism in any form.
Any rational man in this environment has to ask tough questions about the reality of these “issues” – whether they be CDC infographics about female binge drinking or complaints about the “Pink Tax”. It is a duty to himself, a duty to the men around him, as well as to the women. But moreover it is a duty to his own Classical Liberalism. A man needs hard edges, unwithering frame in the face of all storms. For if we won’t defend the principles we claim to espouse, and instead let others redefine them till they bear little to no resemblance to the originals, then it is we who have forsaken those principles. Forsaken our duty. Forsaken our liberalism.
For without principles, there is no Liberalism. And without men who know how to say “No”, there are no principles. Freedom is a thing that derives from boundaries.