For the sake of preserving the integrity of what will follow, I’m going to publish, unmolested by my “patriarchal” thoughts, this post by Bridget Crawford from Feminist Law Professors:
[A]s ideologies and movements, libertarianism and feminism have a lot to offer one another. Not every libertarian matter is necessarily a feminist one, of course (and vice versa). Libertarianism can, however, provide a lens through which to view gender issues, and in doing so help counter the monopoly that a more coercive, carceral feminism has come to enjoy.
“Carceral feminism” is a term that’s gaining popularity, and it’s in many ways synonymous with progressive feminism these days. Progressive feminists will identify gender-based concerns, then immediately look to the state for solutions—via strict regulation, at least, or criminalization and jail in many instances. Carceral feminism is the relatively small but incredibly vocal voice within millennial feminism that says due process can be sacrificed if it means catching a few more rapists, hate speech should come with a jail sentence, and images promoting “unrealistic” female body standards should be banned by the government, among other things. * * *
Libertarian feminism seeks to provide an alternative way of viewing these issues, one that emphasizes the negative, unintended consequences of increased government intervention and policing power. It can provide a jumping-off point for considering less coercive, less reactionary, and less rights-infringing solutions; be a third-way between patriarchy-preserving social conservatism and the intolerant, illiberal feminists sometimes referred to as “social justice warriors” these days.
And for libertarians, a feminist perspective can enrich the scope of our battle to lessen government coercion and maximize liberty. Libertarian feminists bring overlooked or under-emphasized issues into the liberty movement, such as reproductive freedom (not just abortion but things like making birth control available over-the-counter, state coercion of pregnant women, surrogacy law, and the emerging legal issues surrounding things like IVF and artificial wombs), state overreach into parenting, the over-regulation of female-heavy occupations, how decriminalizing sex work fits into overall criminal-justice reform efforts, and the growth of women as a percentage of millennial libertarians. * * *
Feminism is, essentially, concerned with ensuring that neither biological sex nor gender should be destiny. Releasing everyone from strongly gendered expectations—and the policy they spawn—is a good way to maximize liberty, happiness, and human flourishing.
To me, claiming the feminist label is no different than calling myself a libertarian. They both inform my beliefs, but neither has primacy and neither requires strict allegiance. I don’t “belong” to or consider myself a “member” of either, as people often do with major political parties. They are guiding principles, microscopes, ways of being curious, not dogma nor identities.
The full post is available here.
This column caught my eye for many reasons, including its use of the phrase “carceral feminism,” which hasn’t gained much of a foothold in the legal academy (many critics preferring Janet Halley’s term “governance feminism,” which is not quite the same thing). I will be interested to watch whether it gains more traction among legal scholars critical of so-called “mainstream” feminist theory.
Granted, the specific language is of little interest to anyone outside of those who consider feminist theory a critical part of their world, but consider the shockingly flagrant position of “carceral feminism.”
“Carceral feminism” is a term that’s gaining popularity, and it’s in many ways synonymous with progressive feminism these days. Progressive feminists will identify gender-based concerns, then immediately look to the state for solutions—via strict regulation, at least, or criminalization and jail in many instances. Carceral feminism is the relatively small but incredibly vocal voice within millennial feminism that says due process can be sacrificed if it means catching a few more rapists, hate speech should come with a jail sentence, and images promoting “unrealistic” female body standards should be banned by the government, among other things.
I applaud Crawford. By posting this, she has provided some serious transparency to advocacy that has been clouded by lies, manipulation and deception. This is tantamount to a confession that the goal of hard-core milliennial feminists is to use the criminal laws and incarceration as a weapon to silence their enemies, to promote their self-interest. It’s raw and honest.
It’s horrifically wrong. Hiding behind the tearful appeals to emotion is a very deliberate scheme to feminist interests at the expense of men. Some, at least the ones smart enough to realize that the spin is just nonsensical rationalizations proffered to persuade the ignorant to hop aboard and support the feminist cause, are well aware of their purpose to sacrifice men, due process, free speech, in order to get their way. And as this shows, they are open and notorious about it.
But the vast majority of people who support the approach of carceral feminists, progressive feminists, millennial feminists, have no clue that its purpose is so nefarious, so Machiavellian in its purpose to sacrifice precious rights for female self-interest.
At the end of the most well-intentioned law in the history of laws, there’s a cop. That’s what we’re talking about here. The rest is window dressing.
That’s the bottom line of neo-feminism, the idea that you’ve desperately avoided thinking about while spouting about your feelings and platitudes that just happen to suit your concerns. This isn’t about believing in equality. This is a carceral feminist scorched earth scheme. You just didn’t realize it because it was serving your self-interest. Now you know, and you can’t un-know it anymore.
H/T Peter Brownback