Monday, January 30, 2006

Can't I Get a copy of "Libertarianism: A Little More than the Primer"?

So, I'm trying to read Libertarianism: A Primer. It's not going so well. I can only read until I get irate, which means I'm covering about ten paragraphs at a time. I've scoffed repeatedly, but so far only had to throw the book down in disgust twice--the first being when the author claimed that people have always had property rights and the second being when he claimed that student loans were a symptom of evil government. His ability to simplify everything the government does as "evil" is annoying the piss out of me. Surely there's a more nuanced argument to be made for libertarianism. Maybe he'll get to it. We'll see. But I'm intrigued by his choice to use "man" and "he" and "his" throughout the book. The author says right up front that he's going to do it, use male pronouns to stand for everyone. And at first I was like "Okay, this is annoying, but I'll stick with it." But on my walk with Mrs. Wigglebottom this morning, I got to thinking about a discussion I had with Sarcastro (which is here someplace at Tiny Cat Pants, but I can't even begin to find it) about how I said I'm not going to go around spelling it "womyn" because I refuse to concede more ground to this ridiculous notion that "man" means male folks, when really, it's always been a word that refers to all folks and it's only the anxiety of the weapon-men about their "weapons" that led them to try to coopt the generic for everyone as referring solely to them. And then Sarcastro made some crack about how "woman" means basically the trading-men and, oh, ha, ha, I wonder what they had to trade? Which would be more annoying if it wasn't true. We have been trading sexual access to our bodies for security for ourselves and our offspring since the rise of property rights. And we've been at the mercy of a free sexual market for all that time. How's that worked out for us? So, you see my suspicion, that if one wants to talk about what successful libertarianism looks like, it's best that one makes sure to gloss over the ongoing less successful version. But I was watching a little CNN Headline News last night and caught an interview with the author of Self-Made Man which is about a woman who passes as a man for some length of time in order to find out about the secret lives of men. One interesting thing she said in the interview was how her experience made her realize just how much power women have over men and that she's come to respect women less after having to deal with us like men do. This has actually been something that's come up repeatedly here--that women have all this power over men, with the implication being how can we bitch about the patriarchy and the ways the system sucks for us when we clearly have the best end of the bargain? And I haven't really addressed it because 1. I'm not sure I even begin to understand how men feel powerless in the face of women; 2. "Patriarchy" is not so easily about all men lording over all women, it's a name for a system of gender relations under which we all suffer. Pointing out my problems doesn't negate yours; and 3. I think I'm starting to believe that the real work of damaging women is done by other women so that it's almost invisible to men. It's done under the guise of being beneficial to men and it does benefit men, but they rarely have to see it. God. What does any of this have to do with libertarianism? I don't know. Maybe nothing. We'll see.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's like that in Spanish too. The pronoun for a group of men is 'ellos' and for a group of women is 'ellas'. A mixed gender group is 'ellos'.

I'm not sure I even begin to understand how men feel powerless in the face of women
I may get into trouble for this one, but women are more prone to emotional manipulation than men. That's why I always have to be the one to bring all the groceries in from the car when it's raining, or why I end up walking her dog when it's freezing out. A lot of men have a protective streak when it comes to women, and some women take advantage of that mercilessly. It's mighty hard to resist that sort of thing. Not quite the powerless feeling you're referring to, but still....

w

1/30/2006 01:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://waitingwithbatedbreath.blogspot.com/2006/01/mans-best-friend.html

w

1/30/2006 01:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry. Wrong link. Lemme try again.

Try this one.

1/30/2006 01:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Chris Wage said...

Who wrote it?

Libertarianism at its heart is a relatively simple idea, but it's one that means a lot of different things to different people.

It's often (too often) used, sadly, as an excuse to apologize for entrenched capitalism under the guise of "free market" ideology.. This sort of approach would probably not make the best intro to libertarianism as a tool for critiquing the world.

1/30/2006 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Holy shit, W., we're coming back to this.

Chris, it's David Boaz.

1/30/2006 01:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it intervention time B?

w

1/30/2006 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

I'm just distracted by all the smooching talk going on in this thread.

Plus, I find it really gross to trade blow jobs for good behavior. If your dick is in my mouth, it's because I want to delight you, not because I want you to take the garbage out.

1/30/2006 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger Nashville Knucklehead said...

Men don't feel powerless in the face of women except one area. Your sexuality, implied or blatant, is like kryptonite.

Men are really easy. Feed us and fuck us. And the feeding part is optional. We'll follow you anywhere. Believe me, I've done it. More than once.

1/30/2006 05:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

Have I told you my whole theory on the dick sucking/garbage-taking-out dynamic?

1/30/2006 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

No. You've gotten drunkenly angry at women who use the threat of withholding sex in order to get their own way, but I don't know that you've given specific examples. Though, if we're together and you've been drinking, clearly I've been drinking...

1/30/2006 06:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

Short version.
There are two kinds of people in the world, those who suck dick and those who take out the trash.

Women who don't suck dick usually wind up having to take out the trash.

Although, now that I think about it, I have dated girls whose exceptions prove the rule.

1/30/2006 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Oh whatever. You've dated everyone--girls who prove the rule, exceptions to the rule, exceptions to the exceptions to the rule. Listening to you talk about women is like listening to a fish try to talk about water.

1/30/2006 07:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

Brothers are we!
Born to be free!
Just like the fish in the sea!

1/30/2006 07:54:00 PM  

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