GAYS, LESBIANS, AND LIBERTARIANISM
A conversation on a Usenet group brought up an observation I've noted about the classical liberal/libertarian movement that has persisted over the course of the now more than 20 years I've been involved. There are, and have been, a goodly number of prominent gay men in both the academic and policy sides of the movement for many, many years, and the Libertarian Party has had a gay rights plank and gay men involved for many years as well. And in the more recent past, there's been a flourishing of openly gay conservative men. All this is to the good I think. But it raises an interesting question: why don't we see many (any?) prominent libertarian lesbians?
Now perhaps they are there and I just don't know about them, and if so, mea culpa, and please don't name names! Still, given the increasing numbers of libertarian women in the academic, policy, and political worlds, it's surprising that open lesbians remain so few in number or at least so far below the radar.
Obviously, I'm not trying to out people, but it is curious and the real question to me is whether or not there's something about the way libertarianism is couched, or about the underlying ideas (perhaps maybe the focus on rights?) that makes it far more attractive to homosexual men than women. I'm also not interested in launching a recruiting drive; nonetheless, it remains a fascinating question about the culture of the libertarian movement and the broader culture as well. (I also think a parallel argument can be made about the conservative movement.) It's the question of"why" that I find fascinating. Of course I may start hearing that I need to check my premise here! If my initial assumption is wrong, I'm happy to hear about it.
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Boo Boo Kitty - 8/15/2006
Plus, *I* might be famous one day...
Though, you are right. There aren't many lesbian libertarians.
Proof...I am single, good-looking, and successful, yet I'm perpetually single. Not for lack of opportunity, rather, I simply can't be with someone whose politics I don't respect. So, I'm up at 3AM, typing 'lesbian libertarians' into a search engine.
Mark D. Fulwiler - 1/10/2004
I can't tell you the reasons, but libertarianism in general is much more attractive to men than to women. Check out the male to female ratio at ANY libertarian event. It's usually about 10-1. And the ratio of gay men to lesbians in the general population is about 2-1, so one wouldn't expect many lesbian libertarians. Still, the almost total lack of lesbian libertarians is a puzzle.
I did have an openly lesbian libertarian professor in college, who was not politically active, but I can't think of one even ~semi-famous~ openly lesbian female libertarian --- EVER.
I used to have an informal gay libertarian "social" every so often at my apartment here in San Francisco. Never had a lesbian show up.
At the 2000 LP convention in Anaheim, there was one transgengered female who showed up for the gay party, and a few straight women.