Kerry Howley points out that people who treat “libertarian” and “feminist” as antonyms are, by and large, really fucking dumb:
For some reason, various libertarian-leaning men are only capable of acknowledging the limiting nature of social norms when those norms result from recent political action. We all worry that universal surveillance breeds passive adults with no expectation of privacy. We all worry that smoking bans will encourage people to accept the diminution of their choices uncomplainingly. We all realize that the more the state does, the broader most people think its natural scope to be. No thinking libertarian is only concerned with coercion; most of us worry just as much about conformity and passivity in the form of president-worship and war-lust.
It is extremely weird to recognize this sort of social pressure–the ability of government to create limiting expectations and norms of behavior–and then to immediately dismiss claims about the social construction of gender. States and patriarchies both engender certain patterns of behavior. Humans with female bodies have been dumped into a particular social category with various limiting assumptions, and they’re right to struggle against them.
If Todd wants to argue that women aren’t oppressed because they accept their assigned roles, he’d better be willing to accept the idea that governmental authority is not oppressive because most people don’t complain. Libertarians spend an enormous amount of time telling people that they are, in fact, oppressed. We don’t call it “consciousness raising” when we explain why you ought to be able to shoot up while selling your kidney to a sex worker, but that’s what it is.