Sex and Liberty: Why Puritanism Fails Both

I have long considered myself a liberal, politically-speaking, and a libertarian, philosophically-speaking. Unlike many of my fellow liberty activists, I do not shy away from that association, and often find it preferable to the same comparisons said others get on the conservative side of the spectrum. After all, liberals have a history of protesting unjust wars, identifying the causes correctly, and marching on Washington in an attempt to attack authority and change the status quo.

But then I remember – those were the liberals of the 1960s and 1970s, and we are now a long way from that. Many current liberals now seem to protest over much smaller things – comparatively petty, really. With their student activists trying to re-brand inconvenient speech as “hate speech,” fight for economically unsound causes like a federally-mandated minimum wage raise across all businesses, small and large, and of course, one of the latest additions to the Social Justice Warrior’s arsenal, the irritatingly conversation stopping neologism, “mansplaining.”

Yes, indeed – as much as I still prefer the liberal label, recent history notwithstanding, I can’t help but feel like more and more the modern liberal forces just as much ridiculous, strangling puritanism upon society as the rabid, war-hungry, bigoted conservatives. And that’s disheartening. Most recently, I’ve seen a strain in modern feminism that attacks female sexual freedom as “wrong,” “subjugating,” and “demeaning.”

However, I do not see it that way. I see sexual freedom – of the male or female nature, since we’re after equality – to be just another beautiful expression of bodily autonomy that is just as much at home with abortion rights as it is the right to put any substance in one’s own body. These other two issues are things that liberals (rightfully) rally behind, and yet for some reason they choose to shame women who, finally liberated and proud of their sexuality after centuries of being made to feel ashamed of it, choose to enjoy their bodies in their own way, by their own choice.

“Feminists” who wish to outlaw sex work, including prostitution, escort services, and pornography, have absolutely as much right to tell women what to do with their bodies as the Evangelicals – none whatsoever.

So the next time a liberal feminist complains about how a woman has “no self-respect” for herself if she chooses to be sexually promiscuous, you can share this article with that person. And then promptly invite him/her to kiss your free ass.

This article was edited for grammar, style, and spelling, but not for content. The views expressed are that of the author, Micah J. Fleck, exclusively, and do not reflect that of BeingLibertarian.com or Being Libertarian LLC

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mjf2184@columbia.edu'/
Micah J. Fleck is a journalist and political writer who has spent the past several years developing his sincere-yet-indecypherable political outlook through independent research. While an enthusiast of both American history and economics, Mr. Fleck typically comes at his topics from a more anthropological perspective. His writings and interviews have been featured in various publications - including The National Review, The Libertarian Republic, The Wall Street Journal, and The College Fix - and he is currently earning a degree in anthropology at Columbia University. To support this author's work, visit his website.

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