In 2004, my second year of university, I read Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson and I became an avid libertarian. Upon hearing the news a friend invited me to an economic freedom group and, excited with my new community, I eagerly attended. When I looked around I noticed something about all the attendees: they were nearly all men.
I’ve been to various political rallies and supported various causes, and I’ve never seen gender disparity like that before.
I asked Being Libertarian’s Anna Trove on our old podcast why this is and her response was, “Women don’t even go to the bathroom by ourselves. The philosophy of individualism is out the window for most of us.”
Individualism often finds itself as the target of feminist criticisms. Feminists think in collectivist vocabulary. They use terms like systemic injustices, and their arguments often begin with, “We, as a society…”
On a sweltering hot day, the last day of my university life, I was eager to get out and enjoy my new freedom, and the Sun. I had to first write my concluding paragraph for a paper on the philosophy of feminism. Two circles within feminism had two very different ideas to promote their cause within the sciences.
The first was Helen Longino’s assertion: Women aren’t encouraged by society to enter into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and medicine) fields and we should do more to encourage them to don the lab coat.
The second assertion is that women think differently from men, and the ways in which women excel are dismissed by society: Midwives (female-dominated), who learn from experience and empathy, were historically more beneficial to patients than doctors (male-dominated) who were calloused and scientific; yet society preferred the male-dominated field. The assertion is that we should elevate more feminine thought processes.
The takeaway is that women either don’t innately think in a calloused, detached, evidential and rational way, or they’re taught to think differently. In either case, the detachment of a science like economics doesn’t appeal to women. This either is the case innately or it is the case and it ought not to be so, but in either situation, it is the case.
Consider price fixing on goods as necessary as water. During the Texas floods of last year, the price of water rose to heights of $99 per case, from the average of $5 per case. The cruelty of a store owner to do this during a time of emergency offends us all, but to people that think empathetically, it’s especially offensive. This was counterbalanced by Puerto Rico that had strict price controls on water.
In spite of the fact that per capita, there were more emergency responders sent to Puerto Rico and more funds sent to Puerto Rico than Texas, their problem persisted while the Texans very quickly received aid. The answer to the question why is: because of price fixing.
The free market, in seeing the price jump recognized the shortage of supply and responded quickly supplying Texans with an abundance of water cases because of the excessive profit margins – the increased supply eventually caused market competition and the price quickly dwindled to a more reasonable price.
Meanwhile, the market ignored Puerto Rico because the market was asked to ignore them by their own leaders through price fixing. Texans received water, quickly, and at reasonable prices, while Puerto Ricans didn’t.
If water is selling for $99/case, by the end of the day someone will have airlifted water into the region at $50/case, and the next morning water will be selling for $30/case. This will go on for a day or so, and the water crisis is quickly resolved. This was never permitted to happen in Puerto Rico.
Justin Trudeau gave one of his worst interviews during the campaign with a Maritime reporter, Steve Murphy.
Murphy continually asked him for the numbers on his spending promises, to which Trudeau had none to give. Eventually he went on the offensive against Murphy and suggested that Murphy approached politics with a calculator while Trudeau can speak to Canadians. People who think in terms of STEM find this remarkably absurd.
It’s problematic that if the numbers don’t add up in Trudeau’s budgets, he won’t be helping Canadians at all. Wages will remain stagnant while power bills go up, grocery bills go up, and our tax bills will go up.
Trudeau is on the record claiming that he will grow the economy from the heart outward, but as the calculator dictates, his plans have serious economic consequences and the rhetoric that appears caring is actually destructive.
Rational thinkers find the empty rhetoric of growing the economy from the heart outward, while simultaneously making life harder on the poor and middle class, highly offensive.
Feminists have supplied us with the premise that on average, women don’t think in terms of STEM. Economics as a science requires an appraisal that is thoroughly calloused at times, which people who don’t appreciate STEM will find highly offensive.
The end result is that if women don’t think in terms of calloused rationalism, they won’t find libertarianism at all appealing.
If it were the case that only Canadian women were permitted to vote, Trudeau would win a majority government easily. If only Canadian men were to vote, Trudeau would be swiftly defeated.
George W. Bush was the most unpopular president in the U.S. during my lifetime, and yet his approval ratings are polled higher for Americans than Trudeau’s are among Canadian men.
There’s a discrepancy between men and women but that doesn’t imply individualism is wrong.
On my final day of university, I concluded that Longino was right.
We do need to encourage women to adopt the calloused STEM approach. $99 per case of water isn’t how most women think, but unlike the opposing view it has the virtue of actually being getting water to people; going beyond stage-one-thinking – it’s actually compassionate.
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