I am a male and I do not identify as a feminist. My political philosophy would be described by most as radical libertarianism, to the extent of anarchism. Although it took time, through the exercise of this train of thought it has become increasingly easier to consider myself an ally of the feminist sentiment. Libertarians, as Lord Acton put it, hold freedom as the highest political end and believe that the coercive use of force against a person’s property (including their body) is illegitimate, and that violence is only acceptable in self-defense.
With that said, rape is as clear-as-day a violation of this moral stance, and as dark-as-night a crime as there is. There is also a serious problem in the “justice” system of this country surrounding this crime. Murray Rothbard, economist, historian, and political theorist pointed out:
[A]ccused rapists have been treated far more gently by authorities than accused perpetrators of other forms of bodily assault. In fact, rape victims are often virtually treated as the guilty party by law enforcement agents—an attitude which is almost never taken toward victims of other crimes. Clearly, an impermissible sexual double standard has been at work.1
He then proposed:
The double standard imposed by government can be remedied by removing rape as a special category of legal and judicial treatment, and of subsuming it under the general law of bodily assault. Whatever standards are used for judges’ instructions to the jury, or for the admissibility of evidence, should be applied similarly in all these cases. This brings me to the next two problems: the monstrous state with all parts of its apparatus working against women’s lib, and the feminist’s collusion with said monster.2
It does not take a historian to determine that the state has been at the opposing end of women’s personal freedom for centuries. Slavery, marital rape, the Comstock Laws (banning contraception and the distribution of information regarding abortion), and sexist public school indoctrination merely scratch the surface of iniquitous acts against women at the hands of our best friend, the government.
Thus, it would be in the best interest of the feminist to oppose its oppressor, instead of embracing it or asking it for a hand in liberation as many in the modern movement do. The latter will prove to be a fruitless effort parallel to a slave asking a slave master to unlock the shackles from around their feet.
Many feminists laud the current head of the state, Barack Obama, as a woman’s rights hero, which could not be further from the truth when taking into account that the president orders predatory drone strikes that blow up women in foreign countries on a daily basis, and sends aid in the billions to governments that barely recognize women as humans. This further proves that women should be in favor of a path which invokes more nongovernmental solutions to dissolving patriarchal characteristics of our social system, as opposed to the coercive state-sanctioned solutions.
“Let Woman ask herself, ‘Why am I the slave of Man? Why is my brain said not to be the equal of his brain? Why is my work not paid equally with his? Why must my body be controlled by my husband? Why may he take my labor in the household, giving me in exchange what he deems fit? Why may he take my children from me? Will them away while yet unborn?’ Let every woman ask.” — Voltairine de Cleyre
1. Murray N. Rothbard, For A New Liberty (New York: Collier Books, 2002), 105.
2. Ibid., 106.