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Facebook Post on Essential Women of Liberty Book

I posted on Facebook about a new book, The Essential Women of Liberty [website; pdf] which includes 10 profiles including that of Deirdre McCloskey, formerly Donald. The editor, Aeon Skoble, a former friend, has now defriended me as have some other longtime friends/acquaintances. Oh well. Their loss. I’m not backing down.

In case Facebook censors the post, I am reproducing it below:


I wonder what other prominent and notable women of liberty were edged out of this list of 10 “essential” “women” of liberty by the inclusion of D.N. McCloskey. Jesus Christ.

For example, to leave Wendy McElroy off–she is such a pioneer! And there are many other possible candidates– I mean, I dunno, how about… Bettina Bien Greaves, Voltairyne de Claire, Mary Ruwart, Marty Zupan, Linda Tannehill… many others. Or even Virginia Postrel herself, who wrote the Foreword.

Interesting comments from Postrel about why “women” are included in this book:

“Some of these writers emphasize empiricism, others theory. Addressing why the West grew rich, one has written a three-volume history informed by literature, culture, and massive amounts of data. Another developed the metaphor of mechanical energy to argue for the freedom of creative individuals. One blamed the Great Depression on contractionary monetary policy, another on Americans “declining resilience” in the face of hardship.

Why put such a heterogeneous group in the same volume? The obvious answer is that THEY ARE WOMEN. They are not the norm for scholars or public intellectuals or, for most of history, thinking human beings. However dissimilar their work may be, they seem to belong together. Anna Schwartz’s data-rich monetary economics may appear to have little in common with Ayn Rand’s popular novels, but their differences are overwhelmed by the SOCIAL CONDITIONS OF GENDER.

It is no accident that there are more journalists here than professors. Since the eighteenth century, commercial publishing has been more open to women writers—and their readers—than universities have been to female students or scholars.”

One wonders if McCloskey, who changed names at 56, had those difficulties.

Or: “For all its practical disadvantages, there is something intellectually liberating about being an outsider. If you don’t belong, you are free to think in fresh categories.”

Was McCloskey–Donald until age 56–such an “outsider”? Hmm.

Select Comments (that FB is apparently censoring):

Aeon J. Skoble:

Don’t appreciate the public second-guessing and implicit hostility, nor the anti-trans bigotry. But since you asked, we couldn’t possibly include every woman who has made any conceivable contribution to liberty. Resources, as perhaps you’ve heard, are scarce.

Stephan Kinsella

Aeon J. Skoble Aeon, lots of people may cravenly fall in line to the new woke SJW bullying, but not all of us. I am an actual feminist, or supporter at least, and think men are men and women are women. I don’t give a rat’s ass if you or anyone else wants to use the left’s smear words instead of rational argument. I think it’s frankly disgraceful and misogynistic to include a man in a book about women libertarians.

Aeon J. Skoble:

That’s outrageous. I’m done here.

Stephan Kinsella:

Aeon J. Skoble You should know that there’s an increasing number of us, including many actual feminists, who are refusing to be bullied by these bullshit tactics. Those of us who can resist the bullying ought to do so.

Aeon J. Skoble:

If your claim is that I’m an SJW or that I’m easy prey for bullies, that’s moronic.

Stephan Kinsella:

Aeon J. Skoble No, I’m saying you are engaging in bullying here. Shame on you. Calling me a bigot. In your heart–as a good person, as an individualist, as a libertarian, as a philosopher and adherent of reason–you know I’m right. You don’t level such charges without good reason. I think the trans stuff is complete bullshit. Men are men and women are women; sex is binary, and men and women are categories that refer to sex. No one has “a gender”. You cannot change your sex, and you have no gender to change. Despite all this, people have a right to change their names and dress how they want.
You might disagree but that does not mean I’m a bigot. How dare you. You are adopting the bullying tactics of the left, which are utterly dishonest.
I side with the radical feminists here who would in fact view your inclusion of a man, in a top-10 list of woman, as bizarre and outrageous and even misogynistic. I am not alone in this. We can all disagree on this and thankfully we live in a free enough society where you can publish whatever book you want and use whatever words you want. But you know when you included DM in your list of top 10 women you would get pushback, so don’t now look for the fainting couch.
If you disagree with our stance on this new-found trans movement, fine, but don’t call people who disagree bigots without good evidence. That’s unacceptable. You should apologize, and you know you should.
But I’m not the kind of guy you can cow or bully with these accusations. Sorry, but it won’t work on me, bud.

Stephan Kinsella:

Aeon, a longtime friend, has just deFOOED me. His loss. The reason these people can’t bully me is because they can’t cancel me because I don’t need them.
Update: More back and forth with Aeon in this Twitter thread.
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