Angela Keaton–Against Me: A Libertarian Feminist Diary

AngelaInsertC4SS

Posted to C4SS

By Angela Keaton
February 17, 2016

You are not lady like.” — Mexican Marxist and former employer.

YOU YOU YOU YOU KNOW YOU ARE NOT FEMININE!” — Canadian former child star, drunk, trying to navigate a stick shift while … drunk.

Why do you work here if you hate men?” — Shit bag and strip club general manager.

BITCH..BITCH..BITCH” — former LNC chair to colleague of my employer upon hearing my name.

When I was watching [Maleficent‏], she totally reminded me of you…” — Economist.

Look [Antiwar.com] hired you because…they like having an attractive girl around.” — Ex-husband.

***

I don’t hate men. Not even a little. My masculinity is in admiration for men and the contributions they make to the world. For most of my life, they made the overwhelming majority of friends. As with the #NotAll[fill in the blank], it should not need to be stated but everyone is a member of the goddamn PC police. Everyone. You too.

There are no problems with those quoted above who stated what any fool knows. I am not feminine. Don’t pretend to be. I don’t closely identify with women or as a woman. Not sure I have ever even said, “as a woman…” As for the other comments, that’s a shame.

My ex-husband said things like that all the time. He was very supportive. Without his ability to provide, how could I ever possibly have fed myself? Of course, referring to someone well past 30 as “girl” is awesome. I know because back in the 90s, Christina Hoff Sommers told us so. The kids have rediscovered her. Hopefully, next time they will take up off track betting.

Don’t fret. As with the Mexican Marxist, asshole sexism doesn’t need libertarianism or white men. Back when I was on the social networks, tankie dickweeds, faux-lefties and other cons would regularly explain the problems of the Kochs/Pauls/Libertarian Power Class to me. If only instead of engaging people who contribute nothing but grief, I should have found the gonads to write: “Go mansplain your pinko shit elsewhere, fuck face.”


Finish the article here.

Ms. Keaton is Director of Operations at antiwar.com. She served as an At-Large member to the LNC, and also as Executive Director at the CA LP. She will be the keynote speaker at the Libertarian Party of California convention at the L A Hilton April 1 through 3, 29016.

65 thoughts on “Angela Keaton–Against Me: A Libertarian Feminist Diary

  1. Michael H. Wilson

    Just a quick comment.

    I read this earlier elsewhere and find it interesting to say the least. I spent about 20 years working in the oil field and construction industry, which is primarily dominated by men. And the last 18 at Nordstrom, which in case you don’t know is a retail company that sells primarily to women. I didn’t do anything special there but I did work alongside a large number of women and spent some time supervising them.

    One thing I found out over the years is that men and women gossip about others at about the same rate. Rudeness is a social problem that both genders seem to have an excess supply of.

    The Libertarian party seems to have to deal with a lot of it because the organization has a lot of young males who for some reason never learned any social skills.

    Over the years I have criticized the party for not doing a better job of reaching out the women voters and welcoming them into the party. I also feel that we have not reached out to young people either. We have not learned how to tailor our message to make either group welcome.

    Personally I think the word respect should show up more often in our work.

  2. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I know Angela fairly well, but I was still stunned at some of the things she said. I haven’t personally experienced as much as she has, but I’ll definitely admit that even the libertarian men I know have problems with complex women. By “complex”, I mean highly intelligent, independent, dysfunctional, needy–all those things most of my close female friends are. That’s not unique to libertarian men, though. I know complex women are tough for most men to handle.

    I really needed to read this from her today because it shows she got out of her abusive bad marriage and survived.

    Maybe there’s hope for the rest of us.

  3. Chuck Moulton

    Michael H. Wilson wrote:

    The Libertarian party seems to have to deal with a lot of it because the organization has a lot of young males who for some reason never learned any social skills.

    I resemble that remark.

    On the one hand, I try to treat women with respect and refrain from sexist comments. On the other hand, I have been chastised for ogling (obliviously). I don’t know how to turn off or ignore attraction in my thoughts. Best I can do is to treat women like people and not be a jerk… that’s a good strategy for civil society even though it appears to be a terrible strategy for not being alone.

  4. Michael H. Wilson

    I will add a bit. I don’t think it is just a libertarian thing. I think the problem is one related to how we are raised. I see this in western society as well as the eastern society and it may have some religious ideas at the heart of the issue.

  5. Shane

    I just wasted minutes of my life reading Angela’s full article and have no clue what her point is. But, I’m not an intellectual, so whateves.

    The bottom line is that Angela has used her gender to her advantage . . . at least when it comes to the LP. But that’s not difficult. You can be a cave troll from Uganda and with the female anatomy, make headway at least with some Libertarians if you flaunt it. Angela purposefully did that and I don’t blame her. It was to her political advantage and I laughed along with her most of the time.

    I’ve also personally seen some creepy behavior to which she’s been the focus . . . but creepy behavior in the LP is no more prevalent than anywhere else.

    Social dynamics play a huge role in party politics and the formation of the base of supporters. It’s a reason why the LP fails at attracting men and women.

  6. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==The teenybopper who set up the coffee and donuts for the LNC meeting, Austin Petersen was his name, told me I needed to learn to flirt, wink and smile more with the men.
    Come here, kid. Listen carefully: I started working with architectural plans when I was six. When I was in my teens I read Maimonides and Aquinas between tennis and piano. I ghost wrote a book on voting rights in exchange for grants at 23 ? a year after I graduated law school where I edited a public policy journal. I under no circumstances ever need to prove to my value by winking, Toots.==

    Well well, her description of AWP?s behaviour is right in line with this lady?s observation as well. This observation being recent rather than something from 2008ish.

    Here is the screenshot. I have her permission to share. I redacted the information of other participants.

    Is this what you wish to nominate LP??

    But then again, inserting things like that isn?t unusual such as the recent statement to my husband that he is jealous of AWP (due to my intense opposition?. ). I doubt that would have been said about a male opponent.

    And there are also the pyramids. There are always the pyramids.

    If the LP/libertarianism is worried about being tone-deaf to women, one need not look much further to start. Personally, I don?t like the rudeness to anyone? women or men.

  7. NewFederalist

    It’s a thread like this that really makes me miss paulie! Get a computer soon my friend.

  8. NewFederalist

    “Did Paulie lose his computer again?” – Jill Pyeatt

    I believe he posted here a few days ago that it was stolen.

  9. Marc Montoni

    If anyone wants to know why the LP (and the libertarian movement in general) is not further along in its development than it is, this is a perfect illustration: distracting angst.

    Frankly I think that all “celebritarians” should simply be invited out of the movement. All this angst over how one is treated by others in the movement, my goodness. Take that fluff elsewhere and go start a county committee and doorhang a fucking precinct.

    Ms Keaton said:

    My first thought was “Why aren’t there more libertarian women?? Women can’t even be allowed to speak unless such speech is contexualized through some 30 year old feud, given official sanction by movement hall monitors, and the speakers shoved through a witch trial via ‘likes’.”

    On what planet in the movement are women not “allowed to speak”?

    Speech is a loud and raucous freedom; if one person has the freedom to express an opinion, guess what — everyone else has the same freedom. What’s this “allowed” shit, coming from a libertarian?

    My maternal instincts have long passed or they have transmogrified into my interest in seeing all the women in the libertarian movement freed not only from the state but the judgment of men who cannot imagine them as independent entities, competent, capable and complete with fully articulated inner lives.

    Why does a differing opinion have to be sexualized? How about women simply ignore men (or other women) they don’t like, and don’t look back?

    Before I came into my own ­ an autonomous, evolved, self actualized human ­ over the past few years, libertarian men kicked me in the face in three ways.

    “Libertarian men”? All of them? Or just a few you happened to notice because you decided you couldn’t ignore them?

    First, by bombarding me with their unwanted sexual attention in exchange for almost nothing; Secondly, lecturing me about “my sexuality” by telegraphing their hatred toward independent women in the movement. Thirdly, when the first two failed, threats and sanctions were made against me and my work.

    Do you think no Libertarian man has ever been lectured about his “bigotry against women” because he disagreed with someone — who happened to be female?

    Angela, we both attended the LP National Convention in 2008. You, I, and Susan, and maybe one or two other people spent a good bit of time at the Radicals booth, talking, making buttons, and commiserating over the asinine direction the majority was taking us (I mean, really — Barr and Root?). You even cried on my shoulder at one point you were so despondent.

    Did I ask anything of you in your moment of vulnerability? Did I try to grab anything? Did I try convincing you to come up to my room?

    No, I did not. Rest assured, at no time during that convention did I have even the least bit of sexual interest in you.

    I am sure there have been many others who value you purely for your friendship and smarts, and who don’t care what your attributes look like.

    But you won’t write about them, will you? They are invisible to you. And yet you are sanguine with lumping them together with the alpha assholes. They are in every movement and organization, and there are going to be a few in the libertarian movement (or the Party) as well — so don’t let the assholes be your limitation. Cease hanging out with people like that, actively and aggressively shun them, and don’t look back!

    Since the eighties, I have had a pet theory that while 90% of humans are independent individuals, there are about 10% that are part of a pod — they’re all interconnected. And the one true skill they have is how to screw with the other 90%. I was of the opinion that if one of them were thrown off of a bridge, all of them would drop.

    But seriously, and getting back to the main point of your article (where are the libertarian women) people are the same in every movement and in every other kind of business. The fact that Victoria’s Secret appeals to more women than men is not an indication that they must constantly navel-gaze and whine about why more men don’t come into the shop. Hillary’s campaign appeals to women more than men, and I don’t see the campaign team agonizing over their relative dearth of men.

    Our market is people who are libertarians, period. If that happens to be black welfare moms, fine. If that happens to be white transgendered tattoo artists, fine. If that happens to be Inuits aged between 14 and 34, fine. Whatever. The others who are not interested are not going to become interested by any act of ours. If trying to appeal to them means giving up aspects of the liberty we seek and which forms the core of the libertarian philosophy, then Hell No.

    We’re an ideology and a political movement; not a social-justice lint-picking commune, and we’re certainly not going to recruit non-libertarians by becoming less libertarian ourselves.

  10. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Marc Montoni said: “I am sure there have been many others who value you purely for your friendship and smarts, and who don’t care what your attributes look like.

    But you won’t write about them, will you?”

    What is this strange tendency you have to think that just because someone talks about something, they NEVER talk about something else? That’s as dumb as the people on FB who assume I like Hillary just because I don’t like Trump.

    There’s a whole lot of room between point A and point B. And just because I talk about A at this moment, doesn’t mean I never talk about B.

  11. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I also don’t understand this movement to negate someone’s feelings. Ms. Keaton has strong feelings about some experiences in her life. She chose to write about them. Perhaps you did spend time with her for a few days in 2008, Marc. That’s the weekend I met her. It seems she’s had some tremendous life experiences since them. Why be so quick to assume what she was like in 2008 is the same person she is in 2016?

    Jeez. SMH

  12. P.J. Sullivan

    I believe this is the same individual who, liveblogging during a meeting of the LNC, of which she was a member, wrote of a party employee, “Nice staff piece of ass, Casey. Dark, young and easy prey for a cougar like myself.”

  13. Marc Montoni

    I also don’t understand this movement to negate someone’s feelings. Ms. Keaton has strong feelings about some experiences in her life. She chose to write about them. Perhaps you did spend time with her for a few days in 2008, Marc. That’s the weekend I met her. It seems she’s had some tremendous life experiences since them. Why be so quick to assume what she was like in 2008 is the same person she is in 2016?

    She made a public pronouncement, lumped all libertarian men into it, and turned her complaint about a few she happened to find obnoxious, into a book-length indictment of the whole set of libertarian men. So responding to that kind of wide tar brush is somehow not appropriate?

    I don’t agree.

  14. Marc Montoni

    It flabbergasts me how many libertarians are just keyboard commandos and really nothing else.

    Like I said: start a county committee or doorhang a precinct.

  15. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    MM said: “It flabbergasts me how many libertarians are just keyboard commandos and really nothing else.

    Like I said: start a county committee or doorhang a precinct.”

    If you’re talking about me, I have non-computer activism in several areas of Los Angeles County, not that I owe anyone an explanation..

  16. Michael H. Wilson

    Marc when i was in Oregon I saw a fair amount of this kind of behavior and I have heard about it in Washington State now that I am over here. It is the sort of crap that never would cut it in the work place. I am not coming to Angela’s defense but only saying that I have seen it as well.

  17. Marc Montoni

    Michael, I have seen it as well; but it’s also not so prevalent. We had just such a problem with that same thing in the Richmond area LP I ran in 1996-1999. We had one regular who literally targeted every woman who walked in the door. Two or three of the very few women who bothered to come in the first place stopped attending; I ran into one of them a year or two later and she told me the same thing I had surmised: the individual in question made advances at her and made her uncomfortable.

    His most annoying habit was getting within your personal space (regardless of whether you were male or female), inches away from your face, and giving you long, unwanted harangues about minutiae that seemed to be of extreme importance to him.

    In any case, after I realized the deleterious effect he had on the group, I made it clear he was no longer welcome. He called me all sorts of names, accused me of being a purist and a censor, and so on. But what he was doing was patently unfair to the women. The women wouldn’t or couldn’t tell him to leave them alone… so I turned him out.

    The important thing is he was one out of THIRTY people – and after a while he was not a factor in any case because he stopped attending.

    But you know what?

    Women still didn’t attend in any quantity.

    So, even though his behavior was very much in the minority, women chose to stop attending rather than confronting his behavior (or ignoring it) — and even when he was no longer an issue, it didn’t really make any difference — women just weren’t coming in the doors.

    I ran a pretty tight ship. I was always busy at the podium trying to sign up members, introducing the speaker (or having Jim Lark introduce the speaker!!), and making sure people tipped the waitstaff before escaping. Being at the podium and in a leadership position with the group, I could see just about every bit of interaction there was among guests. Other than the ONE guy described above, for the following several years, the few women who did attend were NOT harassed in any way shape or form.

    They still didn’t stick around long, and new ones who showed up were rare.

    There were a couple of notable exceptions. One woman, who read a letter to the editor I had written, started showing up at our meetings and attended many for several years. We became friends, and every time I made a presentation about a project I was trying to organize, she helped out with cash (she was in a well-paid field and thus had some spare cash but not much spare time. Twenty years later, she is still a member of the LP. In any case, both of the exceptions had met the misbehaving individual described above — and neither of them got scared away because of him.

    So ultimately whether the libertarian movement gets populated by women, is up to women. If they can’t or won’t, there isn’t much we can do about it.

  18. langa

    Our market is people who are libertarians, period. If that happens to be black welfare moms, fine. If that happens to be white transgendered tattoo artists, fine. If that happens to be Inuits aged between 14 and 34, fine. Whatever. The others who are not interested are not going to become interested by any act of ours. If trying to appeal to them means giving up aspects of the liberty we seek and which forms the core of the libertarian philosophy, then Hell No.

    Totally agree.

    As for Keaton’s angst, I can’t really get too worked about it one way or the other. On the one hand, I’m sure she has been treated poorly by some people. Then again, so has everybody else. That’s life.

  19. P.J. Sullivan

    Having now read Ms. Keaton’s post in full, I can say I find it confusing. It is ostensibly about sexism and harassment within the libertarian/Libertarian community, but she cites a “Mexican Marxist” (not sure why this person’s country of origin is relevant) and a “Canadian former child star” (ditto). A lot of it is just impenetrable, like this regarding her Facebook account: “My actual artistic inclinations and hobbies unmentioned, for it was ‘Angela Keaton’ who had the account.” It jumps all over the place — I feel like I’ve come in in the middle of the conversation, then come in in the middle of half a dozen other conversations.

  20. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Jill Pyeatt: even the libertarian men I know have problems with complex women. By “complex”, I mean highly intelligent, independent, dysfunctional, needy … I know complex women are tough for most men to handle.

    I’d say that dysfunctional people are difficult for anyone to handle, regardless of whether those dysfunctional people are men or women, complex or simple, highly intelligent or borderline retarded.

  21. Thomas L. Knapp

    Marc,

    I put a little time and attention into parsing Ms. Keaton’s essay because I felt that doing so was worth my time.

    I spent less time on your response because butthurt mansplaining isn’t nearly as interesting. The only real thing I got out of it is that you seem to be implying that Ms. Keaton is a “keyboard commando and really nothing else.”

    You know better than that.

  22. Marc Montoni

    Knapp while you have your moments, you also have… other moments.

    At the time I invoked the keyboard commando comment I was not referring to Ms Keaton. You know better than that.

    As for “mansplaining”, I believe your wordcount on this site far outnumbers mine.

  23. Michael H. Wilson

    Marc writes “Women still didn’t attend in any quantity.

    So, even though his behavior was very much in the minority, women chose to stop attending rather than confronting his behavior (or ignoring it) — and even when he was no longer an issue, it didn’t really make any difference — women just weren’t coming in the doors.”

    I think it is worth asking why women don’t attend. I have been to Democratic party meetings when I was working with others and we were trying to get the Democrats on board with mmj legalization and about half of that group was made up of women. Of all which leads me to think it may be related to how the LP promotes its ideas.

  24. ATBAFT

    Haven’t we seen this kind of behavior in almost every group we’ve ever been associated with? Guys hit on women in conservative, liberal, leftist, peace, business, charitable, church, etc. groups. Women either respond or they don’t. Big deal. If no one ever asked someone for a date or to have coffee the species may not survive!

  25. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I’am a woman, and I’m also a bit baffled. Oftentimes my regional meetings have close to 20 people, with only 2 or 3 women. Recently there was a meeting with 17 men and me. It drives me crazy.

    Some Libertarian men try to treat women like they treat other men in the sense that they don’t think any sensitivities, or that their”feelings” don’t have value. An example might be Marc Montoni, who didn’t think much of Angela’s musings. Then, when I tried to explain things, apparently my feelings don’t have value. Instead, I’m accused of being a “keyboard commando” from someone who clearly doesn’t know what my schedule is in Los Angeles.

    I see that from other groups, but it does seem to be much more prevalent in the LP.

    Men and women are different. Duh. I’m just trying to say that some men simply don’t know how to make women feel comfortable. That’s certainly true the other way around, but it seems to be the men with social issues more than the women here.

    Now, I’ll be attacked by the “pc” police. I can’t wait.

  26. Chuck Moulton

    I don’t agree with Marc that we should expect new guests / prospects / activists / members to 1) grow a thicker skin, 2) avoid people like a minefield, or 3) be more confrontational standing up for themselves (all forms of self-help… he seems to emphasize #2). It’s true both men and women have to deal with jerks and drama and we should deal with problem people alienating either, but it seems to me that women tend to get more rudeness / unwanted attention directed at them than at men.

    There is usually a women’s caucus meeting at the national convention. Perhaps they could solicit anonymous testimonials of behavior they have seen over the years to document the problem for those of us who may be unaware of it (or perhaps even lucky enough to live in a county affiliate where this is never a problem and wrongly extrapolate that good experience to the rest of the country).

  27. Marc Montoni

    I’am a woman,

    And I’m a Libertarian.

    Oftentimes my regional meetings have close to 20 people, with only 2 or 3 women. Recently there was a meeting with 17 men and me. It drives me crazy.

    Then establish an “LA Libertarian Women’s Caucus” and hold separate meetings. Disinvite men who show up — if they’re actually Libertarians, they’ll understand you have the freedom to discriminate.

    I’d bet your county committee wouldn’t have any problem allowing you to cull the local LP list for their female members. We all want more people of differing backgrounds to become Libertarians — even the ignorant sexist males who are the targets of your derision.

    Let us know how it works out. I am certain that once free of disgusting Libertarian men, your group will succeed beyond all expectations.

    Some Libertarian men try to treat women like they treat other men in the sense that they don’t think any sensitivities, or that their”feelings” don’t have value. An example might be Marc Montoni, who didn’t think much of Angela’s musings.

    Actually I treat women as human beings capable of rational thought.

    I also treat them as individuals.

    Then, when I tried to explain things, apparently my feelings don’t have value.

    They have far less value than seeing your ideology adopted.

    I see that from other groups, but it does seem to be much more prevalent in the LP.

    Yes, Libertarian men are so much worse than men anywhere else are. Your point is very clear.

    Men and women are different. Duh. I’m just trying to say that some men simply don’t know how to make women feel comfortable. That’s certainly true the other way around, but it seems to be the men with social issues more than the women here.

    Social issues? Ah, so what you’re implying is that because I disagreed with you (and Keaton) on this particular issue, I can be safely dismissed as psychologically impaired. That’s an excellent way to state your case. Well done.

    Now, I’ll be attacked by the “pc” police. I can’t wait.

    Who is **attacking** you? Rational adults who utter opinions in a public forum understand there will be contrary views. If you’re afraid of that, then find a forum where your opinions can be protected in a safe space.

    I’m sure the white knight who showed up earlier would be happy for you.

  28. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==Our market is people who are libertarians, period. If that happens to be black welfare moms, fine. If that happens to be white transgendered tattoo artists, fine. If that happens to be Inuits aged between 14 and 34, fine. Whatever. The others who are not interested are not going to become interested by any act of ours. If trying to appeal to them means giving up aspects of the liberty we seek and which forms the core of the libertarian philosophy, then Hell No.==

    THIS!!!

    Hint: I am female. If you really want to know what women think and not just the one’s who feel differently or want men to rescue them from other men…. I find white-knighting and men thinking they have to move the chairs around for me incredibly patronizing. If you stick up for me or my ideas or welcome me into liberty, it is because I am Libertarian. Nothing else.

  29. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I’ve re-read this thread, and I don’t see where I’ve asked men to do something about other men. I also don’t see where relating a fact that there are few women who come to my meeting indicates I want a separate caucus somewhere. I thought we were discussing why the LP consistently has relatively few women.

    So, whatever.

  30. NewFederalist

    If Carla Howell reads IPR perhaps she could weigh in. I would be interested in her opinion.

  31. S. Rowan Wilson MBA

    Ms. Keaton’s remarks ring true in many regards.

    Many women have left the organization over the years due to various such reasons as highlighted in her writings and throughout this thread.

    Let’s quickly face the facts in no-particular-order:
    1) Half of the population in the USA is women;
    a. We now have the right to vote and generally do so in greater proportions than men ~ 66% to men at 61% w/ quick articles here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/17/voter-turnout-infographic-women_n_1797639.html and also see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_gender_gap
    2) The Libertarian party itself, national to state levels, do not have many female members nor participants;
    a. Requested stats for membership have been sent to national previously to fall on deaf ears;
    3) The LP has not made a concerted outreach to Women;
    4) The LP continues to run women off by their actions, leadership to lower-level individual members;
    5) The LP has not had an elected official at higher than the local level, EVER, in 40+ years.

    It is not a gross prognostication to suggest that until the LP cleans up its proverbial act regarding the bad behaviors of men towards women let alone basic respect, the party will continue to GO NOWHERE.

    May I refer you to some of the same issues we are dealing with in the Tech Industry which is currently 12% female, 30% if you include marketing and sales overall with website/non-tech companies.

    We can’t FIX the problem until we CALL IT OUT. https://medium.com/life-tips/the-women-in-tech-movement-is-victim-blaming-bullshit-1861e6fffedf#.be88c45o2

    Let’s call it out in the LP. And for the existing presidential candidates, NONE of them have reached out to Women nor minorities. This is not only grossly disappointing but borders on shameful this year given so many blow-hards on the larger political scene, Hillary to Donald, Bernie to one of the other GOP.

    Until measures are taken, many of us will continue to put our efforts elsewhere that are much more effective having traversed the LP and self-selected-out over the years, again due to more than some of the experiences illustrated above.

    In Peace,

    SRW

  32. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Thanks, Rowan! And you’re right that this very thread makes some of the points Angela and I, and now you, have been trying to make.

  33. David Colborne

    Treating people like individuals is a good idea. On the other hand, when you look around and realize your events are attracting the same type of individuals each and every time, it’s not a bad idea to take stock and determine whether or not you’re being as effective as you could be.

    “Ah – but I’m attracting libertarians!”, you cry. Good for you. Most people aren’t libertarians, big- or little-L, and they’re certainly not going to become more libertarian by avoiding your meetings because they think you’re some kind of cult. And why would they think you’re some kind of cult?

    “I’m a woman!”
    “I’m a libertarian.”

    Well, I’m a libertarian, too – but I’m also an IT Manager, a husband, a father, a man, a skeptic, an atheist, and plenty more labels besides. Being “a libertarian” is important to me – important enough to donate significant time and money to LP Nevada – but it’s not my identity. It’s part of who I am, but it’s not who I am. Truth is, most people operate this way, especially women, who, for various social reasons, can’t get away with using their politics as their identity – they’re far more likely to be a mother (women get primary custody in divorce far more often than men, oftentimes because men don’t ask for primary custody), a wife, as well as whatever professional obligations they’ve chosen to adopt.

    In short, far more women have lives than men.

    If you have a life, you know what it’s like when you walk into a room full of people that clearly are seeking one – it’s not a pleasant experience. Everybody’s a little sad, everybody’s a little depressed, everybody’s a little angry, everybody’s a little desperate, and everybody’s trying to prove – just a little too hard – that they’re really, truly not as pathetic as they really are. “No, really, the reason I’m broke is because of the government!”, and not because you only take a shower once every two weeks, never fold your laundry, have the personality of damp sandwich bread crossbred with a belt sander, and have no useful skills other than yelling and screaming about things. I wouldn’t go back to an event populated with a bunch of people like that, either, no matter how “libertarian” they are. I have a life, my time is precious, and I’d rather spend my scarce time on this Earth with people that actually bring something to the table.

    Want to know why you want women at your events? They’re the canary in the coal mine. If they’re not showing up, even under extreme inducement, that tells you that you’re attracting a bunch of losers. You’re attracting a bunch of people that nobody wants to be around – probably not even the people attending! – but are hanging out with each other because nobody else will have them. Chances are, if you don’t have women at your events, you probably don’t have successful business owners (people, by the way, who often have both money and a predilection for organization and action), successful working professionals, or anyone else worth organizing around, either.

    Attract women. If you’re not attracting women, find out why. Talk to them. Encourage them to organize events. Encourage them to bring their friends. Encourage them to talk to you when they see problematic individuals so you can find out what, exactly, is leaving you on the political “Island of Misfit Toys”. If you do, you’ll quickly find they’re picking up on a lot of things that you’re simply not.

    This attitude is already working well in Nevada. We’re changing a lot of what we do around here and how. We’re actively organizing a caucus around this very concept – Women in Nevada. We’re performing successful outreach with other groups, too, like Out for Liberty. It’s taken some introspection, and we’ve had to make some hard choices that a lot of people weren’t fond of, but it’s already working far better than what we were doing previously when we contented ourselves with smugly “treating people like individuals”.

    Give it a shot. It won’t hurt, I promise.

  34. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I find the whole thing, as the dissident woman to this narrative, odd and strange. I guess only certain female voices are important. Must be muh internalized patriarchy. And my stubborn insistence that yes, we treat people as individuals and not measuring estrogen levels.

    When it comes to ***politics**** yes, I am a Libertarian.

    And no more women do not have “more lives” than men. I can’t imagine this being said about any other group and not be roundly derided. It’s men though, it’s okay. smh

  35. Michael H. Wilson

    I happen to agree with David. And David I think you should write that up and post it elsewhere because more people need to see that.

  36. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Interesting that you agree that women generally “have more lives” than men.

    Would everyone be cool if I used that sentence and put in different groups? Or is it just men that we can say such things about?

  37. langa

    The thing I find ironic about this whole discussion is that the complaints are being made by women who are (L)ibertarian activists. In other words, women who apparently do not find all these “loser” (L)ibertarian men to be so offputting as to be intolerable. In other words, despite Keaton’s whining*, she has not been “run off” by these men, like she seems to believe that so many other women have been.

    So, the question is: Why not? Does she (and the other women on this thread who have been agreeing with her, which seems to be all of them except Caryn) believe that she is simply “tougher” than these other women? If so, this reminds me of many paternalistic feminists who complain about “false consciousness” and so forth. On the one hand, they argue that other women (besides themselves) are constantly being exploited by men, and are simply unable to see it, even when it’s pointed out to them. However, they (the paternalistic feminists) can clearly see this exploitation, without even needing anyone to point it out to them. It’s not hard to see that these paternalistic feminists clearly think of themselves as being far superior to the women that they are allegedly concerned about. I’ve always thought this position was not only arrogant and condescending, but even sexist, as it treats most women as simpletons who are easily duped by cunning men. I would hate to think that Keaton and her supporters take this same approach, i.e. see themselves as strong, tough women, who don’t need to be “protected” from the evil libertarian men, but see non-libertarian women as a bunch of shrinking violets who are incapable of standing up for themselves.

    *I’m sure my use of the term “whining” will be met with much indignation, or as some kind of an “attack” on Keaton, so let me clarify. I like Keaton. I think she is a valuable member of the libertarian movement, who has made some great contributions, such as her work at Antiwar Radio. I also find her outspoken personality to be refreshing, and even charming. Having said that, I have no particular interest in hearing her recite a laundry list of all the people that she feels have slighted her in some way. That sort of thing, in my opinion, clearly falls under the category of “whining” — even if it’s dressed up as a pseudo-intellectual “expose” on the evils of the libertarian movement’s alleged patriarchy.

  38. Michael H. Wilson

    Caryn I think over all David’s comments are on the mark. And while I am at it maybe I should add that S. Rowan Wilson’s comments need further consideration. How many years have we been at this and we are still running paper campaigns. It is time to wake up and grow up.

  39. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Because making inflammatory comments about Libertarian men in broad brush ways and saying that women have more lives then men is so grown up.

    BTW Rowan is flat out wrong on the one factual point. Marc Feldman has made his campaign primarily about appealing to minorities.

    We see what we wish to it appears.

    Excuse me if as a Libertarian I find it absolutely out of bounds to say that one half of the population has more lives than another.

    How about we substitute in “white people” or “Jewish people” or whatever.

    Unacceptable.

  40. Michael H. Wilson

    I think we can do a better job of reaching out to specific demographic groups whether they are minorities, the young, older citizens, women, gays, men or many of those I have failed to mention. Much of that is how we do so which can be done politely or we can be brash about it.

  41. Caryn Ann Harlos

    And we never disagreed there. Bee can do it without crapping on the current constituents and making statements we would never tolerate about another group.

  42. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I thought everything David said was excellent–except for that odd statement. Perhaps he was meaning to say something else? Perhaps he’ll come back here and explain what he meant about women having “more lives”.

    I wish everyone would read the rest of what he said, however. Perhaps the Colorado LP, or Virginia’s LP doesn’t have a shortage of women or any gender issues–congrats if that’s the case! That doesn’t mean there aren’t issues elsewhere.

    And–silly me–I tend to think that someone else’s perception is worth considering.

  43. David Colborne

    I thought everything David said was excellent–except for that odd statement. Perhaps he was meaning to say something else? Perhaps he’ll come back here and explain what he meant about women having “more lives”.

    Where I was trying to go with this – and I apologize for misstating this the first time around, to say nothing of further digging to China tonight – is that women tend to be more social than men and also tend to have more roles than men. For example, there are far more single mothers with primary custody than single fathers with primary custody; consequently, there are more women that are both “mothers” and “providers”, versus “fathers” and “providers”. Women also volunteer more often than men, so there’s that as well. For whatever reason, society is much more comfortable with men focusing on a role, at the exclusion of other roles, than it is with women doing the same.

    Hence, women have “more of a life” than men – they have more going on. True, not all women, and not all men, but, on average… well, on average, if you put a man and a woman in a closet, the average closet inhabitant will have a testicle and an ovary, so what are averages worth? Perhaps I’m wildly off base here. If so, I wholeheartedly apologize.

    Now, anecdotally speaking, I’ve met and stumbled across far more problematic men at libertarian events specifically and political events generally than I have women. That’s not to say I haven’t met a few problematic women in my time, but they tend to be problematic differently than, for example, the walking libertarian stereotype that showed up to an event I hosted in January 30 minutes late wearing a fedora, ranted about how “we are all slaves to the state” (and talked over everyone else at the table while doing so), sung the praises of Christopher Cantwell, told me he wanted to start a Kickstarter to move to Somalia (I would have contributed quite generously to that!), then left. I’m still not sure if that was the finest bit of performance art I’ve ever witnessed or if he really, truly was an honest-to-God libertarian stereotype in the flesh. Either way, I’ve never seen a woman do anything remotely close to that in my life.

    Now, I’ll freely admit that the plural of anecdote is not data, and I’m self-selecting here by choosing from a much larger sample of men than women by focusing on libertarian events. However, I will note that I’ve asked people – several times! – why women don’t show up to our events, and what I wrote down was very much in line with what’s been slowly, glacially, and painfully drilled into my brain by several women through the years. The complaints are nearly identical each and every time:

    * They’re tired of being hit on by several guys in the group throughout each event.
    * They’re tired of being ignored or talked over.
    * They think most of the guys at the events they’re invited to are “losers”, which is more or less shorthand for “dresses unprofessionally”.
    * They think most of the events are exclusively guy-focused (e.g. being hosted at sports bars, strip clubs[!!!], etc.).
    * They think we host too many events at family-exclusive locations (e.g. bars) or host events where children aren’t really welcome.

    I mean, I practically have these complaints memorized at this point. This year, I’m going to try and put some of these complaints to work by hosting more events at public parks, instituting dress codes, consciously making sure there’s a good mix of ages and genders so it’s not just a bunch of college-aged men trying to socialize with a bunch of 30-something professional women, and we’ll see what happens. At the very least, it certainly can’t work any worse than what we’ve been doing.

  44. David Colborne

    And regarding the “dresses unprofessionally” line – it’s more than that, obviously, but that’s kind of the dead giveaway. If everyone at an event is dressed up in ratty t-shirts and jeans, it just makes the event look trashy – unless, of course, you’re doing an Adopt-A-Highway program or something where such attire is acceptable.

    I’ve found in the past that scheduling events close to after work (e.g. 7 PM on weekdays) helps mitigate this somewhat, but not nearly enough.

    Either way, professionals of any gender don’t want to be the only ones dressed halfway nicely when the rest of the room looks like they rolled out of bed in the morning.

  45. Caryn Ann Harlos

    So, once again, the men must change for the women. Sorry, I don’t require that.

    And making this about my affiliate is inappropriate. I don’t speak for them here – we have Libertarians. I don’t particularly woury about whether they have innies or outies.

  46. Caryn Ann Harlos

    And …. The fashion police strikes again. The next wave in Libertarian handwringing.

  47. David Colborne

    Caryn, nobody’s expecting or demanding that you change. Obviously some women feel comfortable at LP events, otherwise we wouldn’t be having this conversation. However, when people stop showing up at our events, especially when there’s something blindingly obvious in common, and especially when they give you the same reasons each time, well…

    If telling men to stop hitting on everything that looks faintly feminine helps, and if telling men to shut up once in a while helps (advice I’m following shortly, by the way), and if encouraging everyone to dress a little better helps, and if holding events at family-friendly venues helps, well… why not give it a shot?

    Also, I’m not sure where you got the idea I’m singling out your affiliate came from. I don’t know a thing about it, and what works in CO might not fly in NV and vice-versa. All I know is more than a few women have self-selected out of the LP – and LP Nevada in particular – more than a few women have expressed the same concerns while self-selecting, and we’re trying to respond to those concerns. That’s all. Maybe these concerns are being shared elsewhere, but maybe not. Your mileage may vary.

  48. Caryn Ann Harlios

    I am not a man so I wasn’t suggesting you said I change.

    Jill mentioned my affiliate.

    Women hit on men too. I find the whole thing wildly exaggerated– I am a generally attractive woman, and I can handle myself. Big surprise. People find each other attractive. Inappropriate behavior isn’t gendered. And my state isn’t different from any other. I have not found, and I do not believe, that Libertarian men are just general lecherous predators.

    Again, this kind of generalization would not be acceptable about any other group of people. I am calling it out, the same as I would if we were talking about gay people, Muslims, or any other group.

    I have the radical idea, and will continue to have it, that I care about whether people are Libertarians. These identity politics are death to individualism.

  49. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    David makes some accurate observations, but also some groundless generalizations.

    I’m also an IT Manager … If you have a life, you know what it’s like when you walk into a room full of people that clearly are seeking one … Everybody’s a little sad, everybody’s a little depressed, everybody’s a little angry, everybody’s a little desperate … only take a shower once every two weeks, never fold your laundry, have the personality of damp sandwich bread crossbred with a belt sander, and have no useful skills other than yelling and screaming about things.

    I’ve attended many libertarians meetings full of sad, angry, socially inept white men — over half of whom worked in IT. So if these libertarian men are sad and angry and “have no lives,” it’s not because they have no money, it’s because have IT type personalities.

    IT men have a reputation for being Asperger personality types (i.e., sad, angry, socially inept). They’re so often described that way, I must believe there’s truth to that description.

    And the LP has a reputation for attracting Vulcans — highly intelligent, socially inept men, who are into computers, science fiction, philosophy, and economic theory. Not losers, at least not financially.

    David: (women get primary custody in divorce far more often than men, oftentimes because men don’t ask for primary custody), a wife, as well as whatever professional obligations they’ve chosen to adopt. In short, far more women have lives than men.

    An overly broad and baseless generalization.

    Women oftentimes get primary custody of the child not “because men don’t ask for primary custody” — but because courts make it almost impossible for the father to get primary custody. Only if the mother is proven to be a meth-addicted, child abuser, or something equally criminal and destructive, will the father gain primary custody.

    Fathers are lucky to get equal custody. Giving primary custody to the mother is the legal default.

    And oftentimes (to use your word), in an unhappy divorce, the wife will lie — inventing charges of abuse. She doesn’t need proof. Courts have a “can’t take any chances” attitude and immediately treat the man as a criminal, bar him from seeing his kids, and eject the man from his own house.

    I’ve heard and read plenty of stories of this happening to men. Modern courts routinely rape husbands and fathers in divorce and custody proceedings. This is one reason fewer men are marrying — Google “marriage strike.”

    Want to know why you want women at your events? They’re the canary in the coal mine. If they’re not showing up, even under extreme inducement, that tells you that you’re attracting a bunch of losers.

    If an event attracts mostly women, does that mean those women are losers? Or only events that attract mostly men?

    if you don’t have women at your events, you probably don’t have successful business owners

    Wow, now there’s a bizarre statement.

  50. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Root’s Teeth nails it. I repeat. The claims against men in general were outrageous. And if we were talking about ANY other group, this would be intolerable.

  51. Caryn Ann Harlos

    And while we are kvecthing here… I have mentioned before that I am running for [insert whatever]. And invariably it is said to me, “Good! We need more women!”

    No we don’t. We need more good PEOPLE in positions.

    Thanks though for seeing primarily in terms of body parts.

    smh

    Those who are so concerned about women. I hope you can hear THIS woman’s opinion too.

  52. Fred

    If I’m honest with myself, I can admit that I am both captivated and annoyed by Keaton’s article, and at least some of my annoyance is because it triggers my defenses.
    While I agree with Montoni’s platitude that we should concentrate on appealing to libertarian’s, I also recognize that within that group-we need to be aware that various cultural issues and communication styles help (or hinder) our ability to reach some of those people.
    Very few people are interested in participating in groups where we feel like outsiders or feel like we are being dismissed based on some inherently true characteristic.
    We need to recognize how our personal cultural preferences affect our ability to make others feel welcomed in the party or we will limit ourselves to only those who share our cultural perspective.
    Granted, Keaton may also do well to recognize that if the intention of her writing is to change the behavior of a specific group- she should write in a way that communicates well with her audience. Maybe that wasn’t her intent, but I know I had to intentionally prevent my tendency to become defensive in order to hear and try to understand her view.
    I only made this effort because I respect her intelligence and contributions.

    My final synopsis is that Keaton was sharing her personal experience. She gave us an intimate view into the center of her thoughts and emotions. This (if we let it) can affect us much more than a logically stated essay. This writing tells us what it is like to be Angela Keaton. We can become defensive and dissect that information and attempt to rationalize behavior, or we can thank her for vulnerably sharing that precious insight and try to absorb some understanding from knowing her.

  53. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I liked her article and took it the way you did. I do not like sweeping generalizations that are made from such stories. I could write an article about my exact opposite experiences and such generalizations would not be made.

    The current trend of believing the most broad negative generalities is my issue at least here.

    Personal stories are aware one. Other people have other stories- thus my comment above that only certain female stories – the ones we can use to further a certain view- seem to be important while those such as myself with different ones – are not.

    I have no feminist angst story of anything I ever attempted in life – I have been treated as an equal and got what I have fair and square. I have been subject to misogynistic attacks but that is life- men get misandrist attacks, heavy people get nasty weight jokes, short people get ….. In short, people can stink and when they attack, it is usually customized.

  54. Michael H. Wilson

    Perhaps the issue is not being properly explained. Our membership numbers are down significantly and maybe people are trying to address that problem. I know it is a major concern with me. That is my take on the whole issue and I think we have failed to address some of the concerns others have.

  55. Fred

    Caryn Ann Harlos,
    I agree that we shouldn’t make sweeping generalizations. I’m glad to hear that your personal experience differs greatly from Keaton’s.
    I just wish we could all accept that we come to a group with our own cultural perspective and that can be a barrier for others. I’ve gone to political groups where I was one of the few middle aged white guys. I felt like my opinion and thought were dismissed in part because of my “demographic status” — despite that I believed in the cause, I didn’t feel like I was particularly relevant in that organization and I generally felt uncomfortable.
    I don’t want that to be the experience of anyone coming into the LP.
    For this reason I’ve tried to be less involved in the party and encourage competent Libertarians who don’t share my demographic status to take positions of leadership.

    Michael Wilson– Thank you. You have (as is often the case) stated the issue perfectly and without an inflatory stance.

  56. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    The primary reason LP membership numbers are down is that, especially since 9/11, the LP is overly concerned with appearing respectable, and not scaring voters by being too extreme.

    Ron Paul didn’t worry about sounding extreme. Nor does Trump or Sanders worry about sounding extreme or being respectable.

    But many LP leaders strive to look and sound like the GOP. Their primary message is “We are sincere conservatives. We’re just like Republicans, except that we really will shrink the size of government. If you like Republican values, you’ll love Libertarian government.”

    A generalization, yes. But it’s the single biggest reason for the LP’s failure since 9/11. It’s the root cause of so many of the LP’s missteps — e.g., Barr, Root, initial silence on opposing the Iraq War, internal battles in Oregon and elsewhere that are caused by Reformers (who seek a “safe” message) battling Radicals.

  57. Anastasia Beaverhausen

    I love Angela Keaton. Always have from back in Austin days, always will. We need a hundred – no, a thousand more like her to puncture the self-inflated pseudo-Republicans constantly infesting the LP.

  58. itdoesntmatteranymore

    For some reason I was thinking about Angela Keaton and the woman (of “Strippers for Paul” and… was it Hammer of Truth?) who was supposed to be her running mate the other day.

    Guess this is the first time I’ve ever seen/heard of Brian Doherty being accused of domestic abuse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *