Individualist feminism

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Individualist feminism, sometimes also grouped with libertarian feminism, is feminist ideas which emphasize individualism.[1]


Individualist feminists attempt to change legal systems to eliminate class privileges and gender privileges and to ensure that individuals have equal rights, including an equal claim under the law to their own persons and property. Individualist feminism encourages women to take full responsibility for their own lives. It also opposes any government interference into the choices adults make with their own bodies because, it contends, such interference creates a coercive hierarchy (such as patriarchy).[2] One central theme of individualist feminism revolves around the Free Love Movement, which indicates that a woman's sexual choices should be made by her and her alone, rather than by government regulations.[3]

Individualist feminism was cast to appeal to "younger women ... of a more conservative generation"[4] and includes concepts from Rene Denfeld and Naomi Wolf, essentially that "feminism should no longer be about communal solutions to communal problems but individual solutions to individual problems",[4] and concepts from Wendy McElroy and especially Joan Kennedy Taylor.

The Association of Libertarian Feminists, founded in 1973 by Tonie Nathan, the Libertarian Party's Vice Presidential nominee in 1972, is one of a number of different kinds of individualist feminist organizations.[1] It takes a strong anti-government and pro-choice stand.[5][6] Other libertarian feminist organizations include the Ladies of Liberty Alliance,[7] Feminists for Liberty,[8] and the defunct Mother's Institute,[9] which included Mothers for Liberty (meet-up groups).[10]

Wendy McElroy and Christina Hoff Sommers define individualist feminism in opposition to what they call political or gender feminism.[11][12]

See also




  1. ^ a b "About ALF - The Association of Libertarian Feminists". Association of Libertarian Feminists. Archived from the original on August 28, 2009. 
  2. ^ Citations:
  3. ^ McElroy, Wendy. "Individualist Feminism: The Lost Tradition". Foundation for Economic Education. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Siegel, Deborah (2007). "Postfeminist panache". In Siegel, Deborah. Sisterhood, interrupted: from radical women to grrls gone wild (1st ed.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 123 and 122–124 & nn. 32–34. ISBN 9781403982049. 
  5. ^ Presley, Sharon; Kinsky, Lynn. "ALF Paper - Government is Women's Enemy". Association of Libertarian Feminists. Archived from the original on December 26, 2008. 
  6. ^ Presley, Sharon; Cooke, Robert. "ALF Paper - The Right to Abortion: A Libertarian Defense". Association of Libertarian Feminists. Archived from the original on December 25, 2008. 
  7. ^ "About us". Ladies of Liberty Alliance. Retrieved 1 January 2018. 
  8. ^ "About". Feminists for Liberty. Retrieved 1 January 2018. 
  9. ^ "About us". The Mother's Institute. Archived from the original on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2018. 
  10. ^ "Mothers for Liberty Meet-up Groups". The Mother's Institute. Archived from the original on 22 May 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2018. 
  11. ^ McElroy, Wendy, ed. (2002). Liberty for women: freedom and feminism in the twenty-first century. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee. p. 14. ISBN 9781566634359. 
  12. ^ Hoff Sommers, Christina (1995). Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women. New York: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9780684801568. 

Further reading

  • Kennedy Taylor, Joan (1992). Reclaiming the mainstream: individualist feminism rediscovered. Buffalo, N.Y: Prometheus Books. ISBN 9780879757175. 
  • Heywood, Ezra (1873). Uncivil Liberty: An Essay to Show the Injustice and Impolicy of Ruling Woman Without Her Consent. Archived from the original on 2 September 2005.  One of the first individualist feminist essays, by Ezra Heywood.
  • de Cleyre, Voltairine (2005). Presley, Sharon; Sartwell, Crispin, eds. Exquisite rebel: the essays of Voltairine de Cleyre: feminist, anarchist, genius. Albany: State University of New York Press. ISBN 9780791460948. 
  • Johnson, Charles W. (1 May 2005). "Libertarian Feminism: Can This Marriage Be Saved?". 
  • Presley, Sharon. "Feminism in Liberty". Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. 
  • "Liberal Feminism (definition)". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  Essay including discussion of libertarian feminism.
  • Davies, S. (1987). Libertarian Feminism in Britain, 1860–1910 (PDF). Libertarian Alliance Pamphlet, no. 7. 

External links

  • Association of Libertarian Feminists
  • iFeminists
  • Pro Choice Libertarians
  • The Mother's Institute
  • Ladies of Liberty Alliance (LOLA)
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