Seriously, Where Are All the Libertarian Women?

Has anybody actually researched how many women identify as libertarian or why so few do?

by Avens O’Brien

There are two questions I find most often asked pertaining to libertarianism. The first is, “who will build the roads?” The second is, “why aren’t there more libertarian women?”

The question of women in the liberty movement feels like an annual resurgence—last summer the question was publicly raised again after an article about how Rand Paul was not polling well with women, allegedly due to his libertarian streak. The New Republic really seems to love to ask the question, as well.

Let’s be clear—there have always been libertarian women in the movement, women launched this movement, and many women have even tried to explain why there appear to be less of them; from Joan Kennedy Taylor, to Julie Borowski, to Gina Luttrell, to Cathy Reisenwitz, to Sarah Skwire. There are many theories. Men, women, non-libertarians, libertarians; everybody has an opinion based on their perspectives on liberty.

Last summer I started to wonder what actual data existed on this topic. I began reaching out to libertarian organizations, to ask what their demographics breakdowns were of male and female leadership, membership and/or readership.

I created a survey asking for this information and sent it off to dozens of organizations. A total of nine replied. Many told me they didn’t track that data. Many just didn’t get back to me at all.

How can you know anything about *why* when you don’t even know your own numbers? How can you know if things have changed if you don’t have basic starting information?

This is such a glaring omission of data to me—we are questioning why women may not be libertarians, but, even organization by organization, we don’t keep track of how many female members there are and compare over time? So we have no way of checking which groups may have less disparate ratios compared to others, or which ones may have implemented changes and thus can accurately measure their success or failure if they were seeking to improve their female numbers? The entire narrative of “there aren’t that many female libertarians” is strictly anecdotal with occasional generalized polling, that offers no verifiable, measurable, solid data? We can do better.

I began asking women in an informal poll on Facebook why they were or were not libertarians. If they knew what a libertarian was. If they’d considered the philosophy. If they embraced it. This got many fascinating replies which I compiled with the intention of reporting. 

But it isn’t enough. People love to tell us that women aren’t libertarians because they “don’t mind being dependent,” or  “don’t want freedom and the responsibility that comes with independence.” The implication is that they’re naturally disinclined towards liberty.

What people seem to ignore is the fact that most people, male or female, appear to be disinclined towards libertarianism. That most people compromise their liberty for security, and that most people are risk averse.

Libertarianism is a minority in the field of political philosophy. We know this. I’ve compiled a mountain of data about the increasing but still small numbers of libertarians out there and I look forward to publishing that report, as well. 

However, if you already know that this philosophy is not popular amongst people in general, and you only ask why women aren’t libertarians, you aren’t getting a real picture of why there are less women. You have to ask why people of either gender adopt or reject the philosophy and then compare your results. If 7 out of 10 women say “I want a social safety net” that seems to be a story until you get matching data saying 7 out of 10 men say the same.  

Another factor as well is knowing what the demographics are of other political philosophies. Comparing this data within the larger universe of philosophy. If it was found that less women than men ascribe to Marxism, for example, I bet people wouldn’t start concluding that women were the more liberty-oriented gender that can’t understand the labor struggle.

The point of this commentary is simply this: nobody who tells you why there aren’t that many libertarian women has done sufficient contextual, data-based research to actually tell you. I’m tired of the presumptions. I’m not going to write a self-congratulatory article explaining why I’m a special snowflake of an exception to “most girls.” That doesn’t help us understand or take any productive action (if any is needed).

So I’m asking for data. I’m asking you to take a survey or two, I’m asking you to share this with your friends, your peers. Not just fellow libertarians, not just women—but everyone. I want as many data points as possible from as broad a collection of people as I can find.

What will I do with this data? I’ll actually try to answer the question. 

This link is for everyone. Please click the link and fill out this survey. It is anonymous, but you can (optionally) add your email address if you’d like to be informed of follow up articles. Share this far and wide!

This link is for libertarian organizers. If you run a libertarian organization, or a Facebook page, or a state Libertarian Party, or a meetup group, or a website, or YouTube channel, please share with me your data. There are anonymous options as well. I want to know your membership numbers and your readership numbers. I want to know how many “likes” you have from women vs. men on Facebook.

Your participation in this survey process (and sharing this article and the surveys) can help actually answer one of those common questions people have about libertarianism. It can help us understand how our philosophy is perceived and what’s appealing or unappealing about it. It’s time we stop making assumptions, and start listening to the market of ideas.

Related posts


online slots June 29, 2020 at 7:04 pm

slot games online

real money online casino

virgin casino online nj July 1, 2020 at 11:26 pm

online slots

party casino online nj

sildenafil 20 mg July 3, 2020 at 3:25 pm

generic viagra canada

sildenafil 100mg

best real casino online July 6, 2020 at 12:48 am

casino online games for real money

casinos online

real money casino games July 8, 2020 at 4:58 am

online slots for real money

casino slots gambling

generic cialis reviews July 11, 2020 at 3:57 am

cialis 20 mg

generic cialis 20mg

cash advance online July 13, 2020 at 12:13 am

personal loan

payday loans

cash loan July 15, 2020 at 11:43 pm

cash advance online

loans online

installment loans July 19, 2020 at 1:12 am

cash advance online

loans online

viagra for sale July 22, 2020 at 3:02 am

viagra cost

viagra 100mg

20 cialis July 24, 2020 at 10:21 pm

cialis generic

20 cialis

cialis 5 mg July 29, 2020 at 1:16 am

cialis internet

generic for cialis

20 cialis July 31, 2020 at 12:11 pm

cialis 20

generic for cialis

cialis 5 mg August 3, 2020 at 12:52 am

cialis to buy

cialis buy

new cialis August 6, 2020 at 6:39 am

5 mg cialis

new cialis

casinos online August 9, 2020 at 4:31 am

casino games

real casino

real money online casinos usa August 12, 2020 at 5:39 pm

slots online


casino online real money August 16, 2020 at 1:32 pm

casino online

slot machines

online casinos usa August 20, 2020 at 10:11 am

real money casino online

casino slot

generic sildenafil August 23, 2020 at 10:53 am

sildenafil citrate

viagra for women

free viagra August 25, 2020 at 4:10 pm

generic viagra canada

viagra online prescription

generic viagra india August 28, 2020 at 3:27 pm

sildenafil 20 mg

viagra online usa

tadalafil 10 mg September 1, 2020 at 12:20 am

cialis professional

sildenafil vs tadalafil

buy cialis online safely September 4, 2020 at 8:47 pm

buying cialis online safely

tadalafil generique

online casino real money usa September 14, 2020 at 8:14 pm

golden nugget online casino

best online casino for money

free slots online September 18, 2020 at 1:53 am

casino online games

casino slot games

Levitra or viagra November 13, 2020 at 9:55 pm

Samples of viagra

Usa pharmacy viagra

Leave a Comment