The Ladies of Liberty Alliance is out with a video series introducing viewers to young women in the liberty movement who are working to defend free markets and civil liberties. LOLA is a non profit organization created in 2009 with a mission to educate and empower female leaders in the liberty movement. Their website states that “LOLA provides leadership training to equip women with the tools and techniques necessary to spread the message of liberty.” The Ladies of Liberty held an event recently where they prepared and delivered care packages to soldiers overseas. Their gifts of snacks and toiletries were accompanied by books, letters and materials like copies of Ayn Rand‘s Atlas Shrugged and the US Constitution. No doubt many American servicemen and women will be pleasantly surprised to hear from them. Although the ladies of liberty are characterized by a belief in a non-interventionist foreign policy, their act of generosity to the nations troops will undoubtedly send a strong message that antiwar libertarians can be some of the biggest defenders of American liberty. That and the fact that Congressman Ron Paul, a non-interventionist himself, received more military donations than all the other presidential candidates combined… including President Barack Obama.
The freedom movement in the United States has been criticized by many for being composed of mostly white males. Many people attack libertarians claiming they advocate policies that are heartless or that only benefit a certain demographic. One leftist website criticized libertarians saying, “Travel to any political website and invariably it is just men doing most of the talking. Maybe it has something to do with all of the fervor around being constitutional originalists, and pining for a time when women didn’t even have the right to vote.”
Even some libertarian women are complaining. Writing on the Students for Liberty website, Kelly Barber stated that, “until libertarians can win women over to our cause, our ideology will continue to be viewed as it was described in a recent study highlighted in Matt Ridley’s article,“Inside the Cold, Calculating Libertarian Mind”, which found that self-identified libertarians were less empathetic, more logical, and more masculine than people who ascribed to different political ideologies.”
Groups like LOLA are working to change that perception. Efforts by people from LOLA, Students for Liberty and the Young Americans for Liberty have begun to turn the tide in recent years with articles, speeches and videos from strong, independent libertarian ladies. Online communities that cater to female libertarians are offering networking and other opportunities to help advance the cause. Fordham University Professor of African American studies and social democrat Mark Naison stated in a recent debate that he was impressed with how diverse the Ron Paul crowds were. After seeing how empowered many of the female and minority libertarians had become, the professor openly encouraged social democrats to be more open to freedom principles. He went on to say that the Republican Party would do well to embrace young libertarians if they want to attract voters in urban areas. That’s a very positive sign.
Female libertarians in the movement have made great strides in recent years organizing and campaigning for causes and candidates that support our ideas. Libertarian women have been instrumental in the election of Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee as well as campaigns that elected Representatives such as Thomas Massie, Justin Amash and Kerry Bentivolio. Reason Magazine, AntiWar.com, the Marijuana Policy Project and the Independence Institute all have strong female leaders that continue to make a big impact on the national debate.
One such young woman making her way in the freedom movement is Cathy Reisenwitz. Reisenwitz is a digital publishing specialist at Reason who got her BA in Journalism from Samford University. Her background in search engine optimization and marketing is no doubt being put to good use to spread libertarian ideals. Her website http://anarcho-capitalism-blog.com is the type of free spirited publication that has opinion sites like Salon and hate groups such as at the Southern Poverty Law Center attacking the movement. No doubt many liberals are feeling squeezed out of the civil libertarian spotlight as defenders of individual liberty have begun moving away from statist social democrats and towards the ideas of limited government. The staunchest defender of civil liberties in American government today are the libertarian minded Republicans elected from Ron Paul’s political movement formed during his Presidential campaigns of 2008-2012. They are the ones leading the charge against the NDAA & the Patriot Act. Where are the civil libertarians of the left?
They’ve moved to the right.
Like the radical reformers of the past, libertarian women in America today make an enormous contribution to the advancement of free ideas. The modern liberty movement has had great champions to look to for inspiration. Authors such as Isabel Paterson blazed trails for modern freedom fighters by authoring books that have influenced millions. Ayn Rand wrote that Paterson’s work “The God of the Machine does for capitalism what Das Kapital does for the Reds and what the Bible did for Christianity.” Paterson was a fierce critic of big government. Her work “Humanitarians with Guillotines” explained how often people who seek to impose their ideas on others do so under the flag of humanitarianism. Paterson wrote, “Most of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse, or omission. It is the result of their deliberate actions, long persevered in, which they hold to be motivated by high ideals toward virtuous ends.” What Paterson is explaining is that often time people with the best of intentions will use the most horrific means to accomplish what they believe is a social good. She argues, “… what the humanitarian actually proposes is that he shall do what he thinks is good for everybody. It is at this point that the humanitarian sets up the guillotine.” In the wake of the Newtown incident, there have been many “humanitarians” on the hunt for bogeymen.
Since the shooting, some women in the mainstream media have been calling for gun control or bans on semi-automatic weapons. But many libertarian ladies have taken strong stands against that position, defying their genders stereotype. Video bloggers like Julie Borowski reach millions with their message online, unfiltered by the mainstream media. Borowski’s recent video argues vehemently against gun free zones as a response to aggression in our schools. This reflects an argument made by many who understand that more guns mean less crime. Women like these send a powerful message to other women in our society that the defense of individual rights means that they are empowered to defend themselves and their loved ones with countervailing force. Guns are the great equalizer.
The fact that they are for free market economics as well as the right to bear arms makes supporting causes such as the Ladies of Liberty Alliance crucial to advancing the ideas of freedom.
Meet Cathy Reisenwitz: