Thursday, April 18, 2019

Interview: Wendy McElroy says that "universities are overwhelming expressions of PC social justice"

Editor's note: This interview was originally published in February 2017.

This is the third of five articles in my discussion with Wendy McElroy. The first and second parts are available on-line.
Story by Joseph Ford Cotto
What does it mean to be a feminist?
FEMINISM, a term, supposed to have originated in France in 1890, which includes all phases of the modern tendency of women to assert their equality in the social life with men; their right to enter the professions on an equal basis with men, equal suffrage for both sexes in political matters, and a general recognition of the rights of women to interest themselves in public affairs,” Collier’s Encyclopedia told in 1921.
More recently, Michael Che, while performing his act on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, asked “what makes a feminist a feminist? It’s confusing …. A feminist is really just someone who believes in equal rights for women, and that’s easy to get behind. That is until you see an actual feminist screaming into a cop’s face, wearing a homemade uterus hat, and then you’re like, ‘Oh, there are different levels to this!’”
Indeed, there are.
Few people can navigate these choppy waters so well as Wendy McElroy. She is a feminist – of the pro-capitalism individualist anarchist variety. There are not many women’s rights activists who connect the dots between limited government and female empowerment, but McElroy is undaunted at being outnumbered. 
That should be unsurprising. After all, how odd would it be if an individualist anarchist liked the idea of being but a face in the crowd?
An ardent opponent of sex-negative propaganda, third-wave feminism, and social justice warrior culture, McElroy is one of the few people who can say she has gotten a rise out of religious rightists – she vociferously supported the right to watch pornography in the 1980s, when Los Angeles County considered legislation which countered this – and movement progressives – she praises free enterprise and dislikes the trigger warning-prone nature of modern liberalism – alike.
I like her already! 
She recently spoke with me about several issues of the day. Some of our conversation is included below.

Joseph Ford Cotto: In a general sense, why do so many young Americans choose to become social justice warriors?

Wendy McElroy: Academia or educational policy in general. That's simplistic, of course, but universities are overwhelming expressions of PC social justice. Gender feminists dominate many campuses and have received incredibly disproportionate funding. This means there have decades flooded by politically-biased studies, books, courses, careers... The impact has rippled through society down to comics and children's books. It has been entrenched in the earlier public school systems.

BTW, I do not mean to slight the impact of politicians and other "experts" who have made rich careers off the hysteria and fury of SJWs.

Cotto: You have vigorously defended free market economics, though not capitalism in all contexts. What makes free enterprise a morally superior system?

McElroy: The word "free" captures the moral superiority for me. Individuals should be free to use their own resources (bodies and property) in any peaceful manner they wish in order to pursue prosperity for themselves and those in their care. And, by prosperity, I mean much more than financial gain. The free market includes the exchange of ideas and culture, which not only enriches individuals but historically drives human progress.