Freedom, Feminism, and the State
Freedom, Feminism, and the State

Freedom, Feminism, and the State

Edited by Wendy McElroy, Foreword by Lewis C. Perry


250 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $19.95 (US $19.95) (CA $29.95)

Publication Date: February 1991

ISBN 9780945999676

Rights: WOR

Independent Institute (Feb 1991)

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Many feminists have believed that government is the natural ally of the women’s movement. However, this book demonstrates that the opposite is true: government has long been a major oppressor of women and their rights. Feminism is not a new political force; its origins can be traced back to the abolitionist movement before the Civil War. Fighting to end slavery, women became conscious of their own legal disabilities. From these anti-statist roots, the women's movement eventually divided over such issues as sex, the family, and war. McElroy's book traces individualist feminism from those early roots until the present day. Her research demonstrates that in vital issues from sex and birth control to business and science, government has been the real obstacle in preventing women from achieving personal freedom and equal rights. This book discusses such controversies as individualism and socialism in the feminist tradition, economic freedom and the role of women, and the contemporary differences between mainstream and individualist feminism. Through McElroy’s work and those of a distinguished group of contributors, this book issues a ringing call for women to recapture their individualist heritage.


"A superb reader, a lone offset to the assumption in most feminist thinking that the Daddy State can save women." —Deirdre McCloskey, Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Illinois, Chicago"An important contribution to the often confused debate on the rights of women and the source of their oppression." —Humane Studies Review"Freedom, Feminism and the State is a provocative challenge to contemporary feminist orthodoxy." —New Directions for Women"FREEDOM, FEMINISM, AND THE STATE is based on the premise that we must think seriously about individualism and political power. For feminists, the disastrous strategies and floundering of political leadership ought to provoke a re-examination of goals and principles." —Lewis Perry, professor of history, Indiana University, and editor, Journal of American History"Eloquent testimony to the equality of the sexes throughout our history in these intelligent essays by female philosophers, moralists, individualists." —Anne B. Zill, director, Women’s Campaign Fund"An exciting collection of hitherto unknown feminist works . . . must reading for anyone concerned with the freedom of women." —Jennifer Roback Morse, research fellow, Hoover Institution

Author Biography

Wendy McElroy is research fellow at The Independent Institute and a columnist for FOX