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Individualist feminism, also known as libertarian feminism, is a term used by right-wing critics of feminism who posit that the way to equality for women is through achieving equal individual rights for everyone without regard to gender. This contrasts with modern mainstream feminism, which considers women as an identity group and focuses on securing rights for all women within that framework. In Europe, Individualist feminism is also called liberal feminism or classical-liberal feminism.(A case in point is feminists who participate in the Free Democratic Party.)
Individualist feminists generally believe that women should exercise personal responsibility for their own lives. It also opposes any government interference an individual makes with her own body (such as restrictions on abortion or pornography).
Well-known exponents of individualist feminism include the anarcho-capitalist Wendy McElroy, and the art historian Camille Paglia. John Stuart Mill, a 19th-century classical liberal philosopher, along with his wife Harriet Taylor — both of whom are major forebears of feminist thought - held views that align with the concept of individualist feminism, expressing the importance of both personal identity and gender equality in a liberal democracy.
While on the surface it may seem like another variety of feminism, one should be highly skeptical of the motivations of those promoting them. Wendy McElroy has engaged in typical conservative rape apology (complete with arguments that systemic social issues don't exist and concern trolling about due process). Christina Hoff Sommers has spent the last two decades and a half attempting to discredit feminism. Camille Paglia wrote an article titled, "It's A Man's World And Always Will Be" and claims men alone were behind modern advances. Moreover, their denial of systemic social issues that affect women falls in line with the libertarian tendency of justifying oppressive social structures by making appeals to the preservation of "individuality" and "freedom".
- iFeminists an individualist feminist-oriented news site
- Libertarian Feminism: Can This Marriage Be Saved? by Roderick Long and Charles Johnson
- The Individualist Feminist blog
- "A Review of Rape Culture Hysteria: Fixing the Damage Done to Men and Women by Wendy McElroy", Sharon Presley, libertarianism.org
- It’s a Man’s World, and It Always Will Be: The modern economy is a male epic, in which women have found a productive role —— but women were not its author by Camille Paglia (Dec. 16, 2013) Time.