If you’ve been a libertarian for very long at all, chances are good you’ve heard of Professor Deirdre McCloskey. Whether you’re familiar with her groundbreaking book series – Bourgeois Virtue, Bourgeois Dignity, and Bourgeois Equality – saw her speak at the last ISFLC, or have even been lucky enough to sit as her student, you know why her mastery of free-market economics has dazzled a generation of pro-liberty advocates.
Now, Learn Liberty is releasing an unprecedented new video series with Prof. McCloskey on a subject near and dear to Deirdre’s life, but previously overlooked by the liberty movement at large. Students For Liberty is more than pleased to bring you an exclusive sneak peek of this new series from Learn Liberty, Trans Talks:
It all starts with a simple question: “Why is it so important for a free society to allow people to explore their gender identity?” Prof. McCloskey answers with eloquence and verve: “It’s an education even for the straight people. It’s an education in freedom.” Indeed, the issues faced by transgender people are all about freedom, from demanding the right to self identify, to resisting abuse at the hands of the state. Libertarians have a lot to learn from (and to lend to) these struggles – and now is the perfect time to do it.
With Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out and Laverne Cox’s meteoric rise to fame, it seems as if we’ve in a bit of a “transgender moment” these days, with more positive media focus on these issues than ever before. It’s unclear though, what all this will mean for the important political struggles that are still going on around transgender (and other gender and sexual minority) communities.
Libertarians have a unique opportunity to provide a fresh approach to these issues. Classical liberalism provides a framework of principles that helps us answer difficult questions like “what should I do when someone’s way of presenting themselves make me uncomfortable?” According to Prof. McCloskey, the answer is simple from our perspective: “What [libertarians] believe in is: ‘I’m free up to your nose. As long as I’m not hurting you, then I’m allowed to do it.’ This is a perfect example of it. I don’t hurt anyone by being a woman.” We at SFL are thrilled to see the classical liberal outlook applied to this timely issue.
If you’re interested, keep an eye out this Thursday, November 12th, for the first installment of Trans Talks over at Learn Liberty, with two more videos to follow on 11/19 and 11/26.
And if you’re wrestling with a decision about whether to be yourself, or to pursue what makes you happy, whoever or whatever that is, here’s a final word of advice from Prof. McCloskey: “Go do it, dear. Go for it.”
UPDATE 11/12: Here’s the first video.