How Lady Libertarians Do Money

We’re not all minimalist techno bros

Barbershop 3

Between the many passionate Bernie fans who can’t get on the Hillary wagon and the wide swaths of Republicans who have never wanted to be on this Trump train, a lot of people this election cycle are looking for alternatives. The libertarian party is one of those alternatives, as Ester Bloom explored a bit in a post a couple weeks ago. Her conclusion that libertarian candidates Gary Johnson and William Weld and libertarians who support them are reminiscent of the techno-bro minimalists inspired me to write this post on how ladies, liberty, and money actually play a part in the libertarian party.

  1. Lady libertarians want you to be able to make hair braiding your side gig.

I think it’s fair to say that braiding hair has few if any potential safety hazards. But you wouldn’t know it by looking at the bizarre licensing laws of places like D.C. and Louisiana. Want to make African hair braiding your side gig? Well, in 16 states that requires a license, you’re looking at between 1,000 to 2,100 hours of training and paying thousands of dollars in tuition at a cosmetology school — where hair braiding is generally not taught at all.

Licensing laws for hair braiders seem particularly discriminatory, as most braiders are woman and African American.

The Institute for Justice, a libertarian, civil liberties and pubic interest law firm, has a well designed website that breaks down what each state requires and whether the requirements are burdensome. The institute has also filed lawsuits in three states challenging their licensing requirements.

In a general, libertarians are against creating high barriers for entry for people to enter the workforce.

2. Lady libertarians want safer work for sex workers.

The war on prostitution hasn’t really stopped anyone from buying or selling sex. What it has done is push the sex trade into the shadows where sex workers face more threats of violence or exploitation.

Libertarian woman are vocal supporters of decriminalizing prostitution, because it makes sex workers, who are most often woman, safer.

A common refrain to this sort of thinking is that all prostitutes are in some sort of coerced situation or are victims of “sex trafficking.” While that is not the case for many women, legalizing prostitution does not mean more coercion — it means less. Sex workers threatened with violence do not go to the cops because they are afraid that instead of getting adequate protection from an abuser, they’ll get busted for selling sex.

Elizabeth Nolan Brown’s write up on how the The War on Sex Trafficking is the New War On Drugs, is great read if you’re interested on how stricter sex trafficking laws are actually making things worse.

On a more philosophical level, taking away a woman’s right to choose sex work, even if it rubs your morals the wrong way, tells women that they in fact do not have autonomy over what they do with their bodies.

3. Lady Libertarians know drug war has made things worse for employment seekers.

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black, speak on a panel with other people who had also been incarcerated for various drug crimes. Kerman spoke eloquently of how she was quite privileged to have been able to get out of prison and get a job a friend’s company.

On the same panel was an African American man who at a young age started selling drugs, got caught, and went to prison. I remember the most striking thing he said was that he always knew he was going to sell drugs because that’s what his dad did and what many of the men in his community did for work. It was just what you did, he said.

When he did get out of prison, it was hard not to go back to selling drugs because gaining legitimate employment is all that more difficult with a drug conviction showing up on your background check.

Two-thirds of women in federal prison are there for non-violent drug offenses and if they’re lucky they’ll be like Kerman who can get a job right away through a connection. If they’re less able to, they’ll face enormous hurdles trying to reenter the work force.

Libertarians want to decriminalize all drugs because the drug war has only locked more people up, not actually helped derail the selling or use of drugs.

In summary, what you do for money, honey, is a complicated choice. But whether it’s hair braiding without a cosmetology license, sex work or drugs, libertarian ladies support making it less criminal.

Brittany Ann Morrisey is a freelance writer based in sunny Orlando, Florida. She has opinions and would love to hear yours but she’s not interested in having a political fight in the comments section. Follow her on Twitter via @Brittany_Ann_M.