Transgender Rights (Episode 3): Equal Dignity, Equal Inventiveness

Deirdre McCloskey,

Release Date
November 26, 2015


Civil Liberties

What do equal dignity and equal inventiveness mean for the trans community? Professor Deirdre McCloskey joins us for the last episode of Trans Talks.

“What else can we learn from Prof. Deirdre McCloskey? New videos from Learn Liberty” (blog): Students For Liberty highlights Learn Liberty’s Trans Talks series.
“The Condition of Transgender Women: Libertarian Perspectives”(column):Libertarian perspectives on discrimination against and oppression of trans women.
“How Can Libertarians Help Trans People?” (podcast): Young Voices podcast on ways libertarians can support trans people and issues.
“Know Your Rights” (website): Legal guide for trans people from Lambda Legal.
Trans Lifeline (Website): Crisis and suicide hotline for transgender individuals staffed by transgender individuals.
Trans Housing Network (website): A temporary housing network intended to connect trans people in need with safe and supportive places to stay.

You were formerly a Marxist.
>> I was. I came at my free market, free society views from the left instead of from the right, so I was not a real Randian, for example.
>> Sure. I came, in a lot of ways, from the left, and most of my friends are on the left still.
>> Me too. And I have lots of friends.
>> And there’s a lot of allies on the left who are trans people, clearly.
>> I know.
>> And I think that there’s not arguably a lot of voices in the classical liberal side.
>> That’s what’s so annoying. On the blogs, if my name comes up in connection with something I’ve written or something, there’ll be these people who say, oh she’s great, boy that’s wonderful, or oh she’s terrible, I think she’s wrong.
And then they’ll always be an occasional, she’s not a she, she’s a he. I think it’s this terrible! What, what’s this all about?
>> Right.
>> So, there’s this kind of, I call it, fatherly. It’s not even libertarianism, fatherly conservatism. Shape up! What are you talking about? Take that damn dress off.
>> Well, now we’re gonna go to the ISFLC Conference where you’re gonna be the keynote speaker.
>> I am.
>> That’s so exciting. That’s awesome. We’re invading.
>> There coming to force you to have sex with them.
>> That’s what they’re doing.
>> It’s true.
>> Isn’t it true?
I mean that’s what we’re all about.
>> That’s the agenda for me.
>> We’re all about sex. Sex, sex, sex.
>> That’s literally all I think about.
>> That’s all I think about is sex.
>> Yeah.
>> I don’t care about my career or my life or my love, or my friendships.
>> It’s just that for me.
>> When you have of equal dignity, you get equal inventiveness. You allow people to be explorers of new institutions, new economic institutions, and new economic innovations in a way that was forbidden in earlier terms.
>> Yeah. That’s incredible.
>> If you invented something the sultan would throw you off a cliff.
>> Which is conducive to-
>> So, at least we’re getting to a place where we’re willing to encourage innovation and-
>> Yeah, absolutely. And that was crucial. There’s a mistaken claim in my beloved farmer Marxism, or indeed in the place of Adam Smith. That capital accumulation is the key to the modern world.
No, it’s not. It’s innovation that’s the key to the modern. It’s new ideas. And new ideas of gender identity, the rules of gender identity or new ideas, that is all part of this egalitarianism.
>> Wow.
>> Which is the key to the modern world. It’s like, again if Blacks or Hispanics are forbidden to have any job other than cleaning your house-
>> Yeah.
>> Then you’re gonna miss all the innovations-
>> That you could have gotten.
>> I’ll get straight to introducing Professor McCloskey. She’s known as a conservative economist, Chicago School where she taught for 12 years. But she protests that, I am a literary, quantitative, post-modern, free market, progressive, Episcopalian, midwestern woman from Boston, who was once a man.
Here’s Professor Deidre McCloskey.
>> Thank you very much. I’m so pleased to be here. I am astonished at the mass of young people at this conference. In the old days, 30 years ago, I would go to Libertarian Conferences and they’d be filled with old farts. And now I’m an old fartess.
Mark Twain said in the late 19th century, I think it could be proven by facts and figures that the only Native American criminal class is Congress. Corruption comes from the ideas that people have about each other. It comes from their acceptance that that’s just the way that it is.
>> So, if you were talking to a young transwoman like myself, who had aspirations to be a professor or to be a writer or to be any other sort of philosopher or thinker what would you tell them?
>> Go do it, dear. Go for it.