Shooting in Tallahassee Illustrates Increasing Misogynist Violence

When the news broke on November 2, that a male shooter had killed two women at a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida, George Sodini immediately came to my mind. A middle-aged White man who shot and killed three women at a fitness class in Pennsylvania in 2009, Sodini had angrily lamented going years without sexual intercourse and blamed all “30 million…desirable single women” that he estimated existed in the United States for rejecting him. Another attack on women in an exercise class made it seem likely to me that this latest shooter was also motivated by a desire to punish “desirable” women.

And indeed, less than 24 hours after the Tallahassee attack, reporting by BuzzFeed News confirmed that the shooter, Scott Beierle, a 40-year-old White man, had both a long track record of inappropriate behavior towards women, and an internet history littered with threats of misogynistic violence. Beierle had twice been arrested for assaulting multiple women; was the subject of complaints from women who served with him in the Army; and in 2017, after being hired as a substitute teacher by Volusia County Schools in Florida, was accused by girls in his eighth-grade language arts class of staring at them inappropriately. After a parent complained, Beierle was simply relocated to another school, from which he was fired in May for touching a female middle school student “below the bra line,” according to a district report. A roommate of Beierle’s while he was in graduate school at Florida State University recalled, “We compared him to Ted Bundy back then. …It was the way he lurked and followed girls.”

In 2014, Beierle posted a series of misogynistic videos to YouTube.

In 2014, Beierle posted a series of angrily misogynistic online videos to YouTube, and over the last few months posted a number of original songs to SoundCloud, many with lyrics denouncing women. In one video, entitled “The Rebirth of my Misogynism,” Beierle listed the names of girls and women, dating back to his eighth-grade classmates, whom he blamed for his hatred of women, and warned, “I believe in karma. What comes around goes around, and those that engage in treachery ultimately will be the victims of it.” In his songs, Beierle sang about grabbing women’s butts, accused women (whom he referred to as “sluts” and “whores”) of “treachery” and “lying,” and fantasized about killing and raping women.

In another video, posted in 2014, Beierle compared his adolescent self to Elliot Rodger, who that year had killed six men and women during an attempt to “slaughter” women at “the hottest sorority house” at the University of California, Santa Barbara. (Thwarted by his failure to gain entry to the sorority building, Rodger instead opened fire on bystanders.) In a series of videos and a manifesto of over 100 pages that Rodger posted online before the massacre, he made clear the symbolism of his intended target, explaining that he had selected the sorority because it was filled with “the very girls who represent everything I hate in the female gender.” Rodger portrayed himself as victim of “injustice,” seeking “retribution” against women for their crimes—i.e. not going out with or having sex with him. That same year, Beierle similarly cast himself as a victim of “treachery.”

Rodger had participated in online forums for “incels”—a term used by a growing online community of men who self-identify as “involuntarily celibate,” and who compose one segment of the larger sphere of male supremacist communities online. In one of Rodger’s forum posts, he issued a rallying cry: “One day incels will realize their true strength and numbers, and will overthrow this oppressive feminist system.” He continued, “Start envisioning a world where WOMEN FEAR YOU.” While there haven’t yet been any reports of Beierle’s activity in such forums, in recent years, other incel forum participants have used the phrases “going Sodini” or “going ER” admiringly, glorifying these mass killers as heroes, and in 2015, another mass shooter, Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer, who killed nine people at a community college in Oregon, also referenced Rodger, writing in a journal-manifesto that mass shooters like Rodger “stand with the gods.” Several years later, in April 2018, mass murderer Alek Minassian left a Facebook post specifically referencing Rodger and his “Incel Rebellion” before driving his van into a crowd of people on a Toronto sidewalk, killing 10.

Posters to incel forums, such as Reddit’s r/Incels, which grew quickly to 40,000 subscribers from 2016 to November 2017, frequently complain about women, included rants suggesting that women who wear yoga pants in public deserve to be sexually assaulted. In 2017, Reddit banned its r/Incels forum for violating a new policy against content that “encourages, glorifies, incites or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or group of people.” But other members of the male supremacist community, including some within the pickup artist (PUA) community (which promises to teach men how to seduce women through tactics that often amount to sexual coercion and assault) have defended incel attacks as a justifiable response to feminist/progressive society preventing men from easy access to women’s bodies, as I wrote for The Public Eye after Minassian’s attack in April. (One of the forums where Rodger posted actively, PUAHate (since renamed SlutHate), was geared toward men who failed to achieve the sexual access to women that PUA forums promised.)

Following a week in which White men in acts of antisemitic and White supremacist violence killed 11 people at a synagogue and two Black patrons at a supermarket (after an unsuccessful attempt to attack a predominantly Black church), the targeting of a yoga studio in comparison might seem, as local law enforcement described the attack, “senseless” and “random.” But all these attacks are related to the mobilization of male supremacy, White supremacy, and antisemitism that has accelerated over the past few years. While sometimes described primarily as a racist movement, the White nationalist “Alt Right” has in fact mobilized around three themes: racism, antisemitism, and misogyny. Its brand of misogyny has been distinctively virulent compared to the patriarchal sexism of prior White supremacist and neonazi movements, as Matthew Lyons notes. And as my prior article, “Mobilizing Misogyny,” discusses, early Alt Right personalities such as Milo Yiannopoulos and Mike Cernovich rose to fame through misogynist writings and the #GamerGate harassment campaign, fanning reactive outrage to increasing diversity in the video game industry.

Beierle’s online presence reveals these intersections of male and White supremacy: through posts denouncing women in interracial relationships as traitors to “their blood,” railing against Muslims and immigrants, and using anti-LGBTQ language.

Beierle, like Sodini, Rodger, and Harper-Mercer before him, killed himself after his attack. (Minassian, now facing trial, shouted “kill me” when confronted by police after his vehicular attack.) In an article analyzing school shootings by White men and boys, sociologists Rachel Kalish and Michael Kimmel argue that “the culture of hegemonic masculinity in the U.S. creates a sense of aggrieved entitlement conducive to violence,” and perpetrators seeking to kill themselves after acts of mass violence forms part of their “enactment of masculinity.” We can see this aggrieved entitlement in the rhetoric of incel and PUA commenters, where bloggers and commenters defend murderers like Sodini or Rodger by arguing that, to some men “celibacy is walking death, and anything is justified in avoiding that miserable fate,” or that “sexual access to attractive females” is a basic need (along with food, shelter, clothing) that men shouldn’t be denied.

As countless mass shootings have made clear, the perpetrators of these acts are almost entirely men, who typically have a history of violence against women. Those histories are rarely addressed with the gravity they deserve. Further, survivors of gender-based violence face significant challenges and intimidation in considering whether to press charges, rarely receiving support from authorities. For example, a woman whom Beierle groped at Florida State University in 2012 didn’t press charges, understandably fearing the prospect of a court trial. Even after Beierle’s 2016 assault against a woman was caught on security video, prosecutors dismissed a charge of sexual battery under a six-month agreement with Beierle to avoid repeat offenses and adhere to a psychologist’s guidance. His inappropriate behavior at the first school where he taught in 2017 was largely overlooked allowing him to target other female students elsewhere.

Movements like #MeToo have worked to both create the space and support for survivors to speak out against perpetrators of sexual harassment and violence, and to push law enforcement to do better when these charges are brought. But at the same time, the rhetoric and policy decisions of the Trump administration, the growth of the White nationalist Alt Right, and long history of White male supremacy in U.S. politics and culture have contributed to a climate of demonization of women, people of color, LGBTQ, immigrants, Muslim, and Jewish people. The heightened right-wing fearmongering and acts of violence leading up to the midterm elections (including undetonated mail bombs sent to prominent Democrats) are fueled by the same, increasingly violent ideologies and coalitions. Recognizing the connections between these attacks is a necessary starting point to determining how to stop them.

The Future of the U.S. “Populist Radical Right” and White Nationalism: Looking at Cas Mudde’s The Far Right in America

Cas Mudde is the author of The Far Right in America (Routledge, 2017). Photo: Frankie Fouganthin.

Donald Trump did not invent nativism or right-wing populism, but he did provide those ideologies a more prominent platform than it has enjoyed in many decades. And, as scholar Cas Mudde warns, its claws in American society will ensure that it outlives his presidency. But will a revitalized White nationalist movement do the same?

The relationship between mainstream U.S. political currents and White supremacy is a complicated issue. Because the country was built upon slavery and Native genocide, the U.S. liberal political tradition has always been deeply connected to White supremacy—a contradiction with its own ideals of democracy and equality. The Civil Rights Movement was able to dismantle some of the explicit government rules that upheld this system. It secured voting rights for people of all racial backgrounds, abolished Jim Crow segregation laws, and propelled changes in immigration law.

Of course, these victories did not end White supremacy, and nor did Barack Obama’s election. It remains in effect in many institutional structures—such as home ownership, employment, and incarceration—as well as in cultural beliefs and interpersonal actions.

The Far Right is another beast entirely from this liberal system, and explicitly rejects its principles altogether. Instead, the Far Right relies on ethnocentric notions of the nation, conspiracism that sees treasonous secret elites conspiring against a hoodwinked people, looming apocalyptic scenarios, and worship of traditional social authority against democratic participation. Because of this, ounce-for-ounce the Far Right is far more dangerous than the White supremacy entangled with our current political and cultural life.

First, it is intertwined with antisemitism and overt misogyny—as well as other systemic oppressions, such as Islamophobia. Second, the Far Right is more than merely a concentrated form of institutional racism; it is qualitatively different. It seeks to drive the existing power imbalances forward. The Far Right also has a greater ability to innovate new political forms (including slogans, themes, and organizing structures), since it is not limited in its political imagination by the offerings of the present.

Cas Mudde, a professor at the University of Georgia and author of The Far Right in America (Routledge, 2018), has written about the variety in how right-wing groups are defined and offers insights to the current situation. In his book (which anthologizes essays written between 2009 and 2017), Mudde uses the term “far right” to cover groups that oppose liberal democracy, such as neonazis, and the “populist radical right,” including Breitbart, Pat Buchanan, and Trump, which works through the political system and is based on nativism, authoritarianism, and populism.1

Mudde defines nativism as “a combination of nationalism and xenophobia,” which sees all non-members of the national group as a threat. Authoritarianism desires a “strictly ordered society, in which infringements of authority are to be punished severely.” And he defines populism as “an ideology that considers society to be ultimately separated into two homogeneous and antagonistic groups, the pure people and the corrupt elite, and which argues that politics should be an expression of the volonté générale (general will) of the people. Populist radical right politicians claim to be vox populi (the voice of the people).”2

Breaking with the norm, however, Mudde is resistant to call Trump a populist: “Trump is not the vox populi (voice of the people) but the vox Donaldus (voice of The Donald).”3(Mudde does admit, however, that later in his presidential campaign Trump moved closer to a populist position.)

Instead, Mudde rightly says, “to accurately understand politicians like Trump and [Dutch Islamophobe Geert] Wilders, and the challenge they pose to liberal democracy, authoritarianism and nativism are at least as important as populism, if not more so.”4 In a December 2017 Guardian essay, Mudde argues “Why nativism, not populism, should be declared word of the year.” There, he says, “within the core ideology of the populist radical right, populism comes secondary to nativism, and within contemporary European and US politics, populism functions at best as a fuzzy blanket to camouflage the nastier nativism.”

Mudde also warns, rightly, that Trump has not created populist radical right sentiment in the United States. Movements and organizations embracing this perspective have frequently appeared suddenly, quickly gained large followings, and then just as rapidly deflated. Mudde’s list includes the anti-Catholic Know Nothing movement (1850s), the second-era Ku Klux Klan (1920–­30s), both pre- and post-war Nazis, the third-era Klan (1950s), the John Birch Society (founded in 1958), George Wallace’s presidential runs (1968 and 1972), and more recently the militia movement (1990s), the Tea Party (2000s), and today’s anti-immigration groups.5 (Many of these same groups are covered in Right-Wing Populism in America, by former PRA senior analyst Chip Berlet and Matthew Lyons, which Mudde recommends.)

More recently, however, the populist Radical Right has developed a strong base inside the Republican Party, which became very visible with the Tea Party’s rise and impact on the 2010 mid-term elections. Mudde says, “The success of Trump is in many ways the product of a decade-long radicalization of the grassroots and cadres of the party.”6 In a 2012 article, Mudde presciently quotes Richard A. Vigueri as saying, “Tea Partiers will take over the Republican Party within four years.”7 Vigueri was right in general—although it did not take the exact form he expected.

And in both his book and another December 2017 Guardian essay, “‘Trumpism’ is ingrained in white America,” Mudde identifies the problem as one not just in the present—but in the future, as well. In that later essay, he says,

for years surveys have shown that strong authoritarian, nativist and populist positions command pluralities, if not majorities, among Republican supporters. Positions on crime, immigration and Islam have hardened rather than weakened, while conspiracy theories that were at the fringes of the militia movement in the 1990s are now widespread. …

What the increasingly forgotten rise of the Tea Party indicated several years before was simply confirmed by the rise of Trump: the Republican establishment had radicalised its base to such an extent that it was no longer representative of its views. Trump didn’t hijack the Republican party, he provided the base with a real representative again. …

Populist radical right ideas such as Trumpism have always been widespread within white American society. Just as the Republican establishment couldn’t control Trump, Trump can’t control Trumpism. It has been here before him and it will be here after him, because it is part of American political culture and history.

This is important to emphasize because there seems to be an unarticulated assumption that this current wave of xenophobic nationalism will simply rise and fall, like these other past Far Right bubbles. But Mudde is right to show that this populist radical right sentiment has been a consistent and growing part of the Republican base for at least a decade, and is no flash in the pan—Trump or no Trump.

And rather than being too pessimistic, Mudde doesn’t go far enough in his analysis. His focus is on the populist Radical Right, and he has long emphasized its ascendance in Global North politics, but he misses the mark in dismissing the roles—and risks—of the openly White nationalist Right in the United States.8 This, too, has the potential to establish itself as a more permanent, and mainstream, part of U.S. political life.

In the media and mainstream political society, advocacy of open White nationalism has remained taboo since the Civil Rights Movement. Every breathless exposé of a neonazi implies this: the public titillation about the existence of Nazis in our communities—when in fact they have been in the United States since the 1920s—is reliant on their excluded nature. And this is what makes techniques such as doxing (publicizing private information about an individual) effective: the resultant social shunning and potential employment problems are based on the taboo remaining intact.

Will avowed White nationalism become a legitimate political discourse from here on out?

Mudde is correct that the populist Radical Right was not created by Trump, and it will continue to be a toxic presence in U.S. society well after he is gone. There is another goalpost: Will avowed White nationalism become a legitimate political discourse from here on out? With a slew of candidates running in Republican primaries, White nationalists are hoping to gain elected positions. The February 2018 CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) is a good bellwether. In addition to a variety of populist Far Right figures who were invited speakers, many White nationalists attended the conference itself unlike past years, including Identity Evropa’s Patrick Casey and Marcus Epstein.  And while the Alt Right has met a number of organizational stumbling blocks lately—with leaders like Richard Spencer cancelling his college speaking tour and Matthew Heimbach becoming embroiled in a sex scandal—the movement itself isn’t going anywhere.

Trump’s presidential campaign and victory had a clear energizing effect on White nationalists and other openly xenophobic Far Right activists such as Islamophobic and anti-immigrant groups. But will these groups, so visible in the present moment, simply slink off the national stage as they have in the past? Alternatively, will this be the opening of a new era in which avowed White nationalists will once again be part of mainstream political discourse?

Endnotes

1 Cas Mudde, The Far Right in America (London: Routledge, 2017), 1­–3.

2 ibid, 2.

3 ibid, 49.

4 ibid,116.

5 ibid, 4–8, 50.

6 ibid, 40.

7 ibid, 21.

8 ibid, 6, 13.

White Nationalist Groups Turn Up at 2018 Women’s Marches

Co-authored by Julia Taliesin

In the year of the #MeToo movement, Women’s Marches took place in every state on January 20 and 21, drawing crowds of a little over a thousand to half a million. But, from Knoxville, Tennesee to Seattle, Washington, Far Right and White nationalist groups demonstrated with anti-woman, anti-abortion and anti-feminist banners in response, bringing more visibility to misogynist elements of their ideology.

Matthew Heimbach, founder of the Traditionalist Workers Party (TWP), a group that advocates for a Whites-only nation-state, wrote a statement urging people to take to the streets in Knoxville, Tennessee for the 2018 Women’s March and celebrated the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville as a success. An estimated 20 people joined Heimbach, holding confederate and League of the South flags and anti-abortion banners, while an estimated 14,000 people marched through the streets, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.

In the Pacific Northwest, neonazis targeted the marches, as well. Among the thousand people marching in Salem, OR, one person with a Nazi flag showed up to protest the Womxn’s March. They did not appear to be representing a specific organization. Fliers with “Make women property again” and featuring long quotes from Adolph Hitler were spotted in Seattle, WA prior to the march where thousands of people took to the streets.

At the Women’s March 2.0 in Providence, RI, anti-racist activists spotted four members of Vanguard America hanging a banner reading, “feminists deserve the rope” over an overpass, and then tried to display the banner on the south lawn of the state house, only to be removed quickly by Women’s March participants.

Vanguard America banner removed from State House lawn by Women’s March 2.0 participants in Providence, RI

TWP, League of the South, and Vanguard America are member organizations of the Nationalist Front, a collective of Far Right and neonazi organizations that led the most violent charge in Charlottesville and have gained visibility since the election of President Donald Trump, with revived goals of organizing on college campuses and in public spaces.

As Alex DiBranco noted in the Public Eye, the rhetoric of Trump’s presidential campaign “energized members of a secular misogynist Right…centered on overt hostility to women and the promulgation of rape culture.” This surge in overt misogyny thrives alongside (and presents a gateway to) White nationalism.

Other neonazi groups have recently made public appearances over their stand against women’s rights to bodily autonomy. The Far Right neonazi group, the Patriot Front, an offshoot of Vanguard America, rallied at the anti-abortion March for Life on Jan. 14 in Chicago. Protesters held American flags and a large banner with “Protect our Posterity, BloodandSoil.com” on it.  “Blood and Soil” is an infamous Nazi slogan that was used during the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville and refers to the belief that white Aryan people have a hereditary right to land.

Even March for Life organizers didn’t want the vitriol of the Patriot Front associated with their cause. Eric Scheidler, a career anti-abortion activist with the Pro Life Action League, one of the organizers of the March for Life, wrote that the Patriot Front was not welcome at their march, saying that he asked the police to remove them from the area designated for the march to across the street.

Emboldened White nationalist groups with histories of violence continue to turn out at public demonstrations to promote their platform but at the Women’s Marches they were far outnumbered at every location.

Three Pillars of the Alt Right: White Nationalism, Antisemitism, and Misogyny

Photo credit: Karla Cote, August 11, 2017, Charlottesville, VA https://flic.kr/p/XuUyHe

The new wave of avowed White nationalists who have been energized by Donald Trump—most prominently the Alt Right—have held demonstrations across the United States, most famously in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017. Progressive activists have struggled to conceptualize and oppose the movement, and there have been a variety of different responses to it. However, some of these responses show a deep misunderstanding by progressives of what the Alt Right and other White nationalists believe. To misunderstand the multifaceted politics of fascism—and in particular, to ignore antisemitism—is to fail to comprehend the motivations and actions of the Alt Right and other White nationalists. It can also create a situation in which those who are targeted are left to fend off their would-be oppressors without solidarity.

The Alt Right can be understood as a Far Right style and approach, rather than having a single ideological position. It does have two wings, however: one is the so-called Alt Lite, which includes the open participation of people of color, Jews, and gay men, including in leadership roles. This includes figures like Jack Prosobiec, Laura Loomer, Baked Alaska, and Kyle Chapman (“Based Stickman”). They support Donald Trump and espouse a Patriotic ultra-nationalism, oppose immigration, demonize Muslims, and are hostile to the left. The other wing is the explicit White nationalists, who are driven by fascist ideology; they include Richard Spencer, Mike Enoch, and Andrew Anglin. They are like their Alt Lite relations, but also are open proponents of White nationalism. It is this fascist wing—who organized the 2017 demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia in August, and Pikeville and Shelbyville, Kentucky in April and October respectively—that will be addressed when the Alt Right is referred to here. (All of this is not to deny that there is a reciprocal interchange between these wings, particularly with Alt Lite figures frequently adopting White nationalist slogans and positions.)

There are three main themes the Alt Right organizes around: White nationalism, antisemitism, and misogyny, with lesser concentrations on Islamophobia, and opposition to LGBTQ people, and “Communists.” This range of targets should be no surprise; the German Nazi Party was no different in the 1930s and ‘40s. One of their first actions upon taking power was to smash the Communist and Socialist parties, as well as the trade unions; the organizations were banned and the leaders imprisoned. In addition to Jews, the Nazis murdered people who were disabled, Sinti and Roma, queer, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and certain prisoners of war. Slavs, Black folks, and others also faced repression and death to varying degrees.

White Nationalism

White nationalists live in a topsy-turvy world where they conceive of White people as being not only oppressed but as victims of a “genocide” that is in motion. For some of them, movements like Black Lives Matter—rather than being attempts at equality—are actually attempts to establish outright Black supremacy. In their view, it will elevate what they see as an already privileged group to an even higher level.

White nationalists assert that race is the central element in society that gives us our identity and a sense of belonging. But White nationalists go much further in their claims and political goals than the mainstream supporters of White supremacy as it exists today. Those in the mainstream deny the differences between how White people and people of color—especially Black folks—are treated in access to housing, equal police treatment, education, income, etc; and often support comparatively subtle techniques, such as voter suppression or removing funding for civil rights enforcement.

White nationalists in the U.S. have been advocating for pure White racial areas since the 1970s. This is where the rhetoric of “White separatism” arises, which differs from earlier forms of U.S. racism from the pre-Civil Rights era. For example, instead of slavery or Jim Crow segregation—where White people would remain in contact with Black people but exploit them economically and remain on a higher social level—the emphasis has shifted to having racially homogenous White communities, without contact with racial others. With the failure to uphold segregation, and coming under the influence of German Nazism, U.S. White nationalists came to see breaking up racial homogeneity as damaging to their interests.

This is why many White nationalists, including those in the Alt Right, want a White ethnostate, and not just a maintenance of the White supremacist status quo as it exists. This is, in fact, the “alternative” that the “Alt” Right seeks—it is opposed to the neoliberal conservatives who want to either maintain the racial status quo, or slowly make it worse for people of color through comparatively subtle techniques of political disempowerment. It is this goal of a White ethnostate that makes the Alt Right not just different than mainstream White supremacists—not just are their politics more aggressive, but they have a fundamentally different vision of the future.

The Alt Right’s opposition to immigration and, to a lesser extent, Islamophobia can be understood as subsets of these White nationalist views. The Alt Right does not oppose European immigration, even when illegal; and Islamophobia’s ostensible emphasis on religion is a way to avoid naming race, while clearly speaking about it.

Antisemitism

A second, and too-often-overlooked, pillar of White nationalism is its reliance on antisemitic conspiracy theories, which frequently act as its central “theory.” These are constantly mutating, although they contain the same basic premises. Jews are seen as a cabal-like group who control the media, banks, and various international institutions. They use this fantastical power to undermine what White nationalists see as their racial interests. (Almost all White nationalists see Jews as non-White, regardless of whether they have European ancestry.) Kevin Macdonald, a former professor at California State University, Long Beach, is the main intellectual influence on the Alt Right in this aspect, and he has given an intellectual gloss to the more crude antisemitic theories.

The Jewish conspiracy is the explanatory mechanism for how Black Americans and Latinos in particular are defeating White nationalists, who see them as lazy and stupid. If they are inferior, how can they be winning? It is the Jewish conspiracy that is claimed to be working to destroy the White race through promoting immigration, civil rights for racial minorities, and globalization. Antisemitic conspiracy theories hold Jews responsible for creating and guiding the Civil Rights Movement for example. A newer permutation of this kind of antisemitic conspiracy theory is that “Cultural Marxism” is to blame for “political correctness” and movements for racial equality.

The Charlottesville rally itself had a strong antisemitic slant to it. Before the event, one of the schedule speakers, Traditionalist Worker Party leader Matthew Heimbach, said a Jewish conspiracy was behind the removal of the Confederate memorials. He opined that, “they want to be able to destroy knowledge of the past so they, the Jewish Power Structure, can try and control the future.”

At the infamous torch-lit rally on, August 11, the eve before the planned rally, marchers chanted “Jews will not replace us!” The next day, one very visible sign said, “The Jewish media is going down.” Calls had been made to burn a local synagogue down. The Washington Post said that White nationalist leader David Duke made an impromptu speech at the end of the gathering, saying:

“The truth is the American media, and the American political system, and the American Federal Reserve, is dominated by a tiny minority: the Jewish Zionist cause.” Addressing another group, Richard Spencer mocked Charlottesville’s Jewish mayor, Mike Signer. “Little Mayor Signer—‘See-ner’—how do you pronounce this little creep’s name?” Spencer asked. The crowd responded by chanting, “Jew, Jew, Jew.”

The antisemitism at the Charlottesville rally was discussed in the mainstream media—but, tellingly, not nearly as widely on the Left. Articles appeared, for example, in the Atlantic, the Washington Post, and the New Republic about the role of antisemitism—but in almost no more left-leaning publications. This, in turn, reflects a longstanding failure of the Left to recognize and confront issues of antisemitism.

Misogyny

The organized White supremacist movement has always been entangled with misogyny. Its vision of a racial hierarchy is intimately tied up with other social hierarchies.

This isn’t just one of a laundry list of social ills that White nationalists embrace, however; for the Alt Right, it is central. This is even more so than for past iterations of white supremacists; as Matthew Lyons points out in “Alt-right: More Misogynistic Than Many Neonazis,” the last generation of U.S. neonazis embraced a semi-feminism that “rejects the idea of male-female equality yet encourages women to become activists and leaders as well as wives and mothers.” But the Alt Right was energized when the Gamergate crowd (including Milo Yiannopoulos, then an editor at Breitbart) affixed itself to the more intellectual elements around Richard Spencer, Counter-Currents, and Arktos Press.

Lyons describes the Alt Right’s views in his Political Research Associates report Ctrl-Alt-Delete: The Origins and Ideology of the Alternative Right:

Going beyond traditionalist claims about the sanctity of the family and natural gender roles, Alt Rightists have embraced an intensely misogynistic ideology, portraying women as irrational, vindictive creatures who need and want men to rule over them and who should be stripped of any political role. The Traditionalist Youth Network claims that “women’s biological drives are contrary to the best interests of civilization and… the past century or so of women’s enfranchisement and liberation has been detrimental to societal stability.” But the group frames this position as relatively moderate because, unlike some rightists, they don’t believe “that women are central to the destruction of Western Civilization”—they are simply being manipulated by the Jews. The Daily Stormer has banned female contributors and called for limiting women’s roles in the movement, sparking criticism from women on the more old school White nationalist discussion site Stormfront. Far-right blogger Matt Forney asserts that “Trying to ‘appeal’ to women is an exercise in pointlessness…. it’s not that women should be unwelcome [in the Alt Right], it’s that they’re unimportant.”

Prior to Charlottesville, there was a discussion in Alt Right circles about if women could attend. (It was finally decided that they could, although they were encouraged to be in support positions, and only a small minority were in the crowd.) A number of attendees espoused the idea of “White sharia”—controversial in their own circles—which holds that in a future White ethnostate, men will be able to control women a super-restrictive manner. One video promoting the concept says:

Under ‘white sharia,’ our women will no longer be permitted to live their lives as sluts…. And you won’t have any career women invading your workplace either. Nope. Under ‘white sharia,’ our women won’t even be able to leave the home without being escorted by a male family member. And they definitely won’t be voting for liberal politicians anymore.

Anglin adds an antisemitic element, saying that, Basically, your only choice in this matter is whether you will choose WHITE SHARIA or Islamic Sharia. Because the Jews are obsessed with destroying the white race, they have weakened us internally to the point of collapse while emboldening and propping up the Islamic hordes.” At Charlottesville, the fascist crowd chanted “White sharia now.”

A Constellation of Other Toxic Views

Circling around their triadic emphasis on White nationalism, antisemitism, and misogyny are plenty of other noxious views held by the Alt Right and other White nationalists.

Islamophobia

Islamophobia has been popular favorite, which has the added element of uniting a broad group of right-wing actors. It is a popular political issue for the Alt Right, which they use to mobilize their base and for publicity. However, underneath the surface, it lacks the theoretical centrality that antisemitism has—they are not using their Islamophobia to think through or guide their politics.

Islamophobia also creates some complex political interactions here that don’t lead to long-term collaboration in the right. Many core Islamophobic organizers claim Zionism, feminism, and pro-LGBTQ positions as part of their politics, conflicting with the views of many more traditional White nationalists.

Homophobia and Transphobia

Homophobic and transphobic sentiments are the norm rather than the exception on the fascist end of the Alt Right. At Charlottesville, fascists chanted repeatedly at anti-racist protestors, “Fuck you faggots!” (The reply chanted back was, “We’re here / we’re gay / we fucked the KKK.”)

This also has some complications. Fascism Today author Shane Burley said in an email, “The hardcore homophobia is actually kind of new for the Alt Right, it wasn’t an area of importance for quite a while. It essentially returned when the less academic voices in the Alt Right came back and the queer voices receded, like Jack Donovan.” For example at the 2016 National Policy Institute (then run by Richard Spencer) conference, the most pro-GLBTQ strain was on display. Donovan spoke, Heimbach was banned from attending due to his aggressive homophobic approach, and longtime White nationalist lawyer Sam Dickson made the amazing statement that “gay people” will be allowed in the new White ethnostate.

Anti-Communism

In addition to these views, to a lesser extent, the Alt Right has a fixation on anti-Communist conspiracy theories. These are classic conspiracy theories in which “Communists” are the agent of the global conspiracy. They have been revived as of late, with “antifa” often taking the place of the Soviet Union or Western Marxist parties as the agent of the conspiracy. As with other questions however, some Alt Right leaders have a more favorable view of Communist nations as they have existed in reality (which tended to be strongly nationalist) rather than how they portrayed themselves in the abstract. For example, Heimbach, among others, praises North Korea as an ethnostate that practices a national socialism.

Theoretical Challenges to Conceptualizing Progressive Resistance

These questions of how the Alt Right thinks—and who it targets—should be kept in mind when shaping resistance strategies. And it is of particular importance to progressive activists who believe that people of certain identities have obligations to oppose oppressive politics aimed at those who have different identities than their own.

First, the kind of White supremacy that the Alt Right and other White nationalists advocate is substantially different—and potentially far more dangerous—than the current daily grind of racism in U.S. society. White nationalists see the status quo as a problem, and desire a far more aggressive form—a program of genocide and expulsions—to be implemented. It creates new arguments, slogans, images, and conceptualizations that, even when out of power, seep into the mainstream. The Alt Right’s ability to influence the Trump administration is a shining example of this, with Trump adopting the style and positions of Alt Right groups, even though their actual members are not in positions of direct contact with him.

Second, fascists and other White nationalists are best countered by a unified opposition of people from different identities. The Civil Rights Movement involved both Black and White people. In this way, it practiced a unity of means and ends in what it sought to create in society—integration. This is in part, alongside sophisticated organizing and bold tactics, what made it inspiring and successful. The anti-racist counter-protestors at Charlottesville attempted to do the same; one chant was, “Strong, united, interracial crew / We have replaced you.” Countering the White nationalist vision of a racially monolithic society with an opposition that intentionally replicates its racial exclusivity seems bound to fail.

Third, as has been shown, most White nationalists seek to oppress not just people of color as such, but also Jews, Muslims, feminists, immigrants, LGBTQ people, leftists, and anti-racists of all racial identities. If the Alt Right is reduced singularly to the issue of race, this leaves all of these other targeted groups out in the cold. But for those who follow a politics guided by doing political work for people of identities different than their own, is it not the obligation of heterosexuals, non-Jews, and non-Muslims to stand up for Jews, Muslims, and queer people? Or do they have to stand up for themselves without solidarity?

Fascism targets a whole range of identities: it is a politics of full-spectrum oppression.

Fascism targets a whole range of identities: it is a politics of full-spectrum oppression. This political movement should not be opposed just because of the future of genocide which it seeks, the violence of the movement as it exists now, and its ability to drive moderate conservatives even further to the right. It deserves an intersectional resistance because our actions should be bound up in a principled and consistent opposition to the many different forms of hierarchy that fascism promotes.

#First100Days Crash Course: Week 7

Coinciding with Trump’s first 100 days in Office — a period of time historically used as a benchmark to measure the potential of a new president — PRA will share readings, videos, and tools for organizing to inform our collective resistance based on principles for engaging the regime, defending human rights, and preventing authoritarianism. Daily readings will be posted on our Facebook and Twitter accounts and archived HERE.

Week 7: Misogyny

Continue reading “Mobilizing Misogyny” in The Public Eye!

Male supremacism, enshrined in the nation’s founding documents, is as fundamental to U.S. history as White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) nativism. The same patriarchal stance—combining race, religion, and nativism—fuels conservative Christian ideology on appropriate gender roles. (Transgender women and men and genderqueer individuals also violate these designated roles.) Especially in the last 100 years, as some women have succeeded in pushing back against the sexist world they inherited, social and political movements have emerged to defend traditional gender structures.

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Mobilizing Misogyny

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This article appears in the Winter 2017 edition of The Public Eye magazine.

Unquestionably, President Donald Trump’s demonstrated enthusiasm for catering to the Christian Right on abortion—and obliterating their memory of his pro-choice past—spells trouble for reproductive rights. But that’s not the only threat to women under Trump’s new order. Trump’s campaign distinguished itself from those of other Republican candidates by its attacks on women: regularly insulting women’s appearances or behavior and defending physical and sexual harassment and violence against them. Sometimes, Trump’s threatening and offensive rhetoric directly targeted his Democratic opponent, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the first woman major party nominee for president, from calling her a “nasty woman” to suggesting there might be a Second Amendment “remedy” in case of her election.1

This rhetoric energized members of a secular misogynist Right—such as the men’s rights movement and, more recently, the “Alt Right”—that has flourished online since the 1990s. And it found no pushback from a brand of conservative, libertarian “feminism”—another ’90s development—that provides a dangerously legitimizing female face for misogynist ideology centered on overt hostility to women and the promulgation of rape culture.

Effectively fighting mobilizations like those emboldened by Trump’s election requires accurately understanding their composition—one in which misogyny thrives alongside, and intertwined with, racism.

Patriarchal Traditionalism from White Supremacy to the Christian Right

Male supremacism, enshrined in the nation’s founding documents, is as fundamental to U.S. history as White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) nativism.2 The same patriarchal stance—combining race, religion, and nativism—fuels conservative Christian ideology on appropriate gender roles. (Transgender women and men and genderqueer individuals also violate these designated roles.) Especially in the last 100 years, as some women have succeeded in pushing back against the sexist world they inherited, social and political movements have emerged to defend traditional gender structures.

Phyllis Schlafly speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr).

Amid Second Wave feminism, the antifeminists Phyllis Schlafly (a Roman Catholic) and Beverly LaHaye (an evangelical) followed in this tradition when they organized a “pro-family” movement to stop the ratification of the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Though themselves prominent activists, LaHaye and the late Schlafly promoted submission to husbands and attacked women seeking careers.3

Abortion, contraception, and sexuality education all threaten the enforcement of traditional gender roles. After the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion in 1973, conservative evangelicals joined with the existing Catholic “prolife” movement in the creation of the Christian Right, and abortion became “a vital component of [the Right’s] fight to protect the bottom line of traditional family values—the dominance of white, male power and control,” as PRA’s Jean Hardisty and Pam Chamberlain observed. The anti-abortion movement drew together members of the Religious Right and White supremacists and neonazis, who contributed to the rising violence against clinic providers in the 1990s perpetrated primarily by White men.4 (The legacy of White supremacy, Hardisty and Chamberlain continue, can be seen in how “the Right applies race and class criteria that distinguish between the rights of white, middle-class women and low-income women of color.” This dynamic led to the 1990s stereotype of the “welfare queen,” and welfare reform under Bill Clinton designed to discourage women of color and immigrant women from having “too many” children.5)

But attacks on women’s reproductive rights have often come wrapped in the guise of chivalry, framed as “moral issues” and “family values” rather than misogyny. To gain wider acceptance, the anti-abortion movement has adopted a framework of “protecting women,” vilifying abortion providers as preying on weak women threatened by the physical and mental health consequences of abortion.6 That effort has made significant legislative progress in recent years, with a slew of state anti-abortion bills in 2011. Despite this official strategy, clinic protesters on the ground expose their misogyny in calling women “murderers” and “whores,” and sometimes resorting to physical intimidation.7

In 2012, contraception came under increased attack as immoral in the debate over healthcare reform. Anti-abortion groups have long denounced the “morning after pill” as an abortifacient, yet had otherwise tended to avoid pushing an unpopular position against contraception, largely considered a settled issue. When law student Sandra Fluke testified in favor of contraceptive coverage, Rush Limbaugh infamously ranted about her being a “slut” and a “prostitute” who should be required to post sex videos online.8

Set on proving that his “pro-choice” days were behind him, during the 2016 campaign Trump denounced Planned Parenthood as an “abortion factory” and selected hardline reproductive and LGBTQ rights opponent Indiana governor Mike Pence as his running mate. In his eagerness, Trump unknowingly violated the Christian Right’s strategic deployment of a “kinder, gentler” image9 when he announced that women who obtained an illegal abortion should face “punishment.” Although Trump backpedaled to mollify anti-abortion groups that claim to protect women, his original statement was characteristic of the anti-woman vitriol of his campaign and may have appealed to the existing hatred demonstrated by clinic protesters.10

The Christian Right’s attack on women isn’t limited to reproductive issues. Schlafly frequently argued that women make false accusations of sexual assault and domestic violence—her grounds for opposing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and suggesting that there exists a “war on men.”11 Concerned Women for America (CWA), a major Christian Right group founded by Beverly LaHaye, claims that the “wage gap” results from women’s own choices and therefore opposes equal pay legislation.12 In such respects, Christian Right ideology aligns with that of equity feminism and men’s rights.

Equity Feminism and Men’s Rights

In 1991, “Women for Judge Thomas” formed to defend conservative Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas against Anita Hill’s sexual harassment allegations. The following year this group institutionalized itself as the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), under the premise that, as co-founder Anita Blair declared, feminism should have “declared victory and gone home” by 1978.13 The idea that, at least in the U.S., women have achieved equality underlies the secular libertarian philosophy of “equity feminism” (also “individualist feminism”).14 In 2009, IWF’s then-president Michelle Bernard explained, “we have a philosophical belief that women are not victims… we believe that free markets are really the great equalizer, and will allow women to become truly equal with men in areas where we still may be unequal.”15 This ideology diverges from patriarchal traditionalism in applauding successful career women (and holding varied views on abortion), replacing it with a sexism that blames women’s continuing underrepresentation in positions of influence on personal choices and intrinsic differences, and to protect this worldview, frequently dismisses contradictory evidence.16

By offering a provocative dissident women’s voice, presenting “the other side,” equity feminists can forego the grassroots organizing of Schlafly and LaHaye17 while benefiting from extensive media dissemination of its ideas. As former IWF Executive Director Barbara Ledeen put it, “You can’t have white guys saying you don’t need affirmative action.”18

In 1988, Warren Farrell, who had once been involved with feminist organizing of men’s consciousness group, published the book Why Men Are the Way They Are.

Of course, plenty of White guys have spoken out against affirmative action, developing a male victimhood ideology to complement equity feminism’s rejection of female victims. In 1988, Warren Farrell, who had once been involved with feminist organizing of men’s consciousness group, published the book Why Men Are the Way They Are, “depicting a world where women—particularly female executives—wield vast influence. Even those women who are less successful have ‘enormous sexual leverage over men.’”19

When men think about women’s gains, Caryl Rivers and Rosalind C. Barnett write in The New Soft War on Women: How the Myth of Female Ascendance Is Hurting Women, Men—and Our Economy, “There’s a tendency to circle the wagons, to exaggerate how far women have come and how far men have fallen.”20 Alarm over women’s advancement emerges repeatedly in U.S. history: as Danielle Paquette points out in the Washington Post, 30 years prior to Farrell’s book, Harvard historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. worried over the trickle of wives into the 1950s workforce: “Women seem an expanding, aggressive force, seizing new domains like a conquering army, while men, more and more on the defensive, are hardly able to hold their own and gratefully accept assignments from their new rulers.”21

Farrell, dubbed the “father of the men’s rights movement,” followed up in 1993 with The Myth of Male Power: Why Men Are the Disposable Sex, where he suggested that American (White) men were the new “nigger,” threatened by women’s ability to cry sexual harassment and “date rape.” According to sociologist Michael Kimmel, this became the movement’s “bible,” awakening men to their status as victims of women’s ascendancy.22 Like White supremacist movements, men’s rights ideology warns White men that they are losing their place in society. Where equity feminism thrives among elite women with access to major communications platforms, the men’s rights movement is a decentralized “netroots” movement that draws men who feel less privileged, especially those with employment troubles and failures in romantic relationships.

Claiming rampant false accusations of rape and violence is one of the most prevalent men’s rights and equity feminist talking points.23 Who Stole Feminism?, a classic among conservative “feminists” published the following year by Christina Hoff Sommers, similarly argues that “gender” or “radical” feminists lie about rates of rape and domestic violence. Speaking on campus sexual assault in 2014, Sommers, a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, repeated the same themes of “false accusations” and “[i]nflated statistics,” declaring, “I believe that the rape culture movement is fueled by exaggerated claims of intimacy and a lot of paranoia about men.”24 A spokesperson for A Voice for Men (AVFM), one of the most prominent men’s rights organizations, rejected rape “hysteria…as a scam” and baselessly claimed that sexual assault affects only about two percent of women—far from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s one-in-five statistic.25

Although equity feminists reject the existence of structural constraints on women, like Men’s Rights Activist (MRA) they suggest that American boys and men suffer at the hands of gender feminists. In 2000, Sommers wrote The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men, and a flurry of concern over boys’ educational achievements in 2013 landed her in major outlets including The New York Times, TIME Magazine, and The Atlantic. Psychologist Helen Smith, one of IWF’s “Modern Feminists,” suggested in 2012 that “the deck is so stacked against men that they are ‘going Galt,’” a reference to Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged, an MRA favorite.26

Equity feminism’s depiction of women as liars with “victim mentalities” dovetails alarmingly with (and legitimizes) the online manifestation of the men’s rights movement, which uses more virulent and hateful rhetoric to convey the same argument.

Male Supremacist Harassment and Violence

Paul Elam has made attempts at a respectable mainstream image, organizing the movement’s first in-person conference. But he also has a history of advocating violence, writing that women who go clubbing are “begging” to be raped, and that “there are a lot of women who get pummeled and pumped because they are stupid (and often arrogant) enough to walk [through] life with the equivalent of a I’M A STUPID, CONNIVING BITCH—PLEASE RAPE ME neon sign glowing above their empty little narcissistic heads.”27

Another site Elam launched, Register-her.com, allowed men to post personal information for women they claim made false accusations (or otherwise outraged the movement) in order to target them for harassment. In 2011, feminist writer Jessica Valenti fled her house under a barrage of threats after her information appeared on this site.

Jack Donovan (photo: Zachary O. Ray via Wiki Commons).

Other strains of online male supremacism include pick-up artists (PUAs), who advocate male sexual entitlement and give sexist advice on seducing women; the Red Pill, a community named for a Matrix reference that seeks to awaken men to the “reality” of dominant “feminist culture”;28 Men Going Their Own Way, which advocates cutting ties with women; and Jack Donovan’s “gang masculinity,” which calls on men to form warrior gangs to escape domestication by women.29 Deviating from the online movement’s predominantly secular nature are Christian masculinists, who, as Dianna Anderson writes at Rewire, “have fused manosphere rhetoric with what they see as ‘biblical’ gender roles to envision a hierarchical, patriarchal ideal world.”30 These varied communities share adherents, though there is also conflict among their competing perspectives.

The virulent misogyny promoted by male supremacists, often couched as anti-feminism and accompanied by racism and nativism, has serious repercussions that play out on a global stage. In 1989, Marc Lépine killed 14 women at an engineering school in Montreal under the guise of “fighting feminism.”31 In 2009, George Sodini killed three women and then himself at a fitness class in Pennsylvania, leaving behind a website that complained about being rejected by women (and leading PUAs to coin the term “going Sodini”).32 Anders Breivik murdered 77 adults and children in Norway in 2011, leaving behind a manifesto attacking “the radical feminist agenda,” Islam, political correctness, and “Cultural Marxism” (see David Neiwart’s article in this issue).33 And in May 2014, Elliot Rodger set out to “slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up blonde slut” at the “hottest” sorority at the University of California, Santa Barbara, writing, “I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me, but I will punish you for it.”34 He ultimately killed six people and himself, though he failed to make it inside the sorority.

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report editor-in-chief, Mark Potok, wrote, “Men’s rights activists did not tell Rodger to kill—but in their writings, it seems like many of them wouldn’t mind doing some killing of their own. Rodger said as much in his manifesto, writing that PUAHate ‘confirmed many of the theories I had about how wicked and degenerate women really are’ and showed him ‘how bleak and cruel the world is due to the evilness of women.’”35

Elliot Rodger’s story has parallels with that of White supremacist terrorist Dylann Roof, convicted in 2016 of murdering nine Black congregants at a Charleston church.36 Though the media typically portrays such acts of right-wing violence as perpetrated by mentally disturbed individuals37—so-called “Lone Wolves”—as PRA contributor Naomi Braine writes, “a decision to act alone does not mean acting outside of social movement frameworks, philosophies, and networks.”38 Both young men encountered inaccurate and hateful rhetoric online that inflamed existing dissatisfactions by depicting them as victims.39 Thus, Lone Wolf violence emerges from a right-wing context “systematically erased” by media misrepresentation of these as isolated and irrational actors.

Some members of the male supremacist online movement hailed Rodger as a hero on PUAHate.com messaging boards or Facebook fan pages.40 Others distanced themselves while defending their own misogynist content, much as the Council of Conservative Citizens, the White nationalist group Roof cited in his manifesto, claimed to condemn Roof’s violence while blaming society for ignoring White people’s “legitimate grievances.”41 Daryush Valizadeh (“Roosh V”), a professional PUA and founder of the site Return of Kings, argued, “Until you give men like Rodger a way to have sex, either by encouraging them to learn game, seek out a Thai wife, or engage in legalized prostitution…it’s inevitable for another massacre to occur.”42

Meanwhile, equity feminists stepped up to whitewash a clearly misogynist attack. IWF senior editor Charlotte Hays wrote that calling Rodger’s violence a “product of sexism” was a “bizarre response” by feminists.43

Video Games, Misogyny, and the Alt Right

Video games might not seem like a vital social justice battleground. However, as sociologist and gaming critic Katherine Cross has pointed out, the virulence of online White male reactions to increasing gender and racial diversity in game players and creators, and to critiques of the industry’s sexism, indicates a problem with dismissing this as a trivial issue.44 Only a few months after Rodger’s fatal 2014 attack, an incident dubbed “Gamergate,” ostensibly about gaming industry ethics and media corruption, resulted in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) looking into the barrage of violent rape and death threats against women who criticized video games’ sexist portrayals of women and lack of diversity.45 Anita Sarkeesian, one of the primary targets, canceled a talk at Utah State University after the school received a threat to repeat Marc Lépine’s massacre and demonstrate “what feminist lies and poison have done to the men of America.”46 While circles of progressive female journalists took the movement behind Gamergate seriously, their voices were largely ignored by the mainstream media.47

Milo Yiannopoulos. Photo by Kmeron for LeWeb13 Conference via Flickr.

Through Gamergate, vocal misogynist personalities such as Mike Cernovich, associated with the pick-up artist community, and Milo Yiannopoulos, a Brietbart writer, expanded their online following, to be leveraged in future attacks on feminism and women. Yiannopoulos had over 300,000 Twitter followers at the time the social media platform finally banned him for offensive content in 2016; at the time of this writing he has more than 1.9 million Facebook likes and 568,000 subscribers on YouTube, in addition to his platform at Brietbart, where he has bragged about writing headlines such as “Would You Rather Your Child Had Feminism or Cancer?”48 In “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right,” Yiannopoulos and co-author Allum Bokhari write, “The so-called online ‘manosphere,’ the nemeses of left-wing feminism, quickly became one of the alt-right’s most distinctive constituencies.”

The New Yorker’s Andrew Marantz writes that Cernovich “developed a theory of white-male identity politics: men were oppressed by feminism, and political correctness prevented the discussion of obvious truths, such as the criminal proclivities of certain ethnic groups.”49 In 2016, in tweets that received more than 100 million views, Cernovich focused on supporting “unapologetically masculine” Trump and attacking Hillary Clinton with conspiracy theories regarding her failing health and emails.

Following Trump’s election, mainstream and progressive media outlets worried that using the movement’s chosen name, the Alt Right, helped euphemize and normalize old-fashioned bigotry. As Think Progress’ editors wrote, “[Alt Right Leader Richard] Spencer and his ilk are essentially standard-issue white supremacists who discovered a clever way to make themselves appear more innocuous—even a little hip”; their publication, they declared, wouldn’t do “racists’ public relations work for them.”50

But nowhere in this statement from a major progressive news outlet exists a single reference to sexism or misogyny—a glaring omission given its significance to the Alt Right’s mobilization to defeat the first woman to receive a major party nomination for president.51 Some respected outlets and organizations, including the Associated Press and SPLC, described the movement’s misogyny, but their recommended definitions referenced White nationalism, neglecting to acknowledge male supremacy as a core component.52,53 While some Alt Right leaders, such as former Breitbart executive (now Trump administration chief strategist) Stephen Bannon, hail from more racist corners of the umbrella movement, others, like Yiannopoulos and Cernovich, rose to prominence primarily on their misogynist rhetoric.

These omissions aren’t surprising. In a 2008 study, “The Absence of a Gender Justice Framework in Social Justice Organizing,” activist and consultant Linda Burnham wrote, “All too many organizers and activists affirm a commitment to women’s human rights or gender justice while having no clear idea of sexism as a systemic phenomenon with tangled historical, social, economic and cultural roots and multiple manifestations.” In her interviews of activists, Burnham found “the subordination of sexism as a legitimate concern among ‘competing isms’”; antipathy to the feminist movement (which is perceived as White); a feeling that “there’s already a level of equity and there’s no need to struggle over it anymore”; and a lack of tools for structural analysis.54 (Groups with a better intersectional approach, Burnham footnoted, included reproductive justice organizations like SisterSong.55)

Matthew N. Lyons, co-author of Right-Wing Populism in America, further argues that this heightened misogyny distinguishes the Alt Right from other White supremacist and neonazi mobilizations, which have practiced a “quasi-feminism” that viewed women as holding distinct but complementary gender roles important to the movement. Especially since the 1980s, Lyons writes, neonazi groups have increasingly lauded White women as “race warriors.”56

Some early Alt Right writers did encourage their compatriots to do more to attract women and root out sexual harassment.57 Now even that has disappeared. Today the movement is better characterized by dismissive ideology like that of White male supremacist Matt Forney, who asserts in a 2012 “anti-feminist classic” post on Alternative Right that women are “herd creatures” who are “unimportant” to the men who will make history. “Attempting to convince such flighty creatures to join the alt-right with logical arguments is like begging escaped inmates to please pretty please come back to the insane asylum.”58 Forney also argues that, “Every feminist, deep down, wants nothing more than a rapist’s baby in her belly.”59 Lyons writes:

Alt-rightists tell us that it’s natural for men to rule over women and that women want and need this, that “giving women freedom [was] one of mankind’s greatest mistakes,” that women should “never be allowed to make foreign policy [because] their vindictiveness knows no bounds,” that feminism is defined by mental illness and has turned women into “caricatures of irrationality and hysteria.”60

Richard Spencer, the now-infamous White nationalist leader credited with coining the term “Alt Right,” promotes male supremacist rhetoric that includes yet goes beyond traditional arguments for women belonging in the home. Along with his position on women’s “vindictiveness” (quoted by Lyons above), Spencer defended Trump against sexual assault accusations with the argument, “At some part of every woman’s soul, they want to be taken by a strong man.”61

Cas Mudde, a Dutch political scientist who studies right-wing movements, describes the Alt Right’s assertion of women’s inferiority as “a sexist interpretation of xenophobia. It’s the same view they have of immigrants and minorities, that they’re threatening their way of life. A life where men are dominant. A life where they have privilege in virtually every domain.”62

Vox writer Aja Romano argues that misogyny is not only a significant part of the Alt Right, it’s the “gateway drug” for the recruitment of disaffected White men into racist communities.

Vox writer Aja Romano argues that misogyny is not only a significant part of the Alt Right, it’s the “gateway drug” for the recruitment of disaffected White men into racist communities. David Futrelle, a journalist who watches the men’s rights and other online misogynist movements, told Vox that it’s “close to impossible to overstate the role of Gamergate in the process of [alt-right] radicalization. … Gamergate was based on the same sense of aggrieved entitlement that drives the alt-right—and many Trump voters.” Within this narrative, Futrelle said, they saw their harassment of women as defending “an imperiled culture,” moving into other online enclaves populated by neonazis and White supremacists that recruited them for “fighting against ‘white genocide.’”63

2016 Election: Where Has This Misogyny Led Us?

In 2006, IWF Managing Director Carrie L. Lukas wrote, “In the past, victims of rape were made to feel that the crime was their fault. Many women around the world still suffer this bias. Today in the United States, the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. A man accused of rape often is convicted in the court of public opinion without evidence.”64 Yet in Trump’s campaign, that was far from the case. Multiple accusations of sexual assault and harassment against the Republican candidate were ignored throughout the campaign; when audio recordings exposing him admitting to sexual assault finally brought widespread attention to his treatment of women, he defended his comments as “locker-room talk.” And those comments did not ultimately cost him the election.

While IWF and equity feminism, like other libertarian ideologies, tend toward the conservative side of the political spectrum, there is more diversity there than among women in anti-feminist movements and the Christian Right. This allows the ideological tent to include Democrats like Christina Hoff Sommers, independents like former IWF president Michelle Bernard, and Republican women who might criticize aspects of their party’s gender dynamics. After applauding Sarah Palin for breaking free of sexist attempts to control her image as the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, in 2009, Bernard spoke of bright prospects ahead for Hillary Clinton: “She is incredibly smart, brilliant, an excellent campaigner, and I think her time will come.”65

However, misogynist and anti-feminist Rightist ideologies have taken a toll beyond leaders’ control. Though during the primaries IWF gave favorable attention to Carly Fiorina, the only female Republican candidate, a poll showed Trump leading the Republican pack among female voters. Historian Catherine Rymph explained that the exodus of feminism and women’s rights advocacy from the GOP means that, among those left, “voters, including women, who don’t like Democratic feminism or so-called ‘political correctness’ in general may very well find refreshing Trump’s delight in using language about women that many find offensive.”66 When then-Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly criticized Trump’s misogyny while moderating a 2015 primary debate, Trump responded, to audience cheers, that “the big problem this country has is being politically correct”—code for resistance to misogyny, racism, xenophobia, and homophobia. Trump went on to call Kelly a “bimbo” and imply she was menstruating. After Trump’s continued attacks on Twitter rallied online misogynists to further harassment, Kelly received death threats.67

For some equity feminists, it’s gone too far. IWF senior editor Charlotte Hays argues that Trump’s history of misogynist statements goes beyond “bucking political correctness.” In March 2016, Hays worried, “If Trump is the nominee, the [Leftist claims of a] ‘war on women’ will be back with a vengeance. And this time there will be a degree of fairness in the charge.”68 Sommers referred to Trump as an example of “amoral masculinity” that “preys on women.”69 She joined conservative female media pundits in calling for Trump to fire his original campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, after Brietbart News reporter Michelle Fields charged him with physically assaulting her.70 Trump denied Lewandowski’s culpability, only firing him three months later after apparently unrelated problems.71 And when former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed suit against CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment—which Kelly also reported experiencing—Trump asserted that Carlson’s accusations against his informal advisor were “Totally unfounded.”72

Fields resigned from Brietbart, which former executive and Trump senior strategist Stephen Bannon proudly called “the platform for the alt-right,”73 over the outlet’s inadequate response.74 Commenting on the successive Alt Right online harassment of Fields, Kelly said, “This woman hasn’t done anything wrong, anything, other than find herself on the wrong end of these folks, for whom she used to work.”75

Some equity feminists, like Sommers, may have expected their own elite conservative colleagues to be taken seriously, not realizing that the damage done in disparaging other women would find its way back to them. In response to Sommers’ criticism of Trump, Mike Cernovich disdainfully pointed out that she had previously “mocked women who played the damsel in distress.”76

On the other hand, the appreciation for Hillary Clinton’s political merits seems to have disappeared under IWF’s new leadership, which got on board with Trump after his nomination. Trump hired IWF board member Kellyanne Conway to replace Lewandowski as his new campaign manager, which followed the organization’s efforts to peddle palatable sexism under a female face. IWF’s campaign affiliate, Independent Women’s Voice (IWV), supported Trump’s campaign, with CEO Heather Higgins coming around to offer her full-throated support in the general election.77

The men’s rights movement lacked these internal divisions over Trump’s outright misogyny. Early in the primary season, members of online male supremacist communities touted Trump as an example of an “alpha” male given how “he insults and dominates women, preys on their insecurities and refuses to ever apologize for it.”78 And as though he was directly channeling men’s rights talking points, at a campaign rally in May 2016 Trump declared, “All of the men, we’re petrified to speak to women anymore. …You know what? The women get it better than we do, folks. They get it better than we do. If [Hillary Clinton] didn’t play [the woman] card, she has nothing.”79

While Trump’s rhetoric reflects MRA vitriol, it is the long fight against feminism by groups embraced in the mainstream, like equity feminists and Republican women, that legitimized the candidacy—and election—of an overt misogynist who has bragged about sexual assault.

While Trump’s rhetoric reflects MRA vitriol, it is the long fight against feminism by groups embraced in the mainstream, like equity feminists and Republican women, that legitimized the candidacy—and election—of an overt misogynist who has bragged about sexual assault.

Defending Gender Justice Post-Election

Trump’s rhetoric shares more in common with equity feminist and men’s rights ideologies than with “family values” framing—and with the reality of Christian Right misogyny, such as the vitriol of clinic protestors and the anti-feminism of the late Phyllis Schlafly, a staunch Trump supporter.

It will be important to track the growing connections between these secular and religious movements, bridged by an underlying misogyny, racism, and nativism, especially as individuals aligned with the Alt Right, like Bannon, and equity feminism, like Conway, gain influence. The seeds are already there. The libertarian Koch brothers, infamous major donors to libertarian and conservative causes, fund both IWF and CWA. Alt Right figures like blogger Matt Forney oppose reproductive rights, writing that pro-choice women have “evil” in their souls and that “Girls who kill their own children despise life itself and will do their best to destroy yours.”80 Pick-up artist communities advise members to seek submissive wives who can easily be controlled, and oppose abortion and contraception as a means of weighing them down with children.81 And, extending “father’s rights” arguments within the men’s rights movement, a Missouri lawmaker proposed in 2014 a bill requiring paternal consent to an abortion.82

The influence of ideology on the broader population, outside of active movement participants, bears particular importance with a president who uses his platform to broadcast virulent misogyny, racism, nativism, and Islamophobia.83 In tracking reported bias-related incidents since Election Day, the Southern Poverty Law Center found that perpetrators were most likely to explicitly reference Trump in anti-woman attacks—82 percent of the 45 reported incidents, more than double the next-highest rate.84 In multiple incidents of harassment of women, assailants from middle school boys to groups of adult men parroted Trump’s boast that he can “Grab [women] by the pussy.”85

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) originally claimed it was a “stretch” to “characterize [Trump’s comment] as sexual assault” (later backpedalling under questioning during his confirmation hearing for U.S. attorney general).86 Before Trump was even sworn in as president, his administration’s threat to reproductive rights, protections addressing violence against women and campus rape, and other women’s equality programs had already been made alarmingly clear.87 Under the Trump-Pence administration, threats will come from the Christian Right, conservative secular and libertarian groups, empowered White supremacist figures, and, of course, a President who’s shown his comfort with overt displays of racism, nativism, and misogyny. This disturbing combination may now jeopardize a wider expanse of policies reducing structural oppression that had seemed settled.

But the fact of this combined threat may also bring more dissenters into a more holistic response. Loretta Ross, a longtime reproductive justice and women’s human rights leader, is optimistic about the power vested in intersectional feminist organizing. “Now with the Women’s March on Washington using the ‘Women’s Rights Are Human Rights’ call for mobilizations in 616 simultaneous marches worldwide,” she wrote at Rewire, “I believe feminists in the United States have finally caught up to the rest of the global women’s movement. I feel like celebrating our inevitable progress toward victory for equality, dignity, and justice, despite the reasons we are marching in the first place: to unite to challenge the immoral and probably illegitimate presidency of Donald Trump.”88

Endnotes

1 David S. Cohen, “Trump’s Assassination Dog Whistle Was Even Scarier Than You Think,” Rolling Stone, August 9, 2016, http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/trumps-assassination-dog-whistle-was-scarier-than-you-think-w433615

2 Alex DiBranco and Chip Berlet, “The Ideological Roots of the Republican Party and its Shift to the Right in the 2016 Election,” working draft, http://www.progressivemovements.us/now/site-guide/research-resources/#ideological

3 Matthew N.  Lyons, ThreeWayFight, Oct 1, 2005, http://threewayfight.blogspot.com/2005/10/notes-on-women-and-right-wing.html

4 Pam Chamberlain and Jean Hardisty,  “Reproducing Patriarchy: Reproductive Rights Under Siege,”  Political Research Associates, April 1, 2000, https://www.politicalresearch.org/2000/04/01/reproductive-patriarchy-reproductive-rights-under-siege/#sthash.qSs0nYEb.m95keEtd.dpbs

5 Political Research Associates, Defending Reproductive Justice: An Activist Resource Kit. (Somerville: Political Research Associates, 2013), https://www.politicalresearch.org/resources/reports/full-reports/defending-reproductive-justice-activist-resource-kit-2/.

6 Political Research Associates, Defending Reproductive Justice: An Activist Resource Kit. (Somerville: Political Research Associates, 2013), https://www.politicalresearch.org/resources/reports/full-reports/defending-reproductive-justice-activist-resource-kit-2/.

7 Liz Welch, “6 Women on Their Terrifying, Infuriating Encounters With Abortion Clinic Protesters,” Feb 21, 2014,
http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/news/a5669/abortion-clinic-protesters/

8Caryl Rivers and Rosalind C. Barnett, The New Soft War on Women (New York: Tarcher, 2013), 85.

9 Alex DiBranco, “Profiles On The Right: Americans United For Life,” Political Research Associates, April 7, 2014, https://www.politicalresearch.org/2014/04/07/profiles-on-the-right-americans-united-for-life/#sthash.Zz04Fcm6.epvFr2db.dpbs

10 Kevin Cirilli, “Trump Reverses on Abortion Ban, Saying Doctors, Not Women, Would Be Punished,” Bloomberg Politics, March 30, 2016, http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-03-30/trump-says-abortion-ban-should-carry-punishment-for-women

11 Sarah Havard, “8 worst things Phyllis Schlafly ever said about women’s rights,” Identities.Mic, Sept 6, 2016, https://mic.com/articles/153506/8-worst-things-phyllis-schlafly-ever-said-about-women-s-rights#.4Wxyh3b3x

12 Josh Israel, “Women From Koch-Funded Conservative Groups Lambaste Equal Pay Measure,” Think Progress, April 9, 2014, https://thinkprogress.org/women-from-koch-funded-conservative-groups-lambaste-equal-pay-measure-d8eb0ea3edb7#.lj3d1onh2

13 Lisa Graves, “Confirmation: the Not-So Independent Women’s Forum Was Born in Defense of Clarence Thomas and the Far Right,” Center for Media and Democracy, April 21, 2016, http://www.prwatch.org/news/2016/04/13091/confirmation-how-not-so-independent-womens-forum-was-launched-aid-clarence

14 Alex DiBranco, Who Speaks for Conservative Women?,” Poltical Research Associates, June 9, 2015,  https://www.politicalresearch.org/2015/06/09/who-speaks-for-conservative-women/

15 Andrew Belonsky, “Michelle Bernard: ‘The Republican Party Needs to Find Its Soul,’” Independent Women’s Forum,  April 9, 2009, http://www.iwf.org/news/2435006/Michelle-Bernard:-‘The-Republican-Party-Needs-to-Find-Its-Soul’

16 As my 2015 article, “Who Speaks for Conservative Women?” explains, neoliberal feminism share significant ideological similarities with equity feminism in denying the impact of structural forces and arguing that women can get ahead through individual actions.

17Joan Walsh, “Meet the ‘Feminists’ Doing the Koch Brothers’ Dirty Work,” The Nation, August 18, 2016,

18 Megan Rosenfeld, “Feminist Fatales,”, The Washington Post, November 30, 1995, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1995/11/30/feminist-fatales/cfd56f87-296b-4580-9d76-fcfba15c6296/?utm_term=.93e2dd0b66d0

19 Mariah Blake, “Mad Men: Inside the Men’s Rights Movement—and the Army of Misogynists and Trolls It Spawned,” Mother Jones, Jan/Feb 2015, http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/01/warren-farrell-mens-rights-movement-feminism-misogyny-trolls

20 Caryl Rivers and Rosalind C. Barnett, The New Soft War on Women: How the Myth of Female Ascendance Is Hurting Women, Men—and Our Economy, New York: Tarcher/Penguin, 2013, p 7.

21 Danielle Paquette, “The alt-right isn’t only about white supremacy. It’s about white male supremacy,” The Washington Post, Nov 25, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/11/25/the-alt-right-isnt-just-about-white-supremacy-its-about-white-male-supremacy/?utm_term=.25af1245eb6b

22Mariah Blake, ibid.

23 Tom McKay, “College President’s Horrifying Rape Comments Are Basically Conservative Dogma,” The Daily Banter, Nov 12, 2014, http://thedailybanter.com/2014/11/college-presidents-horrible-remarks-campus-rape-basically-conservative-dogma/

24 Taylor Malmsheimer, “Conservatives Are Obsessed With Debunking the 1-in-5 Rape Statistic. They’re Wrong, Too,” New Republic, June 27, 2014, https://newrepublic.com/article/118430/independent-womens-forum-challenges-one-five-statistic

25 Nicole Grether, “Men’s right activist: Feminists have used rape ‘as a scam,’” Aljazeera America, June 6, 2014, http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/articles/2014/6/6/mena-s-rights-activistfeministshaveusedrapeaasascama.html; Roni Caryn Rabin, “Nearly 1 in 5 Women in U.S. Survey Say They Have Been Sexually Assaulted,” December 14, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/15/health/nearly-1-in-5-women-in-us-survey-report-sexual-assault.html?_r=0.

26 Charlotte Hays, “Portrait of a Modern Feminist: Helen Smith,” Independent Women’s Forum, Sept 19, 2012,  http://iwf.org/modern-feminist/2789205/Portrait-of-a-Modern-Feminist:-Helen-Smith

27 Alex DiBranco, “Men’s Rights Conference Host Says Women Who Drink & Dance Are ‘Begging’ for Rape,” July 2, 2014, https://www.politicalresearch.org/2014/07/02/mens-rights-conference-host-says-women-who-drink-dance-are-begging-for-rape; Adam Serwer and Katie J.M. Baker, “How Men’s Rights Leader Paul Elam Turned Being A Deadbeat Dad Into A Moneymaking Movement,” Buzzfeed News, Feb 6, 2015, https://www.buzzfeed.com/adamserwer/how-mens-rights-leader-paul-elam-turned-being-a-deadbeat-dad?utm_term=.bvY2OY9yl#.ukPZzDNx6

28 Comment on TheRedPill, an “official subreddit of TRP.RED”: https://www.reddit.com/r/TheRedPill/comments/12v1hf/almost_a_hundred_subscribers_welcome_newcomers/

29 Matthew N. Lyons, Jack Donovan on men: a masculine tribalism for the far right,” Three Way Fight, Nov 23, 2015, http://threewayfight.blogspot.com/2015/11/jack-donovan-on-men-masculine-tribalism.html

30Dianna Anderson, “ MRAs for Jesus: A Look Inside the Christian ‘Manosphere’,” Rewire, Sept 30, 2014, https://rewire.news/article/2014/09/30/mras-jesus-look-inside-christian-manosphere/

31 Arthur Goldwag, Leader’s Suicide Brings Attention to the Men’s Rights Movement,”, Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report, March 1, 2012,   https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2012/leader%E2%80%99s-suicide-brings-attention-men%E2%80%99s-rights-movement

32Nicky Woolf, “’PUAhate’ and ‘ForeverAlone’: inside Elliot Rodger’s online life,” The Guardian, May 20, 2014,  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/30/elliot-rodger-puahate-forever-alone-reddit-forums

33 Mariah Blake, ibid.

34  Mark Potok, “War On Women,” Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report, August 20, 2014, https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2014/war-women

35 Mark Potok, ibid.

36 Rebecca Hersher, “Jury Finds Dylann Roof Guilty In S.C. Church Shooting,” NPR, December 15, 2016, http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/15/505723552/jury-finds-dylann-roof-guilty-in-s-c-church-shooting

37 Mark Berman, ibid.

38 https://www.politicalresearch.org/2015/06/19/terror-network-or-lone-wolf/

39 Mark Berman, “Prosecutors say Dylann Roof ‘self-radicalized’ online, wrote another manifesto in jail,” The Washington Post, Aug 22, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/08/22/prosecutors-say-accused-charleston-church-gunman-self-radicalized-online/?utm_term=.0afcab8108f7

40Adi Kochavi, “The Sad Heroification of Elliot Rodger,” Vocative, May 25, 2014,  http://www.vocativ.com/underworld/crime/sad-heroification-elliot-rodger/

41 Earl Holt III, “ Media Interviews with the CofCC,” June 21, 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20150622033926/http://conservative-headlines.com/2015/06/media-interviews-with-the-cofcc/

42 Roosh Valizadeh, “No One Would Have Died If PUAHate Killer Elliot Rodger Learned Game,” Return of Kings, May 25, 2014, http://www.returnofkings.com/36135/no-one-would-have-died-if-pua-hate-killer-elliot-rodger-learned-game

43 Charlotte Hays, “”Toxic Feminism:” Cathy Young Dissects the Bizarre Response to a Mass Murder”, Independent Women’s Forum,  May 30, 2014, http://www.iwf.org/blog/2794091/%22Toxic-Feminism:%22-Cathy-Young-Dissects-the-Bizarre-Response-to-a-Mass-Murder

44 Katherine Cross, “What ‘GamerGate’ Reveals About the Silencing of Women,” Rewire, Sept 9 2014, https://rewire.news/article/2014/09/09/gamergate-reveals-silencing-women/

45Caitlin Dewey, “The only guide to Gamergate you will ever need to read,” The Washington Post, Oct 14, 2014, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2014/10/14/the-only-guide-to-gamergate-you-will-ever-need-to-read/?utm_term=.d3cb125407d0

46Nadine Santoro, “USU Shooting Threat: This Isn’t A Game,” Disrupting Dinner Parties, Nov 10, 2014,  https://disruptingdinnerparties.com/2014/11/10/usu-shooting-threat-this-isnt-a-game/#more-29965

47  Jaclyn Friedman, “A Look Inside the ‘Men’s Rights’ Movement That Helped Fuel California Alleged Killer Elliot Rodger,” The American Prospect,  Oct 24, 2013, http://prospect.org/article/look-inside-mens-rights-movement-helped-fuel-california-alleged-killer-elliot-rodger; Amanda Hess, “Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet,” Pacific Standard magazine,  Jan 6, 2014, https://psmag.com/why-women-aren-t-welcome-on-the-internet-aa21fdbc8d6#.mdzlvrvd4

48 Abby Ohlheiser, “Just how offensive did Milo Yiannopoulos have to be to get banned from Twitter?,” The Washington Post, July 21, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2016/07/21/what-it-takes-to-get-banned-from-twitter/?utm_term=.69e3e83044cc

49 Andrew Marantz, “Trolls for Trump,” The New Yorker Magazine, Oct 31, 2016, http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/10/31/trolls-for-trump

50 Editorial Staff, “ThinkProgress will no longer describe racists as ‘alt-right’,” Think Progress, Nov 22, 2016, https://thinkprogress.org/thinkprogress-alt-right-policy-b04fd141d8d4#.av5b2ftsm

51 Susan Faludi, “How Hillary Clinton Met Satan,” The New York Times, Oct 29, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/30/opinion/sunday/how-hillary-clinton-met-satan.html?_r=4

52 John Daniszewski, “Writing about the ‘alt-right’,” Associated Press, Nov 18, 2016, https://blog.ap.org/behind-the-news/writing-about-the-alt-right

53 Josh Harkinson, “We Talked to Experts About What Terms to Use for Which Group of Racists,” Dec 8, 2016,  http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/12/definition-alt-right-white-supremacist-white-nationalist

54 Linda Burnham, “The Absence of a Gender Justice Framework in Social Justice Organizing,” Center for the Education of Women: University of Michigan, July 2008,  http://www.cew.umich.edu/sites/default/files/BurnhamFinalProject.pdf

55 While the women of color-led “reproductive justice” framework advocated by organizations like SisterSong provides an example for incorporating analysis of race, gender, class, and other intersectional issues, it should not be expected to substitute for a gender justice and women’s human rights frame in social justice organizing. Though intended to include economic issues and gender-based rape and violence, which leaders like Loretta Ross had backgrounds working on, the “reproductive” label maintains a particular focus. “Gender justice” (Burnham also uses the term “social justice feminism”) shifts the emphasis to meet the challenges of a broader misogynist movement—with religious and secular expressions—that poses threats in terms of reproductive control, sexual harassment and assault, violence against women, workplace sexism and wage discrimination, and other gender-based oppressions.

56 Matthew N. Lyons, “Alt-right: more misogynistic than many neonazis,” ThreeWayFight, December 3, 2016,  http://threewayfight.blogspot.com/2016/12/alt-right-more-misogynistic-than-many.html

57Matthew N. Lyons, “ Ctrl-Alt-Delete: The origins and ideology of the Alternative Right”, Jan 20, 2017, https://www.politicalresearch.org/2017/01/20/ctrl-alt-delete-report-on-the-alternative-right/

58Matt Forney, “Who Cares What Women Think” Alterative Right, Jan 29, 2015, http://alternative-right.blogspot.com/2015/01/who-cares-what-women-think.html

59 Matt Forney, “Why Feminists Want Men to Rape Them,” Matt Forney.com, Feb 26, 2016, http://mattforney.com/feminists-want-men-rape/

60 Matthew N. Lyons, “Alt-right: more misogynistic than many neonazis,” ThreeWayFight, December 3, 2016,  http://threewayfight.blogspot.com/2016/12/alt-right-more-misogynistic-than-many.html

61 Sarah Posner, “ Meet the Alt-Right ‘Spokesman’ Who’s Thrilled With Trump’s Rise,” Rolling Stone Magazine, October 18, 2016, http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/meet-the-alt-right-spokesman-thrilled-by-trumps-rise-w443902

62 Danielle Paquette, “The alt-right isn’t only about white supremacy. It’s about white male supremacy,” The Washington Post, Nov 25, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/11/25/the-alt-right-isnt-just-about-white-supremacy-its-about-white-male-supremacy/?utm_term=.25af1245eb6b

63 Aja Romano, “How the Alt-Right’s Sexism Lures Men into White Supremacy,” Dec 14, 2016, http://www.vox.co m/culture/2016/12/14/13576192/alt-right-sexism-recruitment

64 Carrie L Lucas, “One in Four? Rape myths do injustice, too,” Independent Women’s Forum, April 27, 2006, http://www.iwf.org/news/2432517/One-in-Four-Rape-myths-do-injustice-too#sthash.EOyWF55L.dpuf

65 Andrew Belonsky, “Michelle Bernard: ‘The Republican Party Needs to Find Its Soul,’” Independent Women’s Forum,  April 9, 2009, http://www.iwf.org/news/2435006/Michelle-Bernard:-‘The-Republican-Party-Needs-to-Find-Its-Soul’

66 Nia-Malika Henderson, “ Donald Trump’s nonexistent problem with GOP women,” CNN, Spet 11, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/10/politics/donald-trump-women/

67 Rich Hampson, “Exclusive: Fox anchor Megyn Kelly describes scary, bullying ‘Year of Trump’,” USA Today, Nov 15, 2016,  http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/11/15/megyn-kelly-memoir-donald-trump-roger-ailes-president-fox-news/93813154/

68 Charlotte Hays, “Donald Trump Breathes New Life into Left’s War on Women,”, March 18, 2016,  Independent Women’s Forum, http://www.iwf.org/news/2799633/Donald-Trump-Breathes-New-Life-into-Left%E2%80%99s-War-on-Women

69 Christina Hoff Sommers, “‘Amoral masculinity’: a theory for understanding Trump from feminist contrarian Christina Hoff Sommers,” American Enterprise Institute,  Nov 2, 2016 https://www.aei.org/publication/amoral-masculinity-a-theory-for-understanding-trump-from-feminist-contrarian-christina-hoff-sommers/

70 Dylan Byers, “Conservative female pundits want Donald Trump to fire his campaign manager,” CNN Money, March 30, 2016,  http://money.cnn.com/2016/03/30/media/female-conservatives-fire-corey-lewandowski/

71 Maggie Haberman, Alexander Burns, and Ashley Parker, “Donald Trump Fires Corey Lewandowski, His Campaign Manager,” June 20, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/21/us/politics/corey-lewandowski-donald-trump.html

72 Eddie Scarry, “Trump defends Roger Ailes from sexual harassment accusations,” The Washington Examiner, July 14, 2016,  http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/article/2596510

73 Sarah Posner, “How Stephen Bannon Created an Online Haven for White Nationalists,” Mother Jones, Aug 2, 1016, http://www.theinvestigativefund.org/investigations/politicsandgovernment/2265/how_stephen_bannon_created_an_online_haven_for_white_nationalists/

74 Cassandra Vinograd, “Breitbart’s Michelle Fields and Three Others Resign Over Trump Incident”, NBC News,  March 14, 2016,   http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/breitbart-s-michelle-fields-ben-shapiro-resign-over-trump-incident-n537711

75 Brendan Karet, “Right-Wing Civil War: Megyn Kelly Trades Barbs With Breitbart Editor-At-Large Over Dangers Of Empowering “Alt-Right”,” Media Matters for America, Dec 7, 2016, https://mediamatters.org/blog/2016/12/07/right-wing-civil-war-megyn-kelly-trades-barbs-breitbart-editor-chief-over-dangers-empowering-alt/214754

76 Mike Cernovich, “16 Feminists Who Have Taken Over ‘Conservative’ Media,” Danger & Play, March 30, 2016, https://www.dangerandplay.com/2016/03/30/16-feminists-who-have-taken-over-conservative-media/

77 ExposedByCMDEditors, “‘Independent’ Women’s Group Backing Trump Skirts Law to Influence Election,” Center  For Media and Democracy, Nov 1, 2016,  http://www.exposedbycmd.org/2016/10/25/independent-womens-group-backing-trump-skirts-law-influence-elections/

78 Tracy Clark-Flory and Leigh Cuen, “Donald Trump Has The Pickup Artist Vote In The Bag,” Vocative, Aug 24, 2015,  http://www.vocativ.com/224810/donald-trump-anti-feminist-pickup-artists/

79 Tim Hains, “Trump: Men Today ‘Are Petrified To Speak To Women Anymore,’ ‘Women Get It Better Than We Do, Folks’” Real Clear Politics, May 8, 2016, http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/05/08/trump_remember_this_when_you_see_hillarys_phony_paid-for-by-wall_street_ads.html

80 Matt Forney, “Why You Should Shun Girls Who Support Abortion,” Return of Kings, Aug 18, 2016  http://archive.is/zQwx4#selection-769.269-769.363

81 Hesse Kassel, “5 Lines That Potential Wives Cannot Cross,” Return of Kings, Nov 11, 2014,   http://www.returnofkings.com/47540/5-lines-that-potential-wives-cannot-cross

82 Amanda Marcotte, “Missouri lawmaker uses ‘men’s rights’ talking points to justify abortion restriction,” Raw Story, Dec 17, 2014,  http://www.rawstory.com/2014/12/missouri-lawmaker-uses-mens-rights-talking-points-to-justify-abortion-restriction/

83 Melissa Jeltsen, “Trump’s Election Raises Fears Of Increased Violence Against Women,” The Huffington Post, Nov 15, 2016,  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-women-rights-violence-fears_us_582a0f63e4b02d21bbc9f186

84 Hatewatch Staff, “Update: 1,094 Bias-Related Incidents in the Month Following the Election,” Southern Poverty Law Center Hatewatch, Dec 16, 2016,  https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2016/12/16/update-1094-bias-related-incidents-month-following-election

85 Cassie Miller and Alexandra Werner-Winslow, “Ten Days After: Harassment and Intimidation in the Aftermath of the Election,” Southern Poverty Law Center, Nov 29, 2016,   https://www.splcenter.org/20161129/ten-days-after-harassment-and-intimidation-aftermath-election; Ben Mathis-Lilley, “Trump Was Recorded in 2005 Bragging About Grabbing Women ‘by the Pussy,’” Slate, October 7, 2016, http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/10/07/donald_trump_2005_tape_i_grab_women_by_the_pussy.html

86 Ryan J. Reilly, “ Jeff Sessions Now Admits Grabbing A Woman By The Genitals Is Sexual Assault,” The Huffington Post, Jan 10, 2017, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jeff-sessions-trump-sexual-assault_us_58753f08e4b043ad97e64369; Scott Glover, “Colleague, transcripts offer closer look at old allegations of racism against Sen. Jeff Sessions” CNN, Jan 10 2017,  http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/18/politics/jeff-sessions-racism-allegations/

87 Alex Brandon, “Trump says his Supreme Court nominees will be ready to take on abortion ruling,” The Columbus Dispatch, Nov 27, 2016, http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/insight/2016/11/27/1-trump-says-his-nominees-will-be-ready-to-take-on-roe-v-wade.html; Katie Van Syckle, “Here’s What a Trump Administration Could Mean for Campus Sexual Assault,” New York Magazine, Jan 18, 2017,  http://nymag.com/thecut/2017/01/what-a-trump-administration-means-for-campus-sexual-assault.html; Mark Landler, “Transition Team’s Request on Gender Equality Rattles State Dept.,” The New York Times, Dec 22, 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/22/us/politics/state-department-gender-equality-trump-transition.html; Spohia Tesfaye, “Donald Trump will adopt Heritage Foundation’s “skinny budget”: Arts, violence against women funding to be cut,” Salon, Jan 19, 2017, http://www.salon.com/2017/01/19/donald-trump-will-adopt-heritage-foundations-skinny-budget-arts-violence-against-women-funding-to-be-cut/

88 Loretta Ross, “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights and the Women’s March on Washington,” Rewire, Jan 19, 2017, https://rewire.news/article/2017/01/19/womens-rights-human-rights-womens-march-washington/