The Feminine Art of Radicalisation
The radicalisation of young men online is old news in 2021, yet we still seem surprised that women are also falling into these content pipelines and joining extremist groups.
Why? Women have been a part of radical and populist politics for decades, from the KKK to the Nazis. This episode explores the history of women on the far right and why it is often overlooked in mainstream conversations.
About Lois Shearing:
Lo Shearing is an activist, freelance journalist and writer based in London.Their writing has been published by The Independent, The Advocate, DIVA magazine, Gay Star News, INTO, and Openly and their first book Bi the Way, is available now. They are the founder of the Bisexual Survivors Network and are the founder of the #DoBetterBiUs campaign, which aims to challenge biphobia.
Jake Hanrahan - www.jakehanrahan.com
Daniel Lombroso - http://www.daniellombroso.com/
Proffesor Julie Gottlieb - www.bloomsbury.com/uk/feminine-fascism-9780857712622
A huge thank you to my voice actors, Alex Dytrych, Saddie Clark, Sophie Connor, Tom Naylor-Clements, Polly Davies, and Dr Pip Williams.
the video starts in the way most makeup tutorial to do two blonde conventionally attractive young women to sit speaking to a camera the background which in soft focus is blind of inspirational quotes and framed isn't until the two women start talking the video divergence from the norm in today's blog I am practical how to wear make up in a god honoring way thinking back to when we first started wearing make up and just experiencing with make up we get like a little the accommodations washing our old videos yeah that video like most people I faster it when it went viral back in twenty eighteen and I thought it was pretty funny for those of us who didn't grow up in evangelical households we always pretty shocked and amused by these little glimpses behind the curtain the video was ridiculed in parity to within an inch of its life and it's still a cool to touch point today even in twenty twenty drag queen Trixie Mattel made this video reacting to it video twelfth what proof mascaras for where to house if I get that start I use the stuff it's gonna be hard to see but if I'm not it's a laptop concealer because Max like cover up his media coverage natural finish concealer is it's not like most people who just watched it means that a move done I ended up falling down a bit of a rabbit hole of the sisters friend go to find I like sharing offset journalist activist based in the UK in this series I'll be exploring how young women a radicalized into a life of far right violence and hatred this is the family of radicalization one girl fascism to find the first one to go to find YouTube channel could be any of the of the hundreds of thousands of lifestyle blogs at alpha topics covered include fashion dating marriage and social media but when you look closer you start noticing something a little bit odd behind the fairy lights and quirky thumbnails like this Montevideo we dug into genesis and genesis wanted to what we saw from the very beginning of time that god had a blank slate he chose to create whatever you want if you meet a man a woman he designed them to be fully sexual like you made it this way I work at TI designer sexuality than minimum and put them in a permanent relationship so I think when women they set my alarm bells ringing I started digging a little deeper into my blog which is also cool go to find an over that's where things really took a test for example in a book published in twenty nineteen entitled same sex attraction and the Christine go the girls right sister regardless of your daily temptation and struggle with same sex attraction your temptations are not beyond the reach of god's power in him there is true hope freedom and new life sadly that the society that we live in will not point me to this awesome Medina okay see the voice he just had that wasn't actually go to find that my roommate Alex I've been listed the help of some of my friends to voice the written sources that I'm going to be using for out this podcast series listen out for when I say so and so right also insider explains because you'll be hearing a voice actor back to the blog though it continues in the usual patronizing the homophobic way that a lot of us have come across but my taking only uncovered more trash from that when I first started exploring that plug straight after the video went viral I found a lot of instances of transphobia and Islamophobia just right there on the pages but since looking back may seem to have been deleted I'm guessing because of the backlash they experienced from that video going viral unfortunately for them I'm pretty good with the way back machine is what Kristin had to say in twenty sixteen if a man wants to change his gender to be female that's accepted right but what if he wants to have surgery to take on the form of a gorilla well maybe a dog what he what if a person despises being male or female and invents a new gender would that be okay what if a sixty year old woman decides that she is actually a ten year old little boy in her personal reality can she be true to herself would surgery POK why wouldn't it be yes you guys remember that famous age reversing surgery that trans people made SO had right obviously that's pretty gross but it wasn't what shocked me when I first started exploring the blog after all we all kind of know that evangelical fundamentalists up pretty quick phobic but it didn't take very much digging for me to come across the kind of hate the company's backward over a live nice lighting and a sympathetic smile in an article published in twenty sixteen entitled how to show love towards prostitutes homosexuals and Muslims Bethany writes all be totally honest with you in the past and still at times I've struggled to view lost people with compassion and love when I hear the words homosexual prostitute or even the word Muslim I cringe inside in my sinful pride I wonder how those people could choose that lifestyle or religion I think to myself don't they know how wrong that is turn the understand how I'm feeling that is the experience of starting a ludicrous viral post and quickly falling down a rabbit hole of bigotry and hate felt oddly familiar in fact the exact same thing happened to me just a few years earlier let's take a journey even further back in time in my teens and early twenties I struggle with something that could fall under the umbrella known as digital self harm I would seek out content and websites that I knew were going to cause me psychological distress as a way of kind of torturing myself for me this obviously involved a lot of homophobic and bi phobic content but the website said drew me in the most with the loose constellation of sites that make up the menace via the modest fare is made up of websites blogs and forums %HESITATION belonging to quote unquote men's rights activists including pick up hottest men going their own way and of course in cells if that constellation of idiots doesn't make it obvious the main expo of the mantis Faye is anti feminism and misogyny I found my way on some medicine after stumbling across an article called five reasons to date a girl with an eating disorder which has gone viral in a similarly ironic way to go to find god honoring makeup video most people even dunking on at all pointing out how fucked up is but in doing so many others including myself will lead back to the original site return of kings the site that became my drug of choice for when I wanted to you know psychologically torture myself I visited the site pretty regularly for a couple of years between twenty fourteen and twenty sixteen and in that time I watched it slowly in both from articles about the problems of modern women and how to date game goes to white feminists were responsible for the downfall of western civilization and why middle eastern refugees and the reason that white men to date can't find a good wife I watched in slow motion as young men who were looking for ways to get a girlfriend in a very misguided place was spoon fed a diet of bigotry which slowly developed into more all right and neo Nazi ideology for example in twenty eighteen they posted a blog coat how to overthrow the new master race Weston women which ended like this when the Islamist or my group uprising goes into full tilt in the west refused to fight it and just let it be hostile outside forces of the means to re masculine Ising the west use these enemies of your enemy to do your dirty work for you because when it is all said and done western men will rise to the top of any male dominated society yes that's extremely mosques off white supremacy by time these ideas had gone from some kooky cold over the internet but no one really took seriously to mainstream talking points buoyed up by the coverage of the twenty sixteen election I was already pretty well acquainted with all the major players from the menace fish such as Milo Yiannopoulos Jordan Peterson Paul E. lamb and even Steve Bannon I'd watched as a load in sad lonely boys and spect out angry violent young men but none of that is news right now in twenty twenty one it's pretty mainstream knowledge that the internet is one of most effective tools in the far right armory over the last year as a what's not season tiki torches much for Portland attacked black churches and even as I faced off against Tommy Robinson's supporters in the streets of London I kept noticing a demographic but surely hadn't got messed up in the misogynistic cesspit of the menace fit and I couldn't help but think back to that go to find videos and is bigotry don't often fairy lights and tips on hosting the best in the party in twenty sixteen forty seven percent of white women voted for Donald Trump compact to forty five percent who voted for Hillary time magazine writes that's still a plurality and still makes white women more trump positive than the overall electorate we supported Hillary Clinton by a forty eight to forty six percent margin as if trump's racism sexism and general incompetence wasn't obvious enough in twenty sixteen exit polls suggest that up to fifty five percent of white women voted for him in twenty twenty given how damaging his four year reign was for women why did so many of them thanks to him well if you look at previous elections it's not actually that surprising in fact white women supported previous Republican candidates including from the bush and Reagan by even bigger margins in Osco Haas with white women continue to vote Republican what's wrong with them Moira Donegan writes white women's identity places them in a curious position at the intersection of two vectors of privilege and oppression they are granted structural power by their race but excluded from it by the SX in the political system where racism and sexism both say deeply ingrained white women must choose to be loyal to either the more powerful aspect of their identity the race or to the less powerful less sex some Republican white women might lean into racism not only for racism sake but also as a means of avoiding or denying the realities of how sexist oppression makes them vulnerable but just because millions of white women are willing to vote for an authoritarian populist despite the friend he poses to the rights and liberties doesn't make them %HESITATION all right radicals what does maybe make them racist but before we dive into that we should probably clarify what the alt right actually it is show full alternative right the %HESITATION right was first coined by white supremacist Richard Spencer an article he wrote for the far right publication techies magazine into fascinate in the asco Spencer uses the term to distinguish a group of people on the right who differs from the traditional conservatives by opposing egalitarianism multiculturalism and open immigration among other things the seven Poverty Law Center that explains it as the alternative right commonly known as the outright is thus far right ideologies groups and individuals his core belief is that white identity is under attack by multicultural forces using political correctness and social justice to undermine white people and best of lies ation there are several subgroups in the oak right including the identitarian and the radical traditionalists but the overarching ideology is the same the supposed superiority of white people and the general inferiority of women anti semitism and Islamophobia also key tenants of the movement leading some people to argue that it's just neo Nazism we branded the anti defamation league explains ultrices used terms like culture a substitute for more divisive terms such as race and promote western civilization as a code word for white culture or identity they tend to avoid explicit white supremacists references like the fourteen words slogan used by neo Nazis and other hard call white supremacists while all rights his share the sentiment behind the fourteen words that more inclined to talk about preserving European American identity J. camera hand a conflict journalist who spent several years investigating atom Waffen and several other neo Nazi groups point out that it's important to differentiate between the alt right and neo Nazis he explains I've been investigating neo Nazi militant groups for like four years now longer even you know my work is because some of them put in prison people planning terrorist attacks so I don't take this lightly however I do understand that the language you use has to be very specific why because they define themselves by it right so for example like we've one of the main kind of neo Nazi guys he's got a big swastika or his chest and he's in that scene he defines himself as a Francoist which is a very you know kind of kind of knee shit far right ideology well it's it's good to understand that I know that because then we can see who is he probably lightly to associate with what kind of ideals you gonna have easy more inclined towards militancy and terrorism were you going to be a lone wolf guy you know what I'm saying it's when you understand what they're about you can start building a web we just scream not see everything that we don't like that is racist that just isn't useful it's like oh people saying trump is a Nazi I don't like trump but it's trump national socialists now of course did not national socialist you know what I mean it's just not helpful and actually the American neo Nazis absolutely despise trump because he's been extremely kind to Israel sorry I think I understand that it is really necessary so the old right in my opinion at the kind of I guess they're a faucet of the far right but that the like I like the weed right lets the so called gateway drug and then like the neo Nazis the heroin you know what I'm saying it's like the old right there oh no we're not racist we we just whatever no we just conserve Avram you know which one to bring conservativism into like the mainstream American hip again and blah blah where is the %HESITATION not seasonal linear knots is like yeah we want to kill Jews and black people and gay people and you know what I mean there is a big difference between us and set to conflate the two I just think is a bit dishonest and I think a lot of the media is done not for a long time %HESITATION just because it's easy you know what I mean and it gets out right the %HESITATION right aims to recruit and tends to be made up of young college educated men it is heavily influenced by online culture the use of memes messaging boards and I run a Cuba a key ways in which the ideology is spread well the %HESITATION right mostly exists online there have been several tentative but significant steps into the real world the most notable of which was a twenty seventeen unite the right rally in Charlottesville which resulted in the death of counter protester heather Heyer then of course there was a January sixth insurrection in Washington which resulted in the deaths of five people in twenty sixteen the institute for family studies found that about six percent of Americans agreed with the free core tenants of the oak right which they identified as a strong sense of white identity I believe in the importance of white solidarity and a sense of white victimization similarly in twenty seventeen a survey suggested that about ten percent of Americans identified with the alt right well that might not sound like much given that America has a population of about three hundred and twenty eight million that's about thirty two million people so the all right is a pretty sizeable movement and any sizeable movement is bound to have living in it no matter how openly misogynistic it is women I would say roughly one out of ten people at the average conference defeat the easiest example I can think of was the first conference I covered Richard Spencer through basically a coming out party for president trump twenty one %HESITATION and it was at that conference I caught a room full of people breaking out and it's not the salute saying hail trump it was this big viral moment at the time and you know really help people realize what the alt right was about at the conference report two hundred fifty people %HESITATION was the rough math I did at the time and I think ten to twenty were women that was Daniel number so he spent four years researching the %HESITATION right and his documentary white noise is available now I highly recommend checking it out as well as his anecdotal evidence the I. FS actually found that women were more likely to agree with the alt right free call beliefs and their male counterparts I'll put the trust in the notes down below so you can see the full demographic breakdown for yourself so there's always a presence and they like to pride themselves something that there are women this isn't purely a matter of male movement %HESITATION but I think what's really interesting is that the women air tokenize their use as a way to say Hey we have women here %HESITATION but the like the women themselves have absorbed so much anti feminism that they really did they really believe that they have a duty in this movement and it's a duty that the men spell out and even the women spell out very clearly which is that they're supposed to be baby makers same with dobby off of the books sisters in hate which expose women in the oak right also highlights its pro natively stuns explaining that this appeals to women in a way that links both anti feminism and white nationalism in an interview with Rolling Stone she explains white nationalism as a movement a big theme and propaganda is about women's intrinsic value as wives and mothers sorry for women who might be seeking a sense of meaning or degree of power they don't have this is a movement that says we value in terms of how you look and he wa and what your body enables you to death at least on its face it's a pro necklace movement that encourages women to have as many babies as possible and that can be alluring to some people but women aren't just passive baby makers and housewives in these movements that also recruitment tools as well as powerful propagandist women have been used as the smiling faces of far right movements for out of history Linda Gordon historian and all four of the second rise of the KKK points out that women were instrumental in the resurgence of the clan several took on leadership and propagandists rose despite the organization's suppose it belief in traditional gender norms in havoc Gordon tells the story of Elizabeth Tyler a widower who remarried into the clan she had an affair with the second KKK founder Edward Clark I guess she had a bit of a type together they run the organization's P. off %HESITATION and newspapers such light they were arrested in nineteen nineteen when the couple's extramarital activities were discovered Edward resigned from the cloud during the hearings by lisabeth refused in fact she even used the publicity to drum up more interest in the KKK Gordon writes Tyler was finally forced to resign by accusations almost lost me tree of investing time money but she has been a gift to the national plan the organization my twelfth grade without this driven boat corrupt applications the entrepreneurial women thought it would likely have been smaller Elizabeth Tyler is just one example of the many women who took on rose as preachers and organizes within the second incarnation of the KKK Gordon claims that one in six clans members totaling anywhere between half and three million women on this side of the pond historian Julie Gottlieb explains how women were key driving force in the rise of fascism in the U. K. Judy literally wrote the book on the subject and the second edition of feminine fascism is available now I highly recommend checking out I'll post a link in the notes below his Julie women have been there from the beginning and fascist movements in nineteen twenty three hi Mr growth Aline torn Orman while she was apparently weeding the garden came upon the idea of setting up this organization she was reflecting on the news for her dramatic news that of the Socialist Party at Hanover the labor party had sent a delegation to a Socialist Party conference on the continent in Hamburg and this after all her with horror %HESITATION and she herself came from an ultra nationalist background she served during the first World War and a number of capacities and she was that a true patriot at least that's the language she would have used and she was very much on the right and she saw in the idea of fascism a way of providing some call it a bulwark against the encroachment of of the Reds and the pinks and again that's the language of the time so she founded this organization at the British she states she was originally just the founder because there wasn't a definite incongruity between women's leadership at a fascist movement which of course fascist movements are by their very definition macho masculine oriented even male supremacist women have also played a big role in the rising tide of far right ideologies and populism across Europe in the last decade as of March twenty eighteen populist parties have secured over half the votes in four countries in the European Union according to statistica one of those parties is French anti immigration policy at national rally previously known as National Front which is led by marine le pen marine is the daughter of national rally founder John marine le pen who is coincidently a convicted racist and Holocaust denier after rising to president of the party in twenty twelve which I'm sure was not nepotism asshole ring stated that her aim was to de demonise ation and softening the party's image politico journalist Michelle Carter claims that the fact that marine is a young woman who condemns racism and publicly spoke out against her father's hate speech which she puts his faults contributed to her success in twenty seventeen she ran for president on a platform of anti immigration economic nationalism and protectionism France's withdrawal from the EU anti globalism including withdrawing from NATO anti multiculturalism and frankly unabashed Islamophobia the pain has a history of implying most Muslims are extremists and following a terrorist attack in twenty seventeen she called for the closure of quote all extremist mosques which to her means all of them despite S. have presidential campaign emphasized the pen as a softer more feminine figure she went on to win thirty four percent of the votes lower than all polls had predicted but still over a third of those cost and here in the U. K. we have Jayda Fransen a woman I find so vile I want throughout my favorite place to after she made a media appearance wearing the same one J. to cut her teeth in the far right group the English defence league before becoming deputy leader of the British fascist political group Britain first in twenty fourteen she acted as temporary leader of the group for six months and twenty sixteen after the actual leader Paul Golding was arrested for breaching a court order banning him from entering a mosque or encouraging others to do so Jana and Britain first in general a best known for this so called Christine patrols and we stayed much fruit prominently Muslim areas carrying white crosses and banners which read we are the British resistance that even Paul bear on the ground outside of mosques in following years they also videoed themselves entering mosques to hand out bibles and leaflets on so called Muslim grooming gangs in twenty seventeen then president trump retweeted free videos posted by Jayda which she claimed showed Muslims committing violence against non Muslims %HESITATION free videos have been debunked but I have a J. to know trump apologized for sharing them that's plenty Preston of women playing active roles in far right groups despite or even because of their regressive views on gender so why is anyone surprised that women are doing the same within the all right opendemocracy notes women are more active and visible in political life all over the world perhaps it's not surprising at all they also represented in these movements to the idea that women and naturally peaceful or less likely to espouse hateful or divisive views is also an unhelpful stereotypes perhaps a generally ratio of women from history has also resulted in accidentally forgetting that women have been square in the middle of some of out west most atrocious moments perhaps the general a ratio of women from history has resulted in accidentally forgetting that women have been square in the middle of some about west much atrocious moments it could also be that the benevolent sexism of women being viewed as caring and motherly by nature has shielded us especially those of us who are white from being seen as capable of acts of hatred and violence but Julie disagrees in fact she thinks of the opposite may be true and that women in far right movements have been glamorized and sexualized has the history of fascist women been erased them I think that but maybe almost the contrary I think we we have given a lot of attention %HESITATION to fascist women because it's a sexy subject %HESITATION it's a sexy topic we have these again to a seemingly incongruous elements of of women and you know fascism and when we bring them together we figure they'll be fireworks in the next episode of the feminine up radicalization will dive deeper into what the alt right and the far right actually believe about women in order to better understand the role we play in this movement thank you so much for listening you can cancel me on Twitter at @loshearing