A previously posted open-sourced photograph of Lana Lokteff was removed because she did not consent to her image being published in association with this article.
By Rosemary Anderson
The American alt-right movement wants to strip women of the right to vote, allow men to use violent tactics to “keep women in line,” and force women back into the home–but alt-right men are not the only ones who support these statements. Women do too.
With the rise of the alt-right, increasingly more women have become involved in the movement.
Racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism, antifeminism: all are words that can describe the alt-right. So how do people get involved in the first place? Specifically, how do women get involved?
These alt-right women are creating a dangerous society by promoting racism and working to undo all the advancements made for women over the course of American history.
So let’s break it down into digestible parts. How did this whole thing start, why are there women in the alt-right movement, and what can we do?
How the Alt-Right Movement began:
Richard Bertrand Spencer coined the term to rebrand white nationalists. He wanted to create a new movement that encompassed both far right ideals and the preservation of “white purity” and Western Civilization.
With a strong Internet presence and the riots in Charlottesville, the alt-right has been picking up speed in America. The KKK and neo-Nazis now have a group they can identify with. Even Donald Trump hasn’t condemned these groups, saying the Black Lives Matter movement and the alt-right are on equal playing field.
For those involved in the alt-right, they advocate for “traditional values” and “scientific racism.” Often these “traditional values” translate into violence against women, men’s ownership of women’s bodies, taking away women’s rights, and removing women from the government and the workplace in general.
So why are women involved?
Many white women who get involved in the alt-right are so anti-feminist that they promote the stripping of power for women. Some alt-right women leaders have said things like, ”the white woman’s womb belongs to men” and “women are too vicious to be involved in government.” These women are so rooted in fundamentalist, “traditional” Christian ideals that they believe women should give all power to men, as outlined in the Old Testament of the Bible.
Many of these women are spiteful of the feminist movement taking women out of the home and family. These women believe that all women should be mothers and servants to men instead of getting involved in government and the workplace. They see white women’s roles as “to perpetuate white bloodlines, to nurture family units, to inculcate those families with pro-white beliefs.”
Other women involved in the alt-right just want to fight the “race war” to preserve the white race. These women are concerned with “race mixing” and the “destruction of Western civilization.” Although these women are often not seen at the rallies, they have a large presence online. There are several women who run YouTube channels and blogs, spouting racist rhetoric–luckily, many of these websites have been blacklisted and/or removed.
Lana Lokteff, a prominent leader in the alt-right movement, said she “felt that Black Lives Matter and these other reactive forces were being unfair to white people and that then sort of spun into a conspiracy about how the establishment, so to speak, is out to oppress, minimize and silence white people.”
Overall, these women believe that the white race has been threatened, their traditional ideals have been taken, and that women should give all power to men.
So what are some solutions?
Although many have made the argument that removing alt-right member’s videos and websites is a violation of freedom of speech, speech that endangers society and causes violent events like the Charlottesville riots should definitely be policed. Many members of the alt-right have used the Internet as a tool to find each other and organize movements, so websites should monitor dangerous, sexist, and racist posts. If you see racist Youtube videos, report them.
Another solution is to speak up. When you see racism, even small acts of microaggressions, take action. Remind friends to not use slurs or watch racist videos online, even if it’s out of irony, humor, or entertainment. The more views these people have, the more money and support they get.
Creating inclusive environments to talk about and educate others on race relations and patriarchal masculinity is another tool we have to refuse the alt-right. When we understand other cultures, it’s easier to accept and support them. Take classes on diversity and gender studies and encourage your friends to engage in those conversations.
The rise of the alt-right movement, especially the knowledge that women are involved, is infuriating. But, as individuals, there are always steps we can take to support the diversity around us and make sure others feel more safe in this turbulent political time.