Mapping the Male Supremacy Movement: The Alt-Right’s Woman Problem

We’re going inside the male supremacy movement. This post is the second in a series produced by ADL in partnership with Ms. In each installment, we will explore a different aspect of what we’re calling the “male supremacy movement”—a network of formal groups and informal communities dedicated to subjugating women—and its intersections with the so-called alt-right’s racism. 


A woman protests white supremacy in Los Angeles in the wake of a 2017 neo-Nazi riot in Charlottesville. (Molly Adams)

“The fact is, when you give women rights, they destroy absolutely everything around them, no matter what other variable is involved… Even if you become the ultimate alpha male, some stupid bitch will still ruin your life.” –Andrew Anglin, DailyStormer.com

The so-called alt-right is defined by its white supremacist and anti-Semitic ideology, but when alt-righters talk about the women who are standing between them and their “rightful” position, their language is virtually indistinguishable from what you can find on misogynistic MRA or incel message boards.

MRAs, or Men’s Rights Activists, believe that men are being victimized by employment and family law, among other things. Incels, or involuntary celibates, believe that all men deserve to have sex with women on demand and without regard for women’s interest or preference. Both groups are explored in more detail later in this piece.

Men who hate women—masking fear, sexual insecurity or ignorant devotion to ideological misogyny—are vocal within the alt-right, which enjoys a synergetic bond with the more specifically misogynistic extremist movements like incels and MRAs.

Alek Minassian, who killed 10 people, eight of whom were women, in the April 2018 Toronto van attack, and neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin are among the most visible examples of this hatred, but they are far from unique. The misogyny of the “manosphere”—the world of RooshV (the screen name of “Pick Up Artist” progenitor Daryush Valizadeh) and others who populate the “men’s rights” blogosphere and online message boards that promote a toxic iteration of masculinity, like Reddit’s RedPill forum—is very much at home in the alt-right world.

One prominent case in point: Before he became one of America’s most recognizable white supremacists, Christopher Cantwell frequented men’s rights websites and posted misogynistic rants on his blog. Alt-right blogger Matt Forney cross-posts some of his choicest anti-female sentiments to the MRA website “Return of Kings,” including: “The vagina is the perfect representation of the nature of females. An empty vessel, a hole, a void with no identity of its own. Without a man to fill her with his essence, she is as useless as a crabapple rotting on the sidewalk.”

Alt-righters and other white supremacists frequently refer to women as “thots,” which stands for “that ho over there.” Alt-right women are called “tradhots”—a reference to their idealized “traditional” role and their putative “hotness.”

Perhaps no one bridges the worlds of men’s rights misogyny and alt-right racism more adeptly than F. Roger Devlin, a longtime white nationalist academic. He argues that “women’s liberation” has actively hurt (white) men’s ability to procreate, because when white women have choices, they are less likely to get married, have children and perpetuate the white race.

Devlin has spent much of his career decrying the rise of self-actualized women who threaten the existence of white people by suggesting there may be something more to life than “breeding six warriors while being a happy hausfrau,” as one poster on altright.com put it. Devlin frets that women have gained too much power—and upset the natural order of things.

Where Devlin argues that women are ruined by having too many choices, Daily Stormer founder and neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin wants to remind women that they’re lucky to get a man—any man at all —and are worthy of little other than male violence and contempt.

In a March 2017 rant, apparently sparked by Brad Pitt’s weight loss following the end of his marriage to Angelina Jolie, Anglin launched his full-scale attack on women—including white women, whose cooperation he presumably needs to pull off his racist master plan. In typically self-aggrandizing style, Anglin referred to himself as the “tip of the spear against the feminist menace,” writing: “The fact is, when you give women rights, they destroy absolutely everything around them, no matter what other variable is involved. Even if you become the ultimate alpha male, some stupid bitch will still ruin your life.”

Worried about losing a wife or a girlfriend once you express these opinions? There’s no need for that, Anglin writes. “Women crave men who call them stupid and claim they shouldn’t have any rights,” he asserts. “They also crave being tied up, beaten and raped.” In case there were any lingering doubts about his misogyny, Anglin returns to this trifecta of abuse in July 2018, writing: “Look, I hate women. I think they deserve to be beaten, raped and locked in cages.”

Anglin attempts to proactively deflect any criticism by maintaining that anyone who suggests that men who are this angry with women might not be very popular with women is ignoring the fact that women should be grateful to be with any man. “What I am talking about is a social phenomenon where men are told that if they are unsuccessful with women, it is their fault,” he explains. “And it isn’t just the whores themselves who support this particular bit of nonsense—other men will back them up.”

The link between racist, anti-Semitic ideology and misogyny is also apparent via the cases of many alt-righters and other white supremacists who have been charged with or explicitly advocate for domestic violence. White supremacists Richard Poplowski, JT Ready, Matthew Heimbach and William Fears II have all been implicated in domestic violence-related crimes. In 2017, Anglin told readers on Gab that he’s in favor of “wife beating.”

Anglin has apparently been wooing MRA crossover support for some time. In 2015, he posted a diatribe on the Daily Stormer in which he expressed his “great respect” for women in the white supremacist movement, but also announced that he was turning the website into a “boys’ club,” and would no longer post women’s writing or radio shows. He cited the large number of young men he’d encountered on Men’s Rights message boards who were desperate for a male-focused ideology, and figured he’d have a better chance of attracting them to the site if he ditched any pretense of gender inclusion.

This is the moment when Anglin begins to fully adopt the language of the manosphere: Women’s biological imperative is to seek out and attach emotionally to men in power, he writes, until a “better” man comes along. Women are too emotional to make decisions, and are incapable of controlling their own behavior. Anglin argued: “When both individual male and institutionalized male morality are absent, as they usually are in our present society, the woman will tend to revert to a state of amorality.”

This is a common refrain among MRA, incels and alt-right misogynists: A woman should be obviously and profoundly grateful for any man’s attention—and if she’s not, she deserves to be kicked, sometimes literally, to the curb.

Jessica Reaves is the Senior Writer at ADL’s Center on Extremism and former reporter for Ms., TIME and the Chicago Tribune.

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