Mapping the Male Supremacy Movement: Meet the Women of the Alt-Right

We’re going inside the male supremacy movement. This post is the fourth 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 after a deadly riot of white nationalists in Charlottesville in 2017. (Molly Adams)

While women’s place in the alt-right remains a hot button issue, the terms of the debate are narrow, to put it mildly, and would make any MRA very happy: One side argues that women need to focus on their “natural” duties of childbearing and supporting their husbands, while the other maintains that while women should be mothers and housekeepers first, women may use any additional time to advance the cause of the white race—in appropriately “feminine” ways, in the company of other women.

The latter group—which includes Red Ice broadcaster Lana Lokteff, and presumably her husband, fellow white supremacist Henrik Palmgren—believe that as long as white women are having children, being dutiful housekeepers and making sure their husbands are happy, they should be encouraged to use their “free time” for pro-white activism. “Deserving” white women should feel free to dabble in white supremacy, in other words.

In a 2017 interview with white supremacist and American Renaissance founder Jared Taylor, Lokteff opined:

Women want to be beautiful, they want a lovely home, they want to attract a mate and they want to be provided for and taken care of. That’s what the alt-right can provide, what nationalism can provide. As long as [alt-right] men are providing a nice home, women will fall in line.

Political engagement isn’t the answer for women, Lokteff contends. “Women aren’t that interested in politics. They are easily influenced; they go with the trends. I find I can easily bring them to our side. I just challenge them a little bit.”

And feminism is, of course, a huge turn-off. “The left is pushing this beauty ideal of the purple-haired, overweight feminist. No truly attractive women want to be associated with that.”

When Taylor asks Lokteff to define the “ideal” alt-right woman and wife, she responds: “She’s well-rounded, reads, is interested fighting back against anti-white politics, keeps a nice home, raises the kids well, teaches them about their tribal ethnic consciousness, has a good marriage. But then she might have time to do a blog post, or a video, or produce something here and there, to fight back against anti-white politics.”

Lokteff is peddling retrograde, demonstrably oppressive gender roles as “empowerment.” And women who embrace the alt-right are buying it. It’s not an accident that Lokteff, whose blonde-haired, blue-eyed look embodies the female physical ideal of the alt-right, couches her argument against feminism as an appeal of one “attractive” woman to another.

This is another common thread between misogynistic extremist movements: Men who feel ownership of women, or who feel they are owed deference and/or sex, consider conventionally attractive women “assets” or “prizes” to be paraded in photographs on Facebook and Twitter. Their value is even higher because they have chosen to attach themselves to “worthy” men—i.e. fellow white supremacists or incels.

In the alt-right world, white women who date or are friends with non-white men are dismissed and derided—or worse. In 2017, Andrew Anglin accused alt-right personality Lauren Southern of sleeping with a black man, and told her she should commit suicide. This is an extremely common response to any suggestion that a white woman is “betraying” her race; she’s considered “damaged” and generally useless.

The over-the-top bullying targeting Southern and Tara McCarthy, among other alt-right women, did prompt some women in the movement to call out their male counterparts. In 2017, “ethno nationalist” McCarthy chided “low status anonymous trolls trying to put us in our place” after the alt-right sphere attacked Southern when she suggested she wasn’t ready to have children at age 22. This kind of defense only emerges when the vitriol is directed at a fellow alt-righter. Generally speaking, alt-right women seem content to perpetuate the movement’s misogyny—under the guise of protecting “traditional” gender roles.

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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