Researchers who track how the far right in the US mobilizes, self-promotes and recruits are reporting that women are playing a growing role in the movement.
They often work behind the scenes to advance conspiracy theories through social media and softly attract new women into the fold. But at the same time, in recent years “alt-right” women have also shifted to influential public-facing roles in rightwing media production and far-right national politics.
They have taken prominent roles in events like the January 6 attack on the Capitol, count US congresswomen in their number and have seen the emergence of powerful new groups like Moms for Liberty.
“[Far-right women] have a lot more power than you think,” said Dr Sandra Jeppesen, a professor of media and communications at Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada.
Despite their seemingly understated presence in extremist groups and far-right politics, they can be effective organizers, responsible for bringing thousands of people to the Capitol for the January 6 “Stop the Steal” rally and now mobilizing against inclusive education.
Some women figures on the far-right scene have a lot of money, especially the most prominent ones, said Tracy Llanera, an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut. The most high-profile far-right conservative women are involved in social media production because they fit the mold of what Llanera calls “the acceptable faces of conservative propaganda”. [Continue reading…]