Misogyny is a key element of the so-called alt-right movement and there is a strong link between men’s rights activism and white supremacy, a report has found.
The Anti-Defamation League’s report argues hatred of women is a “dangerous and underestimated component of extremism”.
The research – titled 'When Women are the Enemy: The Intersection of Misogyny and White Supremacy' – found the increasingly popular narrative of white men as victims of feminism has been a key driving force behind the misogyny which has become rife in far right movements.
“Misogyny has the potential to act as a gateway into the white supremacist world,” Jessica Reaves, the report’s author who is an expert at the league’s Centre on Extremism, said.
“The hatred and resentment of women voiced by groups like involuntary celibates and men’s rights activists is disturbingly similar to white supremacists’ hatred of minorities. And some white supremacists, especially those on the alt-right, use the same degrading, violent anti-woman rhetoric we hear coming from misogynist groups.”
The Anti-Defamation League – a Jewish NGO based in the US which fights antisemitism and all forms of bigotry -- found a strong connection between men's rights activism and incel (short for "involuntarily celibate") language and the perpetuation of rape culture and violence against women who refuse men their "rightful" sexual experiences.
“When we see the vile hatred that comes out of the white supremacist movement, we immediately and rightly call out this hatred as a dangerous threat. The hateful and sometimes violent rhetoric of misogynist groups should be treated no differently,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive and national director of the league, said.
“Increasingly, the tropes and themes used by misogynists to describe women and their place in the world are no different than those used by many white supremacists.”
The report marks the first time the Anti-Defamation League has investigated misogyny as a component of extremism.
Reaves told The Independent the link between misogyny and white supremacy was not surprising to her but the organisation thought it was important to open the wider public's eyes to it.
"The inherently anti-woman culture of the alt-right makes it a welcoming space for misogynists who are interested in white supremacist ideology," she said. "There are also factions in the alt-right that are less overt in their expressions of white supremacy – it’s there, but swathed in white polo shirts and khakis, rather than swastikas or Klan hoods. That makes them appealing to misogynists who may just be testing the waters."
Explaining how people on alt right forums perpetuate rape culture, she added: "There’s a profoundly anti-woman undercurrent to many white supremacist/alt right online exchanges, and that can easily veer from disrespect into the full-on promotion of violence, including rape. This is even more evident if you visit incel and MRA boards, where anger towards and hatred of women is the primary focus – and participants celebrate and encourage misogynist violence."