On the thread about the recent right wing terrorist attack in Germany, we had a slight disagreement about the role of misogyny in that particular attack. I decided to give that an extra post for several reasons. For one I didn’t want to get into that discussion on that thread, when we are all in basic agreement about the fascist nature of that attack. For another I don’t want to play “oppression olympics”, making this attack on young migrants some sort of white women’s woe. And finally I think it’s important to talk about these matters in a more general way, to raise awareness about the links between misogyny, white supremacy and how the former is a “gateway drug” for the latter.
The terrorist attack in Hanau shows many similarities to other recent right wing terrorist attacks: El Paso, Christchurch, Halle. The terrorist talked openly about their murder fantasies, they talked about exterminating groups of people, they tried to broadcast their attacks for maximum effect. And they were also misogynists. Sorry that the link is in German, I hope Google translate is passable. This is no coincidence. White supremacists are by nature concerned with two things:
- Making white babies themselves with good white women. The Hanau terrorist detailed how he “suffered” from not being able to find a good white woman (claiming that some Deep State organisation prevented him from doing so). this is a common thread among many right wingers. It’s not a bad joke when you say sexually frustrated men are a risk group. There’s a very clear correlation between a lack of women and right wing success in East Germany. In those rural areas with few opportunities women tend to leave. They are better educated and also work in professions that are needed everywhere. They leave behind men who we tend to call “Wendeverlierer”, the losers of the reunification: They lost their jobs or didn’t find a job in an area that they deem worthwhile. Even now that many of them do have a job, there’s still no woman who dreams of living in a dying small town in the middle of nowhere.
These men usually have very “traditional views” on relationships and family life. They’re stuck somewhere in the 1960s (interestingly in the 1960s of West Germany) while the women are in the 2020s. It’s hard not to feel a pang of sympathy when they talk about missing things many of us take as ordinary things: a partner, a family, an intact personal support system, until you remember that they also think they are owed these things by women and that it’s feminism and the immigrants’ fault that they’re not getting it. Which links up to #2
- Keeping other men from making babies with the white women they deem their property. The fear of “miscegenation” is strong with them as you can see in these covers from one of the bigger German right wing magazines (I’m sorry you’ll have to open the thing in twitter to see the full pics. Or don’t. They’re racist as fuck):
Jürgen Elsässer. Chefredakteur eines der am meist abonnierten Magazine für Rassisten, Querfront und Weltverschwörer. https://t.co/WdomJLvQCt pic.twitter.com/FC3v0iMNL8
— Populisten-Schreck 🇪🇺 🇩🇪 (@gutmenschen_inc) February 20, 2020
Men of colour are painted as both sexual predators from whom the white women must be protected, as well as a threat to white men’s access to white women. Especially young muslim men are their object of hatred: They are presumed to have more patriarchal views and societies, they are able to live the life those white men think they are owed, and on top of that they have to pay lip service denouncing those men in order to maintain the mainstream narrative of our societies being superior because “we” “respect” women. It’s quite telling how those who pre 2015 told women they need to dress modestly are now vigorously defending miniskirts.
Young male refugees present an additional danger. Not only do they tilt the gender balance some more, they also embody a lot of the stereotypes those men base their value on. Those young men have often seen war and violence. They had to prove themselves and make it against terrible odds. They are fighters and survivors. In short, they em,body everything those dudes think that men should be and they are not. As we know those men don’t even need to be anywhere close. At the height of the racist Pegida demonstrations there were five protestors for every Muslim in Saxony.
The “men of colour as a threat” is of course also an angle that gets white women attracted to far right groups, though so far they have constantly lower support among women than among men.
I hope these two points demonstrate why white supremacists are also always misogynists. They want a clear hierarchical structure with them at the top and they cannot get this without doing what men everywhere have done for millenia: controlling the fertility of women and others capable of having children. You will not find a white supremacist who is not a misogynist, or one who isn’t against abortion on demand (they aren’t against all abortions, though, let’s remember the recent eugenics debates).
Lastly I would like to come back to something I mentioned at the top: misogyny as a gateway drug. Now I have to formulate this carefully because I don’t want this to come off wrong: In many parts of society it is more acceptable to say misogynist shit than it is to say racist or antisemitic shit. I’m not talking about attitudes, just about the “saying it out loud” part. While many centrist people will quickly shush their own for talking favourably about Hitler, it hardly ever happens when some dude complains about women not fucking them. Or women having a career. German has it’s own horrible word for mothers who do not dedicate 24/7 to their kids: We are “Rabenmütter” raven mothers (which proves they know just as much about ravens as about anybody else). Attitudes like “women are naturally better with children” and “a child needs his mother” are widespread and can act as a gateway into the right wing mindset. A guy who feels lonely can easily get sucked into the world of right wing conspiracies, finally finding the culpable for his own personal woes.
Is anything like this is seen as a result of misogyny in non white communities?
I don’t see such a link in the Mexican-American community. Seems to me it is an interaction between two different types of existing bigotry.
Here in rural upper Mid-West US, Farmer/Rancher men have the same problem, not enough women who want to live the rural life. Misogyny is here, though somewhat subdued, but still, I hear comments all the time.
It makes me crazy sometimes, as I don’t want to hear that shit.
I don’t have a woman, now, but I’m not craving one either. I’m content with my memories of C.
I always feel uncomfortable with these descriptions, as they are pretty much describing me only without the violence, fascism, and misogyny. I’m in that at-risk group, and it agitates my anxiety when I think that if the influences I had were toxic (and maybe if I didn’t have blogs like these pointing out the problem) I might have blundered down such a road myself.
@Callinectes, you are not alone with those feelings.
Im sorry that you are in a similar situation. As I said in the past : those longings are completly understandable, they are deeply human needs and desires.
And I’m glad you joined the right side.