For those familiar with the toxic environment among men’s rights groups or who’ve paid attention to the news of entitled men shooting up groups of people or mowing them down in a car because they couldn’t get what they wanted from women, a tie between white supremacy and misogyny is not shocking. Now a new report from the Anti-Defamation League makes a direct link between white supremacism and misogyny.
“ADL considers misogyny a dangerous and underestimated component of extremism, and this report marks the start of an ongoing effort to investigate the ways in which people in the white supremacist, incel and MRA (Men's Rights) orbits feed and inform one another’s poisonous hatred of women,” according to the report, which was first posted on Cosmopolitan.
“Every day as virulent white supremacists make their hatred known, we immediately and rightly call them extremists. We have not been nearly as unequivocal when it comes to men who express their violent anger and loathing towards women,” the report continues.
The eight-part report does a deep dive into the ties between white nationalism and women-haters in chapters that include “The Alt Right Has a Woman Problem,” “Involuntary Celibates — Deadly Resentments,” “White Men Adopt a Victimhood Narrative,” and more. The report offers up several examples of cross-pollination of white supremacy with women-hating.
“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,” the report states before offering examples. “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 ADL points to the likes of virulent white supremacist Christopher Cantwell, who gained some notoriety during the tiki torch-lit Charlottesville, Va., protests last summer. Prior to the Charlottesville melee, he was a frequent poster on men’s rights groups online. The report states, however, that no one typifies the white supremacist/misogynist hybrid more than F. Roger Devlin, a white nationalist academic whose thesis is that the women’s movement has been detrimental to the white race because white women have choices and are less likely to procreate and perpetuate the white race.
As for Anglin, whom the report describes as a neo-Nazi, he’s claimed, “Women crave men who call them stupid and claim they shouldn’t have any rights. They also crave being tied up, beaten and raped.”
Just this month he wrote, “Look, I hate women. I think they deserve to be beaten, raped and locked in cages.”
The author of the report, Jessica Reaves, points to white men’s loss of status and power as part of the connective tissue between white supremacy and misogyny and adds that hatred of women must be taken more seriously.
“There’s a growing sense of resentment among certain groups of men, especially white men, towards women for what they see as a theft of their power and status,” Reaves told Cosmopolitan. “Violence, vicious harassment, and other forms of misogyny are a huge threat to women everywhere. We want people to understand that misogyny is dangerous and that by elevating everyone’s understanding of this critical threat, we can reduce the risks.”
While the report is a fascinating, albeit terrifying, study of the ties between hatred of nonwhite races and of women, it also provides recommendations to deal with the growing problem. These include pressing lawmakers to pass legislation creating protections against gender-based violence and pushing to classify gender-based crimes as hate crimes.
Several of the recommendations are related to technology and social media, considering that online spaces are where so much hatred has been allowed to fester.
“Tech companies must continue to improve their terms of service, especially in relation to misogyny. This commitment should include creating strong and robust prohibitions on such content that reflects its role in broader extremist movements,” reads one of the recommendations. “Platforms should fine-tune their approaches to dealing with such extremism on their platforms, and take explicit stances against misogynist behavior as a form of targeted cyber hate.”
There’s no time to waste in enacting change regarding tolerance of and response to gender-based hate, according to Reaves.
“Given how active white supremacists are at the moment and the ongoing threats of public violence against women, we think it’s really important for people to understand that these hateful groups don’t exist in a vacuum — they feed off one another and urge each other on,” Reaves said.