Women in the Far-Right

Sara Dix

The role of women within far-right groups, both in the past and the present, is quite unique and interesting. Lopez and Sanchez discuss the role of women during the Spanish Civil War which shares similar patterns that are discussed in Lower’s book about German women that had roles within the Nazi regime. Even in modern times, women continue to be extremely important for far-right groups.

During the Spanish Civil War, the milicianas were young women dressed in worker’s overalls who marched alongside other women and men to defend the Republic. However, even in academia, there are few studies done on the Nationalist women who participated within the Civil War as historians mainly focused on the more active conservative women who were active participants in politics. This was also the same for German women in the Nazi system. However, Lopez and Sanchez emphasize that women were most important for espionage, counterespionage and information processing. So, they did maintain important roles. As for those during the Third Reich, women became nurses, prison guards, and secretaries as support under the Nazi regime.

Even in modern times, women are increasingly more involved as far-right groups are shifting to appeal to female voters. Just like in the Spanish Civil War and during the Nazi regime, far-right groups focus on the working-class and women who feel they are being left behind along with their male counterparts. Not only that, but more far-right groups are willing to accept women and LGBTQ within their policies. It’s interesting because far-right groups are typically seen as being conservative and completely against any liberal idea that doesn’t follow the typical patriarchal hierarchy.

Works Cited

Angelique Chrisafis, “From Le Pen to Alice Weidel: How the European far-right set its sight on women” The Guardian January 29, 2019

Sofía Rodríguez López and Antonio Cazorla Sánchez. “Blue Angels: Female Fascist Resisters, Spies and Intelligence Officials in the Spanish Civil War, 1936–9.” Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 53, no. 4, (Oct. 2018), pp. 692–713.

Wendy Lower, Hitler’s Furies (Houghton Mifflin, 2013)

2 Replies to “Women in the Far-Right”

  1. Hi Sara, Thank you for this weeks insightful commentary on the readings. I have just one question. In your opinion why do you think far-right groups throughout history such as in Germany, Spain or in France in the contemporary age get such a popular following among women if there is a general perception that the far-right wish to impose or re-instate historical hierarchical patriarchy? Do you think that this perception lacks nuance as to why women and other groups actually support these ideologies and beliefs? or is is something else? Cheers!

    1. Hi Austin,

      I think this is a very interesting point about the attitudes towards women from far-right groups. Well, the perception of what far-right groups are generally seen as conservative and therefore support old-fashioned values, but I don’t think that this is the case for all far-right groups. So for groups that are more progressive, they will accept women and even LGBTQ members. I think that far-right groups could be becoming more progressive and they accept the fact that by incorporating other groups besides white men, they can hold more power and have more influence than just excluding possible voters. Plus, there are women that still hold more traditional values depending on their background and religious beliefs that also coincide with far-right groups in general. I don’t think the perception lacks nuance because of the existence of more traditional values among women who may wish for a more patriarchal structure.

      I hope this makes sense.
      – Sara Dix

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