Women in Far-Right Movements

 By: Willem Nesbitt

The inclusion of women in far-right movements is nothing new. As seen in Wendy Lower’s Hitler’s Furies, women played a prominent role within the Nazi regime, slotting into the role of “adoring wives and robust mothers” (Lower, p. 39), but also participating in Nazi mass murders in concentration camps. What is new to the modern far-right movements, however, is the level of prominence in which women are able to attain. Angelique Chrisafis, Kate Connoly, and Angela Giuffrida detail the numerous women who work at the forefront of their nation’s far-right political parties, ranging from Marine Le Pen in France, to Alice Weidel in Germany.

                Opening with an anecdote of AfD MP Corinna Miazga being told “she would be better suited to being a pole dancer than an MP” by a male colleague, the authors of the Guardian article exhibit one of the many ironies surrounding women within far-right movements, detailing how members of the AfD were upset she dared reveal this transgression, more worried about the bad light being cast upon the party than the fact that she was insulted in the first place. This single anecdote exhibits that although modern far-right movements now allow women into their upper echelons, very little has changed in the way of attitude towards them, and the AfD’s gender ratio sitting at only 87% male and 13% female demonstrates how the inclusion of women is still only a very small minority.

3 Replies to “Women in Far-Right Movements”

  1. I find it quite interesting that although woman are playing a more prominent role in far right movements, assuming leadership roles and so on, that they are still looked down upon and insulted for their desire to have a more dominant role. It is ironic that in some of the past readings we have looked at that organizers of movements look to recruit women but only in a more ‘traditional’ role. This should be an obvious indicator into the many faults that comprise these groups, which should push these women away. Can women be respected in leadership roles in far right organizations/movements?

  2. I agree wholeheartedly with what Vincent said. It is ironic that women would be relying on a party that doesn’t even respect its own women in leadership roles to allow them to have the rights and freedoms they so desire—it seems to me that this disillusionment with the current elite has more to do with supporting the working class and less to do with the actual advancement of feminism and women’s rights.

  3. I was also really struck by the contradictions within the AfD – in particular, that Alice Weidel identifies as a lesbian, and has two children with her partner. In a party that promotes more traditional family values, it’s interesting to see the helm of the party seemingly contradict what we often consider to be traditional conservative family values. I also think you make a really interesting inference here – that women, while accepted into these parties at face value, will never really be valued therein, and it’s primarily a move by the parties to appeal to a more broad voter base. I do disagree a bit there, as I think that undermines the culpability of these women, as well as their autonomy. Marine Le Pen’s party also came incredibly close to winning in 2017, and she has done a great deal to move the party from the fringe into the mainstream in France. That said, I do think you’re right in that a great deal of misogyny still persists within the parties, and women members are not exempt from the perpetuation of that misogyny.

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