I don’t think it had quite occurred to me until this week how prominent women have been in far right movements. If you look at the major players (at least in Western Europe) there are many lead by women. We have La Pen in France running the National Rally, Corinna Miazga in Germany running the AFD, and Georgia Meloni leading the Brothers of Italy. There are others like Ebba Hermansson, who is part of the Sweden Democrats, who are prominent in their own parties even though they are not yet in a categorical leadership position.
This is interesting for many reasons of which the most interesting one is the fact that these parties seem to be a male dominated scene with all of the trappings one would expect. In fact I would almost go as far to say that the reason these movements are typically dismissed is because of that masculine focus and their majority involvement. Obviously there are many undesirable elements to these movements, which I must add, am merely making a case for the reason why they lose out on so much of the available votes. This trope of “angry white men” hurts these parties in many ways. From making them seem uneducated, emotional, and childish as they are simply lashing out and on the fringe of major politics. These women are not a force to be dismissed though. La Pen is neck and neck with Macron in the polls. She could be the next president of France! As well as the AFD being the 3rd largest party in Germany, and the Brothers of Italy are quickly becoming Italy’s third party as well. So what does this mean? Is it directly related to the fact that people can’t use these tropes and stereotypes to dismiss these groups anymore? Is it entirely unrelated? The AFD has a gender problem in that there is still a huge margin between men and women’s involvement in the party. La Pen does not struggle with that and neither does Meloni. Are they appealing to women better? Or are they fixing their parties PR problems? Or…are they simply good leaders and smart politicians and any attempt to categorize them, and their success, as anything but a sexist argument that dismisses and diminishes their accomplishments?