Throughout the Trump administration, media coverage of extremist factions of the American right grew considerably, as did the actual membership and numbers of those factions. Included among these factions, and operating on a spectrum that ranges from the center-to-fringe right, are white supremacist, Christian nationalist, and militia/patriot/sovereign citizen (broadly termed constitutionalist) movements. While the American right is heterogeneous, most of these groups are composed of white men, and male supremacism is often a common ideological denominator. Based on historical trends, recent activity, and ongoing movement mobilizations, we should anticipate increased recruitment and activism on the part of anti-statist right-wing groups during the Biden administration. While much has been written about the threat of terroristic violence these groups pose and their varying levels of engagement with white supremacist beliefs, examinations of gender have largely focused on masculinity. This note takes up the relationship between anti-statist right-wing movements and women by sketching three key areas that warrant further examination: (1) how collective interpretations of the law leave women vulnerable by refusing the legitimacy of federal legislation; (2) the threat of militia violence against women, particularly those who hold elected office; (3) how racial and gender exclusions preclude women from having their claims to membership in anti-statist right-wing movements be fully recognized. As we take stock of the growing threat posed by these movements, it is incumbent on us to critically examine the threats to women’s rights posed by the anti-statist right.
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