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Article

Women in the Extreme and Radical Right: Forms of Participation and Their Implications

Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW 2678, Australia
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(9), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9090149
Received: 26 June 2020 / Revised: 13 August 2020 / Accepted: 13 August 2020 / Published: 24 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Global Rise of the Extreme Right)

Abstract

:
The recent inclusion of male supremacy under the umbrella of right-wing extremism (RWE) can obscure the allure that the extreme and radical right holds for some women. This study examines women’s participation in the extreme and radical right to advance a novel conceptualization for engagement. Accordingly, six forms of participation are proposed, being violent actors, thinkers, facilitators, promoters, activists, and as gendered exemplars for others. This has implications for operations, ideology, and identity. First, women’s participation in violence has commonly been in conjunction with a group or a two-person dyad; it is rare that they operate as lone actors. Women also facilitate or sustain violent operations, through engaging in support activities that contribute to mission completion. Second, women create and promote radical right-wing ideology, challenge select discourses and magnify others to cultivate ideologically symbolic expressions of femininity. Third, such expressions contribute to extreme and radical belief systems, and provides select women with identity security and personal meaning. It is therefore possible to observe an ideological ecosystem spanning the extreme and radical right, in which women participate and interact.

1. Introduction

“We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children,” wrote right-wing terrorist David Lane in the 88 Precepts (Lane n.d.), coining what would become known as the 14 Words. “Because,” Lane continued, “the beauty of the White Aryan woman must not perish from the earth.” While this may be little more than a motivational slogan, this final sentence of the 88 Precepts neatly captures the focus of this study. Are women in the extreme right merely the premise for male action, or does their participation possess its own forms which may pose operational and ideological challenges? Looking beyond Lane’s projection of white women’s peril, this study examines how women participate in extreme and radical right environments, spanning violent and non-violent forms of extremism.
Right-wing extremism (RWE) is increasingly prominent in the western world. Following the deadly right-wing terrorist attacks in Christchurch, El Paso, Hanau, Halle, and San Diego in 2019 alone, there is a new urgency for understanding the nature of this threat. This is especially relevant given the scale of involuntary celibate (Incel) violence in recent years, primarily (but not exclusively) targeting women in lethal attacks. While RWE violence is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men, women can also pose violent and non-violent threats, and can influence ideology despite the presence of misogynistic content. This is because women interact within the ideological ecosystem, rather than passively receive content. Women can shape and reshape the contours of the various worldviews, challenge contemporary discourses, and offer an alternate interpretation of reality in which the salvation of lost womanhood is essential. By examining women’s participation in such subcultures, we can move closer to understanding the allure the extreme and radical right holds for receptive women.

2. Results

This study advances a novel framework for conceptualizing women’s activities by asserting there are six forms of participation: violent actors, thinkers, facilitators, promoters, activists, and exemplars. Violent actors engage in illegal and violent activities in support of RWE. Thinkers make original contributions to radical right theory or beliefs through the advancement of novel ideas that contribute to the ideological ambit. Facilitators provide direct assistance to RWE movements through activities such as providing safe house accommodation and obtaining weapons and supplies. Promoters repackage and propagate radical right theories and beliefs on social platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. Activists publicly support radical right movements through direct action at rallies or meetings. They can hold public, formal organizational positions or can privately engage in activism through procreation. Finally, exemplars are women in extreme and radical subcultures about whom cultural constructions have formed, in which they are celebrated as personifying the desired gendered identity.
This framework for participation has implications for violent operations, ideology, and identity. First, women’s involvement as violent actors or facilitators in kinetic operations often occurs as part of a group or a dyad, which is a pair of individuals distinct from a group (Knight et al. 2019). This encompasses a range of violent activities from assassinations to bomb plots to vandalism, through to providing material support and assistance. This makes some women violent threats and others valuable sources of network intelligence. Second, thinkers, promoters, and exemplars can shape the ideological space in right wing subcultures through constructions on femininity, gender interactions, and behavioral aspirations. This is an interactive dynamic which builds identity. Third, women can express identity through visual aesthetics, which celebrate imagined archetypes of a supposedly endangered or lost form of womanhood. We can therefore observe an ideological ecosystem—one in which women actively contribute, manage ideological contours, shape gender interactions, and enable the expression of entitativity, which is innately tied to idealized femininity in the extreme and radical right.
These forms are not mutually exclusive, with some individuals engaging in multiple forms of participation. This engagement, moreover, was not necessarily mandated by transparent links with organizations, which suggests that individual agency and choice can exist separately from organizational norms in these ideological subcultures. This contradicts common assumptions that women in the extreme right lack agency and choice, and are relegated to passive forms of participation.

3. Definitions and Methods

The extreme right is defined as a heterogeneous grouping of worldviews that are aligned with the right party family, and support antidemocratic beliefs, authoritarianism, and exclusionary nationalism (Carter 2018). They are extreme because they have disengaged with liberal democratic processes to support or advocate illegal violence against their enemies and/or the destruction of democracy (Bjorgo and Ravndal 2019). There is limited consensus on this, however, as Kruglanski et al. (2020) define extremism as conscious and willful deviation from accepted norms, while not necessarily being violent. Beyond the extreme, some use the term “far right” to encompass all activity beyond the mainstream right—despite there being scant literature to distinguish it from extreme or radical. The radical right encompasses mainstream conservatism in conjunction with extreme right ideas, such as the unity of people and state, and the perception of foreigners as a threat to this unity (Bjorgo and Ravndal 2019). Proponents of the radical right often support democracy as a system while championing the removal of democratically elected leaders. Some on the radical right can have prominence or influence over individuals in the extreme, rendering complete separation between the two impossible.
This study reviewed the scholarly record to identify prominent women engaging in the extreme and radical right, in addition to select media reports. Studies by several authors (Belew 2018; Durham 2015; Koehler 2017; Cunningham 2003; Blee 2005) proved most useful in this respect. After identification, the examination shifted to the activities of 99 select individuals, although Tradwives and Miss Hitler Contestants were listed as single units due to their cumulative contributions to a constructed identity. One fictional character from The Turner Diaries, Katherine, was also included due to her personification of idealized womanhood in the extreme right. The study was limited to English language sources, and further curtailed by the dearth of data on female skinheads. This study, therefore, represents a limited cross-section of individuals already prominent in either academic or general literature, from which broader generalizations may be made.
Beyond this, there must be the acknowledgement that female participation in the extreme right is statistically small compared to that of males. The Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the USA (PIRUS) tool, for example, suggests that of the 922 individuals affiliated with far-right ideologies in the US, only fifty-two were female (PIRUS 2020). Of this number, twenty were formal members of extremist organizations, twenty-two were informal members, eight were not members, and two were part of licit political movements. Of the fifty-two, thirteen were involved in successful plots, while another eleven attempted to progress plots or failed. The record of their affiliations, work history, military links, education, and student status had substantive gaps. Ultimately, neither PIRUS nor this paper are capable of listing every known woman engaging in extreme and radical right milieus. To look beyond these data, then, is to address gaps in our understanding.
While neither quantitative nor qualitative analyses can exist in entirely divisible states (Balnaves 2001, p. 5), this study is primarily qualitative. The tables herein are designed to articulate the breadth of activity in the six forms of participation, rather than assign quantitative significance. The participation was assessed qualitatively on the basis of discernable activity. Those who engaged in violence, or facilitated violence, were assigned to categories of violent actors and facilitators, respectively. Those who developed original ideas were categorized as thinkers, while those who repackaged existing ideas were categorized as promoters. Those who sought to further the cause through overt organizational activity were categorized as activists, while those who came to embody celebrated virtues or values in their subcultures were categorized as exemplars.
By design, leadership was not a form of participation. This is because leadership is commonly conceptualized in terrorism studies as the real authority of “top” elites over other members (Hoffman 2017). Terrorism research has mostly focused on leadership dynamics, the sensationalization of charismatic individuals (Hoffman 2017), leadership in strategic directives (Hermann and Sakiev 2011), or leadership deficits (Abrahms and Potter 2015). This study, as suggested by Hoffman, reconceptualizes leadership and power as existing in various strata and clusters of organizations and movements. As seen with the rise of Instagram influencers, even those adherents whose sole contribution is running a channel exalting RWE lifestyles can exert influence on others through exposing them to the ideology (Lorenz 2019). A participant therefore does not need to be a formal figurehead to exert power and leadership.

4. Literature Review

The presence of women in terrorism and political violence has been well established since the 1990s, despite how it is often portrayed. Several studies have found that female execution of terrorism and political violence is rarely considered to be the result of women’s agency and choice (Sjoberg and Gentry 2008; Corcoran-Nantes 2011; Sternadori 2007). Female terrorists are presented as unnatural and abnormal (Corcoran-Nantes 2011), failed mothers, or vengeful shrews (Sternadori 2007). By extension, female suicide terrorists are often considered to violate traditional gender norms as peacekeepers (Friedman 2008), while others suggest they are helpless “subwomen” or “superwomen” (Marway 2011). This is despite research by Cunningham (2003), who found female terrorists had enhanced operational capacity as a result of diminished credibility.
The debate over women’s motivations, however, continues. Victor (2004) believed that female participation was driven by personal issues and exploited by male terrorists to ensure media coverage. When Jacques (2013) compared 222 female and 269 male terrorists, she found that the female terrorists held high levels of employment and often had familial connections to terrorist movements. Yet, this data seemingly did little to explain female agency or operational choices, despite females executing a quarter of all suicide attacks between 1985 and 2010 (Bloom 2011). As a result, Bloom (2010, p. 91) was correct when she noted that “[f]orty years of research on terrorism have revealed very little about women’s involvement in it”.
The literature explaining female participation in RWE is substantial due to the long history of white supremacy in the USA. McRae (2018) demonstrates the long-term female involvement in white supremacy movements between 1920 and 1974, and argues women were significant for supporting racial segregation. This was supported by Blee, who noted that “[g]ender is unquestionably an important organizing principle for racist groups” (Blee 2002, p. 112). Her examination of women in Aryan Nations, the KKK, and other organizations found that women were portrayed in four ways: as goddesses and victims, as race traitors, as wives and mothers, and as female activists. Beyond this portrayal, Blee suggests they occupy three roles: familial, social, and operative. Their familial role was as wives and mothers to their immediate and Klan family. Their social role was to facilitate social activities within the movements. Their operative role was to use indirect influence to maintain group cohesion (Blee 2002). Blee, in conjunction with Latif et al. (2020), later examined RWE archetypes of mother, whore, and fighter, finding that women habitually acted within, and against, gendered expectations between 1990 and 2010.
Cunningham (2003), who examined female participation in the World Church of the Creator (WCOTC) and the Ku Klux Klan, noted that women were increasingly visible in leadership positions, accounted for a quarter of all members, and comprised as much as fifty percent of new members. The creation of the Sisterhood of the WCOTC and its six chapters, and the Women’s Frontier with another four chapters, likely contributed to this growth (Michael 2006, p. 572). Cunningham (2007, p. 115) later added anti-abortion terrorism by the Army of God to her study and found that five of the eighteen “heroes” of the anti-abortion movement were women.
Beyond this, Belew (2018, p. 168) found the primary role of US women in the extreme right was as mothers and carers first. Second, women were expected to learn survival skills for the looming race war, from first aid to canning food to making soap. Marriage was a way to buttress the network and cement alliances between groups (Belew 2018, p. 180). Similar non-violent activism in the US context was noted by Blee (2012), who found women supported racial supremacy by exploiting private rumor mills to destroy their opponents instead of engaging in violence. Perhaps, it is on the basis of this non-violent activity that the Klan itself was unsure if women should engage in violence as equal warriors, or if they remained racial victims (Blee 2012, p. 260).
Fangen (1997) engaged with a similar debate in her study, “Separate or Equal?” reviewing female-only right-wing organizations in Europe, with a focus on Norway’s right-wing underground. Fangen found that some men in RWE found combative women “exciting and attractive” while others saw female volatility as an operational risk (Fangen 1997, p. 141). Female roles in gangs were primarily seen as being the nurse or mother of men or sexually accessible “mattresses” for male pleasure (Fangen 1997, p. 143). To escape the mattress label, Fangen found that Norwegian right-wing women formed a group, the Valkyria, in January 1995. This allowed for the expression of their political views and agency beyond the passive roles they held in male-dominated organizations, and to participate in all roles and activities, including weapons training.
In recent years, research on RWE and gender has increased in line with emerging groups and movements. Greece’s Golden Dawn Party (GD) was found to have ideological space for women (Koronaiou and Sakellariou 2017). Koronaiou and Sakellariou found GD represented women as mothers of the nation and the white race; as supporters and companions of men within the greater nation family; and independent defenders of society’s ideals, values, traditions, and reproductive purity. GD women are known to distribute leaflets, organize meetings, and engage in charitable work and demonstrations against immigrants (Koronaiou and Sakellariou 2017). This can be seen in other parts of Europe too. This corresponds with the French and German identitarian movements, as Zuquete (2018, p. 45) argued that female identitarians were closely engaged in propaganda activities, believed to be part of a calculated effort to distinguish the movement from preceding “old style” movements
In the UK, the British National Party (BNP) had prominent female members who participated in several discourses on issues such as reproductive control, divorce, and family (Durham 2015). Female participation was considered an attempt to give the BNP a soft face. Meanwhile, Pilkington (2017) examined a British manifestation: the English Defence League (EDL). Contrary to prior research suggesting women’s participation was driven by men, Pilkington found women joined the EDL of their own initiative. Despite advancing narratives of female subjugation under Islam, the EDL did not strictly circumscribe femininity or sexuality amongst its membership, although traditional masculine conceptualizations went unchallenged. Pilkington suggests that the EDL was not a hostile ideological environment for female members.
Mattheis (2018) studied Lana Lokteff to understand the discourses providing ideological space for women. She identified three discourses being the gender complementarity of men and women, alt-maternalism and women as caregivers, and Western civilization as a gift from white men to white women. Mattheis argues that Lokteff conjures the trope of the reluctant shield maiden to allow women to act in the political domain without threatening male political dominance. In a later study, this discourse was compared against that propagated by the women’s Khansa Brigade of Islamic State. Mattheis and Winter (2019) found that, despite culturally specific differences, the two discourses shared ideological logic and exploited similar rhetorical devices to enable female participation in ideological discourse and causes.

5. Forms of Participation

Historically, we tend to view women in extreme right movements as passive actors or mothers of the “new generation of warriors” (Eatwell 2003, p. 82), despite evidence to the contrary. The British Fascisti (BF) was founded by Rotha Orman, a female fascist who twice earned the Croix de Charité in World War One (Loughlin 2014). The BF spread to Ulster under Commander Florence Waring and her daughter Dorothy Grace Harnett, who was known for strip-searching republican women suspects, editing The British Lion, and later, leading the BF. Rival to the BF was the British Union of Fascists, with female activists such as Nellie Driver, who, as the Women’s District Leader, created propaganda, organized local meetings, and was involved in violent confrontations with anti-fascists (Mayall 1989). Indeed, nearly 100 female British fascists were interned during World War Two (Gottlieb 2004, p. 110). After World War Two, Heinrich Himmler’s daughter, Gudrun (nee Burwitz), was intrinsic to helping Nazi war criminals escape prosecution in the sixties, seventies, and eighties through the secretive Stille Hilfe (Silent Help) organization (Sandomir 2018). These snippets indicate that historically, women participated in more ways than expected. Our attention must turn to the forms of female participation more broadly. It is proposed here that the activities of RWE women encompass six forms of participation: violent actors, thinkers, facilitators, promoters, activists, and exemplars.

5.1. First Form: Violent Actors

As the literature suggests, women can operate as violent actors in a variety of terrorist movements. This does not exclusively imply acts of terrorism, but covers the spectrum of extreme right terrorism, to extreme right violence, to hate crime.1 The term “violent actor” is used to cover this spectrum of violent activity because of its neutrality and accuracy. It was chosen instead of “combatant” because under International Humanitarian Law, combatants are entitled to participate in formal hostilities. Terrorism, however, operates beyond the bounds of formal hostilities and the laws of war, rendering this term incompatible. The term “militant”, while more confluent with usage here, is more often applied to activists as a measure of their political commitment rather than a neutral description of their activity. By academic definitions mentioned earlier therefore, violent actors fit within extreme right definitions because they engage in illegal violence against enemies.
Individuals who fit this category include Jean Craig of The Order, who was allegedly instrumental to the murder of Jewish radio host Alan Berg;2 Kathy Ainsworth, known as the Synagogue Bomber; and Beate Zschape, who was deemed critical to the operations of the National Socialist Underground (NSU). More recently, violent female actors have allegedly engaged in shootings, such as Francine Graham; planned to firebomb and shoot malls, such as Lindsay Souvannarath; prepared explosive attacks, such as Erica Chase; or otherwise participated in vandalism, intimidation, and lesser forms of violence. Beyond this, of course, women affiliated with violent organizations such as the Atomwaffen Division engage in military-style training with firearms. This indicates that violent female actors can fill diverse operational needs beyond mainstream expectations. It also suggests that violent female actors are more likely to be part of, or connect with, a formal organization or act as half of a dyad. Their engagement in dyads demonstrates that organizational norms alone cannot explain women’s engagement in violent activity, leaving a possible explanation being individual ideological commitment. Women have, so far, rarely initiated violence as lone actors. A prominent exception appears to be Shelley Shannon, although her relationship with the Army of God may obfuscate the lone nature of her actions. This is detailed in the Table 1 below.

5.2. Second Form: Thinkers

Secondly, there are the thinkers, who are heavily embedded in the creation and propagation of extreme and radical right ideas. They may not engage in violence themselves, but they create the justifications which may enable other people to validate violent actions. The term “thinker” is used here to describe the intellectuals who make original contributions to the RWE pool of ideas, or who have established sophisticated intellectual positions, similar to the selection of thinkers in Sedgwick (2019). The term “ideologist” was not used because of its connotations of the study of ideology. Importantly, the ideological alignment of the thinker does not always correspond with the incorporation of their ideas by seemingly ideologically dissimilar elements of the milieu. A radical, therefore, may find their ideas popular amongst extremists, with which they have no organizational relationship. This appropriation of ideas is common in the extreme and radical right.
In the radical right, the most prominent contemporary voices are (arguably) Lana Lokteff, Lauren Southern, and Tara McCarthy. These individuals lead the charge against feminism and dominate radical right discourses on women. They commonly achieve this by creating narratives regarding traditional values, the traditional family, femininity, and extolling a transcendental identity for conforming women. These three thinkers, in addition to Rachel Summers and Robyn Riley, appear to have cooperated in the past. This indicates that, while they develop these ideas seemingly on their own, networks exist between them which may promote the cross-pollination, sharing, dismissal, or strengthening of ideas. It must be noted that the ideological disposition of thinkers is prone to change, as demonstrated by Southern in June 2020 YouTube clip, which indicated the adoption of a more mainstream position. Some thinkers are detailed in Table 2 below.

5.3. Third Form: Facilitators

The third form of participation is the facilitator. This form describes individuals who act in an enabling, organizational, or logistics role as part of, or on behalf of, a movement or group. The term “facilitator” was selected because of its connotations with indirect or unobtrusive assistance, the direct bringing about of an outcome, or assisting in the progression of a goal or task. Competing terms like “enabler” were not adopted due to cultural connotations—with enabling referring to the transfer or surrender of power in interpersonal (and often destructive) relationships. The term “networker” was also considered but proved not to be fit for the task, given the varied nature of the activities.
Facilitation traverses a variety of illegal activities which work towards supporting or executing a terrorist mission or objective. These illegal activities include providing safe accommodation for violent actors, obtaining illicit weapons and materials for others to use (ergo making some of them extremists by definition), and handling the proceeds of crime to facilitate organizational goals. Illegal activities by facilitators appear to occur in conjunction with organizational links to illicit groups such as Blood and Honour (BnH) and the National Socialist Underground (NSU). Because facilitation infers the assistance of others, it was not observable in instances of dyads or lone actors, making it commonly linked to a movement or group. Select facilitators are detailed in Table 3 below.

5.4. Fourth Form: Promoters

In contrast to the thinkers, promoters are individuals who engage in information sharing, dissemination, and provocation (commonly online), but who largely repackage and share ideas rather than create them. The term “promoter” has been selected because it has neutral connotations aligned with the dissemination or promotion of ideas. The term “propagandist” has a similar meaning but carries further implications of “deliberate and systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behaviour”—with emphasis mainly on its deliberate nature (Jowett and O’Donnell 2006, p. 269). Others suggest propaganda is “intentionally manipulative and deceptive” (Walton 2007, p. 93). There is little evidence to suggest that individuals in this domain are being deliberately deceptive. Rather, they may subscribe to ideological worldviews in which RWE content is accepted as truth. Few promoters explicitly call for violence, and as such could be considered radical right.
Promoters play a significant role in ideological magnification. They are skilled at repackaging the ideas of others by taking abstract theories and making them readily understandable. This can provide a translation-type service between thinkers and various audiences. Promotion spans many platforms, canvassing YouTube, podcasts, blogs, Instagram, and Telegram. Promoters can be public individuals or operate from behind pseudonyms. While pseudonyms obscure identity, the representation of being female has influence over the perceived legitimacy of the message. Promoters are also highly networked, sometimes with thinkers. A number listed below are known to cross-promote each other’s content, and promote content hosted by male promoters. On Telegram, promoters such as the Right Wing Art Squad also cross-distribute artistic works promoting extreme and radical right ideas. Select promoters are detailed in Table 4 below.

5.5. Fifth Form: Activists

The fifth form of participation is activism. Activism is the largest domain of participation, and most individuals noted in all other forms are often activists as well. The term “supporter” was considered because it infers individuals who support ideas, groups, or people and it also pervades the private sphere. This issue with this term, however, is how academics can measure the extent or authenticity of that support if not through noticeable action. The term “activist” was therefore chosen because it infers agency and choice to the individuals and has connotations of direct and noticeable action to achieve political or social change in the public sphere. Activism is used here to describe active participation and support for individuals, organizations, and movements associated with RWE subcultures.
Activists are most commonly aligned with the radical right and rarely engage in violent or illegal action. In the public sphere, activists are individuals who front and attend rallies, protests, political meetings, and/or social meetings. They often run blogs, magazines, and websites, canvassing for donations, managing finances, and dispersing donations through networks. In many countries, such financial contributions are legal. This is demonstrated most clearly by the Women for Aryan Unity (WAU), which runs raffles, competitions, and canvasses for donations. These funds are apparently distributed to white children and to incarcerated right-wing extremists through the Adopt a Bruder program (WAU 2020).
Activists can distribute stickers and posters while not being content generators, as is the case with the women in Antipodean Resistance. They can engage in pamphleteering for licit organizations, and also hold formal or public positions therein, such as with the British National Party. Some activists work in an organizational capacity, arranging social events for women alongside more traditional male-dominated political events, and found organizational offshoots. Activists are often intrinsic to the establishment and maintenance of formal and informal networks through such activity. Activism can also take place in the private sphere with respect to unrestricted procreation, which is championed by some in RWE to boost white birth rates as part of a defense against ethnic replacement. Activism, therefore, spans public and private spheres and encompasses an array of activities. A cross-section of activists are detailed in Table 5 below.

5.6. Sixth Form: Exemplars

The final form is the exemplars. This form is not defined solely by the participation of women, but by the cultural constructions and celebrations of them. These constructions turn women into symbols and subcultural heroines of their respective milieus. The term “exemplar” was chosen here because it describes people considered to display a high standard which should be imitated or copied by others. It is used here to define individuals who are elevated within subcultures for displaying certain behavioral norms, values, or virtues worthy of imitation. The term “example” was not chosen because it can be considered representative or typical of all things in a group, rather than a standard to achieve. Similarly, the term “icon” was not used because it usually connotes religious veneration which, while evident with some exemplars, is not so evident among others.
Exemplars epitomize a desired, gendered, and idealized identity. They become symbols of the movement through sacrifice and martyrdom; by being attributed certain value-sets including devotion to male partners; by personifying a way of life glorified within RWE milieus; or through their own political agency and actions. They can gain significance through death or the death of a male partner. They can be deliberate, symbolic, and performative actors; or symbolism can be attributed to them ex post facto. The exemplars, through their actions and also through the narratives which are created to interpret these actions, can become the idealized feminine models in radical and extreme right milieus. One of these feminine models is the Tradwife movement, which encompasses women who engage with nostalgic interpretations of the traditional family and have political opposition to feminism, Islam, immigration, and multiculturalism (Stendahl 2020). Among participants, the Tradwife life is seen as a way to reclaim an (often racialized) interpretation of womanhood. Through this, it can be seen as the ultimate expression of liberated femininity—free from mainstream oppression and corruption. Select exemplars are detailed in Table 6 below.

6. Implications

The implications of female participation in various terrorist movements are often recognized ex post facto, such as with the women of Islamic State (IS) (Spencer 2016; Khalil 2019). The first operational challenge posed by IS women was delineating the scope and focus of female involvement beyond the ideological constructions on women. The second challenge was reconciling the ultraconservative ideology with the appeal it held for female IS members (Europol 2019; Khelghat-Doost 2017). In the extreme right, there are similar challenges regarding the operational behavior and norms of women, and the ideological space in which they operate. The operational implications will be addressed first, as most of these should come as no surprise given the extensive female involvement in modern terrorism.

7. Operational Implications

Violent actors participate in a variety of kinetic operations. In the past, this violence has commonly been connected with women who are part of organized groups, such as The Order. Recently, it would appear violent actors form as half of a dyad, being defined as a pair of individuals independent of a group or broader network by (Knight et al. 2019). This would suggest that female violent actors do not require the normative environment of a group to turn to violence, meaning that membership in groups or organizations is not always indicative of violent propensity. Their range is extensive, with bomb plots, arson, shootings, and assassination/murder among the more recent activities. Far from women only being the wives of the movement, they can be warriors, engaging in direct violent activity motivated by extreme right beliefs.
Women can also facilitate operations and provide resources. The more recent examples of facilitation come from the women of BnH who supported the NSU in Germany, providing passports, aliases, safe houses, and securing materials, resources, or equipment. These actors can work below the threat detection threshold because they may not be physically present at meetings. As a consequence, facilitators may be a valuable source of intelligence for financial crime investigators as well as counterterrorism investigators, as they tend to span multiple networks and strata. Such intelligence may also explain how RWE movements and networks are supported and sustained.
Female activists and promoters pose a very different challenge. As they often have public profiles, the threat posed by female activists is fundamentally distinct. They engage with the public openly, rather than seeking to remain below the threat detection threshold. They can hold fundraisers, formal positions, attend rallies and protests, and lead campaigns in defense of white women, such as the 120 Decibels campaign. Through this, activists can normalize attitudes and behaviors and shift the public discourse. Promoters, meanwhile, can use the activist networks to cross-promote ideas and expand their reach for recruitment purposes. They can buttress the movement against criticisms of misogyny, and shape women’s discourse on topics such as feminism. The result is the magnification of identity politics and the possible erosion of progress towards gender equality.

8. Ideological Implications

The contentious inclusion of the male supremacy (also referred to as Incels, meaning Involuntary Celibates) under the extreme right ideational nexus can obscure the appeal RWE ideology has for some women.3 Ideology is not a passive or static system, but rather, a lived social reality: “An essential element of every social formation” according to Althusser (cited by Ackerman and Burnham 2019). If ideology is a consequence of social formations, we must conceptualize women’s participation in the ideology as a consequence of their interaction within those subcultures. It is through participation, then, that the ideological implications are manifest. This is shaped by three forms of participation more than others.
The thinkers play a role in the construction of ideology itself. Women who perform as thinkers can work to counter left progressivism and feminism by engaging in dialogues on identity politics, femininity, and gender relations. They can celebrate ethnonationalism as a traditional, natural, and desirable way of living and frame such a lifestyle as the last hope for white civilization. This provides a cohesive social formation which firmly bridges seemingly harmless gendered lifestyles and fringe interpretations of conservatism with a network of other ideas and beliefs. These beliefs, when informed by extreme and radical right positions, can be conspiratorial in nature, as exemplified by the white genocide conspiracy. Thinkers not only engage with ideology but can interpret and situate ideology in a landscape of meaning.
The promoters play a role in propagating narratives of white women’s peril on the one hand, and gendered complementarity on the other, as noted by Mattheis (2018). Promoters especially engage with narratives on sex realism. Sex realism is framed as the belief that women are not equal to men, but adherents argue that inequality does not necessarily make women lesser. Women are instead portrayed as fundamentally different to men, which makes equality neither possible nor desirable. Promoters also challenge feminism, target female politicians, and celebrate exemplar tropes. This is often framed under what some label Nature’s Laws (Gardell 2003, p. 133), or the natural order (Campion 2019). The implication is that, while promoters magnify RWE ideology and challenge feminist discourses, they also create an alternative interpretation of reality that can foster female (and male) ideological engagement.
The exemplars have the highest ideological significance. They may be celebrated as loyal wives and widows, innocent martyrs, or heralded as the reproductive future of an imperiled people, destined to recover a glorious future. Racial purity and motherhood are inseparable, intertwined as the salvation of the race. Through emulating exemplars, participants may find identity security and significance. Kruglanski et al. (2020, p. 67) suggests the quest for significance can lead to extremism, where individuals can fulfil fundamental needs and allow them to “live up to their gender expectations.” It may be argued that RWE expressions of femininity allow adherents to attain identity security and significance through the performance of a gendered role, imitating the exemplars. The exemplars provide the highest standard of behavior, and it is upon that standard that transgressors can be condemned (Gardell 2003), or conformers welcomed.
This stands somewhat in contrast to male supremacy. The ADL found a “symbiosis between misogyny and white supremacy”, bridged by opposition to feminism and veneration of the natural order (ADL 2020). The Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC 2018) describes male supremacy as an “ideology advocating for the subjugation of women”, citing key ideas such as opposition to Cultural Marxism, feminism, and gender equality, and violence against women. Meanwhile DiBranco (2020, p. 2), found male supremacism was based on the belief that men should be entitled to sexual access to women, and that feminism is a “malevolent force controlling society”. Jackson (2019, p. 3), however, states male supremacy should be conceptualized as its “own form of extremism”. It is argued here that while there are misogynist elements within and beyond the extreme and radical right, there are nonetheless women who are active, not passive, contributors to the ideological environment.

9. Identity Implications

Ideology shapes the desired social and collective identity. The exemplars, through romanticization, become the desired archetype and project social identity in the subculture. Thinkers and promoters contribute to this, often drawing on mythology. They may speak of Venus; of Demeter and Aphrodite; of reluctant Viking shield maidens. The Right Wing Art Squad projects female beauty and combat-readiness through manga and waifu styles. A European aesthetic is frequently used, exploiting pre-Raphaelite artistry, historical Victorian photography, and styles from the 1940s and 1950s to symbolize lost innocence and purity in an increasingly corrupt modern world. The women in this visual aesthetic combine archetype and identity—which may be considered an attempt to salvage modern womanhood, which is often perceived to be endangered. In accepting ideology and assuming identity, female adherents engage in idealization, but also in self-realization, to find identity security, entitativity, and belonging. This can occur across the forms of participation, with identity to be found in violence as much as promotion, activism, or procreation.
The consequence of this interchange is the manifestation of an ideological ecosystem. It is an ecosystem because it has the characteristics of a particular community interacting in a specific environment. In extreme right subcultures, members interact with ideology through their social formations and realities. They are active contributors, emitters, and disseminators of ideology. Interaction is key, and interdependency is common. Adherents do not always shelter in the typical ‘echo-chamber’ which confirms existing beliefs (Behr et al. 2013), which frames ideological reception as one way. Instead, women in the extreme and radical right flourish in an ideological ecosystem where active participation shapes the very environment in which they thrive. It is organic, and because of that organic nature, it has the propensity to shift and adapt according to conditions. The ideological ecosystem provides women with constructions of idealized femininity, interactional gender norms, and the ability to shape and contribute to the ideology itself. Within that ecosystem, women can be wives, warriors, and more.

10. Conclusions

In conclusion, women in the extreme and radical right engage in six broad forms of participation that range from violent to non-violent and public to private. This participation can take form as kinetic and violent threats, to facilitating the violent operations of others, to sustaining networks through financial management. Beyond this, they can make original contributions to ideology, to shape discourses, champion causes, and express entitativity through the emulation of exemplars. Rather than having forms of participation deliberately constructed and assigned, female participation is agile because the ideology itself is adaptive and can be shaped and reshaped by female participants. Women in both the extreme and radical right interact in an ideological ecosystem which positions them as the key to racial salvation or endangered womanhood, legitimizes violent and non-violent action, and enables them to select and project an idealized and ideologically loaded expression of femininity. Women, ultimately, can find identity security through these varied forms of participation and by virtue of their interaction in extreme and radical right ecosystems.

Funding

This research received no external funding.

Acknowledgments

The author would also like to acknowledge the contributions of Andrew Brien and thank him for discussions and debate which influenced the findings contained herein.

Conflicts of Interest

The author has no conflict of interest to declare.

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1
This is not a comprehensive coverage of women engaged in hate crime, especially given the skinhead movement’s Red Shoelace initiation.
2
While these women were the only ones convicted of crimes related to The Order, the wives, girlfriends, and daughters of The Order performed a significant amount of support work (Belew 2018, p. 129).
3
Largely driven by the Toronto massage parlour stabbing on 24 February 2020, Scott Beierle’s attack on 2 November 2018 in Tallahassee, Alek Minassian’s alleged attack on 23 April 2018 in Toronto, and Elliot Rodgers’ attack on 23 May 2014 in Isla Vista.
Table 1. Violent Actors.
Table 1. Violent Actors.
Name and CountryOrganizational Links Activity and Source
Rebecca Matathias
USA
NATogether with partner Andrew Costas, Matathias was arrested for allegedly defacing religious property, arson, and malicious destruction of property targeting places of worship (AP 2020).
Francine Graham
USA
Black Hebrew Israelite Movement Together with partner David Anderson, Graham is accused of murdering a Jersey City detective and shooting three individuals at a Jersey City Kosher supermarket on 10 December 2019. The attack was later described by FBI officials as domestic terrorism. They are also suspected of the murder of Michael Rumberger earlier on 7 December 2019 (Gold 2019).
Lindsay Souvannarath
Canada
NATogether with partner James Gamble, Souvannarath allegedly planned a firebombing and shooting attack on Halifax Shopping Centre in 2015. She also ran a blog called Cockswastica (Lamoureux 2019).
Kiyomi Brewer
USA
NABrewer, with partner Nolan Brewer, allegedly vandalized an Indiana Synagogue with swastikas and set fire to the yard in 2018. Plans to use Drano bombs (pressurized IEDs) were changed at the last minute (Mettler 2019).
Beate Zschape
Germany
National Socialist Underground Zschape, along with two men, was convicted for her part in a campaign of assassination against ten migrants and a police officer between 1999 and 2011. The judge suggested during sentencing that Zschape was critical in the group’s undercover operations (Hillebrand 2018).
Holly Dartez
USA
Klavern 1500, Invisible Empire, Ku Klux Klan Dartez, along with four men, was indicted for three counts of cross burning the home of three black men, in addition to intimidation, and using fire to commit a felony in 2003. She was the driver for the attack, and also held a role as Klavern secretary (Court of Appeals 2010).
Erica Chase
USA
World Church of the Creator, Prison Outreach Program Chase, with partner Leo Felton, was convicted of bank robbery. It is also alleged they engaged in counterfeiting, purchased firearms, and began construction of an explosive device in 2002. They planned to bomb Jewish targets, or kill Jewish, black, or civil rights leaders to trigger a race war (Justia 2005).
Tristain Frye
USA
Volksfront Frye, along with three men, allegedly beat a homeless man to death, believing he was a drug dealer in 2003. Frye was pregnant with an accomplice’s child at the time of the attack, which was believed to be an initiation for red shoelaces (SPLC 2004).
Christine Greenwood
USA
Blood and Honour, Women for Aryan UnityGreenwood, with partner John McCabe, was charged with possession of bomb making materials, including 50 gallons of gasoline and battery-operated clocks. Greenwood also founded Women for Aryan Unity and launched the Aryan Baby Drive (Blee 2005).
Kathy Ainsworth
USA
White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan In 1970, Ainsworth and two men were implicated in a string of bombings against black and Jewish targets in 1967 and 1968 (Wexler 2015).
Jean Craig
USA
The Order, Bruder SchweigenCraig, in addition to other Order members, was implicated in the killing of Jewish radio host Alan Berg in 1984. Craig allegedly followed Berg for weeks before the attack, filming and taking photographs (Hilliard 1987).
Shelley Shannon
USA
Army of God Shannon was allegedly involved in firebombing six abortion clinics, two acid attacks, and was found guilty of shooting and wounding a Wichita abortion doctor in 1993 (Thomas 2018).
Tammy Williams
USA
Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the LordWilliams, along with husband Londell, was charged with threatening an informer, possessing an automatic rifle, and planning to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Reverend Jesse Jackson in 1988 (Canberra Times 1988).
Bolona Bomber
Germany
Possibly by Paramilitary Sports Group HoffmannAn unknown woman claimed responsibility for the bomb laid at the Munich Octoberfest on 26 September 1980, killing twelve and wounding 200 (AAP-AP 1980; Manthe 2019a).
Melany Attwood
Australia
Aryan Nations, Aryan GirlsAttwood, with lover Robert Edhouse and friend Corey Dymock, allegedly murdered Attwood’s former partner, Alan Taylor. Attwood was the leader of Aryan Girls (Clarke 2018).
Franziska Birkmann
Germany
Paramilitary Sports Group HoffmannBirkmann, along with Uwe Behrendt and Karl-Heinz Hoffmann, was implicated in the murder of a Jewish publisher and Rabbi, Schlomo Lewin and his partner in 1980. Birkmann’s sunglasses were found at the scene of the crime, although she was acquitted of conspiracy to commit murder (Manthe 2019b).
Christine Hewicker
Germany
Otte Group and Uhl/Wolfgram GroupHewicker and the Otte Group allegedly participated in several crimes including targeting courts of law to disrupt with lawsuits against comrades. Among these crimes was a bank robbery, for which Hewicker received a six-year prison sentence (Manthe 2019c; Kruglanski et al. 2020).
Sibylle Vorderbrugge
Germany
Deutsche AktionsgruppenVorderbrugge committed several lethal arson attacks in Hamburg in August 1980, killing two Vietnamese refugees. She received life imprisonment for murder (Manthe 2019c).
Table 2. Thinkers.
Table 2. Thinkers.
Name and Country Organizational Links Activity and Source
Lana Lokteff
USA and Sweden
3Fourteen Radio, Red Ice TVLokteff allegedly invokes Viking shield maiden tropes to champion the gendered complementarity of men and women; defines female roles in white supremacist futures; and frames male defense of ‘Western civilization’ as the ultimate romantic gesture towards females (Mattheis 2018).
Lauren Southern
Canada
NASouthern is a social media personality who created a video called “The Great Replacement” in 2017, watched 648,000 times; allegedly promoted the conspiracy theory that the South African government was engaged in genocide against white farmers; and apparently traded heavily on identity politics to oppose immigration, NGOs, and feminism (Southern 2019). She was also alleged to have blamed Muslims for the Holocaust (Ganesh 2018).
Tara McCarthy
UK
NAMcCarthy is a social media personality who ran a podcast, Reality Calls, to provide “alternative media”, seemingly celebrating ethnonationalism as a traditional and natural way of life demonized by the mainstream media (McCarthy 2017).
Rachel Summers
USA
NASummers, also known as the Dropout Philosopher, is a fiction author and contributor to the Europa Sun and Red Ice Iv. She allegedly challenges Christianity in favor of paganism, claims the Nuremberg trials were a miscarriage of justice, and alleges that the left-wing are modern day witch hunters (Lokteff 2017).
Ayla Stewart
USA
NA Stewart is a blogger and high profile Tradwife tied to various sites, including Wife with A Purpose, who is alleged to have launched the White Baby Challenge to combat what she believed was low white birth rates, leading to replacement by other ethnicities (Judd 2020).
Lisa Turner
USA
Women’s Frontier, World Church of the CreatorTurner was the Women’s Information Coordinator for the World Church of the Creator and author of the ‘Women of the Creativity Revolution’ and ‘The Co-Option of White Women’ (Michael 2006). It is alleged she has argued that feminism uses women as pawns in a white-hating media machine run by Jews (Michael 2009b, p. 136).
Ingrid Rimland
Ukraine
NARimland is a fiction author of Lebensraum! which allegedly uses the Mennonite identity to project neo-Nazi propaganda, spanning anti-Semitism, holocaust denial, anti-miscegenation, and hatred of non-Germans. Mennonite faith, according to Urry, becomes synonymous with “ethnic pride, Germanness and the Fuhrer” (Urry 1999, p. 121).
Savitri Devi Mukherji
India
Third Reich, World Union of National Socialists (WUNS)Devi was a Hindu-Nordicist who allegedly rejected Judeo-Christian beliefs and embraced Aryan-Vedic culture and national socialism as a religion of nature. Her work, The Lighting and the Sun, was highly acclaimed by contemporary neo-Nazis in the sixties, seventies, and eighties. More recently, her teachings have been adopted by the American ‘alt-right’ (Goodrick-Clarke 2002).
Table 3. Facilitators.
Table 3. Facilitators.
Name and CountryOrganizational Links Activity and Source
Claudia Patatas
UK
National ActionPatatas was convicted of membership of National Action, a proscribed terrorist group in the UK. She was active in private discussions, allegedly saying that “all Jews must be put to death” but the extent of her activity is not yet public (Simone 2018).
Antje Probst
Germany
Blood and Honour, National Socialist Underground Probst and her husband owned a far-right apparel store and sold military items in Saxony. She allegedly gave her passport to Zschape and made plans with BnH to extradite the NSU trio to South Africa (Koehler 2017, p. 144).
Mandy Struck
Germany
Blood and Honour, National Socialist Underground, White Brotherhood Erzgebirge (WBE) Struck was part of a BnH subsection, White Brotherhood Erzgebirge (WBE) living in Chemnitz. Struck and her boyfriend allegedly gave their names to the NSU to use as alias personalities, with Zschape using Struck’s identity. In a separate event, Struck and her boyfriend also provided a safe house for two skinheads from the 88ers in the late nineties (Koehler 2017, p. 144).
Juliane Walther
Germany
Blood and Honour, National Socialist UndergroundWalther and her boyfriend allegedly supported the NSU in the late nineties by reclaiming Zschape’s keys, and otherwise securing evidence or items for the NSU (Koehler 2017, p. 137).
Suzanne Tornatzky
USA
The OrderTornatzky allegedly helped count 3.5 million USD stolen by The Order from an armored car in 1985. She also helped plan another robbery that was never undertaken (AP 1985).
Sharon Merki
USA
The OrderMerki, with husband Robert, allegedly engaged in racketeering and counterfeiting among other crimes, on behalf of The Order in 1984. The proceeds were apparently used to purchase weapons (Khalsa 1986).
Deborah Davila
USA
Aryan Nations Davila, together with her husband Rafael Davila, was charged with illegally obtaining top-secret military documents to disseminate for profit in 1999. She allegedly sold three packets of documents for 6000 USD (AP 2003).
Table 4. Promoters.
Table 4. Promoters.
Name and CountryOrganizational Links Activity and Source
Brittany Pettibone née Sellner
USA
NASellner is a social media personality who ran a podcast called Virtue of The West and was allegedly active in the 2017 Defend Europe campaign (Ganesh 2018). Her videos often focus on women’s issues.
Liv Heide
USA
American Renaissance Heide is a blogger and writer for American Renaissance who allegedly writes on topics such as single-ethnic couples, white dating, and anti-miscegenation (Heide 2019).
Cecilia Davenport
Germany
Radix JournalDavenport is allegedly a blogger and writer for altright.com and Radix Journal between 2016 and 2017 and has been described as one of the “poster girls” (Gaugele 2019).
SOPH
USA
NASOPH is a fourteen-year-old YouTube personality who went viral in 2019 for her sarcastic video Be Not Afraid in which she wears a hijab and targets Muslims (among others) which gained 800,000 views (Bernstein 2019).
Laura Towler
UK
Patriotic Alternative Towler is a YouTube creator with 50.7 thousand subscribers as of April 2020, who allegedly promotes replacement theory, white identity politics, and the deportation of migrants to achieve a white Britain (Towler 2020).
Bre Faucheux
USA
NA Faucheux runs the No Time For Silence website, which appears to act as an index to promote extreme right individuals, from Adolf Hitler to William Pierce to fellow radical women such as Laura Southern; and ideas such as white genocide, ZOG, white guilt, and replacement (Faucheux n.d.).
Blonde in the Belly of the Beast
USA
NA Beast is a podcaster and YouTuber with 127,000 subscribers as of April 2020. One video, watched over a hundred thousand times, allegedly seeks to excuse and explain the actions of terrorist Brenton Tarrant as a logical reaction to western culture and nihilism (Blonde in the Belly of the Beast 2019).
Robyn Riley
Canada
NARiley is a YouTuber with 31.2K subscribers, who ran Girl Talk, where she talks with other promoters and uses other clips. Her most popular video, “I lost all my friends in the culture war” was viewed 234K times (Riley 2020).
Carolyn Emerick
Not public
NAEmerick is a writer and author, as well as allegedly the editor of the “first unabashedly pro-west history and culture magazine, Europa Sun” according to her Amazon profile (Emerick 2019).
Faith J Goldy
Canada
NAGoldy is a YouTube personality with 104,000 subscribers as of April 2020. She allegedly talks on matters of identity, nationalism, Catholicism, and degeneracy, and recently, made an unsuccessful bid for mayor of Toronto (Goldy 2020).
Dia Beltran
Australia
NABeltran is a YouTuber with 3.27K subscribers, who allegedly interviews other alt-right personalities such as Lana Lokteff, Avi Yemini, and Gavin McInnes (Beltran 2020).
Olena Semenyaka
Ukraine
Azov BattalionSemenyaka is the leader of the International Department for the National Corps, linked to neo-Nazi Azov Battalion (FBI 2017). She is allegedly the spokesperson for the movement (Colborne 2019).
Gemma Bernadette Kits
Estonia
NAKits is an Instagrammer (@gemkits) with 1109 followers as of April 2020 who allegedly shares white nationalist content, frequently with the white power “okay” hand movement, and has been accused of trolling.
Melissa Guille
Canada
Canadian Heritage Alliance Guille designs and maintains the website of the Canadian Heritage Alliance, considered to be a white supremacy group (Monteiro 2001).
Philosophi Cat
USA
NATwitter user @Philosophi_Cat (also known as Cat Weiss) has 6654 followers as of April 2020 and runs a YouTube channel with 9.34 k subscribers discussing concepts like femininity, gender interactions, and a series called Revolt against the Modern World (PhilosophiCat 2020).
Manoncaroni
Unknown
Right Wing Art SquadThis individual draws in Manga/Waifu style. She restyles existing XRW memes, such as those depicting Christchurch terrorist Brenton Tarrant, and uses prominent RWE symbols (Manoncaroni 2020).
Missgore-houndart
Unknown
Right Wing Art Squad This individual posts Waifu style drawings, redistributes memes, drawings, and content celebrating Brenton Tarrant and Dylan Roof. She allegedly encourages women to have children or martyr themselves (MissGorehoundArt 2020).
FrauleinFashArt
Unknown
Right Wing Art SquadFrauleinFashArt posts memes, usually modified graphic photographs, which commonly celebrate Hitler, Nazi Germany, and female shield maidens (FrauleinFashArt 2020).
Cami Debolt
USA
National Socialist Movement Debolt is a fetish model who poses for NSM records, Deviant Art, and online advertising companies (Potok 2013).
Katja Lane
USA
The Order Lane, with husband David, created the publishing outfit, 14 Words Press, which Katja ran to disperse David Lane’s ideological writings (Michael 2009a).
Rachel Pendergraft
USA
Knights Party of the Ku Klux KlanPendergraft and her father hosted a weekly radio and television show (Dentice 2013). Pendergraft is allegedly the national membership coordinator of the Knights Party of the KKK (Chan 2015).
Leni Riefenstahl
Germany
Third Reich Riefenstahl was an actress and cinematographer during Nazi Germany. A scene from her film, Triumph of the Will, depicted Nazis marching through the streets with torches chanting “You will not replace us”—a scene replicated in Charlottesville 2017. She is celebrated on Bre Faucheux’s website.
Table 5. Activists.
Table 5. Activists.
Name and Country Organizational Links Activity and Source
Ricarda Reifling
Germany
Brown Cross, National Democratic Party of Germany Reifling was a member and later leader of the Ring of National Women within the National Democratic Party of Germany (NDP) (Fekete 2012).
Lisa Beulah (nee Sandford)
Australia
One Nation, Lads Society Beulah and her husband were allegedly found to be involved in a group which infiltrated the Young Nationals group in New South Wales, Australia in 2018 to alter their immigration policy. She was known as MsNatSocialist on Discord forums (Worthington et al. 2019).
Indie Norris
Australia
United Patriots Front Norris alleges that she handled the finance for the United Patriots Front, an anti-Islam group in Australia which later rebranded itself the Lad’s Society (Koslay 2016).
Anais Ligner
Germany
NALigner leads self-defense courses for white women to protect themselves from being raped by Muslim refugees (Zuquete 2018, p. 186).
Annika Franziska
Germany
Female wing of Generation Identity Franziska is a leader of the 120 Decibels campaign. This is a campaign against the abuse of European women by migrants. The campaign invokes Ebba, Mia, and Maria (Zuquete 2018, p. 193).
Alison Weir
UK
NAWeir runs If Americans Knew, an organization which allegedly claims to tell Americans the truth which is supposedly withheld by news media. The ADL argues that Weir is anti-Semitic (ADL 2013).
Alison Chabloz
UK
NAChabloz is a blogger known for writing and performing songs which allegedly mock the holocaust. She was convicted and handed a 20-week suspended sentence (BBC 2019).
Monika Schaefer
Canada
NASchaefer is a YouTube personality known for calling the Holocaust the “six-million lie”. Schaefer, and her brother Alfred, were convicted for incitement to hatred while in Germany for Sylvia Stolz’s trial for the same charge (Snowdon 2018).
Nicole Childers, also known as Vigdís
USA
Hammerskins, Women for Aryan Unity Childers was allegedly a moderator for Hammerskin Nation’s Forum 38, writes for Women for the Aryan Unity (WAU), and was actively engaged in Stormfront (Potok 2013). She effectively bridged the WAU and Hammerskin movements.
April Gaede
USA
National Vanguard, various others Gaede was the mother of the twin girls who performed in Prussian Blue and she received David Lane’s body after his death in prison (SPLC 2020).
Suzy Cass
UK
British National Party Wives Cass was one of the alleged founders of BNP Wives who was interviewed by SkyTV in 2008 (Durham 2015, p. 81).
Sharon Ebanks
UK
British National Party Ebanks was the successful BNP candidate for Birmingham in 2007, but lost her seat after a recount (Durham 2015, p. 73).
Cathy Duffy
UK
British National Party Duffy was the BNP candidate of Charnwood who was successfully elected in 2007 (Durham 2015, p. 73).
Sadie Graham
UK
British National PartyGraham was allegedly the BNP party development officer. She was later expelled from the party (Durham 2015, p. 81).
Jennifer Griffin
UK
British National PartyDaughter of Chairman Nick Griffin, Jennifer often spoke on behalf of the BNP and allegedly sought a leadership role (Durham 2015, p. 82).
Sharon Edwards
UK
British National Party In the late 1990s, Edwards stood as deputy to the BNP chairman, and organized the family offshoot, Renaissance, and family fun days (Durham 2015, p. 79).
Bev Jones
UK
British National PartyJones was allegedly the North West regional organizer for the BNP and acted as a spokesperson (Durham 2015, p. 80). She was later expelled from the party.
Marlene Guest
UK
British National Party, BNP WivesGuest was a BNP organizer and frequent party candidate in Rotherham (Durham 2015, p. 81). She also featured in the SkyTV BNP Wives documentary.
Lynne Mozar
UK
PROFAM and BNP Wives Mozar apparently set up the PROFAM website ostensibly separate to BNP, while she held BNP membership (Durham 2015, p. 79).
Kay Ryan
USA
American Knights of the Ku Klux KlanRyan is also known as Kathryn Christy Sonner Negley Hedrick. In 1999, Ryan was believed to be the state leader of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (AKKKK) in Pennsylvania (SPLC 1999).
Ann Corcoran
USA
NA Corcoran is an anti-immigration and anti-refugee activist who heads Refugee Resettlement Watch and is the author of Refugee Resettlement and Hijra to America (Griswold 2016).
Vicky Cahill
USA
Women for Aryan Unity, Blood and Honour Cahill is believed to be a leader of WAU. She allegedly fundraises for WAU, and promotes networks with BnH, with whom she undertook weapons training. She also allegedly engages on Stormfront (Potok 2013).
Kathleen Metzger
USA
Aryan Women’s LeagueMetzger was the wife of Tom Metzger of White Aryan Resistance (WAR). In the late 1980s, she ran the Aryan Women’s League as a supplementary group and published far right materials focusing on home, family, and white birth rates (Belew 2018, p. 167).
Rosemary Sisson
Australia
National FrontSisson was, for a short time, leader of the Australian chapter of the National Front (1980). She also had connections with the National Front in New Zealand.
Mary Bacon
USA
Ku Klux KlanBacon was a prominent American jockey who became publicly linked to the KKK in 1974. She told media that “When one of your wives or one of your sisters gets raped… you’ll get smart and join the Klan” (Klemesrud 1975).
Sandra Bergeron
USA
Ku Klux KlanBergeron was apparently the area coordinator for the KKK in New Orleans (Klemesrud 1975).
Sharida Hoyt
USA
Ku Klux KlanHoyt was apparently the Exalted Cyclops of the New Orleans den of the KKK (Klemesrud 1975).
Janice Schoonmaker
USA
Ku Klux KlanSchoonmaker was apparently the director of the Northern Independent Ku Klux Klan of New York State (Klemesrud 1975).
Barbara Wilkinson
USA
Ku Klux KlanWilkinson was supposedly the information officer for the KKK in her congressional district (Klemesrud 1975).
Chloe Duke
USA
Ku Klux KlanWife of David Duke, Chloe was believed to be Grand Geni of a Louisianan Klan chapter (Klemesrud 1975).
Judy Badon
USA
Ku Klux KlanBadon was believed to be a member of the KKK in Louisiana and part of the same den as Duke (Klemesrud 1975).
Table 6. Exemplars.
Table 6. Exemplars.
Name and CountryOrganizational LinksActivity and Source
Tradwives
Transnational
NAThe Tradwife movement has many radical right champions, such as Ayla Stewart of the White Baby Challenge, Lacey Lynn, Alena Kate Pettitt, and the Blonde Buttermaker. These individuals are seen to conform to the idealized standard. They often counter feminist narratives by arguing the natural role of women is as wives and mothers (Stendahl 2020). In the radical right, this becomes a racial position as a reclamation of white heritage, culture, traditions, and identity.
Miss Hitler Contestants
UK
National ActionNational Action ran the Miss Hitler contest in 2016. One contestant, Alice Cutter, entered under the name “Buchenwald princess”, alongside the “Galloping Gestapo”, “Lady of the Lolocaust”, “SugardustedSchutzsta el”, “Eva Bin Gassin”, and “xXKaminski-KochXx”. The point of this contest was allegedly to recruit more female members and to raise the group’s profile. Cutter said that “we need to be the lionesses we ought to be and rip apart hyenas laughing at us as we get raped, beaten, brainwashed and de-feminised en masse” (Halliday 2019).
Sheila Beam
USA
Ku Klux Klan, various militias, Aryan Nations Sheila Beam was the fourth wife of Louis Beam. When he was being arrested by authorities in 1987, Sheila shot and wounded an officer. She was injured by arresting officers, and her injuring became part of the narrative created about her: a narrative celebrating a defenseless, innocent white woman, willing to sacrifice her life out of devotion to her husband. Belew (2018, p. 176) suggests the community rallied around Sheila, who became a symbol of white sacrifice and used her platform to protest her husband’s innocence.
Vikki Weaver
USA
Aryan Nations Vikki Weaver was the wife of Randy Weaver and mother to an infant daughter. During the Siege of Ruby Ridge, Vikki Weaver held the door open for Randy as government snipers shot at him, while holding her daughter. A stray bullet passed through the door and killed Vikki. The RWE community rallied at her death, conceptualizing her as “the model white woman they failed to protect from a rampant super state” (Belew 2018, p. 188).
Debbie Mathews
USA
The OrderMathews was the wife of Robert J. Mathews who, after his death, achieved celebrity status as his “honored widow” according to Belew (2018, p. 198).
Marika Rokk
Germany
National Socialist German Workers Party Rokk was a dancer, singer, and actress who was considered the epitome of beauty in Nazi Germany. Many styles and beauty models are likely modelled on her style. Her frequent use of winged eyeliner is imitated by female far right YouTubers including Bre Faucheux.
Katherine
(fictional)
The OrganizationKatherine was a female member of The Organization in The Turner Diaries fictional novel (MacDonald 1978) who works as a propagandist. She becomes the lover of the protagonist, Earl Turner, and is portrayed as a steadfast and loyal partner doing her part for the revolution (but not a violent actor).

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Campion, K. Women in the Extreme and Radical Right: Forms of Participation and Their Implications. Soc. Sci. 2020, 9, 149. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9090149

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Campion K. Women in the Extreme and Radical Right: Forms of Participation and Their Implications. Social Sciences. 2020; 9(9):149. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9090149

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