I thought, per the NYT & others, that the Alt Right was ‘dead’. Why, then, the need for hit pieces every other day? I see the frequency of such pieces as a fairly reliable gauge of how healthy the Alt Right in fact is and how worried The Cathedral is increasingly getting. Culture may be changing in a direction they do not like.
This recent one (“The Housewives of White Supremacy”) is written by Annie Kelly, “a Ph.D. student at the University of East Anglia researching the impact of digital cultures on anti-feminism and the far-right.”
I can’t figure out the m.o. From one pov, op-eds like this provide the AR with free publicity, the best that money could otherwise buy. I mean, they quote The Golden One, for cryin’ out loud, as well as some tradwife bloggers who are “what could be mistaken for a peculiar style of mommy-vlogging is a virulent strain of white nationalism.”
What struck me about this piece, however, is the barely disguised hostility for absolutely everything tradwives represent:
And yet between cute pastoral anecdotes of growing her own vegetables and making banana bread, it soon becomes clear that Ms. Jorgenson is advocating something sinister — not just a return to agrarian motherhood.
She lived in Germany temporarily, she says, but left just before “an influx of refugees took over the country.” She just had a child and thinks the new baby is beautiful — but maybe not quite in the same way all mothers do: “I always wanted children that looked like me,” she says, “blond-haired, blue-eyed babies, but I kind of had to say it under my breath.”
Wanting to continue your bloodline (if you are a gentile white, that is) is equated with something sinister. More overt hostility from elsewhere in the piece:
The seemingly anachronistic way they dress is no accident. The deliberately hyperfeminine aesthetics are constructed precisely to mask the authoritarianism of their ideology…
So, again, if the AR is dead, why the need for valuable, coveted NYT op-ed space dedicated to profiling aspects of it?
Still, tradwives remain worth contemplating because they help illuminate some of the forces that drive the alt-right and where the movement might be going. The alt-right is abhorrent; it is racist and hate-filled. But it is, like any other mass movement, also driven by a sense of dissatisfaction with modern life…
When I began studying digital anti-feminist and far-right networks for my doctorate in 2015, the number of women in these spaces seemed small enough to be insignificant. There has since been such a surfeit of women beginning careers off such networks, many infusing their particular brand of far-right ideology with “trad” rhetoric, that it now seems irresponsible not to think about them, their roles and what they reveal. The material conditions that allow far-right movements to thrive seem unlikely to change, and feminism’s work is far from done in countering the kind of sexual anxieties that the alt-right exploits. Tradwives may seem like a lunatic fringe at present, but they may not stay one for long.
To the NYT, being a ‘tradwife’ is part of the lunatic fringe. Let that sink in.
The AR is not dying. It is expanding and adjusting to the social realities of doxing and deplatforming.
And it is why we will continue to see streams of articles and op-eds delivering the equivalent of dire warnings about Neo-Nazis behind every tree.