By David Futrelle
Earlier today, a gunman killed two in Halle, Germany in a failed assault on a synagogue; had he been able to get into the building itself — the door was locked and quickly barricaded — the death toll would have been much higher. He was quickly taken into custody.
Apparently inspired by the Christchurch shooter, the gunman live-streamed his attack, taking time out before starting the attack to identify himself as “Anon,” in what appeared to be a nod to chan culture, and to declare the Holocaust a hoax. He also took a few moments to rail against feminism, which he blamed as “the cause of declining birth rates in the West, which acts as a scapegoat” — I think he meant “excuse” — “for mass immigration,”
He went on to name “the Jew” as the “root of all these problems,” a reference to alt-right conspiracy theories charging Jews with concocting feminism — and encouraging mass immigration — as part of their alleged plan to destabilize the West.
It’s not surprising to discover that this raging antisemite and apparent alt-rightist is also a rabid antifeminist, because, as Yale University philosophy professor Jason Stanley notes in his book How Fascism Works, misogyny has always been central to “the logic of fascist politics.”
Hitler and his fellow Nazis wanted women, as far as was practical, confined to the arena of “Kinder, Küche, Kirche” — that is, “children, kitchen, and church.” As one Nazi ideologue put it in 1933,
to be a woman means to be a mother … the highest calling of the National Socialist woman is not just to bear children, but consciously and out of total devotion to her role and duty as mother to raise children for her people.
Alt-right neo-Nazi men today — and the alt-right is overwhelmingly male — similarly dream of marrying virginal tradwives who will happily stay home and raise a brood of perfect Aryan children.
Neo-Nazis today aren’t just worried about declining birth rates as a cause of what they melodramatically call “white genocide.” They are also concerned with why they’re falling — because women have the ability and the desire to engage in non-procreative sex, to separate female sexuality from motherhood. This is due in part to better birth control and the availability (currently being eroded) of abortion; it’s also due to the sexual autonomy promoted by feminism.
All this weakens the patriarchal family, and anything that weakens the patriarchal family is a threat to fascist ideology, itself based on a notion of political hierarchy centered around a father-like leader of the nation.
All this is why the alt-right is so freaked out by declining birthrates, And this is why Andrew Anglin of The Daily Stormer insists that a white women’s womb is “OUR WOMB – that’s right, it doesn’t belong to her, it belongs to the males in her society.”
Antifeminism — rooted in deep misogyny — is baked into fascist ideology. And so it’s disturbing, but not surprising, to see the latest alt-right shooter invoke it as one of the reasons for his inhuman terrorist assault.
H/T — The historical examples in this post all come from Stanley’s How Fascism Works, an excellent book you all should read.
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