The Deadly Intertwining of Misogyny and White Supremacy



Letter from a reader:

There was an article in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago (March 18, 2019) which really shook me. It is titled “‘Replacement Theory,’ a Racist, Sexist Doctrine, Spreads in Far-Right Circles,” which I strongly recommend that people read. The article starts out: “Before the massacre of 50 people in New Zealand mosques last week, the suspect released a document called ‘The Great Replacement.’ The first sentence was: ‘It’s the birthrates.’ He repeated it three times.” He isn’t talking about the birthrate of humanity—he is murderously railing against the falling birthrate of white women. Here is the deadly intertwining of hateful misogyny and a vicious expression of white supremacy—both foundational to capitalism-imperialism unleashed in particularly vicious and unfettered ways in a fascist movement which is both being fostered and modeled at the highest levels in this country and gaining dangerous momentum internationally.

The birth rate among white women in the U.S. and Europe has been dropping. Sperm counts and testosterone levels are declining, some women are working and not raising families, some women are out-earning some men, even women having the right to vote—all of these are fueling the white power fears of these, usually, young white men. Increasingly women are working in offices, creating as artists, learning in schools, and particularly recently, women have been stepping forward to expose the ugly misogyny—in the workforce, at school, in society at large. The backlash to even these tentative, and perhaps temporary, advances has motivated these fascist, patriarchal, and white supremacist movements to go on the offensive. Arun Kundnani, author of a book on anti-Muslim sentiment, observes: “They are saying, ‘Look, Muslims have got their women where they need to be, and we’re not doing a good job at that.’” Ideas like banning women from the workplace start out as “jokes and memes” as in the New Zealand suspect’s manifesto. The New York Times article quotes someone saying that even reversing a woman’s right to vote used to be confined to overtly neo-Nazi spaces, but it is spreading: “[N]ow I’m seeing it introduced in less extremist spaces. First introduced as a joke, of course, then as an acceptable policy that maybe not all users agree with but is worth discussing.”

I was aware of some of this reaction, but what I didn’t fully recognize was that beyond the attacks on women’s right to abortion, and even birth control, even the imposition of Christian patriarchal “family values,” as oppressive and reactionary as all of this is, there is a whole other level of misogyny and patriarchy which this New York Times article is exposing. They are not just defending individual domination or “male rights,” not just demanding that individual women are subservient to their husbands and to men in general. For this fascist movement, “women as breeders” is not just an expression of individual patriarchal privilege, but is a foundational principle where Western Civilization as they define it (white Christian) is at stake. These storm troopers of the fascist right, the minions of the white power movement like the New Zealand manifesto writer, see the dropping birthrate of white women, and the changing role of women overall, as a truly existential threat. As they see it, there is a clash of civilizations in which white men and the Western Civilization which they say they created are in danger of being exterminated. It has to do with how central the role of women is to society, how fundamental the family is to the structure and ethos of capitalist society, how critical patriarchy and white supremacy are as the social glue to this society. This is the context of the tweet by Iowa congressman Steve King, who has gotten elected and re-elected since 2003: “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

There is the potential for all the dystopian novels to come to full realization—the toggle between fascism and bourgeois democracy in action—as long as capitalism-imperialism itself is the system that rules. And right now, all of this fascist thuggery is getting nurtured and magnified at the highest levels of society in the fascist regime now in power in the Trump/Pence regime. As BA says in Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution: “And, in fundamental terms, we have two choices: either, live with all this—and condemn future generations to the same, or worse, if they have a future at all—or, make revolution!

As BA has stated*: “The whole question of the position and role of women in society is more and more acutely posing itself in today's extreme circumstances.... It is not conceivable that all this will find any resolution other than in the most radical terms….The question yet to be determined is: will it be a radical reactionary or a radical revolutionary resolution, will it mean the reinforcing of the chains of enslavement or the shattering of the most decisive links in those chains and the opening up of the possibility of realizing the complete elimination of all forms of such enslavement?”

* Cited in A Declaration: For Women's Liberation and the Emancipation of All Humanity, a special issue of Revolution, #158, March 8, 2009.


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