How Women Advance the Internationalization of the Far-Right

Authored by: Sarah Kenny

Categories: Human Rights, Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: Countering Violent Extremism, Violent Extremism
Country: The United States
Region: North America
Year: 2019
Citation: Kenny, Sarah. "How Women Advance the Internationalization of the Far-Right." Women In International Security. August 2019.

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Executive Summary

Depictions of the alt-right, like the grisly images from Charlottesville, feature few to no women actors. This lack of representation of women in the alt-right insinuates that women play an insignificant role in this movement, if any at all. But women do in fact make significant contributions to the alt-right movement. Moreover, the systematic mischaracterization of the alt-right movement as a genderless movement weakens governmental, civil society, and community level approaches to preventing and countering far-right extremism.

Research on far-right violent extremism is limited and on the role that women play even more so. This paper’s arguments and recommendations are informed by primary source interviews I conducted with two former neo-Nazi women: Angela King and Shannon Martinez. King was involved in right-wing extremist activity into her mid-20s, when she was sent to federal prison for a hate crime. After her release from prison, King pursued higher education and co-founded Life After Hate, a peace activism organization that supports deradicalization. Martinez likewise turned her back on farright extremism at the age of 20 and has since dedicated her career to counterextremist activism.