Conversations with other (alt-right) women: How do alt-right female influencers narrate a far-right identity?

In the process of shifting far-right ideas from the fringes to the centre of the political spectrum, the alt-right has infiltrated online spaces to mainstream extremist ideas. As part of this process, female alt-right influencers have emerged within various popular social media platforms and fringe outlets, seeking to build credibility for the movement with new audiences. Contrary to previous assumptions about women as harmless adherents of far-right ideology, alt-right women are emerging as “organic intellectuals”, influential in the formation of everyday beliefs and principles in congruence with the tenets of far-right ideology. Their narratives strategically weave far-right ideological discourses, such as the imminent crisis of white identity, with topical matters on lifestyle and well-being. This article examines the rhetoric of online influencers as they shape an ideological space which is contributing to the normalization or mainstreaming of far-right ideas. In doing so, it addresses two questions: How do alt-right female influencers narrate a far-right identity? How do they mainstream white supremacist ideas online? Drawing on new empirical material from a series of far-right podcasts, this article demonstrates that alt-right women strategically construct a “liberated” female identity rooted in femininity, traditionalism and gender complementarity, and problematize feminism and women’s emancipation as constitutive of the crisis facing the white race. It further identifies the presence of an elaborate cultural narrative around white victimhood which alt-right influencers use to mainstream their ideology. To counter the perpetuation of far-right ideas in society, women’s participation in shaping far-right ideology should not remain unaddressed. This article sheds some light on how a small but highly visible group of influencers are actively working to promote a dangerous far-right ideology.

Tags: alt-right, far-right, influencers, women