The Cruel Patriarchy of White Supremacy

It’s America, 2017, and white supremacy is all the rage once again. But it’s not like we didn’t see this coming. When a certain boorish Manhattan tycoon announced his run for the presidency back in June 2015 on a platform of pure white resentment, the internet’s copious population of pasty, man-child nematodes crawled out of their literal and digital basements to voice their support for a candidate who vowed to give a voice to America’s most oppressed group: white males.

From the dankest bowels of the internet, on sites such as 4chan, Occidental Dissent, and the Daily Stormer, white supremacists celebrated Donald Trump’s unlikely presidential victory. Now, well into the first year of his presidency, they continue to stand behind their orange führer. This support was on full display on August 11 in Charlottesville, Virginia, when various gobs of reactionary slime — including neo-Nazis, the Alt-Right, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Confederates, and gun-toting militia members — oozed together for a “Unite the Right” rally. While these various groups ostensibly gathered to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue from Emancipation Park, this event was actually a “coming out” party for a resurgent form of white-identity politics in America emboldened by Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency.

Plenty of historians have already written about the controversy surrounding the removal of Confederate monuments from public spaces throughout the United States. But I’m going to emphasize another key element that fuels the white nationalist agenda: patriarchal gender oppression. Underlying all of the “pro-white” bluster and neo-Confederate ideology of the new crop of white supremacists is a deep contempt for female empowerment. The trifecta of patriarchy, misogyny, and gendered paternalism has been central to American whiteness for hundreds of years. Gender oppression is baked into the crust of white supremacy.

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Trumpism and a Certain Kind of Masculinity

The majority of Trump supporters are old, white, male, and pissed off about stuff.

The majority of Trump supporters are old, white, male, and pissed off about stuff.

If you were masochistic enough to watch the third presidential debate of 2016 between Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican nominee the pissed-off Great Pumpkin, one line in particular ought to have stood out amidst what was otherwise the rhetorical equivalent of scraping the floor of a dive bar with an old bottle cap. “Such a nasty woman,” the Trumpkin muttered in the debate’s closing moments. He was, of course, referring to the first major-party female presidential candidate in American history, and the line quickly became an internet feminist rallying cry; an embodiment of the typhoon of chauvinistic misogyny that has characterized the Trump phenomenon from the moment its spray-tanned gargoyle of a leader announced his pursuit for the nation’s heretofore most respected office.

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The Duggars and Conservative America’s Obsession with the “Perfect” Family

Americans love to project extreme versions of themselves onto heaviliy-filtered media depictions of the family.

Americans love to project extreme versions of themselves onto heavily filtered media depictions of the family.

There really is nothing more important in life than family. But just because you have what appears to be a “perfect” family doesn’t mean that your family isn’t dysfunctional like everyone else’s — maybe even VERY dysfunctional. So the news that Josh Duggar — eldest son of the Duggar clan that stars on TLC’s popular “reality” show 19 Kids and Countinghad molested underage girls when he was a young teenager wasn’t entirely surprising. These revelations led Josh Duggar to resign from his advocacy role with the Family Research Council, a homophobic hate group through which he consistently — and hypocritically — equated gay people to child molesters.

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The Isla Vista Shooting, Misogyny, and the Dark Legacy of American Manhood

A makeshift memorial for victims of the Isla Vista shooting: a tragedy brought about by insanity, a sick gun festish culture, and some seriously twisted ideas about masculinity.

A makeshift memorial for victims of the Isla Vista shooting: a tragedy brought about by insanity, a sick gun fetish culture, and some seriously twisted ideas about masculinity.

When an overprivileged, mentally disturbed, misogynistic asshat named Elliot Rodger gunned down seven people and wounded thirteen others in Isla Vista, California on May 23, 2014, the United States once again descended into a deep, meditative reflection on how our culture in many ways still treats women as subordinates and how America’s obsession with all things firearms might be an impediment to many citizens’ rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

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