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Male Supremacy Is at the Core of the Hard Right’s Agenda

While white supremacy is central to the hard right, so is a desire to maintain a patriarchal society where people adhere to strictly defined gender roles and men act from a position of dominance.
Illustration by Cristiana Couceiro, courtesy of SPLC/Hate Watch.

Editor’s note: This essay was first published by SPLC’s Hatewatch. Illustrations by Cristiana Couceiro, courtesy of SPLC.

Christianity, many members of the American hard right contend, should hold a preeminent place in our society and even form the basis for our laws. White people, they (often implicitly) suggest, deserve to hold a dominant position in society because of their supposed innate superiority.

The hard right, in other words, wants to revive an older social order, before the Civil Rights Movement, women’s and gay liberation movements, and other social and political transformations upset what was a thoroughly white-dominated, patriarchal society. Gender, then – how it is understood, practiced and described in our laws – is clearly of central concern to the hard right. Their goal is to uphold male supremacy, a movement that scholar of right-wing movements Chelsea Ebin describes as “a complex system that serves to assert, support, and promote the supposed superiority of men,” and subjugate women, trans, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people.

But in most scholarship and media focused on the hard right, the movement’s gender politics are taken for granted or given secondary importance. Writing and commentary on the Jan. 6 insurrection, for instance, has lifted up the role of white supremacy in the attack, but usually fails to explore the fact that the insurrectionists were not only overwhelmingly white but also overwhelmingly men (with some notable exceptions).

White supremacy is central to the hard right, but so is a desire to maintain a patriarchal society where people adhere to strictly defined gender roles and men act from a position of dominance.

Given the hard right’s actions over roughly the past year, it’s impossible to ignore the centrality of male supremacy in the movement. Even far-right extremists have noted the shift. “I’ve noticed in the last three or four years, there seems to be a lot of generalized resentment of women on the right, like beyond typical,” white nationalist podcaster Joseph Jordan said in a July 2022 podcast, calling the Republican Party’s positions akin to the “Reddit Manosphere,” a violently misogynistic online community.

Politicians, influencers, grassroots activists and members of extremist groups have collectively embarked on a campaign to strip women of their rights, force them into subservient societal and familial roles, demonize LGBTQ+ people, deny trans people access to spaces that conform to their gender identity, refuse them crucial medical care, and ban schools from even acknowledging the existence of LGBTQ+ people and families. This is a program – championed in state houses and in protests in the streets – to force people into heteronormative, patriarchal social structures.

Male supremacy has always played a role in right-wing movements. But now it has taken center stage, lending the hard right ideological coherence while acting as a tremendously mobilizing force. This comes at a time when the hard right is increasingly embracing authoritarianism. Its followers are less willing to compromise and increasingly argue they must use a heavy hand to contend with the people they view as political enemies, which include anyone who upsets “traditional” gender roles and family structures. Not only is the movement bearing down on those who resist male supremacism; it also seems increasingly willing to condone intimidation, force and violence to suppress and silence them.

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A New Right

Historically, at the core of the modern conservative movement’s agenda have been its efforts to impose a particular family structure, one with a working father and dependent mother who plays the role of primary caregiver for her children. Through social and economic policies – namely, the erosion of the social safety net – conservatives aspired to make this patriarchal unit into the primary source of economic security and, in the process, sought to winnow the viable life and career paths available to women. They required the “protection” of the family, the right argued, which was one of the many reasons it opposed the Equal Rights Amendment that would have made men and women equal in the eyes of the law. The amendment, they insisted, would “strike at the heart” of what conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly in 1978 called “women’s family support rights.”

The right’s goals remain much the same today, but its hard-right faction has doubled down on their moral orthodoxy while rejecting many traditional conservative economic strategies. For this growing segment of the right, the primary problem facing the country is the supposed assault on what it sees as “traditional” American culture and family, led by the Democratic Party, the broader political left, feminists, LGBTQ+ people, and others who fail to fit their rigid views of gender. They want to impose, through the power of the state, stringent gender roles and social hierarchies, and to punish those who deviate from them. This is paired not with market libertarianism, but with a protectionist “nationalist” economic program and a desire for severe limitations on immigration. As writer Julie Kohler wrote in an essay analyzing the recent shift in the American political landscape for Democracy, the hard right’s “animating ideas are less about market fundamentalism and more about the preservation of a nostalgic family ideal – and all of the racial and gender hierarchies it encompasses.”

The 2022 midterm elections threw this shift into sharp relief. While voters rejected most hard-right candidates, the movement drew lessons from the handful who did manage to pull out a win, including, especially, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. “Republicans, take note of DeSantis’ win: we’re done with the old, corporate tax cuts GOP,” Allie Beth Stuckey, who hosts a culture and politics podcast from a “biblically reformed, political conservative perspective” for the hard-right network The Blaze, tweeted on the evening of the election. “We want you to use all the power available to you to crush the entities crushing us.”

What made DeSantis stand out, his supporters across the hard right pointed out, was his focus on “culture war” issues – a now-tired euphemism used by the right (and, often, the media) to obscure their campaign against, primarily, LGBTQ+ people, Black people, and those who can get pregnant. The governor has imposed restrictions on the speech of educators, signing a law that bans them from including discussions of sexual orientation or gender identity in classroom instruction. He has barred Medicaid recipients and transgender youth from receiving gender-affirming care, and the “Stop WOKE Act” he signed into law in December seeks to combat what he calls “woke indoctrinations” in schools and workplaces by prohibiting instruction or trainings that may make people “feel guilt” or “anguish.” “In Florida we are taking a stand against the state-sanctioned racism that is critical race theory,” DeSantis said of the law, which is currently under a temporary injunction. He has also urged the legislature to pass a six-week abortion ban, which would make Florida one of the most restrictive states in the country for those seeking abortion care. And, most recently, in an effort to increase state surveillance of transgender people, DeSantis asked all public universities in the state to hand over medical records of students they know to have sought gender-affirming care.

DeSantis is doggedly focused on halting the “woke” agenda: “We will never, ever surrender to the woke mob. Florida is where woke goes to die,” he said in his election night victory speech in March.

But, according to the hard right, what exactly is the “woke agenda,” which they have deemed the most essential threat facing the country? It refers to the general pursuit of equity. “Wokeism is built on the democratic error of treating equality as The Good and pursuing it ad absurdum,” argued a recent piece in The American Mind, a publication of the right-wing and increasingly illiberal Claremont InstituteThe American Mind’s pages are filled with diatribes against “the woke agenda” and “woke comms.” “Woke communism has a scapegoat (white males, whom the woke comms say oppress all minority groups),” the chairman of Claremont’s board of directors, Thomas Klingenstein, argues in a February 2022 article, “and a utopian vision of society, one where there are equal outcomes for all identity groups in every area of human life.”

“Wokeism” encompasses all that the hard right finds objectionable: the pursuit of racial equity – thus the hard right’s persistent attacks on critical race theory – and equality of people of different genders and sexuality. Less an actual movement than a boogeyman concocted by the hard right, the “woke left” is portrayed as a tyrannical movement that will use any strategy in the war it’s waging, Klingenstein writes, “on America, on men and women, and on human nature itself.”

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The Crisis of Masculinity

Recent years have seen many rights-based political mobilizations: the #MeToo movement, an increasingly visible trans rights movement, the Black Lives Matter movement and others. We’ve also seen a reactionary backlash driven, in large part, by the hard right’s constant attempts to convince the public that masculinity – or, more accurately, the social and cultural supremacy of men – is under acute threat. In some cases, they argue that a failure to restore traditional masculinity would result in the literal destruction of the nation. The implication is that dramatic action, including violence, could be necessary to stop the attack being carried out by the hard right’s perceived enemies.

Figures like Jordan Peterson have used the supposed crisis to launch successful public careers. The former psychology professor has argued that hierarchies are natural and necessary for society to function, while lamenting that “the masculine spirit is under assault.” That assault, he told a New York Times reporter in 2018, is the reason that a self-declared misogynist incel (or “involuntary celibate”) committed a mass murder in Toronto earlier that year. “He was angry at God because women were rejecting him,” Peterson said. His proposed solution is “enforced monogamy,” because without societal intervention women will inevitably pursue “high-status men” – a cardinal belief of the misogynist incel community. For these ideas, Peterson has won praise and admiration across hard-right media, including Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire, which declared him “one of the most important minds in history,” and now hosts his podcasts and a special lecture series with the former professor.

Hard-right figures, including those with prominent platforms in media and government, are keen to tell men they are the victims of a left-wing culture war. Missouri U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, in a speech to the National Conservatism Conference, told the audience of hard-right influencers that the left’s supposed project to deconstruct America “begins with and depends on the destruction of American men,” while Fox News consistently airs segments telling viewers that “America has a masculinity crisis brought on by the radical left.” Last year, Fox host Tucker Carlson produced a “documentary” called “The End of Men,” a pseudoscientific look into declining testosterone levels that argues the supposed assault on masculinity is not only cultural, but physiological. (It featured as an expert “Raw Egg Nationalist,” who argues that the “globalists” are using the food system to emasculate men, a conspiracy theory he distributes in books and a magazine he produces with Antelope Hill, a white nationalist publisher.) Enemies are everywhere: the left, feminists, LGBTQ+ people, universities, corporations, the pharmaceutical industry, and government are all conspiring, activists and media personalities argue, to break men down by denying them the chance to fulfill their natural role as patriarchs.

The belief that society is immersed in a “crisis of masculinity” is, of course, nothing new. During moments when the social order has been in flux, men have reacted to perceived threats by embracing hypermasculine postures – what the scholars of gender Dan Cassino and Yasemin Besen-Cassino call “compensatory behaviors,” many of which are socially maladaptive. In the aftermath of Vietnam, for example, the loss of the war, along with the domestic political strife it created, worked together with the feminist, LGBTQ+, and civil rights movements to challenge patriarchal society and, especially, the dominance of white men. In response, American men “began to dream, to fantasize about the powers and features of another kind of man who could retake and reorder the world,” sociologist and historian James William Gibson wrote in Warrior Dreams: Violence and Manhood in Post-Vietnam America. Not only did men fantasize about becoming paramilitary warriors, they increasingly bought military-grade weapons, patronized the hundreds of new indoor shooting ranges that popped up around the country, and increasingly participated in organized paramilitary groups, giving rise to the militia movement.

Many decades after the tumult of the post-Vietnam era, more societal upheavals have produced similar results. Donald Trump’s presidency, with its blatant misogyny and racism, came on the back of the failed War on Terror, the election of the country’s first Black president, and multiple recessions – circumstances that a prescient 2009 Department of Homeland Security report warned could fuel a “resurgence in radicalization and recruitment” in right-wing extremist movements. It’s little surprise that profits have reached historic highs for gun manufacturers who in their marketing, according to a recent House Oversight Committee report, “tout assault rifles’ military pedigree, make covert references to violent white supremacists like the Boogaloo Boys, and prey on young men’s insecurities by claiming their weapons will put them ‘at the top of the testosterone food chain.’” The presence of guns has exploded at political protests, carried in the vast majority of incidents by right-wing activists.

There has also been a recent surge in activity among militant extremist organizations, at protests and beyond.

That includes, especially, the participation of the Proud Boys. Male supremacy is a core component of most extremist groups, but few openly proclaim it like the “Western chauvinist” organization. Formed in 2016 and open only to cisgender men, the Proud Boys have become the largest and most active hate group in the United States. Their brand of masculinity proclaims that men should be dominant in all parts of society, men’s job is to protect women, and, crucially, men must be willing to engage in violence in order to protect the patriarchal order. Women are fundamentally meant to be mothers and caretakers and nothing more, according to the group, which includes “venerating the housewife” as one of their core tenants. Men, meanwhile, are meant to embrace violence as an essential part of their being. “You’re not a man unless you’ve beat the shit out of someone,” Gavin McInnes, the group’s founder, has proclaimed.

The Proud Boys believe that feminists are actively trying to destroy men, and the group offers them a place to pursue and defend their rightful place in the social order. Indeed, the Proud Boys have, from the start, portrayed the group as a way to save men from the hold of feminism. McInnes founded the group as “an old school men’s club, something ubiquitous for most of the History of America, until they were beaten down by the Second Wave Feminists of the 1970s and ‘80s,” a widely shared Telegram post proclaimed on the sixth anniversary of the Proud Boys’ founding. “Those men, seeking beer and brotherhood, had awakened a smoldering desire, lying dormant in too many men to … well, just to be allowed to be men!”

Even the male supremacist beliefs of extremist groups have seemed to harden in recent years. While older extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan had women as members and others, like Tom Metzger’s White Aryan Resistance, had affiliated women’s organizations, many of the largest and most violent far-right extremist groups active in recent years only allow men. That includes Patriot Front, The Base and Atomwaffen, among others. Though the Klan, racist skinheads and neo-Nazi groups often relegated women to supportive caretaking duties aligned with regressive gender roles, many of today’s extremist groups see no role for them at all.

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Women Can Be Anti-Feminists, too

Despite their exclusion from many of today’s most prominent hate groups, women are active participants in the hard right’s campaign to uphold male supremacy and create restrictive gender distinctions. One clear example is the so-called tradwife (or “traditional wife”) movement, which proclaims that women can achieve personal happiness and contribute to a healthier national culture by embracing subservience to men.

Women’s interest in the tradwife movement is, in some ways, a response to modern economic realities. The movement is “rooted in many young women’s sense of discontent with mainstream society and capitalist systems that – in the U.S., in any case – make balancing motherhood and work a near-impossible task, with virtually no childcare support, limited sick leave, and few protections for women who need time away from work for childcare or eldercare responsibilities,” Cynthia Miller-Idriss, a scholar of extremism and radicalization, has noted. Some women have responded by looking backward to a romanticized version of domesticity captured by the 1950s propaganda that forms the backbone of the tradwife aesthetic.

The tradwife movement exists largely online, led by influencers whose content depicts stylized domestic bliss – their homes, cooking, clothing and children – alongside captions that encourage chastity and, often, homeschooling, homesteading and fundamentalist Christianity. Tradwives present submission as freedom and a return to the natural order, before feminism deceived women into thinking they could achieve fulfillment outside family life and heterosexual relationships. “Teach your daughter about homemaking before the internet teaches them about corporate slaving,” an Instagram account that sells women classes on the principles of tradwifery recently posted. Others promise, “Her happiness comes from making his life easier.”

Tradwife culture strongly overlaps with the racist right. Tradwife influencers frequently note that their lifestyle has political ends: By supporting men and having many children, they are fighting back against the so-called great replacement, a white nationalist theory that says white people are being systematically replaced by immigration and other forces, including the media, that encourage racial intermarriage and low white birthrates. Others suggest feminism is a Jewish plot to destabilize society and having children provides them a way to fight back. “You had another kid? How many kids are you going to have?” the first panel of a meme in a white supremacist Telegram channel devoted to “traditional dating” asks. “More than my enemies,” reads the second.

New media outlets aimed at women, have also emerged to support the male supremacist politics of the hard right. The preeminent publication among these ventures is Evie, an online magazine that publishes, it says, “quality content that affirms your femininity, encourages virtue, and offers a more truthful perspective than the biased agenda of other publications.” It is also explicitly anti-feminist, anti-hormonal birth control, and anti-abortion. The site’s many fearmongering articles about birth control pills claim they are not only harmful but fail to “treat” anything. (Women take birth control pills for many medical issues outside of preventing pregnancy.) “Hormonal birth control promised freedom but tricked our bodies into dysfunction and pain,” the site’s founder, Brittany Martinez, argues.

Birth control, according to Evie, is one of the many lies feminism has sold to women. “I seriously cannot believe that millions of women were PSYOPed into believing that painful period cramps are totally normal,” one Evie writer says in a TikTok video. “PSYOP,” a military term popular with far-right conspiracists, means “psychological operation,” and describes organized state-led efforts to influence people and culture without using force. The Evie writer tells viewers that they can make their painful menstrual symptoms disappear not with birth control, but by “tuning into your body” and, specifically, their menstrual cycle. The video turns out to be an ad for an app Evie has created called 28, which claims to undo some of the damage wrought by feminism by offering women a fitness and diet program that aligns with their menstrual cycle. The app is, notably, backed by Peter Thiel, the billionaire investor who has fraternized with white nationalists and become a major force backing the hard right.

Evie’s rejection of hormonal birth control seems less guided by actual concern for women and their needs (they dismiss even non-hormonal forms of birth control as mostly harmful) than part of a larger attempt to convince women they will be their most authentic, contented selves if they pursue life as homemakers and caretakers, unburdened by synthetic hormones and the stresses of a career. Traditional gender roles, they suggest, are natural, while women who eschew these roles are miserableunattractive to men, and trapped in a “victim mentality.” Unsurprisingly, figures like Jordan Peterson are cited throughout their catalog of articles.

Evie is also full of anti-trans content and warnings that young people are “fall[ing] prey to the trans agenda.” Following growing anti-trans hostility on the right, the site’s anti-trans content increased 333% from 2021 to 2022, according to Media Matters. Like many of the right-wing pundits in the anti-trans moral panic, Evie claims they are motivated by their concern for children. But their content reveals deep enmity toward those who fail to conform to “traditional” gender roles. “Their pronouns are they/them bc there’s multiple demons inside of them,” one of their writers posted about gender nonconforming people on Twitter, echoing many others on the hard right who paint trans people as satanic.

Evie and their allies paint stark boundaries around womanhood and femininity, arguing that trans women are not only not real women, but that they present an acute threat to women and girls. One outlet that takes that argument especially far is Reduxx, which calls itself a “feminist” and “pro-child safeguarding” publication. The site is nothing but rabid transphobia: Like many white nationalist websites that list endless pages of “Black crime” meant to suggest that Black people are inherently prone to criminality, Reduxx is an endless scroll of alleged trans sex offenders and pedophiles. The site is regularly used as a source by right-wing news outlets, including, especially, Fox News.

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Abortion and Male Supremacist Violence

Male supremacism has not only become the glue that holds together the hard right; it is also increasingly fueling the harm, threats, intimidation and violence coming from the movement.

Much of that harm comes from the hard right’s successful campaign to end access to abortion. Since the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade last year, 13 states have completely banned abortions, and others have dramatically increased restrictions, while anti-abortion activists in such states as Tennessee fight to ban abortion care even for women with life-threatening complications because they will “work themselves out.”

Access to medication abortion, which accounts for more than half of abortions in the United States, is also under threat thanks to a recent decision by a Trump-appointed federal judge in Texas. In a dubious ruling that even a former clerk of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia excoriated as “indefensible,” Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk suspended the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone, an abortion drug that has proven extremely safe and effective since it came to market more than 20 years ago. The Justice Department has now asked the Supreme Court to block the ruling. Whatever the court’s eventual decision, the Texas ruling shows just how far out on a legal limb the hard right is willing to venture in order to stop people from accessing effective and safe abortions, even when that agenda is wildly unpopular.

Not only is it more difficult for people to access abortion care, but many, especially people of color and those who are poor, cannot access that care at all. It also makes people vulnerable to other forms of harm. Pregnancy increases the chances of intimate partner violence and its severity. Homicide is the leading cause of death associated with pregnancy. Additionally, states with the most restrictive abortion laws have the worst maternal and child health outcomes, which compounds the harms for Black women, who are more likely than any other racial group to face pregnancy complications.

The anti-abortion movement has long been an especially violent constituency of the hard right, a trend that began in the post-Vietnam era after it began moving “away from protest and toward retribution,” Carol Mason, a scholar of gender and the far right, has argued. Activists increasingly began seeing themselves as “abortion warriors” who could justify their violence as a way of defending innocent life and “restor[ing] the order of God.” Killing or threatening an abortion provider, in other words, was an act of righteousness. The movement also, notably, began to attract the participation of white power activists, who saw abortion as part of a larger plot to diminish the white population. “Abortion is racial suicide for the white race,” Klansman J.D. Alder said in a 1994 message that Klan members could hear by calling into a hotline. “Men such as Paul Hill,” who had murdered a doctor who performed abortions and a clinic escort in Pensacola that year, “are heroes for eliminating baby killers and saving the lives of unborn beautiful white babies.”

While the 1990s were the high point of anti-abortion violence—mirroring the violence emanating from the militia movement at that time—the threats to abortion providers are once again increasing. The National Abortion Federation, which has tracked violence and disruption against abortion providers and facilities since 1977, noted a 163% increase in hoax devices or suspicious packages between 2018 and 2021, while assaults rose from 15 to 123 during that same time period. Between 2020 and 2021, stalking of abortion providers, staff, and patients rose 600%. Anti-abortion activism is increasingly attracting the attention of far-right extremist groups like the Proud Boys and Patriot Front, especially as those demonstrations surged in the lead-up to the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe. While only 1% of far-right public events focused on abortion in 2020, by 2022 it was the focus of more than 14% of the demonstrations in which they participated, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED). Even after the fall of Roe, the hard right seems to feel the status quo is not punitive enough and are relying on fear to augment the country’s current draconian policies.

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Campaign of Anti-Trans Violence

The hard right’s violence has been especially targeted at LGBTQ+ people – trans people in particular – in the last two years. The fact that this violence comes at the same time as the attack on reproductive rights is no coincidence – collectively, these campaigns are an attack on bodily autonomy and gender equity, and serve to enshrine male supremacy in the law. This campaign of violence is one of the most nakedly dehumanizing and dangerous efforts the hard right has launched in recent memory, and it is especially dangerous – and effective – because it has the combined support of politicians, legislative bodies, judges, influencers and extremist activists.

The campaign against trans people paints them, as well as their allies, as devious and socially dangerous: They are “groomers” socializing children in order to sexually abuse them, while at the same time attempting to recruit people into the LGBTQ+ community. Trans people are the primary targets, but doctors, Democrats and others who provide gender-affirming care and work to protect trans rights are also demonized. In fact, when a November 2022 SPLC poll asked people if they believed that “Democrats are attempting to sexualize children by indoctrinating them into the LGBTQ lifestyle,” 74% of Republicans agreed, including 51% who strongly agreed.

In 2022, legislators across the country introduced 315 bills targeting LGBTQ+ people, and trans youth, in particular. In a lawsuit against the USDA, 22 states are attempting to take away LGBTQ+ kids’ access to free school lunches. In the latest legislative wave, eight states have introduced bills to ban children from attending drag performances (Tennessee passed such a bill, but a federal judge has blocked its implementation). Donald Trump said, if reelected president, he would ask Congress “to pass a bill establishing that the only genders recognized by the United States government are male and female, and they are assigned at birth,” and that he will “sign a new executive order instructing every federal agency to cease all programs that promote the concept of sex and gender transition at any age.”

While the Republican Party’s anti-trans crusade is harmful on its own, it also provides a pretense for hard-right activists who have come to see intimidation, threats and other forms of violence as viable political tools. The Proud Boys alone targeted more than 40 LGBTQ+ events with harassment or protests in 2022. In some cases, they carried weapons. Schools, teachers, hospitals and other individuals and organizations have faced death and bomb threats after they were targeted by hard-right influencers like Chaya Raichik, who runs the “Libs of TikTok” Twitter account that targets LGBTQ+ people for ridicule by her followers. And in November 2022, five people were killed by a mass shooter at an LGBTQ+ nightclub.

In the aftermath of that deadly shooting, hard-right activists chose to double down on their rhetoric. “If [drag shows are] causing this much chaos and violence, why do you insist on continuing to do it? If, according to you, it’s like putting people’s lives at risk, if the effort to have men cross-dress in front of children is putting people’s lives at risk, why are you still doing it?” the Daily Wire’s columnist Matt Walsh asked on his online show. More recently, Walsh has suggested that providing gender-affirming care should be “considered a capital crime and it should earn the prescribed penalty for such crimes.” His followers seemed to have absorbed that message. At his “Rally to End Child Mutilation” in Nashville late last year, one supporter in the crowd was pictured holding a sign reading, “Doctors who mutilate children should be KILLED.” The rhetoric is an eerie echo of the kind used against medical professionals who provided abortions in the 1990s, when activists declared that murdering abortion providers should be considered “justifiable homicide.” That decade, anti-abortion activists killed seven people.

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The hard right is emboldened by their recent successful efforts to roll back the rights of women, trans, nonbinary and gender nonconforming people. Some have suggested that no-fault divorce should be outlawed, or that Republicans should pursue federal bans on abortion and gender-affirming care. Even the rights to contraception and same-sex marriage seem to be on the table.

But two things can be true at once: even while the hard right is highly mobilized and can count many recent wins, their agenda is, for the most part, unpopular. More than three-quarters of Americans support laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination, while a majority say that parents of transgender children should be allowed to access gender-affirming care for their child. When it comes to abortion, 64% of Americans say the procedure should be legal in all or most cases.

That conflict – between what a majority of Americans want, and the actual policies that rule our lives – is indicative of the present strain on our democracy, where the hard right holds disproportionate power. The male supremacist philosophy undergirds every wing of the hard-right movement and its efforts to erode the rights of LGBTQ+ people, women, Black people and religious minorities. And without an effective countermovement to build and restore democratic principles and institutions, the male supremacist agenda will continue to advance.

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Cassie Miller

Cassie Miller is a Senior Research Analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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