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The Misogyny Paradox and the Alt-Right

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 March 2023

Tracy Llanera*
Department of Philosophy, University of Connecticut, 344 Mansfield Road, Unit 1054, Storrs, CT 06269-1054
Corresponding author. E-mail:


This essay offers a philosophical analysis of the misogyny women experience in the alternative right (alt-right) movement. I argue that this misogyny takes on a paradoxical form: the better alt-right women propagandists promote hate, the greater the hostility they experience from their fellow racists and critics; the more submissive women alt-right members become, the harsher the impact of misogyny on them. I develop this argument in four parts. Part I explores the self-conception of racist white women using the concept of social imaginaries. Part II describes three dominant images in racist propaganda—the goddess/victim, wife and mother, and the female activist—which inform the more popular images of the white power Barbie and the tradwife in the alt-right. Part III explores the misogyny paradox and presents how alt-right women could be seen as both misogynists and victims of misogyny. Part IV reflects on the absurdity of the alt-right's dependence on women's economic labor, a feature that could make the movement vulnerable to political intervention.

Copyright © The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Hypatia, a Nonprofit Corporation

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