New research probes the link between misogyny and right-wing extremism

In the wake of senseless tragedies caused by right-wing extremism, research is rampant to understand the root cause of this form of domestic terrorism.

In a report by researchers at the Swinburne University of Technology, they aimed at probing the initial root cause of such extremism: misogyny.

“While the focus of violent extremism has overwhelmingly been Islamist terrorism and radicalisation, there is a need to widen the scope of what counts as ‘violent extremism’ in an era of alt-right and populist impulses, which largely hark back to ideas of national chauvinism and retuning society to traditional ideas of ‘order’, both publicly and privately,” the report states.

“This project aims to map right-wing extremism in Victoria through the lens of gender. It begins from the premise that there is an under-explored connection between anti-feminist sentiment and far-right extremist sentiment.”

“It does this by focusing on select Victorian-based online groups that have an anti-feminist and far-right profile. The project also works with stakeholders who work in the areas of gender and family violence, to gain insight into their practices and experiences,” the report also stated.

The report concluded that far-right and anti-feminist movements are mutually reinforcing. There are differences, however, including its spread on social media platforms.

“Anti-feminism appears to be a ‘uniting ideology’ in far right-extremism. It brings together key themes that animate far-right ideology, such as hierarchy, order, power and a preference for ‘tradition’; it also becomes reinforcing when those who hold far-right views believe ‘the system’ works against them, and harbour a sense of ‘aggrieved entitlement’ which is related to ideas of relative deprivation. The normalisation of extreme views of women and gender, aided by misinformation, is an issue frontline workers contend with,” the report concluded.

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