26 Sep 2017

Want to make your racism look less scary? Give it a pretty face

I find it very irritating that some people’s sexism appears to be so deeply rooted that they will find racism and bigotry less dangerous or intimidating just because it is being spread by a young woman with blonde hair.

Julia Sahlender
Julia Sahlender Der Standard, Austria
Source: Der Standard
Want to make your racism look less scary? Give it a pretty face - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

Far right parties and groups are still on the rise in parts of Europe and the US. In the US they are known as the alt right. In Austria, they call themselves “Identitarian Movement”.

For years both the members of these groups and their supporters were almost exclusively male. Now, though men still dominate, young women are also starting to participate. They are showing up at rallies, speaking up on TV and creating YouTube channels dedicated to the movement. They are usually in their mid-twenties, conventionally pretty and look quite “harmless” compared to their male counterparts. Political scientists and experts on right-extremist groups believe that these women are being used to make the groups appear milder and less threatening.

I find it very irritating that some people’s sexism appears to be so deeply rooted that they will find racism and bigotry less dangerous or intimidate just because it is being spread by a young woman with blonde hair. It also baffles me that these women seem to believe in a cause that so clearly works against the promotion of women’s rights and equality.

Details from the story:

  • Growing number of far-right YouTube channels and other blogging platforms have female hosts
  • Support from women for far-right movements appears to be rising
  • Experts think these women are supposed to give the far-Right movement a "friendly face"
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