March is Women’s History Month, and, unfortunately, it’s not free of assaults on women’s liberties. The Far Right is going after women every way it can, and it’s justifying all the attacks with specious claims about protecting women from imaginary threats. From continued attempts to criminalize abortion, to attempting to ban women’s and gender studies, to coordinated attacks on trans women’s healthcare and accommodations, the Far Right isn’t hiding its disdain for women or for the idea of women exercising their freedoms. It’s a coordinated plan, and we must call it out.
How the Far Right Frames the Roles of Women
While not everyone on the Far Right expects women to be second-class citizens – though some vocal individuals like Neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin do believe women should be “submissive to a man” and aren’t shy about saying so — the issues that the Far Right focuses on still paint a disturbing picture of how it views women.
The Far Right has been clear that, were it to take full control, women would lose autonomy over their own bodies and trans women could lose their very lives. Some on the Far Right like Lauren Witzke don’t even think women should be allowed to vote saying, “In regards to women voting, that was the worst thing that ever happened to America.” This is the future the Far Right wants.
They Claim to Be Protectors
At the same time that they’re actively trying to restrict women’s freedoms, people on the Far Right also love to claim they’re acting in women’s best interest. For years, and especially since the fall of Roe, the Far Right has introduced waves of bills targeting reproductive freedoms, attacking education, harming the LGBTQ community, and now placing bounties on drag performers all under the guise of protecting women and children. Meanwhile, they oppose things that actually do protect women like red flag laws and comprehensive sex education. The Far Right’s claim to care about women is as disingenuous as it is dangerous.
As Usual, It’s All a Smokescreen
Issues that influenced the creation of International Women’s Day and are still shockingly relevant today, including reproductive rights, economic equity, education, voting rights, and public safety reform, don’t get legislative attention from lawmakers on the Far Right. Instead, the Far Right focuses on fearmongering and playing the “protector” because that’s what riles up its base. It’s using real issues like safety and healthcare that affect real women as ploys to garner outrage – and ultimately votes. At the same time, members of the most outrageous fringe like Nick Fuentes spew hateful misogyny saying things like, “We need to go back to burning women alive.” It’s more than just disturbing; it results in policy that can literally be deadly for women seeking healthcare or trans women just trying to exist.
So, What Do We Do About It?
First: Vote. In a bizarre moment of inadvertent truth-telling, far-right activist Josie Glabach admitted on-camera that when women vote en masse the Far Right doesn’t stand a chance. And before you vote, pay attention not just to the candidates’ stated positions on women’s issues but to how they speak about women. Powerful elected officials can be horribly uninformed about women’s issues, from poor comprehension of basic anatomy to vile opinions on sexual assault. We must elect people who understand the issues, care about women, and will fight for progress.
Second: Get involved. That could mean running for office yourself, or joining an organization dedicated to defending the rights of women. It definitely means staying informed on the issues. Education is the most powerful tool we have to fight willful ignorance and misogyny.
We all need to be in this fight, because the Far Right is wholeheartedly committed to taking every issue affecting women and twisting it for partisan and political advantage. We stop it by standing up for truth, standing up for each other, and bringing about positive change for everyone.