Glenna Gordon is a documentary photographer and photojournalist. A World Press Award winner in 2015, she is also a lecturer at the New School in New York and a partner at the publishing collective Red Hook Editions. (December 2018)
Much has been said and written about the “toxic masculinity” of the far right and white supremacy, but on the other side is a toxic femininity just as invested in the idea of a whiteness as victimized, at risk, and requiring protection. Not all extremists are equally racist or equally dangerous, but everyone I spoke to contributes to that exclusionary and poisonous discourse. These women present outsiders with an “acceptable face” of white supremacy, a soft, palatable point of entry with the nostalgic glow of an idealized, wishfully apolitical past. This attempt to neutralize the stigma of more overt racism makes women of The Movement valuable recruiting tools, far more insidious than skinhead thugs or robed Klansmen.