In Case a Venn Diagram Would Be Helpful
White nationalism and masculinity extremists overlap because of the ways by which we train boys out of connection.
As over the top as this diagram may seem, this is the way masculinity extremism is trending as explored here by the ADL. “When Women are the Enemy: The Intersection of Misogyny and White Supremacy”
What is crucial to understand is the mechanism by which boys are taught masculinity in our domination-based man box culture, because it is this mechanism which makes the masculine extremists on the fringe such fertile ground for racist recruitment.
The far right is fueled by our domination-based culture of man box masculinity. In man box culture, boys and men are stripped of emotional expression and authentic connection through violence and abuse and then slotted into bullying, dominance-based man box culture as the only acceptable performance of manhood.
The WAY boys are bullied out of emotional expression and authentic connection is through the denigration of the feminine. “What are you, a girl? What are you a sissy?” This mechanism for suppressing emotional expression in boys leads to epidemic levels of isolation in men, while conditioning our sons to see women as “less.”
Extremist masculinity, what some boys and men fall prey to due to the violent trauma of man box culture, underpins white nationalism, MRA’s, and Incels. This is because “women are less” quickly becomes “hate all difference.” When we use the constant denigration of girls to bully boys out of connection, they internalize these kinds of bigotry as central to the expression of masculinity.
The tragedy is that man box culture falsely genders our powerful relational capacities for human connection as “feminine” and strips them away from our sons. Boys who show too much emotional expression, need for connection are targeted, punished, blocked from learning to connect. Millions of our sons are blocked from doing the years of trial and error work it takes to grow our relational capacities, our ability to express and connect in nuanced ways. That work is shut down.
Instead, our emotionally open little sons are bullied out of authentic expression and human connection. This process of denigrating the feminine to suppress expression and connection happens hourly for young boys and continues throughout men’s lives. This drumbeat denigration by which boys are taught that women are less, constructs the gateway of gender bigotry which allows them to then be recruited into race bigotry.
Because the denigration of the feminine is so ubiquitous, so universal, MRA’s look right past decades of brutal bullying at the hands of other boys and men and instead blame women, especially feminist women, for men’s social and economic challenges.
It’s a blind spot of startling proportions, wherein men avoid unpacking ongoing brutality and bullying by other men, but become enraged when women refuse to accept this bullying as well. There is a massive cognitive dissonance taking place for men in this moment.
By the time men have arrived at MRA, Incel or White Nationalist belief systems, they have descending so deeply into blaming others, elevating their own victimhood over any self reflection or healing, that they are a real and present threat to any who don’t share their beliefs.
If we are to reduce the harm all this creates, we have to invite men to come in from the cold, to find real and authentic connection. We have to end man box culture so that our sons are not bullied out of their natural relational capacities, their relational intelligence; the gift for connection we see so clearly in our young sons.
If you are a man wanting to break out of man box culture and find authentic connection, reach out to men’s organizations like
or any group doing men’s work that is a fit for you. It will change everything. Good men are waiting to help.