Women in the Neo-Nazi Group World Church of the Creator Speak Out
In the late 1960s, in the heyday of radical left-wing groups, a debate developed within the Weathermen about the role of revolutionary women, who had been largely confined to supporting their menfolk. Before it was over, the Weathermen were renamed the Weather Underground, and many of the group's women were taking up the gun.
Thirty years later, in a distant echo of that debate, women on the radical right — who a leading analyst says now comprise 25% of many groups and as many as half of new recruits — are increasingly re-examining their position in the world of white supremacy.
And while they are far from radical feminists, many are espousing a new female activism and even leadership — often to the dismay and anger of the men in their movement.
"For years, it seemed that a White woman's role in the Racial movement was to write lonely prisoners and stand behind their boyfriends without much of an opinion about anything," writes Lisa Turner, who began the "Women's Frontier" of the neo-Nazi World Church of the Creator (WCOTC) in May 1998.
"In the last year or so, we have seen a lot of changes in this area. Everyone is starting to realize that if we are going to overcome in this struggle we are going to have to do it together — Man and Woman — side by side!"
From California to Maryland, and abroad from Australia to Canada to Europe, the voices of "racialist" women are being heard increasingly in a variety of forums. In the past, these movement women have been Nazi "Aryan breeders," the Klan moms who stayed home sewing robes for their men, the secretaries and helpmates of neo-Nazi leaders, the transmitters of "Aryan" values to the next generation.
Now, some of these women are seeking new, expanded roles for themselves and their gender. And although most reject "feminism" — which is widely seen as a Jewish plot to destroy the white race — they are leading key efforts to build a viable movement.
While their men try to tear down the current society, these women are building up the culture they hope to replace it with.
"There is a vacuum of leadership, and one that our menfolk must honestly look within themselves to explain," writes Turner, who recruits via the Internet. "Leadership is a legitimate and necessary role ... which women in the Church can fill."
WCOTC, which like almost all hate groups is led by a man, is only the most visible example of a concerted effort by the movement to reach out to women.
Forums for and about women, particularly on the Internet, are proliferating. They range from chat rooms featuring discussions about women's leadership capabilities to Skinhead Web sites with photographs of skimpily clad examples of Aryan female beauty to Internet advice columns for racist mothers on how to save money with homemade baby wipes.
From Kitchen to Cross-Building
· On Stormfront, the Web's oldest hate site, a debate on the role of women in the movement has been raging for months. One man wrote to a woman who had posted an earlier message: "I'm sorry to inform you, but a woman's place is in the kitchen. ... [M]en are physically stronger, which makes us more valuable... . A real white racialist woman understands this."
A second woman, speaking to the first, replies: "Don't be discouraged. Neanderthal attitudes like this one are few in the movement. ... I do think we should support our men, but we do not necessarily have to stay in the kitchen to do it."
· Women for Aryan Unity (WAU), a Web site run by a group of racist Odinist women in Canada, declares that "squeamish, bug fearing females" should "lose your forest phobias and start preparing for tomorrow" by acquiring survivalist, weapons and fighting skills.
A person identified as "Max Hammer" takes a similar view in a posting on the Web site: "Certain male elements who hold a rather Turkish attitude toward our feminine comrades should wise up and think Nordic, while certain female elements should cease behaving like mindless groupies and start doing political exercises instead."
· Sigrdrifa Publications, a unit of WAU, publishes a quarterly magazine "100% produced" by "Proud Aryan Women" with a mix of features like "Women of History," "Aryan Recipes," "White Prisoner Sponsorship Program" and "Baby Bulletin."
It also maintains a Web site for women describing, among other things, "Aryan Beginnings for Children (ABC)," a "co-operative of racialists ... organized to assist racially aware parents ... in raising proud white children in today's society." ABC plans "White Heritage" coloring books and newsletters on children's developmental stages.
· Tom Metzger, leader of the neo-Nazi White Aryan Resistance, recently criticized "the male dominance habit": "The Right Wing ... and the racial elements thereof have perpetuated some very negative attitudes. ... These positions have caused ... the political flight of many capable women... . Many women put the men to shame... .
"Historically, women have been proven to be great leaders, warriors, thinkers, scientists, etc."
· A few female leaders of other white supremacist groups have emerged recently. In Pennsylvania, the state leader of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is a woman who goes by the name of "Kay Ryan" — although a newspaper recently identified her as Kathryn Christy Sonner Negley Hedrick, 47.
A May American Knights rally in Splendora, Texas, was led off by female speakers named "Bunny" and "Mary."
In Philadelphia, at least through 1997, the local leader of the racist National Association for the Advancement of White People (NAAWP) was a woman, Cortney Mann — who is, bizarrely, black.
· A female leader of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, identified only as "Klaliff" (a title of a local Klan group's vice president), declares on a Web page that "Men and women are in the fight together" and says her group has a female national advisory board member.
"There has been some crossover in the more traditional tasks, but not too much. For the most part, women still work in the kitchen and men work on building the crosses."
· Women within a racist Odinist group based in northern Alabama have taken steps to form their own day-care center to isolate their children from what are seen as the pernicious influences of Judeo-Christian values, as well as to free up women for other work.
· Mothers of the Movement, another Web site for racist women, features relatively little political talk. Instead, it concentrates on such matters as how to save money with recipes for baby food.