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How Male Supremacy Provided the Foundation for Hate in 2023

Male supremacist beliefs continued to encroach on the popular consciousness in 2023. This year, the SPLC documented nine male supremacist hate groups, including several abortion abolitionist groups, a popular misogynist incel community, and the National Coalition for Men. These male supremacist groups radically differ from each other, but they share a belief in men’s perceived right to dominate and enforce strict gender norms onto women, trans men and nonbinary people. Like white supremacy, male supremacy is both an extremist ideology as well as a part of the social fabric that informs every aspect of American life. While small in number, male supremacist hate groups and the ideology they promote have an outsized influence on society. Male supremacy is a central feature of the hard right, and male supremacist influencers and abortion abolitionists are working to normalize these extremist ideas in schools and state legislatures throughout the United States. However, the omnipresent nature of misogyny and its far-reaching influence on American society means the extent of the problem is often hidden in plain sight.

Male supremacy plays a foundational role in hard-right radicalization. However, the gendered rhetoric of hate groups and extremist figures often goes unnoticed or unremarked on. A 1987 image from a White Aryan Resistance magazine featured a man in a hardhat paired with the words “White Men Built This Nation!! White Men Are This Nation!!!” While most people immediately pick up on the image’s racist intent, sociologists have argued that far fewer register its sexist message. While discussions of the hard right tend to focus on the role of white supremacy, male supremacy is just as central. Many hard-right groups present white men as the victims of a changing social order and present themselves as the champions of a lost traditional past. Those who reject traditionalism and strict gender norms are presented as existential threats who are ruining men’s lives and destroying society. Hard-right groups resent societal shifts toward greater equity and present white men as champions of a mythical “traditional” past. They depict those who reject strict gender norms as an existential threat to men and society.

Male supremacist narratives align the personal experiences and perceptions of young men with the broader political problems identified by an extremist movement. Andrew Anglin, founder of the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer, explained this strategy in a 2015 post: “... Whereas race can be an obscure concept for young Whites who haven’t been forced to deal with other races directly, and the Jewish problem can be downright esoteric, the problem of being forced into subservience to women ... is something we have all experienced as young men raised in a feminist society.” In studies on political polarization, researchers have found the people most likely to support political violence were those who endorsed hostility toward women – regardless of political ideology. Similarly, misogyny and support for violence against women have been found to be the strongest predictors of support for violent extremism.

Throughout 2023, emerging male supremacist influencers like Andrew Tate were successfully reaching and radicalizing a large audience of boys and young men. Despite being arrested and charged with rape and human trafficking offenses, Tate’s influence grew. His X (formerly Twitter) following more than doubled to 8.5 million in 2023. One sex educator told VICE World News about an encounter during a lesson on consent where a teenage boy quoted Tate, saying that “if you put yourself in a position to be raped, you must bear some responsibility.” Several other teachers have reported witnessing students as young as 11 mimicking a hand sign associated with Tate to signal their support for the alleged human trafficker, as well as an increase in rape jokes and comments about “alphas.”


While Tate may be the most infamous, he is not the only male supremacist idolized by their young audience. Nico de Balinthazy, known online as Sneako, is a male supremacist influencer whose trajectory mirrors the radicalization process many young boys fall into online. His early content primarily focused on video games, but in 2022 shifted to increasingly hostile and misogynist content and, later, to antisemitism as he began affiliating himself with white nationalists like Nick Fuentes. One viral video of Sneako being swarmed by his young fans illuminates how eager they are to embrace his hateful views. One young boy who appeared to be around 10 years old excitedly jumped up and down chanting, “Andrew Tate! F*** the women! F*** the women!” while another told the camera, “All the gays should die.”

There is nothing new about Tate or De Balinthazy’s misogynistic or homophobic views, but their manipulation of social media algorithms and poorly enforced social media policies against misogynistic hate speech have allowed them to amplify their message and build online empires to target and profit off an extremely young and vulnerable audience.

The normalization of male supremacy is not confined to young people on the internet or in classrooms; throughout 2023, an extreme segment of the anti-abortion movement has mobilized a large network of supporters and consolidated their influence over state legislatures across the country. This movement calls themselves “abolitionists” – co-opting the language of 19th century anti-slavery activists – but is influenced by Christian Reconstructionism and the ideas of anti-abortion militants like Matthew Trewhella rather than racial justice movements. Abortion abolitionists believe any attempt to end a pregnancy is murder and should be prosecuted as such. Deviating significantly from the more mainstream “pro-life” movement, abortion abolitionists believe those seeking, providing and assisting in the procurement of an abortion should be subject to the death penalty.

In February 2023, approximately 300 abolitionists descended on Wichita, Kansas, for the fourth annual “Abolition Now” conference hosted by T. Russell Hunter’s Abolitionists Rising (formerly Free the States) with the support of Abortion is Murder Kansas. Wichita is the same city where Dr. George Tiller was assassinated in his church by an anti-abortion extremist in 2009. Just a month before the conference, Dr. Scott Stringfield, the medical director of an anti-abortion crisis pregnancy center located next to the reopened clinic once operated by Tiller, praised the 9/11 hijackers at an anti-abortion March for Life rally: “They were principled. They were willing to die for what they believed in.” He then seemingly called for violence by encouraging those who oppose abortion “to always choose principle over pragmatism.” Others have seemed to suggest that violence is inevitable. “You’re going to shed blood in the womb, you’re going to reap it in the streets,” Philip Benham, a longtime anti-abortion activist, said at a 2023 event hosted by male supremacist hate group Operation Save America.

While some leaders of the abortion abolitionist movement have explicitly called for nonviolence, they maintain close ties to anti-abortion extremists with a history of violence. T. Russell Hunter has explicitly denounced violence against abortion providers, calling it “immoral” and an admission of the perpetrators’ failure to change the culture. However, the movement’s theocratic vision, extreme rhetoric and violent history leaves room for some supporters to justify violent tactics while still providing plausible deniability to the movement’s leaders.

The year Roe was overturned, the National Abortion Federation documented a 913% increase in incidents of stalking, a 538% increase in clinic obstructions and a 133% increase in bomb threats targeting abortion providers and clinics in states that continued to protect abortion rights. The same year, a federal judge issued a restraining order against members of Operation Save America after protesters physically obstructed access to a Nashville clinic while threatening patients and providers who were then forced into a lockdown. Several members of Operation Save America were also present at the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, and another member was charged with a felony after calling in a hoax bomb threat that targeted a Wisconsin Pride event.

In 2023, abortion abolition bills were introduced in at least ten states. Additionally, key leaders within the movement have moved beyond lobbying to seek office for themselves. Noted abortion abolitionist leader Dusty Deevers was elected to the Oklahoma State Senate in December 2023. During the campaign he promised to support legislation to end no-fault divorce, ban the use of LGBTQ+ educational materials in schools and support the Prenatal Equal Protection Act. If passed, this bill would allow prosecutors to target pregnant people for causing their pregnancies to end. In addition to criminalizing abortion, this bill would leave pregnant people – especially Black women – vulnerable to the policing of their bodies.

Black women are more than twice as likely to suffer a stillbirth, and they have already been prosecuted for behavior the state has assumed resulted in a stillbirth. So-called equal protection bills and existing fetal protection laws mistakenly assume a woman’s behavior during her pregnancy is the only factor determining fetal health. According to Lynn Paltrow, the founder and former executive director of Pregnancy Justice, “laws that seek to treat fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses as entirely separate legal persons provides the basis for creating a system of separate and unequal law for women.”

Reflecting on 2023, it is clear male supremacy poses a significant yet underexamined threat to our society. Male supremacy may target women, trans men and nonbinary people most directly, but its consequences harm all of us. Misogyny weakens democracy, motivates political and interpersonal violence and damages mental health. From extremist message boards to TikTok “for you” feeds, from classrooms to state legislatures, it is in all our best interests to combat misogyny wherever it exists.

Illustration at top by Eoin Ryan