Ye olde misogyny-to-fascism pipeline
'These men look for ecstasy not in embraces, but in explosions'
I was just about to hit send on my newsletter yesterday, about the appeal of white supremacy to nonwhite people (and others white supremacists might otherwise target), when word started circulating about Ye’s appearance on Alex Jones’ conspiracy fiesta, InfoWars. I mean appearance figuratively and literally: hiding his face behind an opaque black mask, Watchmen-style, he went on a rant so unhinged in its antisemitism that his literally saying “I like Hitler” may have been one of the tamer parts.
The fallout from the interview has been extremely awkward for the American right, seeing as they whole-heartedly adopted the rapper formerly known as Kanye West as a movement icon. It was Ye’s off-menu dinner with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago, along with the Nazi incel Nick Fuentes (who was the third on the panel with Ye and Jones), that prompted me to write about yesterday’s question in the first place. So as conservatives scramble for rhetorical cover — and try to decide just how far to follow him down the path of unbridled antisemitism — I’m going to take a moment to explore one aspect of the “heterodox” road to fascist batshittery that I didn’t have time to address: hatred and fear of women, or anything they fear will diminish their fragile masculinity.
As noted above, in addition to being a neo-Nazi, Holocaust denier, and self-professed Catholic reactionary, Fuentes is an “incel” — a young man who has made the fact that, as he sees it, women refuse to sleep with him the most prominent feature of his identity. Earlier this year he claimed his self-declared sexual celibacy makes him “more heterosexual than anyone” because — and this is a direct quote — “having sex with women is gay.”
This was legitimately funny. But it shouldn’t just get chalked up to a “second time as farce” form of Nazism. Many of the original Nazis were also terrified of sex. In Male Fantasies, a theory of the origins of German fascism, the sociologist Klaus Theweleit analyzed the interwar memoirs of the Freikorps, protofascist street gangs whose modern-day analogs include the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. Theweleit writes: