Whither Women, “After the Fall”?
Well, a few weeks have passed, and now that all the recaps have come and gone, I thought it might be time for the strangest one of all: what was it like to be a WOMAN at NPI’s “After the Fall” conference? Well, if the Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. was our Garden, on that very post-lapsarian weekend, we ladies were not exiled from it. There were about six of us present, including Lauren M. Fox, a foxy reporterette from Salon.com (read her tale of puppy love with Richard Spencer here). But be warned, gentle readers, this is not a tale of feminist woe.
The truth is, it was fantastic. It could be argued that it says more about me than about the “movement” as a whole, but I enjoyed myself more than I can say, and never really felt marginalized (despite being told by another attendee just before Jack Donovan’s speech that I possessed the “wrong genitals” to be in the room at the time). The only person who really tried to make an issue of my sex was Miss Fox, who was desperately trying to get one of the women at the conference to speak to her. She published none of my quotes, probably because they were too carefully chosen and carried too many hints of truth. The interview went something like this…
Q. Hey! I can’t get any of the women here to talk to me, and I would really love a woman’s perspective on this conference.
A. Well, I’m perfectly happy to talk to you, but it will have to be under conditions of anonymity.
Q. [with a little crestfallen glance] Ok, well…sure, I’ll ask you a few questions. Why are you here? What draws you to this movement?
A. Well,…I came out of the conservative movement. My parents were normal conservatives. But after college, I met people who really started to open my eyes to the intellectual emptiness of the conservative movement, the moral bankruptcy of it – some of those people are in this very room, and I’ll be forever grateful to them. I started to learn more, read new things, and this whole world opened up to me, full of possibility and hope. That was about two years ago. I haven’t looked back.
Q. So, what’s it like, being a woman here? There certainly aren’t very many of you.
A. It’s great, really. Some of the guys here are old friends, some are new ones. They’ve always treated me with respect.
Q. Why do you think there are so few women here?
A. Well, women don’t tend to be in the vanguard of politically dissident movements, particularly ones that question the existing social order. Women are more likely to look for safety and security; today they receive that security from the state, but once upon a time, they relied on men for such things. Real men. I’ll take men over a crumbling nanny state any day.
Q. I don’t really understand what you mean. Could you explain?
A. Ok, well…before the feminist movements of the 20th century, women relied on men for their safety and security. Now, men are marginalized, and I don’t really think women are better off at the mercy of an impersonal state than at the side of men who respect and care for them. Does that make sense?
Q. Yeah, sure. Uh, how old are you?
A. I’m in my early twenties.
Q. How far did you travel to come here?
A. About 1,000 miles.
Q. Wow. So this was really important to you, huh?
A. Well, yeah. I think I could speak for a lot of us here when I say…the money, the time, the travel, it’s all worth it to come to something like this. We get to be ourselves, which some of us never get in our normal lives. Living a double life takes a toll; being here is a chance to feel free, even if in a limited way.
Q. Ok, yeah…so, if it’s so important to you, why won’t you tell me your name?
A. Have you seen what happens to people who get outed for coming to these conferences? Everyone who comes here takes a risk – the speakers know what they’re getting into, and most of them have been through it all before. But us, the people who have jobs, families? The most “fascist” thing about this country is the fact that there truly isn’t “freedom of speech”, or even thought (if someone finds out about it) when it comes to dissident political opinions, especially those of our variety.
Q. Ok. Um…Thanks!
Needless to say, she didn’t use any of that in the article.
Now, is all of that completely honest? Mostly. No, there aren’t many women in this movement. Yes, I’ve heard some horribly misogynist things in our circles. (I don’t mind a little misogyny here and there, but there are limits. It takes a lot to reach mine.) That said, my male friends in this little world of ours are some of the best friends I’ve had in my life. And yet, this experience inevitably called to mind an old argument in the AltRightmosphere: Where Are All The Women? It seems appropriate here to offer my own observations on this question.
I don’t disagree with much of what has been said by others about why women among us are so rare. There are a number of reasons. But let me posit this: most women (though, obviously, not all) are less independent than men in a number of ways, including politically and intellectually. Saying that women are “natural followers” might be too strong, but generally speaking, I think that women like to be led by men. They are simply less likely to come across our ideas on their own; and even if they did, not knowing anyone who shared those beliefs personally, they would likely immediately dismiss them as fringe, crazy at best, evil at worst. Only losers would be so socially unacceptable, so outside the mainstream. Women, more so than men, crave social acceptance. In order to participate in something so socially unacceptable as the Alternative Right, most women will require something more to join the movement than the assent of their rationality.
Men and women have different immortal longings. Men tend to desire public honor, and to be concerned with the public sphere. In general, women’s immortal longings are more inclined towards their children, and towards being beloved by another human being. Some souls have grander longings than others; but of course, we are speaking here in generalities.
So, what will it take for women to join up? Quite frankly, it will take good men. Yes, gentlemen: the women will not come to you. You must go to them. And I’m not talking about “gaming” some “slut” in a bar and taking her home for the night. I’m not even talking primarily about marrying and having children for the sake of the race (not to mention your own happiness). The best way to grow what we call the Alternative Right is to bring women into it, and the best way to bring women into it is to go out and get them. Stop whining about the lack of decent women in the world: you’re probably looking in the wrong place.
As Alex Kurtagic put it so well:
“Women both comprise half of the race and are indispensable for its continuity. Moreover, women are a measure of the health of any movement. Therefore, any movement that seeks to preserve the race cannot credibly ignore them. Even though it is up to women who care about the aims of the movement to organise themselves and contribute with activities suitable to their interests and strengths (no matter what they are), barriers to their participation must be eliminated. This begins by shedding the reactive misogyny engendered by feminism, reclaiming from the latter the high status and freedom accorded to women by traditional Western European culture and society, taking intelligent women’s advise seriously, ridiculing the war of the sexes, marginalising defectives, rejecting conservatism, and making a clear distinction between personal religious choices and racial preservation.”
It seems to me that the main reason men are so worried about the lack of women in this movement is because they do want to find a mate who shares their primary beliefs and concerns. Communities are necessarily made up of both men and women. But it is my experience that most women are led to our way of thinking by men they respect, admire, or even love. Communities are built, first and foremost, through relationships, and not merely ideas. The ideas matter, of course, but the best way to pass them along is through personal engagement. A woman won’t be convinced by a blog post on the internet, but she might be convinced by the beauty of the idea when it is mediated through another human being.
It isn’t the easiest way, but after a grea t deal of thought, I believe that that is how you bring women to this movement. Lead them to it through your love of them, and through the love of your people.
Here endeth the lesson.
As for the speeches at the conference, I won’t dwell on them much; they can be seen online, and others have given better accounts than I could. Pierre San Giorgio’s presentation was a remarkable and invigorating way to begin an early morning, and Alain de Benoist’s was a sober way to end. (Before we turned to the open bar and promptly unsobered ourselves.) In between, my personal highlights were Alex Kurtagic and Jack Donovan. Alex’s speech was masterful, and emphasized things that I, perhaps, appreciated most out of the whole day. And Jack Donovan was a delightfully compelling, direct, and serious speaker. As a woman who loves men, I found his talk a breath of fresh air.
The rest of the evening, like the one before, was filled with fellowship, with friends old and new. We took the town by storm, gentlemen. You all have my gratitude.