Quick hit: Michael Kimmel on Anders Behring Breivik

Michael Kimmel has spent the last several years conducting research on the role of gender in white supremacist movements in the USA and Scandinavia. For this reason, his analysis of the writing and actions of Anders Behring Breivik, the man responsible for one the most deadly acts of violence in Norway’s recent history, is indispensable. At Sociological Images, he writes about what motivates Scandinavian misogynist white supremacists like Breivik:

First, the feel that current political and economic conditions have emasculated them, taken away the masculinity to which they feel they are entitled by birth. In the U.S. They feel they’ve been emasculated by the “Nanny State” through taxation, economic policies and political initiatives that demand civil rights and legal protection for everyone. They feel deprived of their entitlement (their ability to make a living, free and independent) by a government that now doles it out to everyone else – non-whites, women, and immigrants. The emasculation of the native born white man has turned a nation of warriors into a nation of lemmings, or “sheeple” as they often call other white men. In The Turner Diaries, the movement’s most celebrated text, author William Pierce sneers at “the whimpering collapse of the blond male,” as if White men have surrendered, and have thus lost the right to be free.

Kimmel also compares the actions and motivations of Breivik and of American terrorist Timothy McVeigh, who planned and carried out the Oklahoma City bombing. There’s no American better placed to explain the connections here between misogyny, nationalism and violence – and to make the cross-cultural comparisons between the US and Norway.

It’s a must-read. Go read the whole thing here.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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