Taking the Pink Pill

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In this episode of The Feminine Art of Radicalisation, Lo Shearing explores the how and where of women's radicalisation. Join again by Emily Gorcenski, Jake Hanrahan, Dr Eviane Leidig, and Daniel Lombroso, they deep-dive into what platforms, topics, and types of content is used to lure in women.


About Lois Shearing:

Lo Shearing is an activist, freelance journalist and writer based in London. Their writing has been published by The Independent, The Advocate, DIVA magazine, Gay Star News, INTO, and Openly and their first book Bi the Way, is available now. They are the founder of the Bisexual Survivors Network and are the founder of the #DoBetterBiUs campaign, which aims to challenge biphobia.


Book: https://www.waterstones.com/book/bi-the-way/lois-shearing//9781787752900

Website: https://faithfullwords.wordpress.com

Twitter: @loshearing

Kofi: https://ko-fi.com/loisshearing


Interviewees:

Emily Gorcenski - www.emilygorcenski.com

Jake Hanrahan - www.jakehanrahan.com

Daniel Lombroso - http://www.daniellombroso.com

Dr Eviane Leidig - www.evianeleidig.com


Quoted sources:

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR400/RR453/RAND_RR453.pdf

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/15/alt-right-manosphere-mainstream-politics-breitbart

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_war

https://www.wired.com/story/opinion-tiktok-played-a-key-role-in-maga-radicalization/#intcid=_mab-simulations-oo-bottom-recirc-2_1154df5f-0932-4f7f-9772-f6c82a121105_text2vec1

https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/2020/12/10150275/shadow-ban-instagram-censorship-women-of-colour


A huge thank you to my voice actors, Alex Dytrych, Saddie Clark, Sophie Connor, Tom Naylor-Clements, Polly Davies, and Dr Pip Williams.


you know the %HESITATION joke that if you quit dating is kind of like finding a job you have to do it online or you get referred by friends well the same could be said about radicalization but luckily I like finding a gay hookup radicalization is a long process the company achieved through the internet hello in the process of radicalisation is often conceptualized as a spectrum which is why the animal populace at the less extreme at it gets less populated and narrower the fed but you go along this is commonly illustrated as I have a a pyramid all status with the highest level being terrorists and those who commit acts of violence he's a summation from the Barcelona center for internal offense terrorists and radicalized groups resembling I spoke only a small minority of radicals you strategic violence to attract media attention the majority of extremists and not visible and use non violent methods which more effective in achieving their stated goals below the water level there is a support base which occasionally agrees with the actions of the most committed militants and even largest silent minority with a distaste for targeting noncombatants women are less likely to fully ascend to the top of the pyramid also says all ice buckle whatever you call it but I feel more terrorism is not completely on her of the radicalized women in those upper levels but not at the very top then they propagandize encourage actors tacticians and helped to radicalise of it as we've seen in the last two episodes women's roles within the oil and far right have mainly been as figures of propaganda who had a veneer of respectability which helps to normalize and spread the hateful ideology so here's where things become interesting while most researchers agree that the internet has made the top of the radicalization funnel much wider helping groups recruit people they may not have otherwise had access to most also agree that someone cannot go through the entire radicalization process via the internet alone in passing connections we've recruited as a still needed in order to incite acts of terrorism his part of the results from a study by rand Europe into how the internet is used for radicalization firstly our research supports the suggestion that the internet main Hans opportunities to become radicalized as a result of being available to many people and enabling connection with like minded individuals from across the world twenty four seven secondly our research supports the suggestion the internet may act as an echo chamber the extremist beliefs in other words the internet may provide a greater opportunity the offline interactions to confirm existing beliefs they go on to say the evidence does not support the claim that the internet is replacing the need for individuals to meet in person during that radicalization process instead the evidence suggests that the internet is not a substitute for in person meetings but rather compliments in person communication so if women are less likely to make it to the end of the radicalization process and commit terrorism but they still pose a threat by playing a role in radicalizing those who do how would they themselves reaching that point I love sharing offered journalist and activist based in the UK in this series I'm exploring how women are radicalized into a life of far right violence and hatred this is the family know of radicalization at the start free taking a peek tell now in twenty twenty one we seem to have a pretty good grasp on the fact that young men are being groomed and radicalized into far right politics by internet forums M. Mackey semi private channels known as doc socials many comfort anti feminist roots like we discussed in the previous episodes all the way back in twenty sixteen journalist Abby Wilkinson wrote in her investigation of the menace via reading three the pasting history of individual aliases as possible to chart the progress from fake dissatisfaction and desire for social status and sexual success to full blown attainments to occur he said ideology of white supremacy and misogyny yes fascist treaties websites as recruitment grounds they find angry frustrated young men and free them in that image while women make up some of the most prominent %HESITATION and FireEye influences that journey into extremism is much less clear the most well known female far right influence %HESITATION is by far a twenty six year old Canadian woman code learn seven journalist Daniel numbers I spent four years shadowing the U. Chiba for his documentary white noise he explains how Lauren rose to prominence Lauren meet her for her first viral videos when she was eighteen or nineteen you know one was called why don't need feminism another was her calling to the steps of an anti feminist March and holding a sign sorry feminist March holding a sign saying there is no rape culture in the west and shouting at %HESITATION you know families marchers and even sexual assault survivors which is just an obviously an awful disgusting thing to do but many prominent far right man said well we have this new this firebrand woman and she's young and she's charismatic one we use her and she got elevated she got a job at rebel news which is kind of the the Canadian Breitbart Sir you too focused and all the sudden Lawrence %HESITATION career took off and it's a similar pattern with faith Goldy who is another far right woman who worked at rebel music many of these other women get elevated much more quickly than the men because they have such an import because there are so few of them and having them is so important to the narrative before being launched a far right fame Lauren grew up in a day bus and metropolitan city when she was in middle school her father became frustrated at what he perceived as being an outsider in his community because of his whiteness I move the seven family to one of the whitest cities in Canada often in the radicalization process that's what's referred to as a catalyst event some think which shocks or destabilizes the person enough to make them question that well if you will seek out answers to grievances they have level it just tomorrow or not Fullerton seven this was a teacher allegedly dividing cut class by race and telling the children of color your repressed and the white children your privileged the teacher has since denied that this ever happened you've probably heard of catalyst events under another more colloquial name started by the %HESITATION right which has become ubiquitous across the internet getting red tailed this is your last chance after this there's no turning back you take the blue pill the story ends you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want you take the red pill you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes each female far right influence that has the own red pill moment the white nationalist you Juba lawn the look tough it seems to have been hearing the Muslim call to prayer in Bethlehem as well as what she perceives as anti white sentiment within the media so often and commentator Candace Owens it was getting ducks during gamergate when she ran her own doxing site social autopsy dot com although it is still unknown who talks tough %HESITATION into self blame liberals which and has support from Milo Yiannopoulos a Mike Cernovich in twenty seventeen she said I became a conservative overnight I realize that liberals were actually the racist liberals were actually the tros social autopsy is why I am a conservative the lesbian youtuber area scar sela it was receiving backlash for her transphobic content of course no %HESITATION redpill stories as a crystallized the other right wing influences it was growing up in conservative households watching fox news and listening to Rush Limbaugh take a lower limit for example you may recognize her name as the person who has often self to put its headquarters after she was banned but only locked herself to one door so everyone just reference Laura describes a childhood in a somewhat conservative home spending a lot of time alone watching fox news will have parents cat for her mentally ill brother I just want to say as someone who also has a sibling with mental health issues it's not an excuse for becoming a white supremacist Laura anyway when someone has a red pill moment and start to seek out content online to reinforce a New World view they are met by a divest and deliberate content pipeline Emily goes can ski a day to reset to an activist who created the site fast Mitchell explains further there's there's a very strong bonds and by applying for the state there's Adam a very active network %HESITATION or loosely connected network of people generating this type of content and they're targeting it all over the place and targeting each of two women were targeting it to teen girls attacking it two children are of every gender targeting it to I'm too other folks are targeting it to %HESITATION the sort of middle class you know middle aged a demographic and what we're seeing is that this is not a there's not like a single uniform strategy right this is different for everyone and you know somebody like Brittany Pettibone Lauren southern and some these sort of you know white identitarian as they like to call themselves %HESITATION who are very active in in those movements that's going to be a different sort of messaging in a different sort of content than what we see for example with the at U. S. capitol insurrection where there were quite a number of women who were either arrested or played central roles in the organizing of what went down there and that's two very very different types of radicalization we also see lots of younger teenage and %HESITATION early twenties women engaging in some of the sort of acceleration as to content the the more violent you know Nazi content because it's the most edgy and it gets a lot of attention so there's lots of different types of messaging one of the things that I've been working on is this model of how media radicalized people into white supremacy through various sort of Adam finals are axes of hate and it appeals to different types of news you have anti semitism that appeals to certain types you have misogyny that appeals to certain types one of the things that I think is the most concerning right now is the use of transphobia to radicalize women and as a transgender woman myself this is concerning but what is I think the most concerning %HESITATION the factor in all of this is you have this messaging that is very prominent in almost every reactionary movement even when those movements are otherwise very different so you see this transphobia and for example violent neo Nazi groups you see it and I'm the sort of %HESITATION she went on conspiracy theory you know populist right wing groups you see this and %HESITATION the identitarian groups you see this and white power groups and you also see this in these sort of groups that you would otherwise think are left wing %HESITATION left wing oriented circles are the sort of trans exclusionary radical feminist movement over the turf movement %HESITATION is trafficking in a lot of transphobia and there there's a lot of interconnections between these groups and far right evangelicals I'm in this to me is disturbing the reason I bring this up is because even though these movements might are extensively seem like %HESITATION work radical feminists clearly were left wingers I'm I root for the Green Party how can you say that I'm a white supremacist how can you say that I'm a bigot I am there's a what's happened if you track this is a clear evolution that a lot of these people start out with what is just asking questions you know about trans people and whether or not our kids should be exposed to this or whatever you know it might be and it has devolved over the past few years and we're starting to see very deep in violence Islamophobia and antisemitism within these movements were seen very deep anti migrant sentiment in these movements M. and so I think that it's impossible to say that there's a single way that women are radicalized in these movements but rather that this sort of broad multi spectrum white supremacist movement has master the art of tailoring content to different types I'm to make it to to appeal to them in ways that don't make it obvious that they're sucking them into white supremacy but then once they hit the slippery slope it's it's too late what Emily has highlighted that several so called debates that have been used to manufacture culture awards within mainstream discourse by framing the idea that minorities having equal rights and liberties it's a fresh to the majority to that way of life to freedom of speech and the common sense itself the far right has legitimizes bigotry and created more puff ways to lure people into extremist views the wikipedia entry for culture was surprisingly informative and succinct interesting extract this broad understanding of cultural issues in the mid late twenty tens and twenty twenties is associated with a political strategy called owning the lives conservative media figures employing the strategy prominently Ben Shapiro emphasized and expand upon cultural issues with the goal of upsetting liberal people according to Nicole Hemmer of Columbia University this strategy is a substitute for the case of conservative ideology that existed during the Cold War it holds a conservative voting bloc together in the absence of shed policy preferences among the bloc's members and it goes on to say sociologists Scott Melissa says but culture was created by conservative reactive organizations and movements members of these movements possess a sense of victimization at the hands of a liberal culture run amok in their eyes immigrants gays women the poor and other groups are undeservedly granted special rights and privileges no the rights about the example of the national rifle association which he says intentionally created a coachable in order to unite conservative groups particularly groups of white men against a common perceived threat as we discussed in the last episode gamergate was seen as a test run for how well these culture wars could work as a strategy for the far right including by former trump adviser and Breitbart co founder Steve Bannon Dr every lighting a researcher focusing on the far right agenda and radicalisation explains how content propagating coach awards and other divisive topics is spreading among women online so I look at online recruitment radicalization and propaganda use email all right influencers what I find is that they tend to recruits both women and men in very different ways so for women it's a lot of %HESITATION discussions of narrative surrounding sisterhood and stay at tributes Argus falsehoods that makes women competitive and caddy and that's becoming a woman and the old right to the far right Smith offers them the space fights with other like minded women who aren't %HESITATION competitive against each other and so forth %HESITATION what I found is that they're also trying to recruit different types of women so on the one hand they describe how they're reaching out to a woman in her early thirties who's sort of a quote on coach recovering feminist and sort of looking towards more traditional gender roles arm and on the other hand they also tend to yield to a woman who they might attribute to be like Catholic or traditional %HESITATION who sort of already %HESITATION visions a life for himself according to these theories type of nuclear family units she also explains how the content needs influences produce most aimed at women is effective at radicalizing met and I did it first initially think about how they were clearly meant that I actually found the research that they recruit what they tend to have more male viewers and female viewers which I found interesting %HESITATION so for me it's a lot about %HESITATION how society supposedly %HESITATION emasculated men and that that may need to take on this issue of biological natural corn quotes %HESITATION masculinity and sort of a certain songs in these %HESITATION traditional masculine and feminine gender roles when it comes to spaces like YouTube and Twitter %HESITATION they tend to have more male viewers in the U. S. influencers have admitted it themselves so I went in for instance was saying that she was looking at her viewer analytics the other day and that's like eighty five percent of your viewers are male %HESITATION so I think it's very interesting to see like how you know they're they're sort of attracting a male audience %HESITATION and even created like you two logs %HESITATION deals for the male viewers so for example one of these influencers I was looking at %HESITATION solicited topics on her Twitter page and she's not a banned from Twitter she solicited topics about what she should make for her next one and she had so many requests from men asking how do you why %HESITATION it's a radicalized my my girlfriends my sister my mother %HESITATION my wife exciter so she actually need a blog for her male viewers about how to do that %HESITATION when it comes to Instagram which is the other pop online look at its predominantly I assess a lease that is dominantly female %HESITATION viewers a look at their content that's because like their conscience on Instagram isn't necessarily about things like politics but it's more about she didn't document team there like everyday life and and I should also note that %HESITATION they can also shift over time as well so some of these influencers tend to discuss you know politics quite heavily and then once they become mothers just sort of like the primary duty for women in the far right to become mothers and wives must become mothers love their constant lawsuits have changed to reflect that as well what's most discussions around radicalisation of young people online tend to focus on platforms such as eight coon for chance sub reddit discord twitch and gaming lobbies female influences seem to use more visual platforms like YouTube and Instagram in order to double up the hatred in more feminine aesthetics I would say that %HESITATION you know the type of platform ready choose resent this content is also pretty important as well so you brought up someone like Mrs Midwest you %HESITATION I've read about the book and you know if you look at the content that she's written on like the rental wives right right a woman sub reddit it is very different than the Titan continent she puts on her YouTube channel which is things like how to speak them and me just a minute set her up and she don't miss is Midwest %HESITATION house immediate results that you know she is trying to work recruits a larger following by condition you too or she can you know going to discord or telegram and find his conscience but he should have to actively go speak out for it and so I wanted to show how the recommendation algorithms on mainstream social media really like leads into this type of art content on the second reason why I decided to focus on YouTube and Instagram is because I really wanted to emphasize the visual aspects of art forms %HESITATION and the way that these women really exploits these platforms %HESITATION visually or choose to promote their propaganda really despite their propaganda %HESITATION now it comes to women being on some of these %HESITATION other alternatives like discord and telegram I do sort of see them on these platforms but I I do question to what extent they're actually able to recruit new followers and audiences on these platforms lookouts public facing some for me they do have on some of the mainstream sites the far right has always been ahead of the curve in terms of adopting new technology for spreading that bile Nazis were uploading entire manuscripts and databases of propaganda to dial up bulletin systems the precursors to the modern world wide web as early as nineteen eighty free a white supremacist named George Deitz was uploading Holocaust denial literature to DBS spreading it to countries where where it had previously been banned such as Germany this trend of early adoption has continued throughout the rise of social media from Ellie forums to the current most popular network tick tock put a finger down if you're an anti feminist and a fundamentalist who believes that traditional American values should be brought back into the household because your husband is the sole provider of your home the micro video platform is one of the fastest growing platforms with five hundred million active users per month having only launched in twenty seventeen tick tock has exploded in popularity and has already become a breeding ground for far right content Kevin Hickey wrote for wired several key features distinguish tick tock from almost every other social platform on Twitter Instagram Facebook and what's app uses make active decisions about who to friend who to follow on what groups to join which define and limit content's reach tick tock is different the for you page is a personalized feed videos from users you follow but it also includes videos from accounts that you've never heard of the have characteristics the algorithm thanks so much for you your taste the effect is similar to YouTube's much maligned recommendation algorithm which notoriously leaves uses to more and more extreme content of course I need cheap you can de activate autoplay nor recommendations and use the service just like Netflix to be specific videos he came to watch which tech took the recommendation system is the interface from the minute you enter the platform you're riding through the one home the serendipity of the next video is what makes take took special but unchecked it may also serve to radicalize audiences more effectively than YouTube ever it's also a visual medium which asked up to lead eight points out is a popular and effective tool for women on the far right in the same article Cameron explains why this method is so potent what makes it tick took video more potent than a hyperpartisan meme shared on Facebook or retweeted hash tag mac a slogan it's the intimacy when you make a video on the platform you're staring at a mirror image of yourself you're having a personal conversation just like face timing a friend these visual mediums give far right female influence as even more power to spread that message as studies have shown that conventionally attractive Finn says and white content created as a less likely to have that content struck down for community guidelines violations and I'm more likely to rise up the recommendation Ladda this is because of the way human bias sees have seeped into the algorithms that silently dictate esto show media experiences Salma el watery explains for finery twenty nine the truth is the Instagram like a society is biased against anybody who doesn't look like Emily Ratajkowski or Nick Bateman if you step outside that mold a subtle QoS of defensive is launched by Instagram's technology which involves shot a burning flag two counts and breaching community guidelines so undeniably pretty on the outside at least white women like Mrs Midwest classically Abby and go to find a less likely to have that content stripped down no matter what kind of dog whistles a using the captions the creators of color calling out discrimination or even just trying to post a selfie by the way on Instagram Mrs Midwest classically Abby and go to find have a combined following of one hundred and thirty seven thousand the use of these visual mediums by far right female influences also increases their appeal to men because they as women being seen and not heard after all it's much easier to project your trap Y. fantasies onto an Instagram picture of a slender woman doing laundry or pretty girl in America hat lip sinking someone else's audio so social media is an haunting tactic but the thought and felt right has been using for decades employing women as a respectable smiling faces of the movement hello in a wide audience Daniel Lombroso explains all of these individuals are creating an on ramp to radicalization and making it infinitely exponentially easier for a young person at home to become radicalized %HESITATION it also merely happens that many of the women are the most effective propaganda so of the three people in my film Richard Spencer Lawrence up Mike Cernovich and Lauren southern Lauren is by far the most skilled propagandists she's able to walk the line between dog whistle white nationalism and you know the real stuff she's able to deny it while also pushing it %HESITATION in a weird way the the you know the women who really built viral followings are kind of untouchable in a way that is the Dennis Spencer instance Richard Spencer is so laughably ridiculous he stole performance no one in the movement like Sam but in a way the women almost have a god like status even though Lauren as my as my article shows very clearly is filled with hypocrisy she's filled with confusion she almost expresses regret in and takes it back and now she's worse than ever she's now pushing coal but she's now pushing anti masking %HESITATION she's pushing narratives about black on black crime and and you know all sorts of old school racism %HESITATION you know even still like she has a keen eyed idealist position in that movement you can raise Lauren carries hundreds of thousands of dollars for any project she wants to do %HESITATION I watched her make two films over the course of my film one was a %HESITATION wasn't a movie in Russia that was basically like a pro Putin stupid silly thing and Lauren chucked out the window because you know she's an entitled girl who didn't didn't matter to her that she was throwing away all this crowd funding %HESITATION and the second one was a racist propaganda from about the migrant crisis called borderless and that's in the film both during the film but you see borderless eventually screens of the European Parliament which is really really troubling and Lauren is basically treated like a head of state and she goes there people love who they want pictures with her they wanna be tagged in her social media %HESITATION she has immense Cole and even after my phone came out in the end the article came out which is so damning she was still able to raise money for her third film once I think eight of these inferences unacceptable platforms like Instagram and YouTube women can then make their ways into what are known as doc socials these are channels that aren't publicly visible such as telegram channels what subgroups or secure service his family again one path is through the sort of %HESITATION radicalization %HESITATION ladder so to speak %HESITATION where they will start off in fairly %HESITATION accessible I want to save the nine but less extreme online spaces that try to be a little bit edgy and then from there it's really easy to follow the trails to be eight eight chance R. A. Kerns %HESITATION too in a sites like Stormfront to more radical right wing content where they can really hone their their skills we do see that women in online spaces do know how to wield influence over men M. we see this in %HESITATION in gaming spaces we see this in forums going back to the early days of the internet that's not to say that they are respected and it's not to say that they are we see it but there are some women who have learned how to %HESITATION how to navigate the social dynamics of the spaces in the next empanada episode of the feminine out of radicalization will explore what it's like for women once they've reached the inner circles of far right extremist groups this was a long one so thank you so much for listening and putting up with my voice if you want even more of my content you can find and cancel me on twitter at @loshearing. See you next time.



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