Sunday, July 19, 2009

Those Wild Minutewomen

-- by Sara

I'm finding it curious that, unique among nativist movements, the Minutemen seem to let women take leadership roles.

The all-too-aptly-named Laine Lawless. Shawna Forde. And now Brandi Baron. With the rarest of exceptions, that's about three more women in public positions that we've ever seen in the whole history of racist movements (their racism is usually exceeded only by their sexism). There's a good argument to be made that authoritarianism is, at its core, a fetishization of all things "masculine," which means it generally can't exist without the reflexive subjugation of all things feminine.

I frankly have only the barest of guesses as to why this group should be so much different in its gender balance than the other far-right movements. Since Dave's off on his annual Kayaks With Orcas camping trip -- and I'm set to join him out there in Haro Strait tomorrow -- I thought I'd throw this question to our brilliant readers, and glean your theories as to why the Minutemen should be the exception to this rule.

From right to left: Sara, Dave, orca. Taken by Evan Robinson, Haro Strait, 2007

Update: The Seattle Weekly has a new article today on Shawna Forde's rather checkered history. It's not pretty: foster care, shoplifting, prostitution arrests, repeated marriages and name changes...a very strained and difficult life. It would not surprise any of us, I think, to find out that Brandi Baron and Laine Lawless had similarly troubled biographies -- as do almost all of the men who commit acts of far-right extremist violence.

When feminism promised to give us all the same opportunities men had, I'm pretty sure this is not what the movement's foremothers had in mind.

I guess this means we've finally arrived. It doesn't feel much like victory, though.