“Anders Behring Breivik has now joined the pantheon of homegrown domestic terrorists who have unleashed horror on their own countrymen. Sixteen years ago, Timothy McVeigh and other members of the Aryan Republican Army blew up the Murrah Office Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 of their own countrymen and women. It was the worst act of domestic terrorism in our history, and, indeed, until 9-11, the worst terrorist attack of any kind in our history. We know what Norwegians are going through; as Bill Clinton said, we “feel your pain.”

As pundits and policymakers search for clues that will help us understand that which cannot be understood, it may be useful to compare a few common elements between McVeigh and Breivik.

Both men saw themselves as motivated by what they viewed as the disastrous consequences of globalization and immigration on their own countries. Breivik’s massive tome, 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, paints a bleak picture of intolerant Islamic immigrants engaged in a well-planned takeover of European countries in the fulfillment of their divine mission. His well-planned and coldly executed massacre of 94 of his countrymen was, as he saw it, a blow against the policies promoting social inclusion and a recognition of a diverse multicultural society promoted by the labor-leaning government.

McVeigh also inveighed against both multinational corporate greed and a society that had become too mired in multiculturalism to provide for its entitled native-born “true” Americans. In a letter to the editor of his hometown newspaper, McVeigh, then a returning veteran of the first Gulf War, complained that the birthright of the American middle class had been stolen, handed over by an indifferent government to a bunch of ungrateful immigrants and welfare cheats. “The American dream,” he wrote “has all but disappeared, substituted with people struggling just to buy next week’s groceries.”

McVeigh and Breivik both sought to inspire their fellow Aryan countrymen to action. After blowing up the federal building – home of the oppressive and unrepresentative government that had capitulated to the rapacious corporations and banks — McVeigh hoped that others would soon follow suit and return the government to the people. Breivik cared less about government and more about the ruination of the pure Norwegian culture, deliberately diluted in a brackish multiculti sea.

For the past five years, I’ve been researching and writing about the extreme right in both the United States and Scandinavia. I’ve interviewed 45 contemporary American neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, Aryan youth, Patriots, Minutemen, and members of rural militias. I also read documentary materials in the major archival collections at various libraries on the extreme right. I then interviewed 25 ex-neo-Nazis in Sweden. All were participants in a government-funded program called EXIT, which provides support and training for people seeking to leave the movement. (This included twice interviewing “the most hated man in Sweden,” Jackie Arklof, who murdered two police officers during a botched bank robbery. Arklof is currently serving a life sentence at Kumla High Security prison in Orebro. To my knowledge, I’m the only researcher to date to have interviewed him as well as members of EXIT.)

I’ve learned a lot about how the extreme right understands what is happening to their countries, and why they feel called to try and stop it. And one of the key things I’ve found is that the way they believe that global economic changes and immigration patterns have affected them can be understood by looking at gender, especially masculinity. (Don’t misunderstand: it’s not that understanding masculinity and gender replaces the political economy of globalization, the financial crisis, or the perceived corruption of a previously pristine national culture. Not at all. But I do believe that you can’t understand the extreme right without also understanding gender.)

First, they 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. As one of their magazines puts it:

As Northern males have continued to become more wimpish, the result of the media-created image of the ‘new male’ – more pacifist, less authoritarian, more ‘sensitive’, less competitive, more androgynous, less possessive – the controlled media, the homosexual lobby and the feminist movement have cheered… the number of effeminate males has increased greatly…legions of sissies and weaklings, of flabby, limp-wristed, non-aggressive, non-physical, indecisive, slack-jawed, fearful males who, while still heterosexual in theory and practice, have not even a vestige of the old macho spirit, so deprecated today, left in them.

Second, they use gender to problematize the “other” against whom they are fighting. Consistently, the masculinity of native-born white Protestants is set off against the problematized masculinity of various “others” – blacks, Jews, gay men, other non-white immigrants – who are variously depicted as either “too” masculine (rapacious beasts, avariciously cunning, voracious) or not masculine “enough” (feminine, dependent, effeminate). Racism, anti-Semitism, nativism, and homophobia all are expressed through denunciations of the others’ masculinity.

Third, they use it as a recruiting device, promising the restoration of manhood through joining their groups. Real men who join up will simultaneously protect white women from these marauding rapacious beasts, earn those women’s admiration and love, and reclaim their manhood.

American White Supremacists thus offer American men the restoration of their masculinity – a manhood in which individual white men control the fruits of their own labor and are not subject to the emasculation of Jewish-owned finance capital, a black- and feminist-controlled welfare state.

At present, I am working my way through 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, the 1,518 page manifesto written in London by Anders Behring Breivik (under the Anglicized name Andrew Berwick) in the months leading up to his attack. These same themes are immediately evident. (Quotes are from the document.)

(1) Breivik associates feminism with liberal, multicultural societies. He claims that feminism has been responsible for a gender inversion in which, whether in the media or the military, we see the “inferiority of the male and the superiority of the female.” As a result of this widespread inversion, the “man of today” is “expected to be a touchy-feely subspecies who bows to the radical feminist agenda.”

(2) Breivik spends the bulk of the document playing off two gendered stereotypes of Muslim immigrants in Europe. On the one hand, they are hyper-rational, methodically taking over European societies; on the other hand, they are rapacious religious fanatics, who, with wide-eyed fervor, are utterly out of control. In one moment in the video, he shows a little boy (blond hair indicating his Nordic origins), poised between a thin, bearded hippie, who is dancing with flowers all around him, and a bearded, Muslim terrorist fanatic – two utterly problematized images of masculinity. 3:58 in the video:

(3) In his final “call to arms” and the accompanying video, he offers photos of big-breasted women, in very tight T-shirts, holding assault weapons with the word “infidel” on it and some Arabic writing, a declaration that his Crusader army members are the infidels to the Muslim invaders. 9:02 in the video:

This initial, if sketchy, report from Oslo, and Breivik’s own documents, indicate that in this case, also, it will be impossible to fully understand this horrific act without understanding how gender operates as a rhetorical and political device for domestic terrorists.

These members of the far right consider themselves Christian Crusaders for Aryan Manhood, vowing its rescue from a feminizing welfare state. Theirs is the militarized manhood of the heroic John Rambo – a manhood that celebrates their God-sanctioned right to band together in armed militias if anyone, or any governmental agency, tries to take it away from them. If the state and capital emasculate them, and if the masculinity of the “others” is problematic, then only “real” white men can rescue the American Eden or the bucolic Norwegian countryside from a feminized, multicultural, androgynous immigrant-inspired melting pot.”

“Karen Austin: Hatet görs av män”:

Juni 2014, Reykjavik. En av världens ledande maskulinitetsforskare, professorn i sociologi Michael Kimmel föreläser. Han menar att vi i Sverige behöver få en större insikt i hur skapandet av maskulinitet sker inom extremhögern.

Kimmel har forskat om män inom de nazistiska och rasistiska rörelserna i USA och Sverige. I Sverige intervjuade han 2013 unga män i Fryshusets program »Exit«, som arbetar med avhoppare från högerextrema grupper. Kimmel säger att vi i Sverige fortfarande inte ser på de högerextrema rörelserna med en förförståelse kring hur maskulinitet konstrueras. Kimmel konstaterar att dessa använder maskulinitet som en lins genom vilka de pratar »ras« och klass.

Januari 2016, Stockholm. Övergrepp och överfall av män med högerextrema åsikter sker regelbundet. Sedan juli 2015 har polisen startat 43 förundersökningar rörande bränder anlagda vid flyktingförläggningar. I Trollhättan mördade en rasist tre på en skola. Fredagen den 29 januari, drar ett så kallat medborgargarde, en maskerad lynchmobb, ut i Stockholms city för att spöa hemlösa ensamkommande barn från Marocko.

Jag läser ett upprop för »alla svenska män« på Facebook, i gruppen »Vi som sympatiserar med Sverigedemokraterna«. Det står »Detta som hände fredagen den 29de januari är ingen jakt på invandrare utan det är en skyddsaktivitet så våra svenska kvinnor ska kunna känna sig lugnare. Nu är det dags att skydda våra svenska kvinnor«.

Det är då jag letar fram mina anteckningar från konferensen på Island i juni 2014 och hittar beskrivningar av just detta, av vad som faktiskt händer när högerextrema män samlas. Och det följer den logik som återfinns i resonemangen i »Vi som sympatiserar med Sverigedemokraterna«.

Det Kimmel beskriver om att göra kön stämmer på pricken med hur denna grupp på Facebook gör sin maskulinitet. Genom att agera för det som de tror är att skydda »sitt« land och »sina« kvinnor upprätt-håller de bilden av sig själva som manliga. Männen blir kränkta i sin roll som män när ensamkommande flyktingbarn »tar för sig av våra kvinnor och mark«, och letar därmed efter vedergällning. I ett identitets-skapandets kontext blir resonemanget logiskt.

Hotet upplevs som verkligt, därför att svaret på det ger möjlighet att förstärka en del av sin egen uppfattning om sig själv. Som stark, stolt, lojal. Och oduperad. Dessa män »ser igenom« fakta och motargument som en diskurs som är alltigenom lögnaktig i deras ögon. Idén om denna fördärvande, postmoderna och relativiserande mångfalds-vänster med oinskränkt makt, åtminstone över medier och samhällsdebatt, är ingen tanke som fötts i en psykiskt labil terrorists källare utan har präglat Europas värdekonservativa höger, som stadigt blivit mer paranoid, under lång tid, skriver Magnus Linton i boken De hatade (2012).

Det Anders Behring Breivik med flera kallar »kulturmarxism« kallas i den mer etablerade högern »politisk korrekthet«, men grundtanken är densamma; vissa sanningar får inte sägas. Och det sprängstoff som aldrig kommer till ytan handlar alltid – för både extremister och högeretablissemang – om feminism och mångfald, den »politiska korrekthetens« två kärnor.

När dessa män vill »skydda« svenska kvinnor, men flera kvinnor deklarerar att de inte vill bli »skyddade« av några extremister  så blir männen kränkta. Och hotar dessa kvinnor: för att värna sin identitet som man.

Starka röster i samhället förnekar strukturer och ser varje rasistdåd eller sexistiskt påhopp som en enskild händelse. Så länge vi inte ser hur hatet formuleras och organiseras kommer vi aldrig kunna stoppa det. Den svenska självbilden säger att svenska samhället är tolerant och rättvist. Det är fel.  Det finns ett organiserat hat som görs främst av män där vissa grupper utsätts mer än andra. Det är en inte slump vem det är som är förövare och vem som utsätts. Och med den vetskapen kan man jobba preventivt.

Organisationer som ser mönstret använder sig av statistik om strukturer och dokumenterade metoder för att jobba för ett samhälle utan våld.”

Det är ett bokstavligen ett livsviktigt arbete.”

“Norway Terrorist is also Misogynist. What’s the Connection?”:

“Breivik’s misogyny doesn’t surprise Michael Kimmel, a feminist who studies men, and who says that racist and sexist right-wing movements are largely about manhood.

Men who are drawn to them feel emasculated by “Nanny States” that demand equal rights for everyone and whose taxes prevent people from making a free and independent living, as they see it.

These same men also feel that feminism makes men “wimpy, more pacifist, less authoritarian, more ‘sensitive’, less competitive, more androgynous, (and) less possessive.” The merging of masculine and feminine is a problem because how can men be superior if women and men are similar, or equal?

They add racism to further inflate their self-worth. As Kimmel describes it:

‘White Protestants are set against various “others” who aren’t men the way they are – blacks, Jews, gay men, other non-white immigrants – who are variously depicted as either “too” masculine (rapacious beasts, avariciously cunning, voracious) or not masculine “enough” (feminine, dependent, effeminate).’

Bringing sexism and racism together, “real men” can feel “better-than” everyone else.
And by “protecting” white women from (so-called) non-white beasts, they may earn
women’s love and admiration, and further reclaim their manhood.

Breivik and men like him are desperate to feel like they are better than everyone else.

Even when they so clearly are not.”

“The Sifted Bookshelf: Angry White Men. – They may not feel powerful, but they do feel entitled to feel powerful”:

“The upshot is that although we are surrounded by angry white men — on talk radio, on the internet, on the highways, in the workplace, in the NRA and the Tea Party, in the “men’s rights” movement, and in countless acts of domestic violence or public mayhem from Columbine to Sandy Hook — we aren’t having a national discussion about the anger problem of whites or men or white men. That’s because we don’t see them as “white men”; we see them as individuals whose stories reflect unique psychological, political, or social issues. (By contrast, consider how little Michelle Obama has to do to evoke the angry-black-woman stereotype.)

Enter Michael Kimmel and his book Angry White Men.

Chapter by chapter, Kimmel calls attention to angry white men wherever they are found: the loudest voices on the radio, the school shooters, the anti-feminist men’s-rights movement and its Dad’s-rights subculture, the wife beaters, the workers who go postal, and the white supremacists. He asks and answers the question you seldom hear: What makes white men so angry?

‘What links all these different groups … is a single core experience: what I call aggrieved entitlement.’

Aggrieved entitlement is the belief that you have been cheated out of status and power that should have been part of your birthright. (It’s a close relative of what I have called privileged distress: the feeling that advantages you never consciously acknowledged are slipping away from you.) White men are angry, Kimmel claims, because

‘They may not feel powerful, but they do feel entitled to feel powerful.’

High standards and failure. White men also feel judged (and judge themselves) according to the standards of fathers and grandfathers who received the full white-male birthright, who didn’t have to compete with other races on an almost-level playing field, and who could count on subservient wives, mothers, daughters, and Girls Friday at the office to rally behind their leadership rather than outshine them or make demands.

You want a recipe for anger? Here it is: I’m a failure and it’s not my fault.

The seldom-examined setting for white male anger is failure, or at least failure according to the standards of another era. Dad and/or Grandpa supported a family on one job, and when he got home he commanded respect from his family.

His marriage lasted, and his kids were not being raised by a resentful ex-wife on the other side of the country. When Dad or Grandpa was young, he was comfortable in his masculinity. He hunted deer and lettered in football. Girls waited by the phone for him to call, and when he paid for dinner they knew they owed him something.

It’s not that way any more, and it’s not my fault. Don’t look at me like that.

The visible spokesmen for angry white men may be millionaires like Rush Limbaugh or Donald Trump. But such success is what their listeners wish they had, not what they do have or will ever have. Kimmel observes:

‘It’s largely the downwardly mobile middle and lower middle classes who form the backbone of the Tea Party, of the listeners of outrage radio, of the neo-Nazis and white supremacists— in many cases literally the sons of those very farmers and workers who’ve lost the family farms or shuttered for good the businesses that had been family owned and operated for generations.’

Violence. This sense of being cheated out of what was promised — and being judged as if it had been delivered — interacts badly with another part of the traditional male identity: Men have the privilege/right/duty to make things right by violence.

That is the plot of just about every action movie with a male hero: A man who would rather be left alone to live his life and take care of his family is confronted with an injustice that can only end if he becomes violent and defeats it. If he successfully wields violence he is a hero. If he remains peaceful he is a wimp.”

Och så får han höra att han borde träna “assertiveness training” och det var precis vad han behövde få höra!? 😦

“And so, while many women also feel cheated and judged unfairly, they tend not to snap in a violent way.

Kimmel observes that all the recent rampage school shooters (other than the Korean Virginia Tech shooter, whose race evoked a discussion, and another Korean shooter since Kimmel finished writing) have been white males, mostly from rural and suburban areas. Kimmel imagines what would happen if they’d all been, say, inner-city black girls

‘Can you picture the national debate, the headlines, the hand-wringing? There is no doubt we’d be having a national debate about inner-city poor black girls. The entire focus would be on race, class, and gender. The media would doubtless invent a new term for their behavior, as with wilding two decades ago.’

Likewise,

‘In my research, I could find no cases of working women coming into their workplaces, packing assault weapons, and opening fire, seemingly indiscriminately.’

The explanation is simple: When a man feels disrespected — on the job, in his school, in his family — the disrespect threatens not just his personal identity, but his identity as a man. (The archetypal Man is entitled to respect; if you are not being respected, you are failing as a man.) The obvious response is to re-assert manhood through violence, simultaneously righting the scales both socially and psychologically.”

Ja precis, han behöver träna självhävdelseträning! Hur många kvinnor har fått höra det?

“The Real and the True. One point I made in “The Distress of the Privileged” was that the “distress” part of privileged distress is very real: If you have convinced yourself that you don’t have any unfair advantages, and then those advantages start to go away, it feels like persecution. You’re not making it up; there are real events you can point to.

Kimmel covers this ground by distinguishing between what is “real” and what is “true”.

‘White men’s anger is “real”— that is, it is experienced deeply and sincerely. But it is not “true”— that is, it doesn’t provide an accurate analysis of their situation.

And what is most likely to be untrue is the object of the anger. When your well-paid factory job is shipped overseas and you can’t find another one, the villain isn’t the teen-age Chinese girl who does your old job for fifty cents an hour.

If you can’t support a family on your income, the villain isn’t your working wife or her reasonable demand that you share the housewife duties she doesn’t have time for any more.

If the value of your house crashes, the villain isn’t the black family that got talked into a sub-prime mortgage it couldn’t afford. If you judge yourself by the standards of another era, the villains are not the people whose fair competition keeps you from meeting those standards.

The collapsing pyramid. Patriarchy and racism are both systems of dominance that are coming apart. The white men who feel the change first are the ones just one step up from the bottom: Their step collapses, throwing them in with the “lesser” blacks and women, and the pyramid resettles on top of them.

The white men higher up the pyramid want the victims of this collapse to identify with them and with the pyramid that gives them their status: What’s wrong isn’t that the pyramid itself is unfair — as you now can clearly see, being at the bottom of it. What’s wrong, they want you to believe, is that the pyramid is collapsing. You should defend the pyramid, blame the other bottom-dwellers for your loss of status, and maybe one day your one-step-up can be restored.

They know that’s not going to happen; they’re just counting on you not figuring it out. The Masters of the Universe are not going to bring your job back from China. Wal-Mart is not going to make room for your family shop to re-open. Bank of America is not going to forgive your underwater mortgage. Agri-business is not going to rescue your family farm.

The rich white men are not going to rebuild the lower step of the pyramid, no matter how much power they get. And nobody is making room for you on the upper levels.

If you have to blame someone, blame the people who promised you something they couldn’t (or decided not to) deliver. They sold you a bill of goods. Don’t buy another bill of goods from them.

But the best solution of all would be to get past the anger, forget about how things were supposed to be, and just start dealing with the situation as it is. Like a lot of people you never expected to have anything in common with, you find yourself at the bottom of the pyramid. It’s an unfair pyramid.

Let’s bring it down.”