Katniss Everdeen, Wonder Woman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Katniss Everdeen again: The trope of the “strong independent woman who don’t need no man” permeates young adult entertainment. The damage that this causes to girls and young women in the mainstream needs no explanation here, but I have come to realize that it also hurts young women on the far-right- even myself. After the events in Charlottesville, I found myself thinking more than once “I really wish I could be there to crack some Antifa skulls!I” or something to that effect. While it’s perfectly natural to hate our enemies, a lot of this mindset is the remains of the Butch Heroine trope that we all grew up on.
The Butch Heroine is generally a pretty lady who defies her family, the men in her life, and any other authority to save the day while being an absolute bad ass who knows better than everyone else. Upon her return from her great adventure, she is the hero who gets the guy who loves her simply because she is just that bad ass. Obviously, this exists to further the feminist narrative and aides our enemies by creating a generation of rebellious women who don’t understand their own limitations. Within our movement, it leads to women that men don’t want who get themselves hurt trying to be heroes or ‘just one of the guys’ at rallies or other events.
The first problem that comes with glorifying the Butch Heroine is rebelliousness. The far-right is a movement of hierarchy and following orders. While in the movie the heroine is always right and always the winner, that is hardly ever the case in the real world. Disobeying those who clearly know better than you and who you acknowledge as your superiors will always end in disaster. “Resist the patriarchy!” is a feminist fight that we know better than to engage in.
The second and more widespread problem is the idea that the heroine gets the man by being masculine or a fighter. This is where I believe that even we fall for the Butch Heroine trap. There are very few men, and even fewer of them good men, who want this sort of woman. Just by speaking with men of the right, it is clear that they would prefer a good housewife and a good mother to a girl who can throw a good punch. It is the womans job to nurture and it is the mans job to defend. Deviation from this norm in anything but the most extreme of situations is dangerous and shouldn’t be encouraged for the safety of the women involved if nothing else.
While both of these things seem obvious once they are laid out, constant access to mass media can drive pieces of this ideal into our heads where we would never expect them to be. The example that brought this idea to me, of course, was the desire to crack skulls in Charlottesville as opposed to showing the world the feminine face of our movement. Take a moment to ask yourself where this false ideal exists in you, and take another to try to drive it away. The feminine heroes of the right will wear a different face, the face of a good, noble, honorable, and, above all, feminine woman.