Compliance and the Second Sex

Analyzing Women’s Participation in the Far Right through de Beauvoir


  • Alexandra Ballos University of Alberta



As women’s participation becomes increasingly visible within far-right movements, the question of agency is often brought up; are women in the far-right agents? Although this question has been explored before, only a limited sect of this literature has analyzed this phenomenon through a feminist theoretical lens. This is notable considering much of women’s participation stems from an initial rejection of feminist values, often citing feminism as being the root cause of their lack of quality of life.

 Throughout this paper, I will argue that women’s agency in far-right movements can be better explained through the application of Simone de Beauvoir’s theoretical framework. I will situate this argument within a literature review that analyzes the previous understandings of women’s agency within the far-right. Following this, I will additionally present literature on hegemonic masculinity and its relationship to far-right women’s complicity. Furthermore, the strength of using de Beauvoir’s theoretical framework to analyze women of the far right will be asserted through an analysis of the case study of Ayla Stewart, an infamous far-right online influence. This paper ultimately aims to answer the following: How can de Beauvoir’s theoretical framework help better understand the agency of women within far-right political and social movements?