Mobilizing Minutewomen: Gender, Cyberpower, and the New Nativist Movement

Critical Aspects of Gender in Conflict Resolution, Peacebuilding, and Social Movements

ISBN: 978-0-85724-913-5, eISBN: 978-0-85724-914-2

ISSN: 0163-786X

Publication date: 7 November 2011


Kathleen Blee's (1996, 1998, 2002) pioneering work on the white supremacist movement has demonstrated that the contemporary hate movement depends increasingly on women's participation. Oddly, given the import of this claim, few social movement scholars have explored its applicability to the militant factions of the new nativist movement. This chapter begins to address that gap through analysis of online discussion groups moderated by the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC), one of the two major anti-immigration organizations that mobilize monthly civilian border patrol operations on the U.S.-Mexico border. Contrary to stereotypes that depict Minuteman activism as an exclusively male domain, this analysis demonstrates that Minutewomen have carved out a significant niche within the new nativist movement through online activism. This activism includes but is not limited to coordinating campaigns to boycott businesses rumored to employ or profit from the patronage of undocumented immigrants, oppose multicultural programs in local schools, and defend or depose elected officials according to their stance on immigration policy. These findings raise the ominous possibility that the relative anonymity afforded by technologies such as the Internet has extended the quasi-private sphere in ways that have opened new and highly gendered spaces for right-wing activism.


Johnson, J.L. (2011), "Mobilizing Minutewomen: Gender, Cyberpower, and the New Nativist Movement", Christine Snyder, A. and Phetsamay Stobbe, S. (Ed.) Critical Aspects of Gender in Conflict Resolution, Peacebuilding, and Social Movements (Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, Vol. 32), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 137-161.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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