Right-wing antifeminist influencers are starting to get a little uncomfortable with all the woman hating

Exactly how misogynistic should conservatives be?

three women on a pink background

Citation Andrea Austria / Media Matters

Influencers tied to institutional right-wing media have are clashing with “tradwife” influencers in a battle for clicks over extreme misogyny and regressive gender politics.

In recent months, Turning Point USA’s Alex Clark, BlazeTV podcaster Allie Beth Stuckey, influencer Mikhaila Peterson, and other right wing media figures have taken aim at two insurgent communities that — like Clark et al. — speak to or about young women. They have claimed that creators in the so-called tradwife and manosphere communities are “narcissists,” grifters, and perhaps worst of all, “not Christian."

On social media tradwife influencers create content that embraces the vintage aesthetics of stay-at-home wives and mothers and glorify submissiveness and domesticity. They support ideas that are similar to those promoted by Clark, Stuckey, and others: espousing an antifeminist, often Christian, conservatism that rejects divorce, reproductive freedoms, and LGBTQ rights

However, influencers such as Clark and Stuckey, backed by institutional right-wing media outlets, have recently been keen to make a distinction between their brand of regression and that of tradwives. The reaction comes largely in response to a third online movement has come to be associated with the tradwife community: the viciously misogynistic manosphere movement, which is often linked to alleged human trafficker Andrew Tate. Creators in the manosphere (or “red pill”) community, specifically the anti-woman crusader H. Pearl Davis, tell their audiences that women should submit to men, that they should lose the right to vote, and that rape victims “bear some responsibility” for their attacks. 

These ideas have attracted criticism from Clark, Stuckey, and numerous others for being too regressive and misogynistic — even for them. 

Right-wing influencers go after tradwife and red pill communities: “It’s a grift”

Right-wing media, including influencers like Stuckey and Clark, frequently promote traditional gender roles, emphasizing above all that women should get married and have children. However, some of these conservative cultural commentators have eschewed the fetishization of the 1950s and blatant misogyny that are present in tradwife and red pill content. 

Supporters of the movement portray it as a solution to the stresses of contemporary life, which they typically blame on feminism. Tradwife influencers promote the lifestyle as an attractive alternative for women who are burned out from the demands of capitalism, conveniently skirting over the risks associated with financial dependence. 

Much of the tradwife content online appears innocuous — women on TikTok romanticizing their lives as stay-at-home mothers. However, tradwife influencers will often use hashtags that are adjacent to alt-right and white supremacist movements and promote a far-right understanding of gender and culture. Some post plainly right-wing content. 

Right-wing outlet The Federalist recently published a piece distancing itself from the tradwife movement and criticizing the connections between tradwives and so-called red pill ideology, writing: “There are, of course, genuine, organic tradwives who are unaware the label exists, but there are also many red-pilled, online, self-proclaimed tradwives who sneer at feminism only to cosplay in 1950s housedresses while still single and childless.” 

Figures like Stuckey, Clark, and Peterson have also come out against the tradwife movement, while carefully holding the ideological line of traditional gender roles that they have built careers upon.

Stuckey is a Christian fundamentalist podcaster for Blaze Media whose anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ opinions dominate her show. Peterson is best known as the daughter of “right-wing pseudo-intellectual” Jordan Peterson, but she’s also popular in her own right as a right-wing influencer with ties to Andrew Tate. And Clark is a podcaster for Turning Point USA who often shames feminists and harps on the idea that women need to be married. She argued at a recent TPUSA event for women that “the feminist movement is in large part to blame for the fracturing of the traditional home, where women were coerced outside of their natural roles as mothers into the workforce.”

Alex Clark and Allie Beth Stuckey sitting across from each other

Citation Alex Clark (left) and Allie Beth Stuckey (right) from a June 14, 2023, YouTube video uploaded to Clark's channel POPlitics

Image of Mikhaila Peterson in front of a black background

Citation Mikhaila Peterson from an August 18, 2022, YouTube video uploaded to her channel

Recently, these influencers have begun to publicly push back against certain aspects of the tradwife movement, arguing that some tradwife and manosphere content creators like H. Pearl Davis go too far in demeaning and insulting women. 

H. Pearl Davis

Citation H. Pearl Davis from a July 19, 2023, video uploaded to her YouTube channel

A YouTuber who primarily posts anti-feminist content, Davis has defended white nationalist Nick Fuentes and hosted violent misogynist Andrew Tate. She regularly insults and demeans women on her YouTube channel and Twitter feed. Davis has varyingly claimed that “women cry abuse for everything and we’ve actually lost the meaning of abuse” and argued against women’s right to vote.

In the same vein of tradwives who promote the idea that divorce is a result of feminism and “don’t believe in back ups to marriage,” Davis has argued that “if you believe in divorce” then you should not get married and has attacked women for being what she describes as “shitty wives,” which she defines as not submitting to, exercising for, or sleeping with their husbands. Davis tweeted in June, “You’re not being a good wife if your husband can’t make a decision without telling you.” She argues this point often:

H. Pearl Davis: No. Marriage is not a equal partnership. That’s feminist language. Stop using it.

On the May 22 episode of her Blaze podcast Relatable, Stuckey did an extended segment on the trad movement and her disagreements with the influencers in it, saying that it’s a “grift” and that she is “concerned by the different flavors of women hatred I see in online discourse today.” 

Stuckey also called out the broader conservative movement for loving to “play the ‘women are dumb and have caused most of the societal problems that we have today’ trope” and criticized the tradwife movement for “creating this almost 19th century aesthetic in your home and way of life.” 

To promote the episode of the podcast, Stuckey took to Twitter and called tradwives “narcissists” and the movement “not Christian” and “not really conservative, either.”

Video file

Citation From the May 22, 2023, edition of Relatable

Stuckey also made an appearance on the June 14 episode of Clark’s Turning Point USA podcast Raw Conversations, where the two disavowed the trad movement and specifically called out manosphere influencer Davis. 

Stuckey disagreed with the idea that husbands should “never consult his wife, should never be seen as some kind of partnership” and claimed it’s a misrepresentation of the biblical notion that wives should submit to their husbands. 

Clark referenced a tweet by Davis and explained that Davis “very much speaks to the red-pill male crowd, like kind of airs out their grievances for them.” Stuckey responded sarcastically, “Oh that’s sweet.”

Clark also addressed her disagreements with the tradwife movement in a May episode of The Spillover titled “Conservative Christians Need To Stop Idolizing The 1950s.” Referencing her guest’s book Eve in Exile, Clark referred to conservatives idolizing the tradwife movement as “problematic” and author Bekah Merkle agreed, saying, “I don’t think that the ‘50s were giving us, you know, the perfect model for what women should be like.” 

Later in the episode Clark called out the wings of the conservative movement that claim women should not work and confronted the conservative idea that “it was women going to work that has created all of our cultural problems.”

Video file

Citation From the May 12, 2023, edition of Turning Point USA's The Spillover with Alex Clark

Clark’s guest, Merkle, reiterated that “a wife should submit to her husband” but clarified that she didn’t mean “he’s a little dictator” or that women must submit to all men. Merkle also stated, “It’s quite clear in scripture that men and women are equal.”

Other conservative female influencers have been hitting back specifically at Davis over her anti-women Twitter comments. 

Peterson criticized her father for amplifying a tweet from Davis, calling her a “resentful woman who hates other women.” She also responded directly to other tweets from Davis, attacking her in June by saying, “You tear us down and insult us even though you’re one of us,” and claiming that Davis’ content attracts a “toxic audience.”

image of Mikhaila Peterson tweet

Right-wing Blaze host and anti-LGBTQ bigot Sara Gonzales similarly took a shot at Davis on Twitter, telling her followers to “never take ‘tradwife’ advice from someone who has no man and no kids.” Gonzales also replied to a follower who called the trad movement “cringe” and a “woman bashing movement,” saying, “Yep.100000%.”

Blaze host and Turning Point USA contributor Lauren Chen also publicly pushed back against Davis on Twitter, calling her out for attacking women who “are living a lifestyle much more conservative and traditional than you.”

Chen argued that Davis could be promoting the right messages about “motherhood and married life” but is instead “dragging moms and wives who have done the right thing.” In a July 6 video on her channel, Chen reiterated that the red pill community and Christian conservatives agree on many things, but she also criticized Davis’ tweets about husbands consulting their wives, called out Davis’ double standards around custody battles, and questioned whether Davis’ conflicts with Christian conservatives are proof that the red pill community “doesn’t value being a wife, being a mother, as much as Christian conservatives.”

Chen also surmised that the biggest difference between Christian conservatives and the red pill community is their attitudes toward parenthood and marriage, claiming the latter is promoting a lifestyle of hookup culture and dating in place of “the Christian conservative approach.” Chen then chastised Davis for encouraging women to define attractiveness as “what a man is most likely to want to bang” rather than how attractive it is to be a mother and wife.

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Citation From a July 6, 2023, video by Lauren Chen uploaded to YouTube

Alt-Right Youtuber and white-nationalist Lauren Southern also responded negatively to Davis’ tweets in June, claiming the red pill community is an “outlet for bitterness over lost connection or lack thereof.” Southern has also attacked Pearl for inflating negative statistics about women and claimed, “We don't have a man or a woman problem, we have a spiritual problem.”

Despite their recent pushback against Davis and the trad movement, Stuckey and others have also pushed misogynistic rhetoric in their content. 

Stuckey has said that she believes “wives should submit to their husbands as to the Lord,” even though “that word submission” can be “really scary.” “Wives are supposed to submit to our husbands,” she said. “That is not something that we get around.” 

Chen argued in a February video that it is important to listen to “what a man might want in a woman,” adding that being independent and career-focused are “things that essentially make a woman into a man.” She claimed that many marriages fail because both partners try to function independently in an attempt to be “truly equal.” 

For a profile in The Atlantic, Southern claimed that “women biologically hate the stress of work.” Reflecting on her ability to function in a traditional marriage, she said, “We’ve got an ambition problem as women in politics — we’ve seen so much and experienced so much, will we be able to be a housewife?”

The same influencers have also supported and worked with men who frequently uphold the more extreme anti-women ideas in the conservative movement.

The truth of the matter is the ideological divide between women-hating influencers is miniscule. The back and forth is less about ideological battle lines than it is about a fight for attention, piggy backing off manufactured conflict in pursuit of clicks and followers.