Simon Purdue

PhD Candidate and Historian of the Global Far-Right


Toxic Masculinity and Lone Wolf Radicalization

Toxic masculinity and masculine insecurity are easy targets for promoters of self-radicalization, leading more young men towards violence.

Of the one hundred and thirty-three incidents of far-right terror carried out by individuals in the United States since 1995, all but one were perpetrated by men (SPLC, Terror From The Right). On a global scale, when one thinks of the ‘lone wolves’ who have been responsible for racist terrorism, very few women come to mind. Perhaps with the exception of Beate Zschäpe – who herself was a member of a cell rather that a bona fide lone wolf actor – almost all of the self-radicalized perpetrators of far-right violence around the world have been white men between the ages of 20 and 50. It seems essential then to examine the relationship between gender and radicalization, specifically looking at ideas of masculinity and the ways that propagators of a radical and racist ideology mobilize them in order to drive their audience towards violence…

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Image credit: By Sarahmirk – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

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