Students protest at an encampment on the campus of the University of California Los Angeles, in Los Angeles on April 26. PHOTO BY FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP

Radical Islam's western fangirls

Western feminism has a 'toxic femininity' problem that is being ignored

The most compelling evidence for Hamas’s atrocities on October 7 came straight from the source: live video from GoPro cameras strapped to the terrorists’ bodies. Why, all sane people wondered, would these monsters be stupid or crazy enough not only to record their barbarism, but to share it proudly with the world in real time? The Nazis, after all, recorded their nefarious crimes, but for their own archives, not for publication.

The sane people turned out to be the “stupid” ones. Hamas’s leadership is evil, but not crazy. They knew their “marketing” of the event would find favour with the loudest and most influential voices of their tripartite audience, in which passionate anti-Zionism is a reigning obsession: the Palestinian diaspora; radical Islamist cells dispersed throughout the West; and Marxist mouthpieces in numerous western universities, governments, unions and the media.

Hamas’s leaders knew that in these quarters, their atrocities would be perceived through a political rather than a moral lens. So they correctly assumed their pogrom would be characterized as “resistance” rather than wanton iniquity.

Hamas terrorists didn’t even shy away from filming themselves torturing women and children, which they should have considered a risk. After all, plangent appeals for the world to condemn Israel’s alleged genocide in Gaza, based on the war deaths of their own women and children, are a staple of the pro-Palestinian party line. The sight of the bloodied and raped female victims on October 7 could have been — should have been — a deal-breaker for feminists everywhere.

But it seems Hamas knew their female audience, too. One of the striking features about Hamas’s useful-idiot entourage is the robust support it enjoys from progressive women, in glaring contrast to the robust revulsion that should have prevailed among feminists.

Some women have publicly denied the vicious sexual torture inflicted on Israeli women, or shrugged it off as a sidebar to the sacred mission of “resistance.” This, they parrot, may entail “any means necessary,” including the degradation of women for no purpose other than malicious male pleasure. Evidence of western women’s indifference to Israeli women’s victimhood can be found in the fact that UN Women waited for months after the pogrom before condemning the rapes or Hamas.

A subset of anti-Zionist women appear to have taken their support to the next level. On some campuses, protesters are taking part in Islamic prayers. At UCLA, and elsewhere, to the consternation of some Muslim women living under Islamic regimes where the hijab is a symbol of oppression, some white female students bowing down in submission to Allah have taken to wearing hijabs in solidarity with their Palestinian comrades. Some young people have even reportedly converted to Islam as a result of the Israel-Hamas war, and others may soon follow suit.

TikTok is abetting this trend. In October, influencer Megan Rice, a recent convert, told her 400,000 followers: “It just seems that Palestinians have this ironclad faith even in the face of losing quite literally everything.” She founded a “World Religion Book Club,” where she reads the Qur’an to its 13,000 members. Her audience has now grown to a million followers. Other women start their journey to Islam after attending pro-Hamas rallies, where anti-Israel bloodlust is a featured component.

But even before the advent of social media, radical Islam had its western fangirls. In the year following 9/11, about 8,000 American women converted to Islam, according to data from the Hartford Institute for Religious Research. Today’s uptick in Islam flirtation should persuade us that the link between Islamist violence and these women’s sudden embrace of Islam, or at least its best-known symbols, like the hijab and obeisance rites, is no coincidence.

If it were only a fascination with Islam, one might agree with those who argue that this is a product of woke ideology and its culturally self-loathing revolutionary toolkit: alignment with “the enemy of my enemy” as a finger in the eye of western civilization. But that doesn’t explain the fact that the tendency extends to women who are not inimical to, but rather deeply patriotic and proud of, their own culture.

For example, in her 2013 book, “Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields,” Wendy Lower recounts that during the Second World War, 500,000 German women surged to the “bloodlands” of mass killings — Poland, the Baltic States, Belarus and Ukraine.

There, they participated as administrators and expediters of massacres, as nurses providing “mercy” killings or, presaging the jihadi brides, as the lovers and wives of murderous men. They volunteered to go, for which they gained social status, and they went specifically to prove their devotion to Hitler and his triumphalist vision.

Women in Gaza also receive social status for producing warrior sons devoted to Hamas’s triumphalist vision — and for not much else. No wonder their fertility rate is among the world’s highest.

Hamas’s western female fans are not surging to Gaza, of course. But they are cheering on the most toxic and misogynistic men in the world. Western feminism has a “toxic femininity” problem that is being ignored. A struggle session is in order.