Spencer says he guesses women comprise only about a fifth of the Alt-Right – an imbalance that's obvious at the gathering, where there appears to be only one female follower amid the dozen or so men who cycle in and out.
No matter. Spencer tends to see women as manipulative figures who are best when submitting to Alt-Right virility. Women, he tweeted during the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Trump, "should never be allowed to make foreign policy. It's not that they're 'weak.' To the contrary, their vindictiveness knows no bounds."Over drinks, he suggests that most women secretly crave Alt-Right boyfriends because they want "alpha genes" and "alpha sperm." When a man by the bar suggests someone should write a novel about "a liberal feminist studies major falling in love with a Richard Spencer type," Spencer suggests I write it.
More recently, in a podcast recorded after the exposure of the so-called Trump tape, Spencer scoffed at the "puritanical" criticism of Trump, saying it's "ridiculous" to call what Trump was talking about sexual assault. "At some part of every woman's soul," he said, "they want to be taken by a strong man." Pointing to how Trump said he had taken Nancy O'Dell furniture shopping, Spencer added, "Is this really the worst thing you've ever heard? In a way, he's like the most gentlemanly, kindly philanderer of all time."
After Trump tapped Breitbart chair Steve Bannon as campaign CEO in August, the Alt-Right instantly became a fixture in political conversation. (Bannon boasted to me at the RNC that Breitbart is "the platform for the Alt-Right.") Yet for Spencer, who sees Breitbart as having only "elective affinities" with the Alt-Right, the real turning point was Clinton's speech on the Alt-Right the following week. Spencer speculates that she aimed, with her speech, "to bleed the GOP of upper-middle-class whites who are embarrassed by their race." Clinton is not just a political adversary, in Spencer's view – she's "cagey" in her effort to reach the traditional conservatives he and his followers call, pejoratively, "cuckservatives" or "cucks," a reflection of their view that conservatives have been so "de-masculinized" that they've lost the ability to stand up for their principles.
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