Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Gendering the ‘White Backlash’: Islam, patriarchal ‘unfairness’, and the defence of women’s rights amongst women supporters of the British National Party (BNP)

Mulholland, Jon

Authors

Jon Mulholland Jon.Mulholland@uwe.ac.uk
AHOD in Sociology & Criminology and Associate Professor



Contributors

Nicola Montagna
Editor

Erin Sanders-McDonagh
Editor

Abstract

Formed in 1982 out of the overtly fascist National Front, The British National Party (BNP) went on to be the most successful ultra-nationalist party in British electoral history, reaching a high point of influence in 2010, only to suffer a dramatic disintegration shortly after. Capitalising on a host of demand-side conditions, including the ever-increasing socio-economic and welfare precarities of the post-industrial working class, and profound social transformations associated with processes of globalisation and mass migration, the BNP successfully allied a drive for modernisation and professionalization within the party to an effective appeal to important sections of the white ‘have nots’ directly on the basis of the latter’s sense of resentment at the ‘unfairness’ of their position in the own national home. Such resentment, and the invocations of ‘unfairness’ that are its necessary bedfellow, constitute what has usefully been conceptualised as ‘white backlash’. As an extreme right, ultra-nationalist party, the BNP belongs to a party family commonly referred to as ‘Männerparteien’ (men’s parties), on account of the predominance of men in their leadership, membership and support base. But this rendition may also contribute to a failure to recognise the important role played by women in such organisations. Drawing on semi-structured interviews, this paper explores how resentment and ‘unfairness’, as key features of the ‘white backlash’, become gendered in the hands of women supporters of the BNP, and deployed as a tool for signifying and pathologising the specific presence of Islam and Muslims in the UK as a direct threat to gender-related justice and equality.

Citation

Mulholland, J. (2018). Gendering the ‘White Backlash’: Islam, patriarchal ‘unfairness’, and the defence of women’s rights amongst women supporters of the British National Party (BNP). In E. Sanders-McDonagh, J. Mulholland, & N. Montagna (Eds.), Gendering Nationalism: Intersections of Nation, Gender and Sexuality, (165-185). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-76699-7

Publication Date Jun 11, 2018
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 165-185
Book Title Gendering Nationalism: Intersections of Nation, Gender and Sexuality
ISBN 9783319766980
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-76699-7
Keywords nation, nationalism, gender, sexuality, British National Party, women, Islam, Muslims
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/866802
Publisher URL https://www.palgrave.com/la
Additional Information Additional Information : Mulholland, J. (2018) Gendering the ‘White Backlash’: Islam, patriarchal ‘unfairness’, and the defence of women’s rights amongst women supporters of the British National Party (BNP). In: Mulholland, J., Montagna, N. and Sanders-McDonagh, E., eds. (2018) Gendering Nationalism: Intersections of Nation, Gender and Sexuality. 1st. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 165-185. ISBN 978331976698. Reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan. This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive, published, version of record is available here: https://link.springer.c...007%2F978-3-319-76699-7 and here: https://www.palgrave.com/la/book/9783319766980.