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Silencing Feminism? Gender and the Rise of the Nationalist Far Right in Spain

Author: Marta Cabezas

Affiliation: Department of Anthropology Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Organization/Publisher: Journal of Women in Culture and Society/ the University of Chicago Press

Date/Place: Winter 2022/USA

Type of Literature: Academic Journal article 

Number of Pages: 27


Keywords: Spain, Feminism, Vox, Far-Right, Gender


This article aims to analyze the significance of gender in the rising nationalist far-right in Spain. The author argues that the feminist protests have turned feminism into the main vectors of politicization in Spain. Vox-the nationalist far-right in Spain, received the third most votes in the election held between December 2018 and November 2019. The Party’s electoral campaign was about gender violence policies and labeling feminists with feminazis. The questions raised by the author are: why does gender matter so much to the Spanish far-right, how did they use gender during the election campaign, and what is the role of feminism in Vox’s imagined national community. According to the author, gender is a primary field in which the Spanish far-right articulates its national project and shows that antagonism towards feminism is crucial. Cas Mudde, a researcher, considers gender an issue or theme of the far-right or secondary, not necessarily part of their ideology. Vox has designed the ‘ A hundred Measures for a Living Spain’ program. It contains a diverse assemblage of actions. The program does not have a section for women but rather on life and family. The Vox in this section represents itself as the defender of traditional family values and offers to support large families. It also promotes childbirth through state legislation and the ministry of the family. Vox also aligns itself with the anti-feminist associations that only defend men’s rights. On gender violence policy, Vox declares war on gender because they find it discriminating towards men. After analyzing Vox’s discriminating section on women, the author argues that gender is not a secondary but the nucleus of the Spanish far-right project. The author concludes that if mobilizing gender is at the heart of the Spanish far-right, feminism faces a powerful enemy. However, Vox’s antagonism towards gender can be seen as their space of vulnerability too. 

By: Ruby Clayton, CIGA Research Associate



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