Women for Trump: The Trojan Horse at the Insurrection

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For The New Republic 2/3/2021

One of the scariest female characters in English literature is Madame DeFarge, the wine shop owner whose face is the blank, pitiless gaze of the French Revolution's Terror in Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities. DeFarge sat beside other women, watching the guillotine's river of blood flow as they worked their knitting needles. In French legend, these women are known as "les tricoteuses"--the knitters--women performing an ultrafeminine domestic chore as a terrifying symbol of implacable fury.

I've found myself thinking of Madame DeFarge and les tricoteuses as it's become clearer that women played an important role in the organization of the January 6 insurrection. Groups like Women for Trump and Women for America First were the advance guard of the Capitol riot: a diversion in lipstick and heels. Using hyperfemininity as a shield, they enabled a fascist rampage right under the nose of the federal authorities. Instead of clacking their knitting needles by the guillotine, they fingered their pearls as the rioters erected a gallows.

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