In the Name of Women’s Rights
I think we are dealing with very sick women [i.e., full- veiled Muslim women] and I
do not think we have to be determined according to their pathology.
— Élizabeth badinter, a French feminist phi los o pher
Islam . . . expels Jews and gays and flushes de cades of women’s rights down the
— geert wilders, the leader of the Dutch far- right Party for Freedom
There cannot be a regularization for those [mi grants] who entered illegally, for
those who rape a woman or rob a villa, but certainly we will take into account for
regularization all those situations that have a strong social impact, as in the case of
[female] mi grant caregivers.
— roberto maroni, the ex- leader of the Italian far- right party Northern League
The success of the far right in the 2014 elections for the Eu ropean Parlia-
ment attracted a great deal of international attention. Across the conti-
nent, nationalist right- wing parties either won an unpre ce dented number
of seats or consolidated their signiﬁcant popu lar support.1 These electoral
achievements, coupled with the harshness of the anti- Islam slogans that
characterized the parties’ campaigns, triggered fears of a return of fascism.
Yet one of the striking features that distinguishes con temporary Eu ropean
nationalist parties from their older counter parts is the invocation of gen-
der equality (and occasionally lgbt rights) within an other wise xenophobic
rhe toric. Indeed, despite their lack of concern with elaborating concrete
policies of gender equality and their masculinist po litical style, these par-
ties have increasingly advanced their anti- Islam agendas in the name of
women’s rights. From Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, to Marine Le Pen