Neo-Nazi Website Attacks Female Founder of Institute for Research on Male Supremacism

Daily Stormer’s Andrew Anglin identifies as “spiritual successor to [incel mass killer] Elliot Rodger” in screed against IRMS executive director and researcher Alex DiBranco

BERKELEY, CA, October 3, 2019 — Two weeks prior to the official launch of the website for the Institute for Research on Male Supremacism (IRMS)–an organization dedicated to studying misogynist ideology, mobilization, and violence–executive director and founder Alex DiBranco was targeted by the Daily Stormer’s Andrew Anglin, a prominent neo-Nazi and white nationalist.

In a post published on September 20th, 2019, Anglin refers to himself as “the self-appointed spiritual successor to Elliot Rodger” in a caption under a photo of DiBranco. The Santa Barbara perpetrator killed six people in 2014 and left a lengthy manifesto expressing his desire to slaughter all women for what he termed the “crime” of not having sexual intercourse with him. His violence has been glorified by the misogynist “incel” community, a term used by men who self-identify as “involuntarily celibate” and view themselves as unjustly deprived of sexual intercourse by women. The Santa Barbara perpetrator has been referenced by at least four mass killers over the past five years.

The misogyny and promotion of the incel movement on a website well-known for virulent anti-Semitism and white supremacism exemplifies the entwinement of anti-Semitism, white supremacy, and male supremacy on the alt-right. DiBranco states, “This misogyny poses a real threat to women like myself and my colleagues, and while there has been more attention to male supremacism and incel terrorism since 2018 by watchdog organizations, law enforcement, and media, we are continuing to fight to have this threat treated with the seriousness it needs.”

Anglin’s disparaging comments, referring to women as having “the minds of children,” and insults against DiBranco’s appearance align with his history of targeting women, as pointed out by Jessica Reaves of ADL (Anti-Defamation League). The post followed the publication of an NPR story on the toll that studying traumatic subjects, from ISIS atrocities to incels, takes on researchers doing that work. DiBranco, a Yale Sociology Ph.D. candidate, spoke to NPR reporter Hannah Allam about the strain of being a female researcher immersed in misogynist rhetoric for hours on end and reading posts that treat women as subhuman.

“This personal attack illustrates another potential threat faced by researchers who study hateful and violent mobilizations–in particular when the researcher shares the identity of those being vilified,” commented DiBranco.

This article has been edited from its original version to meet the No Notoriety campaign’s recommendation not to give a spotlight to perpetrators of mass violence.