The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Growing Far-Right Attacks on LGBT+ People

Jun 20, 2022

Far-right groups have recently disrupted school board meetings across the country to protest books in libraries that depict anything other than “traditional” gender norms. They have organized anti-LGBT+ demonstrations. There have already been more incidents of political violence targeting LGBT+ people this year than there were in all of 2021.

In early June, dozens of masked men organized by the far-right group Patriot Front piled into a U-Haul van in Idaho. Wearing protective gear and carrying metal poles, they were preparing to attack Pride in the Park, an event organized by the North Idaho Pride Alliance, according to the local police chief.

That same weekend, five men organized by the far-right Proud Boys stormed into Drag Queen Story Hour at a library near Oakland, California. The local sheriff’s office reported that they “shouted homophobic and transphobic slurs" in an attempt to break up an event where people in drag read storybooks to children.

These far-right thugs contend that Pride picnics and kids’ books about people who don’t conform to traditional gender norms “groom” children for sexual abuse. But there is no evidence that people who don’t conform to traditional gender norms are more likely to be abusers. In fact, the vast majority of child sexual abuse is carried out by “traditional” men, often members of the same “traditional family” as those they abuse.

In reality, these attacks have nothing to do with protecting children: they are instead part of a broader attempt to reinforce the oppression of women. These same forces are attacking the right to abortion, and many are even against contraception.

In the “traditional” society the far right glorifies, everyone has to be crammed into a box marked “man” or a box marked “woman” that defines what behaviors are acceptable. Women would continue to perform the lion’s share of the unpaid labor that makes society run: taking care of children and the elderly, cooking, and cleaning. In this “traditional” society, married women wouldn’t have the right to own property, including their own wages, or say no to sex with their husbands—both of which used to be the law in this country. In some far-right religious communities, young women are still raised to view themselves first of all as “helpmeets” for their future husbands, duty bound to obey the “head of the household.”

The organizations and politicians that promote these ideas are not just growing up spontaneously. The oppression of women and the enforcement of rigid gender norms have always been basic aspects of capitalist society. So, it should be no surprise that the far-right thugs who carry out these attacks are backed by big money and encouraged by the increasingly violent anti-LGBT+ and anti-feminist rhetoric coming out of mainstream right-wing politicians and media outlets.