An Arizona woman convicted in connection with the U.S. assault on Jan. 6 In a Snapchat video, Capitol bragged that she was recently recruited by a chapter of the Proud Boys in Kansas City, a neofascist organisation that describes itself as “Western chauvinists” and has long-prohibited female members.
The claim by Felicia Konold that the chapter recruited her and she was “with them now,” although she is not from the area of Kansas City, has intrigued experts who study right-wing extremist movements.
Eric Ward, a senior fellow with the Southern Poverty Law Center, said, “It is ironic that such a deeply misogynistic organisation has attracted someone who is a woman to join their organisation.” “It tells us that right now there’s dissent in the ranks of Proud Boys.”
In a probable cause affidavit against Konold, 26, of Tucson, who is charged with conspiracy, civil disorder and other federal charges stemming from the melee, details of the video appeared last week.
In the Snapchat video she posted after the Capitol attack, Konold sounded almost euphoric, saying she could never have imagined having such an influence on the events that unfolded that day. She refers laughingly to “all my boys, behind me, holding me in the air, pushing back.” We’ve done it (expletive)! ”
“She showed on the video a two-sided “challenge coin” that appears to have markings that designate it as belonging to the Kansas City Proud Boys in order to seemingly prove her point that she had just been “recruited into a (expletive) chapter from Kansas City.
The challenge coin denotes membership, something that appears to go against the national leadership of the organization’s rhetoric about women, Ward said.
“The fact that she has that coin, the challenge coin, tells me that there is something going on in the Proud Boys around gender, and it’s something worth paying attention to,” said Ward, who is also the executive director of the Western States Center, a civil rights advocacy group working to promote gender equity.
Experts monitoring extremist right-wing groups point to the controversy that erupted when former mixed martial arts fighter Tara LaRosa attempted to create a Proud Girls offshoot on the Telegram social media app in December.
“The social media channels of the Proud Boys responded quickly, calling “ridiculous ideas” auxiliary groups like Proud Boy’s Girls or Proud Girls. “Don’t ride our coattails,” read one post. “Would you like to support us? Get married, have children, and look after your family.
There are disagreements between Proud Boys chapters on whether to accept women as Proud Ladies, Alex DiBranco, executive director of the Institute for Research on Male Supremacism, said, even as the community as a whole has become more hostile to women’s assistants in recent years. Proud Boys’ mothers have posted about the gatherings of Proud Boys they organised for their sons.
But DiBranco said the people who worked on this subject in her community are still unaware of a situation where a woman was actually hired to be a part of the chapter of Proud Boys itself, which is strictly against the rules of Proud Boys.
Cassie Miller, a senior research analyst for the Southern Poverty Law Center, said that there were auxiliary classes of Proud Boys’ Girls made up of members’ wives and girlfriends for a period of time, but that full membership within the party was not permitted. She said that none of those auxiliary organisations are involved right now, as far as she knows.
“From the beginning, the group has been very clear that it is an organisation only for men and they hold misogynistic beliefs and believe that women are best suited to domestic work and should act as mothers and homemakers,” said Miller.
In a court filing, prosecutors allege that William Chrestman, who they described as the Kansas City Proud Boys cell leader,’ readily recruited’ Felicia Konold and her brother, Cory Konold, from Arizona to join the Kansas City Proud Boys party.
Neither her defence attorney nor her dad responded to Tuesday’s messages requesting comment immediately.
The Proud Boys, with counter-protesters, have been known to provoke street violence. During a presidential debate in September, the group received widespread attention when then-President Donald Trump famously ordered them to “stand back and stand by.”
Prosecutors say that the Proud Boys persuaded their participants to attend the Jan. 6 protest in Washington, D.C., starting in December. A large number of them, including Felicia Konold and other members of her cell in Kansas City, were caught on video marching together and later joining the U.S. That Capitol.
Although at the Jan. 6 demonstrations there were plenty of white women, white nationalist groups usually appear to be dominated by white men, DiBranco said. Groups like QAnon tend to be popular with women, but at these forms of demonstrations, supporters of Proud Boys and supporters of QAnon come together. Females lead the anti-vaxxer campaign against vaccines.
“These lockdown protests exposed their members to these elements of a coalition of the far right that could not otherwise be part of these women,” DiBranco said. “Women may have moved from anti-vaxxer to QAnon and other conspiracies of various kinds.”