full frontal with samantha bee

Samantha Bee Calls Out White Women Spreading QAnon Conspiracy Theories

Pumpkin spice lattes with a splash of white supremacy.

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We regret to inform you that white women are at it again. When they’re not shepherding the anti-abortion movement or voting for Trump, they’re sharing and spreading QAnon conspiracy theories all across social media. Samantha Bee tackled the subject in a two-part segment titled, “Meet the White Women Empowering QAnon,” which takes a look at the pernicious spread of the hateful conspiracy theories that power QAnon.

Bee begins her piece by taking down Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who have made headlines for their violent rhetoric, gun fetishism, and devotion to the QAnon cult. Both women have been attacked in the media and online for their unhinged theories and behavior, but they also represent the legion of fellow white women sucked into the QAnon rabbit hole.

The main driver of the spread is, unsurprisingly, social media algorithms. Many women were hooked by the appropriated hashtag #SaveTheChildren, which was based on a real non-profit fighting sex and child trafficking. But that hashtag and others like it function as a gateway, leading women down a rabbit hole into full-blown QAnon nonsense. You know, like believing that various celebrities and world leaders were part of an international pedophile cannibal cabal and 5G gives you COVID-19. The very same women who are urging you to join their leggings or essential oils multi-level marketing schemes are the same ones who believe that Wayfair is trafficking children through affordable cabinetry.

Bee focused on the graphic design of these memes especially, which mimic all sorts of modern digital branding. “The messaging they use is insidious, pervasive, and loaded with undertones of white supremacy. It may look pretty but it is dangerous,” Bee said. The host also references this excellent Vox video which breaks down how the Instagram aesthetic is being used to market QAnon (and if worth watching in its entirety):

“These conspiracy theories try to appeal to a mother’s primal need to protect their children and have particularly proliferated among holistic living and natural birth communities,” Bee said, adding “for many women, QAnon has become a path for indoctrination into white nationalism and xenophobia.”

Of course, the use of propaganda to prey on common fears and scapegoat marginalized communities is hardly new. And QAnon’s “enemies” are (shocker!) people of color, immigrants, Jews, and LGBTQ+ folks. It’s white supremacy and neo-nazism dressed up with hashtags and pastel accents.

Bee continued, “If we’re going to fight against right-wing conspiracy theories, we’re going to have to face the reality that not all people driving QAnon are men. White women are playing a massive part as well, particularly when they tell themselves they are protecting families.”

We can’t become complacent just because Trump is out of office. As we saw on January 6, this cult has zero qualms about attacking and murdering people at the Capitol. It is truly through sheer force of luck and the quick-thinking actions of people like Capitol officer Eugene Goodman that members of Congress weren’t executed. And despite the horrors of that attack, QAnon supporters are still stoking the flames of violence, as seen in Lauren Boebert’s violent ad which not-so-subtly calls for Nancy Pelosi’s assassination.

(featured image: screencap/TBS)

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Author
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.