Women for Aryan Unity
Women for Aryan Unity
LEADER: Christine Greenwood (reputed)
YEAR ESTABLISHED OR BECAME ACTIVE: 1990
ESTIMATED SIZE: Unknown
Established in 1990, Women for Aryan Unity (WAU) is an organization of women devoted to advancing white culture and promoting a pro-white racial agenda. Their motto, "securing our future one child at a time," expresses the group's primary goal: to focus on women's role with Kirche, Küche, Kinder (church, kitchen, children)—paralleling Hitler's message to women.
Women for Aryan Unity was founded in 1990 in Canada, though the group quickly spread into the United States as part of the white supremacist movement. The group, pagan in nature, was founded to encourage women to become more actively involved in the white supremacist movement. WAU members are often associated with other white power groups, ranging from the World Church of the Creator to the Hammerskin Nation.
The group promotes the idea that women must come to the aid of their pro-white men when "war" requires it and that women must not be "squeamish" and must be ready to fight alongside (or instead of) men. A woman's role, therefore, is to focus on domestic life but also to be a survivalist. By focusing on home life, raising children within the pro-white movement, and supporting their men in the white supremacist movement, the group seeks to define the role of women in this movement. The group uses goddess imagery, including Greek, Norse, Roman, Slavic, and Aryan (Indo-European) mythology, as part of its philosophy in finding meaning behind white supremacy and a feminine perspective in the movement.
Women for Aryan Unity claims to have sixteen chapters on four continents, though their membership is concentrated in the United States and Europe. WAU is part of a wave of organizations designed to recruit women and children in the white supremacist movement.
Sources contradict each other concerning the founders of the group. Some sources name Christine Greenwood, an American, as one of the founders, while other sources claim that the WAU founder is Canadian.
PHILOSOPHY AND TACTICS
According to the Women for Aryan Unity mission statement on their web site, "At this time in the Movements [sic] history, when the great task of redefining a Woman's role in the cause is posed; of reinventing the concept of 'feminism' within the parameters of Race and Revolution, WAU can only be a group of equals, a staff of educators and disseminators, not hangers on, joiners, or pseudo-soldiers."
The focus on the role of motherhood dominates the group's writings. One e-zine produced by WAU, Motherhood Tips, sometimes reads like any parenting publication, with articles on bedtime issues, teething, home-schooling, gun safety and children, and more. Rarely does the group's pro-white agenda come through in these articles, except with the occasional reference to a white person being a part of "the beloved race."
- WAU founded.
- Reputed leader of WAU, Christine Greenwood, is charged with possession of bomb-making materials; the charges are later dropped.
Other publications include Little Warriors an e-zine devoted to the children of members of the group. The e-zine "focuses on activities that will get children out from in front of the television, and get their little minds working." These activities include directions for making homemade bubble soap and play dough, activities that speak to the group's focus on motherhood and home life. At no point does the group's pro-white message come through in Little Warriors.
In the group's print publications, the messages still contain a great deal of content on everyday life, addressing topics such as vegetarianism, the effects of television on children, and reviews of books and music. The sixth issue of the magazine Morrigan Rising includes these articles alongside topics such as "women's roles in the movement" and "introduction to volksfront"—articles that directly address white supremacists goals and ideas. The print publication Instinct focuses on survivalist tactics for members of WAU. The WAU states that the purpose of Instinct comes from the "dangers we face on a daily basis; especially being racialists. We as Women have to deal with the threat of rape and physical violence on a daily basis, most of our homelands are no longer safe for white women, so we hope to give you the helping hand you need in order to defend yourself. We will focus on many different aspects of survival via Instinct."
Membership involves a complicated, two-part process. Members are required to become an Associate Member first, and must "write for at least two WAU Publications, they must participate in our fundraising projects for Aryan Prisoners and our Aryan Family Clothing Program," must write to prisoners within the white supremacist movement, and must pay a monthly membership fee. After six months to two years, the Associate Member obtains a sponsor (a chapter head) and then all WAU chapter heads in either the United States or Europe vote on the Associate Member's acceptance as a full member.
The group has stayed out of the headlines with one exception. On November 18, 2002, police arrested Christine Greenwood and charged her with possession of bomb-making materials. The Southern Poverty Law Center claims that Greenwood is the founder of Women for Aryan Unity, and is closely associated with other pro-white groups such as Blood and Honor, Aryan Nations, and the neo-Nazi World Church of the Creator. The charges against Greenwood were dropped. Greenwood was noted for her charitable efforts in forming an "Aryan Baby Drive" that provides racial supremacists with food and baby items if needed. The Women for Aryan Unity web site also sponsors a "Welcome to the World Little One" baby basket program, in which group members donate essential baby items for new parents. The program is in line with the pro-family, pro-motherhood ideals, and is labeled by WAU as "an initiative to secure the future of our Folk—one child at a time."
According to Kathleen Blee, a sociology professor at the University of Pittsburgh and the author of a Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report on women in the white supremacist movement in the United States, many women are recruited into their organizations with an eye toward expanding membership; by including the woman, the man is more likely to remain a part of the group.
Christine Greenwood is noted in some news reports as the reputed leader of Women for Aryan Unity. Other sources state that unnamed Canadian "odinists" started the organization. Greenwood is best known for her arrest in 2002 on charges of possession of bomb-making materials in California. She was released, the charges dropped, and little more is known about her.
In addition, prospective female members often find the normalcy of group activities, such as homeschooling or e-zines such as Motherhood Tips and Little Warriors to be innocuous and comforting. In the search to be part of a community, Blee theorizes, women in movements such as Women for Aryan Unity do not necessarily identify with the racialist goals, but are searching for a community to join.
Christine Greenwood's arrest brought the Women for Aryan Unity organization into the media spotlight for a brief time. The organization claims to be growing, with newest recruits in the United States and Europe. Because the group requires members to write for its publications, the 12 e-zines and magazines provide a vehicle for spreading the group's message. With no direct political agenda or call for action outside of domestic life, Women for Aryan Unity remains a fairly quiet, though steadily growing, part of the white supremacist movement's attempt to reach more women.
All In The Family: Women, Formerly the Helpmates of the Radical Right, Are Becoming Increasingly Outspoken as a Debate on Female Roles in the Movement Takes Shape
In the late 1960s, in the heyday of radical leftwing groups, a debate developed within the Weathermen about the role of revolutionary women, who had been largely confined to supporting their menfolk. Before it was over, the Weathermen were renamed the Weather Underground, and many of the group's women were taking up the gun.
Thirty years later, in a distant echo of that debate, women on the radical right—who a leading analyst says now comprise 25% of many groups and as many as half of new recruits—are increasingly re-examining their position in the world of white supremacy.
And while they are far from radical feminists, many are espousing a new female activism and even leadership—often to the dismay and anger of the men in their movement.
"For years, it seemed that a White woman's role in the Racial movement was to write lonely prisoners and stand behind their boyfriends without much of an opinion about anything," writes Lisa Turner, who began the "Women's Frontier" of the neo-Nazi World Church of the Creator (WCOTC) in May 1998.
"In the last year or so, we have seen a lot of changes in this area. Everyone is starting to realize that if we are going to overcome in this struggle we are going to have to do it together—Man and Woman—side by side!."
From California to Maryland, and abroad from Australia to Canada to Europe, the voices of "racialist" women are being heard increasingly in a variety of forums. In the past, these movement women have been Nazi "Aryan breeders," the Klan moms who stayed home sewing robes for their men, the secretaries and help-mates of neo-Nazi leaders, the transmitters of "Aryan" values to the next generation.
Now, some of these women are seeking new, expanded roles for themselves and their gender. And although most reject "feminism"—which is widely seen as a Jewish plot to destroy the white race—they are leading key efforts to build a viable movement.
While their men try to tear down the current society, these women are building up the culture they hope to replace it with.
"There is a vacuum of leadership, and one that our menfolk must honestly look within themselves to explain," writes Turner, who recruits via the Internet. "Leadership is a legitimate and necessary role … which women in the Church can fill."
WCOTC, which like almost all hate groups is led by a man, is only the most visible example of a concerted effort by the movement to reach out to women.
Forums for and about women, particularly on the Internet, are proliferating. They range from chat rooms featuring discussions about women's leadership capabilities to Skinhead Web sites with photographs of skimpily clad examples of Aryan female beauty to Internet advice columns for racist mothers on how to save money with homemade baby wipes.
FROM KITCHEN TO CROSS-BUILDING
On Stormfront, the Web's oldest hate site, a debate on the role of women in the movement has been raging for months. One man wrote to a woman who had posted an earlier message: "I'm sorry to inform you, but a woman's place is in the kitchen…. [M]en are physically stronger, which makes us more valuable…. A real white racialist woman understands this."
A second woman, speaking to the first, replies: "Don't be discouraged. Neanderthal attitudes like this one are few in the movement…. I do think we should support our men, but we do not necessarily have to stay in the kitchen to do it."
Women for Aryan Unity (WAU), a Web site run by a group of racist Odinist women in Canada, declares that "squeamish, bug fearing females" should "lose your forest phobias and start preparing for tomorrow" by acquiring survivalist, weapons and fighting skills.
A person identified as "Max Hammer" takes a similar view in a posting on the Web site: "Certain male elements who hold a rather Turkish attitude toward our feminine comrades should wise up and think Nordic, while certain female elements should cease behaving like mindless groupies and start doing political exercises instead."
Sigrdrifa Publications, a unit of WAU, publishes a quarterly magazine "100% produced" by "Proud Aryan Women" with a mix of features like "Women of History," "Aryan Recipes," "White Prisoner Sponsorship Program" and "Baby Bulletin."
It also maintains a Web site for women describing, among other things, "Aryan Beginnings for Children (ABC)," a "co-operative of racialists … organized to assist racially aware parents … in raising proud white children in today's society." ABC plans "White Heritage" coloring books and newsletters on children's developmental stages.
Source: Southern Poverty Law Center, 1999
Anti-defamation League. "Feminism Perverted: Extremist Women on the World Wide Web." 〈http://www.adl.org/special_reports/extremist_women_on_web/feminism_intro.asp〉 (accessed October 1, 2005).
Southern Poverty Law Center. "The Other Half: Interview with Sociologist Kathleen M. Blee." 〈http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=134〉 (accessed October 1, 2005).