Gunning for Office: Right-Wing Populism and Gender in the Congressional Campaigns of Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene

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This thesis aims to demonstrate how female politicians have positioned themselves as representatives of “Trumpism” by investigating how they navigated notions of gender in their congressional campaigns. The historical and theoretical intersections between gender and right-wing populism, particularly regarding (hegemonic) masculinity and femininity, provide the framework for this analysis. Two female “Trumpist” candidates for Congress, Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene, serve as case studies for this qualitative analysis. Both candidates emphasized stereotypically masculine traits and issues in their campaigns, thereby adapting to the hyper-masculine realm of Trump’s movement. At the same time, however, they employed their gender to create a specific role for themselves within Trumpism, as they constructed a predominantly female image of the “liberal elite” and presented their own femininity as a necessary asset for disempowering the political left. Rather than demonstrating progress, their campaigns suggest a continuation of the gender hierarchy on the American populist right.
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