Why White Supremacist Men May Believe That They are Attractive to Women.

Today a magazine asked me this question, "Why do white supremacist men believe they are attractive and can sleep with whoever they want?" which was prompted by this bizarre Twitter storm:


By Patti Wood, Professional Speaker, researcher and author of “SNAP Making the Most of First Impressions Body Language and Charisma.”

I am feeling disgust and outrage toward the white supremacist Coincidentally, I have been asked by the media to respond to a twitter feed that is going wild right now in which a white supremacists states that women are attracted to them and want to sleep with them. Here are the eight reasons I think they may be saying this.

8 Reasons that white supremacist men (accurately one crazy guy on twitter) may feel that women find them attractive and or that they can have any women they want and or claim that women like dangerous men so they (one crazy guy on twitter) can have any women they like?

1.      They may misinterpret attention as attraction -These white supremacist angry men may experience that they get noticed when they express their anger, and ironically conclude, that the attention means they are attractive, when in fact they are noticed and people continue to pay attention to them because we notice and pay attention to what is dangerous. Here is the research on that. Angry Men Get Noticed. (Do Angry Men Get Noticed? Science Daily (June 7, 2006) — by comparing how quickly human facial expressions of different types are detected in a crowd of neutral faces, researchers have demonstrated that male angry faces are a priority for visual processing.) They may spin that as they did in the twitter feed.

2.      Their groups may encourage and allow them to show power cues that increase their sense of power and entitlement. The four first impression factors according to research are credibility, likeability, attractiveness and power. Power is communicated by several factors most related to alpha characteristics. Two of those are size and bulk. Others are taking over space, large gestures, gesturing with objects, carrying weapons such as marching or attacking and loudness like yelling and shouting.
3.      They may believe all women like dangerous men. Popular culture may foster that “Bad” boys may seem to show characteristics of good mates like high testosterone. For example, nonverbal research indicates that smiling is an indication of low testosterone and lack of smiling is an indication of high testosterone. I talk about anger and power in the points that follow, but there is also popular culture’s take on bad boy attraction. https://www.maxim.com/maxim-man/why-women-love-bad-boys-2015-11

4.      They may have seen women have an intense physiological response to their danger signals. But do women really LIKE dangerous men? I believe women are afraid of dangerous men. Some women misidentify their body’s response to danger as attraction. I have coined the term for what happens as danger at first sight.  They see a dangerous man and their limbic responds in a Freeze, Flight, Fight, Fall or Faint response. Women may misread their physiological responses to danger such as increased heart rate, pulse, flushing, panting, increases in adrenaline and cortisol and say, “Oh!, when it may really be the central nervous systems way of saying, “Run, for the hills, (or faint, freeze or fight.)
5.      They may have felt empowered by their anger and see its effects.  Anger can make others perceive you as powerful. Research shows that angry people are more likely to get promoted, perceived as more competent, and showing leadership and capability. (see my article for more details  http://www.pattiwood.net/article.asp?PageID=7831)
 I believe that is because it temporality makes you feel powerful when underneath you feel powerless. For example we know that many domestic violence cases arise when spouses who have lost or do not have a job have a feeling of powerlessness that can create a need to dominate whoever they feel is weaker. So angry men, especially when riled up in a frenzy of a fight/march may feel they can dominate and have what they want. Anger increases the heart rate and blood pressure of the angry person speaking and the listener. That can make those that are feeling anger stronger, Anger is considered the most highly contagious emotion and it spreads. Research also says it is a persuasive emotion.

6.      They may suffer from Insular Group Comparison – By that very notion WS groups are isolated from the larger society and that isolation can make those within it compare themselves only to the small group of men within rather than ALL men. By bases of comparison, they then can find themselves more attractive. See bottom of page for more on group think.

7.      They may suffer from Group think- Irving Janis defined it, “occurs when a group makes faulty decisions, and has illusion of invulnerability and excessive optimism.” The “draw” to white supremacist groups is that you have more to gain (from joining) the possibility of money fame, power. (https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2002/author-kathleen-blee-discusses-role-women-white-supremacist-groups)
So if you are isolated in this group of men who tell you, “Dude, we have got the power,” “We can have any women we want then your group think can make you think it is true and dissenting from that viewpoint may cost you membership in the group and not just execution but dangerous repercussions if you leave.

8.      They may see women in their groups that kowtow and globalize their behavior to all women. There are also women in these groups and from the small amount of research out there, the women in the groups have to kowtow and obey the men in the group. So the men isolated in the group, may come to believe ALL women see them as powerful and that they will bow down.
Janis Irving has documented eight symptoms of groupthink:

  1. Illusion of invulnerability –Creates excessive optimism that encourages taking extreme risks.
  2. Collective rationalization – Members discount warnings and do not reconsider their assumptions.
  3. Belief in inherent morality – Members believe in the rightness of their cause and therefore ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions.
  4. Stereotyped views of out-groups – Negative views of “enemy” make effective responses to conflict seem unnecessary.
  5. Direct pressure on dissenters – Members are under pressure not to express arguments against any of the group’s views.
  6. Self-censorship – Doubts and deviations from the perceived group consensus are not expressed.
  7. Illusion of unanimity – The majority view and judgments are assumed to be unanimous.
  8. Self-appointed ‘mindguards’ – Members protect the group and the leader from information that is problematic or contradictory to the group’s cohesiveness, view, and/or decision
Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com.