Swole Leftists and Hijab Self-Defense: How the Resistance Is Getting Fit to Fight Fascism
After the election, many people on the left fell into despair. But some are getting in shape to fight fascism.
The Swole Left
When we realized that Trump was going to be president and 2017 was going to be even worse than 2016, our priorities changed.
new years resolution for 2016: idk maybe lose 10 pounds
new years resolution for 2017: pic.twitter.com/KSx014P2Pq
— FIONA (@BigHPrivateEye) December 27, 2016
It’s normal to kick off the new year by hitting the gym. But this time, a lot of us weren’t just trying to fit into our old jeans. Instead, we had more serious concerns:
Back at the gym during lunch. Gotta get #swole to fight fascism!
— Allison (@ventureforth) January 25, 2017
Personal tweet, but today I went to the gym in maybe 2.5 years. This year I'm determined to fight fascism and get back in shape.
— EvolvingCritic (@EvolvingCritic) January 5, 2017
It sounds a little extreme, but Trump’s election has brought with it a spike in hate crimes and bigoted bullying. Unfortunately, our social institutions haven’t done much to combat it. The press writes flattering profiles about sexy neo-Nazis. The police are crawling with white nationalists.
In response, people are getting ready to protect themselves.
Poncho Martinez refers to himself as the leader of the #SwoleLeft, a group of leftists working to build muscle and bulk up so they can intimidate fascists. He currently trains 30 left-leaning men in powerlifting in the hopes that they will use their muscle to stop hate crime.
Muslim women usually take the brunt of Islamophobic attacks. One common tactic of Islamophobes is to try to yank the woman’s hijab off of her head.
Critics of the hijab say that the garment is oppressive. But whatever your opinion about it is, we must all agree that a strange man running up to a woman and tearing an article of clothing off of her body is horrible.
In response, Muslim women are taking self-defense classes focused on how to respond to a hijab grabber. A trainer named Zaineb Abdulla posts self-defense moves on Facebook and teaches seminars to help Muslim women learn to protect themselves.
German/Palestinian filmmaker, feminist and karate champion Lexi Alexander has also gotten in on the action. She makes hijab self-defense videos for Muslim women too.
Part 1 of Hijab self-defense. We did this almost all morning and I think this is the most effective one. For the record, my hair got pulled so much I have a major headache now. So this is not some dumb joke, it's assault and inhuman. If you do this to someone, you have no heart or soul…you're just a shit.
Just imagine, 50 years from now when your grandkids ask "what did you do when Trump brought the Nazis back?" You can say "I punched them"
— Lexi Alexander (@Lexialex) February 20, 2017