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Women for Bolsonaro

What Drives Female Support for Brazil’s Far Right

Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro in Rio de Janeiro, October 2018. Pilar Olivares/REUTERS

Jair Messias Bolsonaro, the far-right military officer turned politician who is likely to become Brazil’s next president, has said shocking things about women. He told a female member of congress that he wouldn’t rape her because “she wasn’t worthy of it,” explained that his sons would never love black women because they were “properly raised,” and claimed that a particular secretary of women’s issues shouldn’t have been appointed because “she was a dyke.” The reaction to such bomb-throwing in the era of #metoo has been, apparently, predictable: organizing via social media with the hashtag #EleNão (#NotHim), an estimated 150,000 people—of whom the majority were women—across Brazil took to the streets on September 19 (three weeks before the first round of presidential elections) to tell their fellow citizens, and the world, that Bolsonaro doesn’t represent them.

Some 44 percent of Brazilian women are expected to

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