Mothers for QAnon

In the testosterone-filled world of Trump-adjacent online conspiracy, the newest theory stands out. Why are so many women falling for Q?

When I interviewed attendees, many talked about how they had come out of a sense of maternal duty to protect the innocent. Very few brought up QAnon’s connections with President Trump, Hillary Clinton or the anonymous 4chan account known as “Q” that started it all. They were here, they said, for the children.

Just who is a believer in the sprawling, muddled world of QAnon isn’t an easy thing to pin down; it’s not like following a conspiracy theory requires a registration form. But what seems clear — from the rally, from conversations I’ve had with other experts and my own research — is that there’s something about QAnon that makes it stand out in the world of Trump-adjacent online groups: Its ranks are populated by a noticeably high percentage of women.

“Women have always been part of QAnon since the early days,” said Travis View, a conspiracy theory researcher who is a co-host of the podcast “QAnon Anonymous” (which has documented the rise of the conspiracy theory, and which I’m affiliated with). “But I also think the ‘soft front’ of QAnon in the form of ‘Save the Children’ makes it easy for more women to get on board.”