Four events centering around women have made headlines over the past couple months: Giorgia Meloni’s electoral victory in Italy, Queen Elizabeth II’s death and funeral, the release of the film "The Woman King" and the widespread protests in Iran following the killing of Mahsa Amini by the country’s morality police.

Taken together, these four stories highlight essential features of the political terrain.

With the left failing to offer an adequate response to the crisis of liberal democracy, the rise of new right-wing governments in Europe is not particularly surprising. But women’s central role in this movement has yet to receive the attention it deserves. Right-wing leaders like Meloni and Marine Le Pen in France are presenting themselves as stronger alternatives to traditional mainstream masculine technocrats. They embody both right-wing hardness and features usually associated with femininity, such as a focus on care and the family: fascism with a human face.