When social movement leaders direct protesters during marches or make decisions during meetings, followers accept and validate, or oppose and ignore them. Yet most leadership theories neither account for follower responses nor explain how followers' expectations about gender and race status-hierarchies influence their actions. Drawing on participant observation, an archive of movement documents, and 73 in-depth interviews with key informants in the occupy movement, I reveal how followers enacted forms of “discriminatory resistance” that impeded women and genderqueer persons' leadership. I argue that followers fell back on gender and racial stereotypes about white men as ideal leaders. Followers opposed women and genderqueer persons from all races and ethnicities using harassment and male dominance, and by creating a hostile culture. Findings suggest that even leaders and followers in nonhierarchical social movements construct gender and race differences in leadership similar to leadership stratification in more hierarchical organizations.

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