Globalisation has made it easier for progressive ideas to cross borders. Yet the same can be said about regressive ideologies. Under the guise of protecting local traditions, family rights and national identity, genderphobic discourses have spread in seemingly unrelated parts of the world. Bulgaria is a case in point: a powerful religious-nationalist-conservative front has formed against women’s, LGBT+ and ethnic minority rights. This article explores the roots of the anti-feminist movements in the USA, Russia, and Europe. It looks critically at a range of discourse strategies and manipulation techniques used by these movements. And it presents three examples from Bulgaria: the assault on the term “gender,” a seemingly benign pro-birth media campaign, and raising moral panic about the threat to the traditional family. Apparently, behind the anti-globalist, genderphobic campaigns, there are well coordinated global forces at work. Distorting and toxifying the meanings of words, appropriating human rights terms, strategic lying and manipulation have become the tools of a hybrid war meant to undermine democratic societies. The role of language in this process is crucial. So is the role of linguists, who need to approach these phenomena from a critical perspective.