Is Andrew Tate influencing a progressive society to move backwards?
Updated: Feb 21
The recent arrest of Andrew Tate has made headlines in the mainstream media- informing more people of the actions of the ‘king of toxic masculinity.’ Social media has been bombarded by content relating to Andrew Tate since August 2022 but recently greater realisation of the negative impact his words and actions are having on the wider population (specifically men) can be seen. Whilst his controversial views may be used as a source of entertainment for some, others truly respect and idealise his views causing a progressive society to move backwards.
Tate has used the internet as a source of income through the introduction of ‘The War Room,’ now called ‘The real world,’ the Hustlers university and finally, the fame that he has gained from social media particularly TikTok. The War Room is essentially a cult for men where violence is encouraged and men are taught to internalise patriarchal views, but it is disguised under its description of being ‘a global network in which exemplars of individualism work to free the modern man from socially induced incarceration.’ All these platforms share offensive and patriarchal views about a woman’s role in society and advice on what it means to be a ‘man’ teleporting us back to the mid-19th century.
However, the biggest concern raised is regarding the influence Tate’s online presence is having on children who have access to these platforms. An article by BBC suggests schools are having to tackle with the knock-on effects of Tates misogynistic and toxic views. Teachers report that they have seen an increase in strong words such as ‘rape’ being used without children understanding the seriousness of the word. The Guardian also reported about a boy praising Andrew Tate in a school in the UK and when asked if he understood Tates views, his response was ‘well, men are better than women, so he’s right’ while his friends nodded in agreement. This shows how a few seconds worth of video is teaching that it is acceptable to spread factually incorrect information on the internet. Tate’s influence has catalysed the misogynistic views amongst the youth today. We need to educate young men on the importance of equality and open their eyes regarding the mistreatment of women in our society rather than encouraging the warped view that Tate has presented.
During a PM questioning, Labour asked Rishi Sunak what schools can do to prevent the ‘brainwashing’ of students by Tate. In response, we were directed to the Online Safety Bill which imposed an age limit to protect children from accessing these materials online. However, the lack of implementation of this bill can be seen very clearly illustrating how the gravity of the situation is underestimated and not taken seriously. Platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and YouTube do not thoroughly check the age of their users undermining the effectiveness of the bills in reducing the exposure of sensitive content to children.
Additionally, banning Andrew Tate from social media platforms does little to reduce his influence as most of his content is recreated and duplicated through fan accounts. An article on Global Network on Extremism and technology suggests that Tate is already seen as a ‘reversed hypermasculine hero’ who is building a loyal following by capitalising on ideas of ‘manhood’ and ‘masculinity.’ This shows how the algorithm is not only favouring his content on these platforms but, giving him the power to direct his audience to platforms where he is not banned, namely, Twitter and Rumble.
Furthermore, the issues lie not only with the misogynistic views but also with the neoliberal work culture that Tate is encouraging. Tate is advertising an unhealthy lifestyle to individuals by encouraging them to disregard their mental health and focus all their energy on finding ways to make more money. He is promoting the hustle culture and suggests anyone that is not rich is ‘lazy’- a view that is not only outdated but also very harmful. With a nation which is finally acknowledging mental health as being a serious concern, this view is negatively impacting decades worth of work to move society in a more inclusive and progressive direction.
This article was written in collaboration with Maya Patel and Iman Irfanullah.