The recent rise in popularity for the self-proclaimed sexist Andrew Tate has initiated debate about toxic masculinity podcasts in 2022. Last week, Tate was banned from multiple social media platforms. Hannah Bentley explores the wider implications of the harmful views he has spread, and what we can all do to eradicate such hate speech.
Andrew Tate, a 35-year-old former kickboxer, has recently made headlines after clips from his podcast and interviews have gone viral on TikTok. Due to his extremely misogynistic comments and promotion of violence towards women, and after pushback from the public, he has been banned from Instagram and Facebook.
Tate markets himself as a self-help guru, promising his male followers that he can guide them to achieve the three things he believes form manhood: women, money and power. He often uses himself as an example of a successful man. So, let’s give a quick profile on Andrew Tate.
His house was recently raided as part of an on-going human-trafficking investigation and has had various other run-ins with the police for being violent against women, including accusations of rape. The Trump supporter was also kicked out of Big Brother in 2016 when a video surfaced of him beating a woman with a belt and shouting abuse at her. And unsurprisingly he’s been banned from Twitter for spewing racial and homophobic slurs.
Wow, what an exemplary human being.
Pushing for arrogance over empathy
Tate’s podcast ‘Jet Talk’ demonstrates the increasing popularity of toxic masculinity podcasts. He appeals to disgruntled young men who feel dissatisfied with their lives by offering solutions and ways to be a better man, pushing for arrogance over empathy. In one episode, titled ‘Competing in the realm of men’, the description reads “Young kings, sadness is a warning. YOU FEEL IT FOR A REASON. YOUR MIND IS TELLING YOU. YOU NEED TO
This acts as a great metaphor for the problems that toxic masculinity creates for men and women. Fellow man! If you do in fact feel sad, talking to a friend or family member about your mental health would be a good place to start. Believing that everyone is set against you and that having normal human emotions is a weakness and wrong certainly won’t help your situation.
In his podcast and interviews, Tate shares his thoughts on women’s place in society which, according to him, should be subservient to men. The Chicago-born influencer says he only dates 18- to 19-year-old women so that he can make his “imprint” on them (this sounds a lot like grooming). He has criticised the #MeToo movement saying that rape victims should “bear some responsibility” for their attacks and has claimed that ‘“about 40 per cent” of the reason he moved to Romania is that he believed police in Eastern Europe world be less likely to pursue rape allegations’.
Jordan Peterson is another notable figure in this ‘manosphere’, with his bizarre views on gender-social politics and pushing for the return of traditional gender roles. He criticises the advancement of women’s rights, claiming that it is damaging the position of men in society.
These far-right male commentators create a market for their content by perpetuating the idea that there’s a right way to be a man and offer themselves as a role model. Influencers like Tate have tapped into a widespread cultural insecurity amongst young men and exaggerate the value of being rich and picking up women.
Young men are essentially being radicalised and manipulated online
Andrew Tate’s podcasts and videos demonstrate that toxic masculinity and misogyny reinforce each other. By preaching sexist standards, women are automatically labelled as lesser than men in the eyes of his followers, which can have devastating real-life impacts. The vast consumption of this type of content shows how young men are essentially being radicalised and manipulated online. What’s more worrying is while more boys gain access to the internet at a younger age, they are getting exposed to these troubling views when they are the most impressionable.
I’ve had friends come to me full of frustration after their male peers justify their continued following of Tate with his financial advice. Well, here is the truth behind this so-called finance wizard: he makes money off tricking and scamming his followers.
His business model is built on saying the most ludicrous and controversial things, whether he believes them or not, in order to gain popularity and bring attention to his questionable money-making schemes. Tate has run multiple business scams, the most notable one involved his brother, which raked “in millions from webcam sites where men hand over a fortune as they fall for models’ fake sob stories”, reported the Daily Mirror.
He also set up Hustlers University in 2021 which promises to provide savvy financial advice and ways to make a passive income. However, it’s nothing more than a multilevel marketing scheme and a complete rip-off with a subscription fee of £39 a month for information that can be found elsewhere on the internet for free.
Tate also attempted to profit from pick-up culture, an exchange that usually occurs in online forums where men advise others on how to attract women, essentially degrading and dehumanising them. He added a ‘PhD’ program to his ‘university’ called the Pimpin’ Hoes degree giving tips on how to manipulate women to sleep with you.
Yes… I know.
But with 127,000 subscriptions to the university, as reported by the Guardian, and over 11 billion views on TikTok, it’s clear that the para-social relationships Tate has formed with his followers are scarily strong. His fans make copycat accounts and share clips of Tate glorifying misogyny to monopolise the algorithm and ensure he stays in the spotlight.
So, what are social media sites doing to stop toxic figures like Andrew Tate and prevent the spread of hate speech? Well, unfortunately not much because the sites also just want to make profit. Every time someone views his video or tunes into his podcast, not only does Tate make money but so does the site.
Despite TikTok’s guidelines being explicitly against the promotion of violence and misogyny, as well as clearly stating that copycat accounts breach their rules, there’s been little action from the site to prevent the posting and circulation of these videos.
Here’s my advice: do what you can online by reporting all and any posts, accounts and podcasts that preach hate speech and promote any form of violence towards any group. Tate’s recent ban from Instagram and Facebook shows that petitions and complaints can make a difference. Share accurate, informative posts with your friends and publicly from accounts you trust and influencers that are transparent with their followers.
Lastly, PLEASE talk to your male peers!
The change isn’t going to happen overnight, but simply starting a conversation on the topic is a great first step
Men, if your male friend is saying troublesome things about women or agrees with problematic influencers, question them on it. The change isn’t going to happen overnight, but simply starting a conversation on the topic is a great first step as some men just won’t deem women’s words as important, so you need to step up.
I also offer the same advice to women. And yes, I know exactly how taxing it is explaining to a man why you shouldn’t call a woman a ‘slut’ or a ‘bitch’. I mean, this is pretty basic stuff. But sadly, most of these men are usually lacking a sense of compassion in their lives and have fallen down a rabbit hole of hate; they are genuinely lost.
Although, if they persistently ignore you and especially if they ever make you uncomfortable, I suggest cutting them out of your life, because you don’t need to stand for it.
Featured image courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.
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