He’s no stranger to the internet, but why has Andrew Tate gone viral?
Disclaimer: This article talks about misogyny and sexual assault at length that some may find very triggering. Please be mindful of your mental health before reading on.
Andrew Tate has been making the rounds on TikTok, but not for the best of reasons. Here’s everything you need to know about Andrew Tate, why his presence on the internet is a serious problem and what you can do to tackle misogyny.
Who is Andrew Tate?
Andrew Tate is a former kickboxer and ex-Big Brother 2016 contestant who has become infamous for his stance on women, and not in a positive light. Lately, his views on social media have skyrocketed, to the point where millions are both supporting his platforms and stitching their outraged reactions.
Before we dive into his incredibly misogynistic views, it’s worth giving some background on who Andrew Tate is, what he does and why he’s amassed a cult-like following.
How did Andrew Tate get famous, you ask… During his stint in the Big Brother house in 2016, Tate was evicted after a video of him beating a woman with a belt surfaced on the internet. Tate claimed this was consensual and that he was using a felt belt to role play in the video, but as we unravel more of his extreme beliefs on women, you’ll understand why many have questioned his intent.
He then became known for his entrepreneurship, more so, Hustlers University – which promises to help people make money, led by him and “dozens of War Room soldiers”. TikTok creator @benleavitt explains how Hustlers University works and how his followers are basically getting paid to promote his content:
Just check out this screenshot from his homepage.
Analyse the site and his mission statement, and you’ll see he’s selling a lifestyle. Flashy cars, girls, cigars, exotic locations. Andrew Tate has curated a lifestyle that many idolise as a smokescreen for his misogyny.
What is Andrew Tate’s net worth?
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Andrew Tate is worth an estimated £16.2m.
What made Andrew Tate go viral?
Honestly, many things. We all know by now that being controversial sparks comments and shares. Tate’s virality is predominantly to do with his misogynistic views. This is one example that experienced a ton of backlash:
“I’m a sexist. I’m a misogynist. I’m misogynistic because I believe females are weaker than men. That makes me a bad person in the feminist mind…”
His brother, Tristan Tate, is no different, and the epitome of how misogyny is expressed every day. Though claiming to not be misogynistic, he still displays misogynistic behaviour in an underhand kind of way through his eye contact, sniggering and clearly finding the whole situation a joke. Some may even see this as worse than Tate’s behaviour.
What has Andrew done to spark outrage?
Tate attracted tons of criticism following comments surrounding rape that he made following the #MeToo movement. The Metro reported that he tweeted at the time: “Sexual harassment is disgusting and inexcusable. However, a man looking at you or whistling at you or asking your name isn’t harassment.”
We’re sure the 71% of women who have been sexually harassed in a public space would beg to differ.
But what’s worse, is he continued to say “Women have been exchanging sex for opportunity for a very long time. Some did this. Weren’t abused. […] If you put yourself in a position to be raped, you must bare some responsibility.”
Results from a survey of 35,000 EU citizens tell a different story, with a shocking 83% of female respondents aged 18-39 limiting where they go and who they go with and a further 39% changing their behaviour in order to avoid harassment. Yet only 3% of UK women aged 18-24 can say they’ve never been harassed? His argument just doesn’t add up.
Beliefs like these aren’t plucked out of thin air. Young boys have been proven to misinterpret consent, after all. People are rightly outraged at his comments which have caused a huge amount of coverage on social media in recent weeks, including TikTok with people calling him out and making videos explaining why his views are so dangerous.
However, while the majority of people agree that his views are wrong, it’s also led to several heated debates, with men on social media agreeing with him, backing up his comments and making their own misogynistic Tweets or TikToks in support of his view, making the internet a pretty scary place to be right now.
UPDATE 24/08/2022: Andrew Tate has been banned from YouTube, TikTok, Facebook and Instagram. The bans follow an online campaign to de-platform Tate, whose influence on his primarily young audience has become a growing concern among parents and teachers. They still, however, remain on platforms like Twitch. You can read more about it on NBC News.
Is Andrew Tate advocating a misogynistic lifestyle?
There’s an alarming number of people who aspire to be like Andrew Tate in some shape or form. Even if they’re just fans of the Hustlers University, it’s hard to ignore his controversial statements, and it’s only safe to assume the men who look up to him also share the same views.
There’s been a mixed bag over the internet. Many think he’s the man, and others see through his misogynistic views. We could flood this article with shocking posts in favour of his lifestyle and views, as well as those who oppose it, but all it takes is one Google search to witness it for yourselves.
His followers promote his content in return for the belief that they can reach his level of wealth with a little “hustling”. The toxicity of hustle culture is still pretty rampant, and many young individuals in this day and age look up to people who “come from nothing” and end up living the high life in huge houses across the world.
Social media personalities such as himself have tons of power and influence. One article claims to decode his persona and highlights how he’s unphased by the backlash by continuing to speak about women in the way he does. Is this to inspire his audience to think and feel the same way? We can’t help but think so.
Noticed how the Instagram post is of him chilling in Bucharest? There’s a chilling reason for that, made clear in his now deleted YouTube video. In the video, he claimed that in Eastern European countries, it’s easier to get away with rape.
“I’m not a f****** rapist, but I like the idea of just being able to do what I want. I like being free”.
“If you’re a man living in England or Germany or America or any of the western world right now you’ve decided to live in a country where any woman… at any point in the future can destroy your life.”
The Common Tate W movement and meaning
To further reinforce Tate’s fandom, if you’ve been in the know about Andrew Tate for a while, you may see comments like “Common Tate W”.
Common Tate W means that Andrew Tate is “right” about something. That’s what the “W” is there for, meaning “Win”.
What’s worse, is you may see this comment on other videos that aren’t necessarily to do with Andrew Tate, misogyny or the like. It’s become that trendy of a comment to make, that (mostly) men are commenting on this when they agree with something. To our knowledge at least…or potentially encouraging the Google search of “Common Tate W meaning” to indirectly increase his fandom.
Why it’s problematic
Quite simply, misogyny and violence toward women is getting worse.
The number of recorded rape offences has risen drastically, with 2021/22 displaying well over 70,000 cases. And over 70% of women in the UK have experienced sexual harassment in public.
What’s fueling this? We’ve talked about TikTok being one of the platforms that glamourise rape culture and misogyny. Of course, it’s not the only platform to blame, but it’s certainly influential to a younger audience who’ll then go on to believe Tate’s lifestyle is acceptable.
Is misogyny a hate crime?
In the UK, misogyny still isn’t a hate crime. The Government page itself, dare we say, is riddled with misogyny which we can’t help but find infuriatingly ironic (as evidenced by this statement “legislating against so-called “revenge porn” in section 2).
In England and Wales, hate crimes include race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and transgender identity. In January, The House of Lords rejected the idea of adding misogyny as the “root cause” of violence against women, citing it would be “more harmful than helpful” to women, ultimately making it harder to convict offenders.
According to YouGov, only seven in 10 Brits would support making misogyny a hate crime. This isn’t enough. Misogyny needs to be stopped in its tracks, and that begins with ourselves. But it sounds like it’ll be a long way off until the government realises this.
We, and many others, are obviously biased and believe it should be a hate crime. This isn’t a #NotAllMen issue, it’s an issue all genders (especially those who identify as men) need to tackle.
What would it mean if misogyny became a hate crime?
The death of Sarah Everard last year shocked the nation. What pains us more is this isn’t an isolated incident, and angers us that ethnic minority women receive just a fraction of the coverage.
According to familylaw.co.uk, the government announced an experimental scheme where all police forces are to record crimes motivated by sex and gender.
If misogyny did become a hate crime, it would change everything. We’re in a nation where sexism is still rampant in our daily lives, education and the workplace. Where comments and actions from a man toward women are still commonplace.
By making misogyny a hate crime, it could highlight the multi-faceted sides of misogyny and its interconnectedness with other forms of discrimination, such as racism, homophobia, transphobia and ableism.
Unfortunately, it does seem like we’re a long way from this becoming a reality. With men out there like Andrew Tate, hailed as someone men aspire to and displaying his views on women so openly, it’s hard to feel optimistic about change.
It’s especially hard when it’s clear that so many men of all ages and backgrounds do hold these views towards women, which only a quick scroll through the comment section on TikToks about him will show.
How can people display misogynistic behaviour?
All genders, mostly men (sorry not sorry) are capable of misogynistic acts and behaviours. Some are outright hurtful, while others may display it subtly or internally.
Sexism and misogyny can be displayed in three ways: hostile, benevolent and ambivalent. Let’s see what each of these looks like:
Think Incels (involuntarily celibate) here. Hostile misogyny is exactly what it sounds like, and looks like:
- Actively using sexist language or insults
- Being aggressive or making aggressive comments toward women
- Acting out against someone who defies or questions gender constructs (online and offline)
- Treating women as “lesser” than them in the workplace or other environments when they’re together
- Believe women are also to blame for physical and sexual abuse unto them.
This is essentially viewing women as “pure”, and is the opposite of hostile misogyny, though neither is worse than the other. Benevolent misogyny looks like this:
- Purely seeing women as a sister, daughter, mother, or girlfriend (think “they were someone’s daughter” trope)
- Valuing women’s looks over their abilities
- Assuming women are in specific lines of work associated with a specific gender, such as a nurse or receptionist
- Don’t believe women should be independent and that they should always have a man to support them.
A mix of the two, ambivalent misogyny sees women as fragile, but also thinks they can be deceitful and “robbing of a man’s power”. Here’s what ambivalent misogynistic behaviours might look like.
- Scalding women for not being lady-like
- Treating women differently if they don’t accept their advances
- Thinking there are “good” and “bad” women, based on their physical appearance and dress sense.
How to tackle misogynistic behaviour
Ask yourself where those beliefs come from
Internalised misogyny is very real. It may have developed organically throughout your life, or sparked from a young age after witnessing some form of toxic behaviour.
You may be a woman yourself and make a snarky comment about what another woman is wearing across the road. That’s something rooted in misogyny. Check in with yourself and really question why it’s such a problem that someone else is expressing themselves how they want to.
Stop being a bystander
Violence really can start with a joke. Witnessed a misogynistic joke over a drink or two? Call it out. They may brush it off as a joke, but they need to understand that it can fuel very distorted and dangerous views of women.
You’re as good as the people you surround yourself with, so if they refuse to realise what they’re doing is toxic — bail.
Let’s say you actually do witness someone being the butt of a misogynistic joke and no one steps in to do anything. Think about how uncomfortable it must be for them and how you would feel in that situation. Yes, calling out misogyny can be tricky, especially if the people you’re with refuse to see the serious side of it, but not calling it out is just as bad.
Change your language
“Man up” or “sorry, blonde moment” are just some of many examples people use daily to shame women. Swap these language habits out and educate yourself on why they’re harmful. After all, what you say could be picked up by someone else, a child even, and they’ll think that’s the norm.
If you work, talk to your HR manager about what policies are in place to prevent sexism and environments where gender stereotypes are prominent (women doing the tea round, for example).
Be an ally
Of course, while misogyny is a huge issue, many men don’t agree with Andrew Tate’s views and are willing to educate themselves on why misogyny is still so prevalent in our society and what we can do to change things.
As men, being allies to women is so important. Often when women call out misogyny, they are just met with more misogyny. Men challenging the misogynistic views of their friends and family and being there to support the women in their lives is important. To create a less misogynistic society, more men need to be standing up for women and speaking out against violence in order to help women feel safer.
This can start by joining in the conversations online, sticking up for women who experience misogyny in front of you and calling out your friends and family members on their views. Let’s face it, if you’re a man calling out other men on misogyny, they’re probably more likely to listen to you than if you were a woman (sadly).
Have the conversation
Discuss misogyny with your friends, family, and uni society. Simply sharing your views and maybe your own personal experiences can inspire others to change and question their own internalised beliefs. You can even talk about a book or talk you attended about the subject to inspire others.
If your family members or close friends do hold misogynistic views it can feel difficult to call them out on it, but at the end of the day, misogyny is often taught not learnt and these are probably views they’ve had for a long time.
Unfortunately, some people will never change. However, many are willing to see a fresh perspective on things even if it won’t fully change their views. Simply telling someone that what they’re saying is offensive can go a long way. Diffusing a misogynistic conversation and changing the subject is always better than sitting and allowing it to carry on, even if it’s making you uncomfortable.