TW: mentioning of rape, sexual assault and violence
By now, you might have heard a thing or two about a man called Andrew Tate. Something about a Twitter argument with Greta Thunberg, a pizza box, and Tate being arrested in Romania. My Instagram feed was flooded by this guy and comments about him being the ‘top G’, which was surprising to me. All that I knew was that he was arrested. So who is he, why do people like him so much, and most importantly, what exactly is the influence of Andrew Tate?
In a way, Tate is just another person who capitalised on the rise of social media, and influencers with it. His appeal is mainly based on the fact that he is a self-made, confident, rich and successful man. He posts about his workout schedules, ways to motivate yourself, and talks about his wealth and how he acquired it. A self-help guru, specifically for young men.
But how did he get so rich? Well, most of his money and fame seems to come from the so-called Hustlers Academy; a platform that promises to teach people how to make money online by investing and drop shipping. The thing that made this work was the fact that Tate had his so-called ‘students’ spread his content throughout the internet. It’s the reason why Andrew Tate was suddenly everywhere, including my own Instagram feed. This way of marketing is sneaky, but clearly extremely effective.
It’s unsurprising that people believe Andrew Tate when he talks about how to be successful, or hustle. He regularly shows off expensive cars and watches, and his past doesn’t hurt either. After all, would you ask a homeless person for advice on how to be successful and rich? How about a former kickboxing champion, entrepreneur and son of an international chess master? Understandably, young people are attracted to the latter. Tate, as a person, and the self-help strategies he promotes are seen as inspiring, empowering, and encouraging to anyone who wants to become the best version of themselves.
In his podcasts, videos and tweets, he emphasises on his mindset, and shares his experience on becoming the successful man he is today. He preaches the necessity of discipline and hard work to accomplish your goals. If you want to take a look at what exactly Tate claims to stand for, you can look up the ‘41 tenets’ he vows to live by. However, the keyword here is ‘claims’.
In reality, there’s another side to his idea of being a confident and successful man. Tate’s actions regularly contradict his beliefs, which can be dangerous to young people’s perception of certain things. Despite the fact that he claims to be respectful towards women in his aforementioned tenets, his behaviour proves otherwise. This inconsistency could potentially cause young people to copy his behaviour, believing it to be acceptable.
Not only that, but some of his outings are also just inherently harmful. Andrew Tates tweets show that he believes dominance, aggression and suffering are an important part of being a man. His online persona promotes what many consider to be toxic masculinity, which is a term used to describe traditionally male behaviours and attitudes that can be harmful to both men and women. He has been known to promote the concept of ‘’Alpha Male’’ dominance and regularly makes statements that, by many, are considered sexist. For example, he claims that rape victims are partially responsible for their attacks, hints at women being a man’s property when married, and believes women can’t make their own money. Tate is also very open about the fact that he believes depression isn’t a real medical condition. Regardless of anyone’s opinion on these matters, these statements could be harmful. According to actual health professionals, depression is very much a real thing. Tate’s statements might prevent people who are struggling from accessing care. Apart from that, his objectification of women perpetuates the idea that women’s worth is based on their physical appearance and their ability to attract men, and his views on masculinity could lead to a distorted view of what it means to be a man. Especially in a teenager’s mind.
Then there is still the matter of Andrew Tate being arrested in Romania. While everything I have talked about so far might be controversial, none of it is illegal. What is illegal, however, is human trafficking and rape. Human trafficking, according to the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labour or commercial sex act.” According to DHS, some methods that might be used to lure victims into trafficking situations are manipulation, false promises, and romantic relationships.
With that in mind, here’s a direct quote of Andrew Tate on his website explaining how he got rich: “My job was to meet a girl, go on a few dates, sleep with her, test if she’s quality, get her to fall in love with me to where she’d do anything I say, and then get her on webcam so we could become rich together.”
I don’t think I have anything to add there.
By now, most people are aware of the fact that social media significantly impacts our lives, and influencers with it. Everyone who makes use of social media is exposed to an ever-increasing number of people who present themselves as role-models. Some of them, like Andrew Tate, seemingly with the goal to inspire us to be better versions of ourselves.
It can be really easy to be swept away by the charisma and success of these influencers, but what I want to emphasise with this article, is to be critical about the intentions of the people you see as role models, and the messages they promote. I understand the need to become a better version of yourself. I think that’s a good and healthy thing to strive for. I also think you don’t need a guy like Andrew Tate to tell you how to do it. Despite keeping up the appearance of wanting to help people, someone like Andrew Tate encourages toxic behaviours and a disregard for the well-being of others. But you can be confident and successful while still treating all the people around you with respect and kindness. By being aware of the influence of people like Andrew Tate, you can choose to instead find a role model who not only helps you become a better person, but one who also advocates for positivity and growth in the world around you. I don’t think anything short of that should be worthy of your attention.