By Daniel Francis
A couple of months back a strange thing began happening. I was suddenly bombarded with content from an individual named Andrew Tate in my Instagram and Tik Tok feeds.
This was very confusing and concerning to me because his message and demeanour were contrary to the type of content I typically view.
Now, on the one hand, he touted himself as a success coach and was giving out some sound advice on combatting laziness and how to become your best self. Although his delivery, however, was packaged in a macho, egotistical, and what I felt was an annoying manner.
I barely batted an eye at the “motivational” content but the rest of the content that I saw from him had a heavy misogynistic messaging that echoed the sentiments that women were the property of men, compared cheating to exercise, and a whole slew of things that enter the border of toxic masculinity.
As I have come to learn through a bit of research, Andrew Tate is a British-American ex-kickboxer who quickly rose to influencer stardom. His rise happened quickly and was helped by a strategic hack of the algorithms on his part.
He allegedly coordinated with thousands of his members from his private online academy, ‘Hustler Academy’ to repost the most controversial parts of his videos on social media, which explains why I saw his content so heavily.
Why am I talking about Andrew Tate? His message is dangerous to young men and unfortunately a lot of damage may have already been done. You would think with content like this he’d be wrapped up in controversy and exiled to an isolated corner.
You would be right and wrong.
His videos collectively racked up billions of views and he was the most searched person on Google in July.
However, if you try to search online now you will see that he has been banned on all social media platforms as his hateful content went against the community guidelines set on these platforms.
What is most concerning to me is that his popularity hit a peak during July and August. Imagine the number of young men who would have seen, interacted with, and internalised Mr Tate’s message.
Again, not all of what he said was misogynistic but as an impressionable teen who is constantly being bombarded with this messaging over summer break, we can only imagine the effect it is having on them.
Thinking about all of this brings me back to a bizarre conversation I was privy to in college. A women’s group on campus did a simple exercise.
They put up a board in the college community area. On one side the heading “What men expect from women” was written and on the other side, “What women expect from men”. Passers-by were encouraged to write what they would expect from the opposite sex.
The exercise was stopped after a couple of hours because on the side “What men expect from women” the responses were so sexist that it began enraging the female student populace.
The conversation I mentioned was with a man who wrote a statement that women belong in the kitchen and nowhere else, but the bizarre part was that he wholeheartedly believed that this was what women wanted.
He could not understand why the women around him were upset by what he had written because he believed his statement to be an irrefutable fact. One can only imagine the type of influence he was around growing up.
The algorithms on these social media platforms put content in front of you that is “trending” and more often than not, that content can be controversial. I think as a Catholic community we must be very careful about what our young men are consuming on these platforms.
A heavy presence of constant misogynistic influences at an early age encourages them to express toxic masculine traits, and similar to the man from my college memory, they may not realise that their thinking is misogynistic.
We need to foster a world where we respect each other and specific to this article, a world where young boys grow up to respect women.
I don’t care if part of Andrew Tate’s message was positive because the toxic nature of what he represents is dangerous and that was made apparent by his banishment from social media.
Let’s all do our part to foster the right ideals in our young men.
Daniel Francis is a millennial helping other millennials. He is a two-time author of the books The Millennial Mind and The Millennial Experience, and an entrepreneur. Over the past four years, he has served as a Personal Development Coach whose work targets Millennials and helps them tap into their full potential. He is also a Self-publishing coach and has guided hundreds on self-publishing their book successfully.
LinkedIn: Daniel Francis