Opinion: Dangerously Sexist

Internet influencer Andrew Tate continues to exert a damaging effect on young male culture, even after being banned on major social media platforms.

Deeksha Rachupalli, Staff Writer

“What color is your Bugatti?” 

For those not well versed in the latest internet language, this is a question often used to invalidate and degrade anyone who presents an argument against the online celebrity Andrew Tate. The question insinuates that Tate’s wealth, symbolized by the Bugatti, makes him automatically superior to consequences for his actions online. Although the line is intended in a sarcastic tone, it betrays the elitist and destructive core of Tate and his supporters.  

Andrew Tate is a former kick-boxer, but he is better (and more infamously) known as an internet personality with misogynistic, racist, and homophobic views. His main demographic includes young, anti-feminist men, which he deftly manipulates.

Josh Roose, a political sociologist from Deakin University who studies extremism and masculinity, said, “Research I’ve done, and others have done, demonstrates that where older men are typically more likely to be distrusting of minority groups, younger men at a really surprising level, a significant minority, are anti the idea of women having the same rights as men. That demographic is being exploited by individuals [Andrew Tate] like this.”

Tate is undoubtedly outspoken on what he believes women can and can’t do. He says that women belong in the home, can’t drive, and are a man’s property. He also believes that rape victims  “bear responsibility” for their attacks. 

However, Tate’s atrocities go beyond saying a few despicable things about women; instead, he advocates for abusing, dehumanizing, and grooming women. If a woman were to accuse him of infidelity, he stated this as his response: “It’s bang out the machete, boom in her face and grip her by the neck.”

The shocking and despicable nature of his views appear to know no end.  On the BFF’s podcast, he said, “You can’t be responsible for something that doesn’t listen to you. You can’t be responsible for a dog if it doesn’t obey you, or a child if it doesn’t obey you, or a woman that doesn’t obey you.”

Tate further claims to date women in their early adulthood in order to “imprint” on them–essentially grooming them. 

Tate’s abusive history began early in his career. In 2016, he was kicked off a popular reality show Big Brother after beating a woman with a belt, which he claims was consensual. Even after his rise to internet fame, he continuously found himself situated in serious controversies. 

One of Tate’s residencies is in Romania. When asked why he bought property there, he answered in a now deleted YouTube video that “he was less likely to be investigated for rape allegations in Eastern Europe.” 

In April of this year, his residence was raided by the Romanian police after the news of an American woman being abducted. Tate strongly denied the allegations. However, looking at his reasoning for moving to Romania and his advocacy for abuse towards women, one can’t help but wonder if the police raid was just. 

In his past, Andrew Tate’s ex-girlfriend accused him of hitting her. He also denies this allegation, calling her select words. Again, this too is suspect, and many wonder if his actions and words coincide.

Tate not only enforces harmful behavior, he also embodies it. To his highly impressionable audience, he is a role model, and many of them, often at an impressionable age, seek to embody this dangerous behavior.

Hannah Ruschen, Senior Policy Officer for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), said, “Viewing such material at a young age can shape a child’s experiences and attitudes, resulting in further harm to women and girls in and out of school and online.”

In light of the recent controversies, Tate was banned on multiple social media platforms, including Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram.

However, it must be asked why such a person was given a platform to begin with? With Tate’s many misogynistic and abusive views, the viability of his platform until as recently as earlier year contradicts the ideals of our purportedly progressive society. 

Platform or no platform, the damage is already done. Tate still has a fervent following. In fact, the bans may have been counterproductive.

As stated by Joanna Schroeder, a writer whose work focuses on gender and media representation, “The bans are just drawing more attention to him. It’s given him a very big microphone.”

Andrew Tate is a deeply and shockingly harmful personality who gained a following by exploiting a young, hateful, and dangerously impressionable audience. Instead of taking immediate action, media corporations essentially supported his behavior by keeping him on platforms despite a flood of abusive reports. This isn’t the first example of the internet giving fame to dangerously sexist men, and it’s enough to raise concerns that influential social media platforms may never learn from their mistakes.

 

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Editors’ note: All opinions expressed on The Uproar are a reflection solely of the beliefs of the bylined author and not the journalism program at NASH.  We continue to welcome school-appropriate comments and guest articles.