The horrifying legacy of Andrew Tate

Sophia Popkin, Social Media Editor

Trigger Warning: sexual assault, sexual abuse

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the infamous Andrew Tate. A former professional kickboxer turned influencer, Tate is best known for sharing his horrifically misogynistic and generally degrading views online. This description may sound quite jarring if you don’t know who he is; however, Tate’s disgusting views definitely align with the internet personality’s past actions. He was famously removed from the TV show “Big Brother” after a video of him beating a woman with a belt was released online. Furthermore, Tate has numerous sex trafficking, sexual assault and abuse allegations—he even moved from the U.K. to Romania because, as he has admitted, it would be easier to evade charges for sexual abuse crimes.  

While you might think that someone who has explicitly stated that women who have been raped “bear some responsibility” for their own sexual assault would find no audience on the internet for their horrifying statements and views, quite the opposite occurred. Following these controversies, Tate gained a much larger following. Prior to his social media accounts being banned, Tate had amassed millions of followers on every platform, including over 4.6 million on Instagram as well as hundreds of thousands of subscribers to his program called “Hustler’s University,” in which people would essentially pay $49.99 a month to listen to Andrew Tate discuss even more of his horrendous takes, with a promise to help men get rich quick. For some, the man had sort of a meme factor: he was constantly making outlandish claims, which many people would make fun of for its sheer shock value. However, for a majority of his followers, his disgusting point of view became gospel—an especially dangerous notion considering a vast majority of his audience seemed to be impressionable young men and boys. 

As previously stated, Tate has thankfully since been banned from YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and Facebook. But his influence still remains incredibly prominent online and in the lives of millions. For example, an educator had posted on Reddit under the r/teachers subreddit claiming that young boys in her classes are now refusing to treat female classmates with respect and often decline to read any assignments that incorporate the works of female authors because of Andrew Tate’s rhetoric. So, while Tate can no longer directly post on the internet, his influence on young boys’ perception of women will continue to impact their daily lives. 

His fame has also allowed for many other misogynistic, “alpha male” men to flourish online. I do not want to promote the pages of any more sexist, homophobic or generally oppressive influencers, so I will not be sharing the names of any of these men, but believe me, they are still out there. Andrew Tate’s notorious, harmful rhetoric lives on, with more and more men and boys falling down the dangerous pipeline from casually listening to devoutly following the overly toxic misogynistic influencer. 

This leaves our society in an incredibly concerning position: Andrew Tate’s legacy of popularizing violent degradation toward women and other minority groups will continue to affect our lives. While misogyny has always been a deeply ingrained issue in our civilization, what I call the “Andrew Tate Effect” makes it feel like we are taking a huge step back. We are not only seeing men making sexist remarks more regularly, but we are also seeing a rise in young men who genuinely believe that women should be subservient to them, are their property and deserve to be treated accordingly. This, frankly, is terrifying.

“So,” you might ask, “what can we, as a society, do to remedy the issue?” What I think is most important here is to better monitor the internet usage of young children, first and foremost. Young boys are too easily influenced to question the misogynistic rhetoric of people like Andrew Tate, and the TikTok and YouTube algorithms makes it worse. By liking a few posts from “alpha male” influencers, your pages will likely fill with similar content. We all must challenge those who have fallen down the misogynistic rabbit hole. Most women and feminine-presenting people I know do this already, as this issue directly affects them, but it is essential that men start to call out the beliefs of their peers. Of course, some Andrew Tate stans will be too far gone to knock any sense into them, but it is up to us to at least try and help them unpack their incredibly loaded viewpoints. If we all make a real effort to both prevent the spread of misogyny and encourage those who contribute to it to self-reflect, we can create a much safer environment for women in our society.