By Aislinn O’Keeffe
Last month a number of social media corporations announced that they were banning the hateful lowlife Andrew Tate from their platforms. Of course, this hasn’t stopped videos of his content being uploaded across social media, particularly on TikTok, and the recent ban has seen Tate continuing to receive a platform through podcast and TV interviews, including Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show.
Andrew Tate is a kick-boxer and former Big Brother contestant who was kicked off the reality show in 2016 after footage leaked of him abusing a woman with a belt, along with homophobic and racist tweets. He has become viral in recent times due to the deeply misogynistic and controversial ideology he peddles to his millions of mostly young male online followers. Social media algorithms, which elevate controversy, have ensured that he has a wide reach resulting in more clicks for content creators and corporations equating to profit for all involved.
Thousands of interview clips of Tate are circulating online whereby he propounds his toxic ideology. It is an ideology of male supremacy whereby women are to be subservient and obedient to men and whereby men have the freedom to speak and act however they wish without repercussions.
In some of his worst monologues, he demonstrates how to subdue a woman, “slap, slap, grab, choke, shut up b*tch, sex.” In another interview, he states that women who were raped “must bare some responsibility.” The 35-year-old also speaks openly about his preference for dating 18- and 19-year-old girls as they are easier to put his “imprint” on. In addition, he believes that men are permitted to cheat on their female partners; however, women are not even permitted to speak to other men.
Among his many pronouncements is his assertion that “depression isn’t real” and that instead people are simply “lazy.” Tate’s treatment of other men is not much better; those who do not live up to his ideal of masculinity are deemed failures. In one instance, he responds to a man fundraising for his ill son by saying, “do you feel like a failure that the amount you need to help your own son is less than a quarter than I spent on one of my five cars?”
Socially entrenched ideas
One thing that we can find agreement on with Tate is that what he is saying is not new. These deeply misogynistic views are entrenched in capitalist society, along with harmful views of what constitutes masculinity. They serve to justify the inequality of the system and maintain the status quo.
Meanwhile, men’s violence against women is widespread, while rates of depression are on the rise. Globally, one in three women are affected by gender-based violence in their lifetime, while the rate of suicide among men stands at 13.9 deaths for every 100,000.
Misogynists like Andrew Tate claim they aim to help men and boys but their message exacerbates mental health issues by encouraging them to feel ashamed rather than seek help. Toxic sexist views alienate men and boys from women and girls and train them to view other men as competitors to whom they should constantly measure themselves, deepening the alienation that these men already feel.
It is crucial that these toxic views are intercepted, and this task should not be left to mega corporations whose sole intent is to make profit regardless of the consequences to society. Working-class organisation is the only effective means to counter this swelling tide. Men must intervene with their younger counterparts and must join women and gender non-conforming people with a socialist feminist programme to organise against the toxic system which pits working-class people against each other. Building solidarity and community in realising that all our struggles emanate from the same source is the single most effective and empowering tool at our disposal.