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Andrew Tate is filling vacuum left by parents who don’t want to have awkward talks with their sons about women

Tate didn’t invent misogyny, he just monetised it using younger, impressionable, tech-savvy boys

There was worry that Channel 4′s documentary about Andrew Tate would platform the man deplatformed by all social media giants except X (very telling Elon). That’s always the issue when you have a documentary subject facing criminal charges willing to grant access and interviews to “get their side of the story across”. There’s an assumption they’re being given a chance at damage control.

In Tate’s case the stakes were particularly high, as the man who once said rape victims should bear responsibility for their attack was charged last year with human trafficking, sexual assault and forming an organised criminal gang to sexually exploit women. Allegations which he and his co-accused brother deny.

The critics of the 90 minute I am Andrew Tate had nothing to be concerned about, in some ways.

Tate comes across as a Sim controlled by a 14-year-old boy with an unlimited money cheat code. He is living the “very cool, big fancy man” lifestyle dreamed up by someone who has just been given their first Lynx Africa gift set for Christmas.


Tate drives fast cars that make loud “vroom-vroom” noises. He has many large television screens and samurai swords. He hangs out with large-breasted women in his mansion. He doesn’t have a nine-to-five job.

Tate is reminiscent of the weird, dodgy, older brother of a mate that younger boys idolised in school. But once grown and on reflection, realised actually it was a bit sad that a full-grown man bragged about all the “chicks he banged” to impress teenage boys at 3pm on a Tuesday, unemployed, stoned and feeding frozen mice to the exotic snake he definitely didn’t have a reptile licence for.

That’s the danger – adults see him for what he is. But young men who are both his target audience and his stream of revenue do not.

The most revealing parts of the documentary are the interviews with his young fans. We see the infamous clip of Tate brandishing a Crocodile Dundee-style knife explaining how he would react to a girlfriend who accused him of cheating: “It’s bang, out the machete, boom in her face and grip her by the neck. Shut up b**ch.”

The fan waves away suggestions of misogyny. “That’s just the masculine and feminine play,” the fan says. “The value from it you need to get is men should be strong, you need to protect yourself like get out b**ch!

“I don’t think he’s meaning that he’s ... that’s the funny part you’re supposed to laugh at that people!” he says to the sound of his own unconvincing giggle and the silence to everyone else in the room.

Tate didn’t invent misogyny, he just monetised it. Using younger impressionable but tech-savvy boys, he flooded TikTok and YouTube algorithms. By selling them a fantasy of money, women and fast cars for a measly £40 a month, they could sign up to Hustler’s University where they were encouraged to clip and repost Tate’s content while receiving a cut of the revenue of others they recruited. Tate has denied the affiliate marketing scheme was in any way pyramid-shaped. By posting clips with clickbait content, account owners could also generate their own revenue from well-performing channels so they were incentivised to spread the worst of the worst of Tate’s comments.

Tate’s rise intersected two other phenomena shaping the development of young men today. The first was the rise of the “edgelord” – the younger generation’s response to political correctness gone mad. Young men, particularly teenage boys, started to realise there was a social and cultural reward for saying or doing purposefully heinous things about untouchable subjects like rape, the Holocaust and paedophilia under the guise of “it’s a joke”. This primed them to respect a deliberate sh*t-stirrer like Tate, even though he’s a grown man who calls himself “Cobra”.

The second lure was Tate’s promise to help them escape the “matrix” which involves holding down a nine-to-five job. This generation of young people have learned from their elder millennial peers that a university degree and a nine-to-five job no longer guarantees a decent standard of living or stable housing. Which is why Tate’s courses on dropshipping, affiliate marketing, copywriting and cryptocurrency – all businesses that can be operated with just a broadband connection and spare time have proven to be popular. They offer a solution to attain success – the money, the women, the cars, the swords – in an economically unsure future.

One of the most common mistakes boys make when trying to figure out how to be a man is believing there’s an inverse relationship to masculinity and being nice to girls.

Your masculinity, your hardness is measured against what words you use to call them. What you throw at them on the playground. What sexual acts you can pressure them into. How disrespectfully you talk about them in group chats. What porn is consumed. What nudes are shared.

Tate is filling the vacuum left by parents who don’t want to have awkward talks with their sons about how they feel about women.

We want to think that men like and respect women because they seem to like and respect their mother and their sisters. Job done. But men don’t always treat women the same way they treat their family. How many times have we heard a man say “as a father” to condemn a crime because violence against women is only abhorrent when it happens to certain women in men’s lives. Not all of them. That’s why it’s not enough to assume our boys are all good boys without guidance.

We need to listen to how they talk, know what they’re consuming, how that’s forming their opinions. We need to have conversations and ask them questions and be safe places for them to share what they think, however misinformed. Otherwise these young boys are at risk of becoming victims of patriarchy on steroids too. At worst they end up exactly like Tate, at best unable to sustain healthy relationships with women later in life. We cannot abandon them, not at this dangerous point in time and leave it all up to sheer dumb luck.