DEBATE OF THE WEEK:Are his ideas hurting men?
IN THE NEWS: Andrew Tate portrays himself as the saviour of lost young men. But experts think he is really just milking them for all they are worth.
Cults tend to arise at times of insecurity. During the decline of the Roman Empire, many joined the secretive cult of Mithras. As the Industrial Revolution turned people’s lives upside-down, thousands joined the cult of Joanna Southcott, a 64-year-old woman claiming to be pregnant with the new messiah.
Today, the story goes, insecurity around gender roles is driving men into a new cult, run by infamous influencer Andrew Tate.
Many hoped his arrest in Romania last year would dampen his influence. But there is little sign of that.
Experts agree that Tate’s ideas are harming women. Polls have found that more than a quarter of men aged 18 to 39 agree with his extreme, misogynistic views. And that has begun to bubble over into the way they treat women.
But many also believe his ideas are harmful for his target audience: men, especially young men.
Tate markets himself as the saviour of lost men. The more they get sucked into his circles, the more they get isolated from friends and family. That makes them more and more reliant on the community that Tate provides.
And his teachings, they say, are also harmful. He tells men they can be everything he is. But if they do not become multimillionaire alpha males, it is their own fault.
But, experts suggest, Tate’s advice actually sets them up to fail.
Tate tells them to make money from online businesses. But up to 90% of online businesses fail within four months.
He tells them women want strong men who can offer them financial security. But when asked in surveys, women say they want a kind and supportive partner, not a rich one.
And when men they find themselves in the ruin of their business, having driven away all the women in their lives, Andrew Tate will tell them it is all their own fault.
Are his ideas hurting men?
Andrew Tate exploits vulnerable young men for money. The advice he gives them is not only worthless for real life, but likely to isolate them from friends and family — so he can exploit them even more.
Tate is a symptom, not a cause. He is taking advantage of the fact that life has genuinely become more of a challenge for men. We have to give them a better role-model.
The men who follow Tate are people who are disappointed that women are now treated as people, because it means they can no longer expect to have everything handed to them on a plate. They deserve all they get.
Mithras-A Roman religion or cult centred on the god Mithras. There was a system of seven grades of initiation. Industrial Revolution-A period of sudden, rapid industrialisation that transforms a country from an agricultural to an industrial economy. Misogynistic-Strongly and deeply ingrained prejudice against women. Alpha males-Dominant and influential male members of their social group.