By: Nicole Damron
May 24th, 2023
*Content Warning: this article contains mentions of rape, sexual assault, and murder.*
It’s scary to know that there are people in the world who think like Andrew Tate, a public figure known for spewing his violent, misogynistic views on social media and even physically harming women he’s involved with.
The former kickboxer-turned-social media figure has promoted his aggressively anti-woman rhetoric without consequence—that is, until he was recently arrested in Romania under suspicion of human trafficking and rape.
Tate’s influence is not one to be taken lightly. His online presence has given the incel subculture new life, and incel identifiers have found themselves a new champion.
That being said, it was no surprise to many when Tate and his brother were arrested in Romania in late 2022 on human trafficking and rape charges. The Tates had previously moved to the country because of its lax rape and corruption laws, as the influencer claimed in a now deleted video uploaded to his YouTube channel.
The 36-year-old has made a name for himself online for his shockingly chauvinistic comments about women, even going so far as to say that women should bear responsibility for being raped. This is just the tip of the iceberg that is Tate’s arsenal of woman-hatred, and his words and ideals are not just confined to dim-witted twitter rants.
All of Tate’s comments are deeply rooted in toxic masculinity. The media figure presents himself as an “alpha male:” a man made of money, success, fast cars and beautiful women. He’s the founder of “Hustlers University”, an online pyramid scheme that promises to “turn around your financial life” and help you “become a financially free person”. Tate positions himself on his platform as a “success coach”— someone who, according to his website, “grew up broke” and is now a multi-millionaire.
The average person, upon looking at the website and doing the most basic research about the course, can identify “Hustlers University” as a scam. The life coach gimmick is entirely embedded with hyper-masculine claims to power and success, and the website is littered with glamor shots of Tate himself.
For concerning reasons, Andrew Tate’s image and brand resonates with small groups of (mostly) young men. Festering in the darkest corners of the internet, there exists a community of men who dedicate most of their waking hours to openly hating and declaring war on women.
These men, usually young and white, refer to themselves as “Incels,” or “involuntarily celibate”. These young men blame women and society for their lack of romantic success and rejection, and they vehemently maintain that women have too much sexual/romantic power in modern society. These ideas manifest themselves in online chat rooms and message boards, and often include threats or fantasies of violence.
Incels claim that their loneliness is due to a number of factors, including female sexual liberation, their own appearance or social deficiencies, financial status or even competition from men of other races. Incel ideology centers around the notion that sex and romantic relationships are being purposely and unfairly withheld from them, and pathological lingo like “reverse rape” perpetuates the idea that above all else, men are owed sex and adoration.
Famous misogynists like Andrew Tate not only validate these beliefs, but actively contribute to the violence against women that these individuals desperately fantasize about perpetrating.
These threats of violence are not to be taken lightly, and have on multiple occasions escalated to homicide and mass murder. In 2014, a 22-year-old killed six people in the community of Isla Vista, located near the University of California Santa Barbara campus. In his manifesto, the self-described incel wrote, “One day incels will realize their true strength and numbers, and will overthrow this oppressive feminist system. Start envisioning a world where WOMEN FEAR YOU.”
This is just one of many examples of the ways that incel and misogynistic ideologies are a dire threat, and should be monitored and regarded as such. In the past 7 years alone, more than 53 people have been killed and hundreds injured in incel-related attacks.
Online spaces and platforms make it easy for incels and misogynists to find a community among themselves, and when famous men like Andrew Tate use their platform to validate these ideals, it emboldens those seeking violence to act on it.
Violence against women is a growing global issue, and online spaces do nothing to minimize the threat that misogynistic extremists pose to millions of women. Woman-haters like Andrew Tate are particularly dangerous because of their online audiences and reach. We must hold these men accountable, and actively work against the creation of a culture that threatens the humanity and livelihood of women.
Nicole Damron is a senior majoring in Arts and Humanities and Professional and Public Writing with a minor in Spanish. She aspires to work as a culture and entertainment writer, potentially freelance. In her leisure time Nicole enjoys playing guitar and trumpet, true crime, listening to music, and sleeping in concerningly late.