- Andrew Tate is a misogynistic influencer who gained awareness in late summer 2022.
- He has subsequently been banned by many major social media sites.
- Misogyny can hurt people of all genders, not just those it directly attacks.
Recently, one of the most buzzed-about social media influencers hasn’t made their mark through typical avenues such as great fashion hauls or informative mental health talks. No, instead, they’ve erupted the internet with dehumanizing misogyny.
The man in question, Andrew Tate, described himself as a “success coach” in one interview but has nothing but vile things to say about women and how they should be treated. These include, but are not limited to: dating women ages 18 to 19 is better because you can imprint on them, women should stay home, and men own women as property. Tate, who is British-American, has also been investigated by police for abuse and holding a woman against her will.
These statements echo his first brush with public life when, in 2016, Tate was kicked off the show “Big Brother” after a video showed him hitting a woman with a belt. The following year he responded to the #MeToo movement stating women should hold some of the responsibility for being raped, according to The Guardian.
Facebook, TikTok, Youtube, and Instagram are among the platforms that have banned Tate’s content. However, that hasn’t stopped its influence or spread on the internet. As of mid-August, NBC News reported that videos with “#AndrewTate” had been viewed 12.7 billion times on TikTok.
The Psychological and Social Appeal of Misogyny Influencers
The word “misogyny” first entered public discourse in the 17th century as a word meaning to hate women. Today the definition has expanded to include not only hatred but also “aversion to, or prejudice,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Critically, “misogyny” differs from “sexism” as it is only against women versus applying to any sex.
There are multiple reasons an individual might find someone peddling misogyny, such as low self-esteem and similar belief systems. Regarding low self-esteem, Dr. Lee Phillips, a psychotherapist and certified sex and couples therapist, says this, along with experiencing insecurities, can increase the likelihood of someone leaning into the ideology of toxic masculinity.
“They may not feel great about themselves, and this can lead them to being a people pleaser,” explains Phillips. “Someone who preaches toxic masculinity needs control, and they will lure someone in by manipulating them. This is often a people pleaser.”
Y. Mimi Ryans, LCSW-C
Don’t tell your daughter that the little boy who picks on her and pulls her pigtails does that because he likes her.
It also can be as simple as someone like Andrew Tate spewing what a person already thinks and wishes to express themselves. This alignment can lead to an idolization of sorts, explains Angela Robinson, LPCMH, NCC, the clinical director at NorthNode Group Counseling.
The Mental Health Consequences of Misogyny
It goes without saying—yet somehow can’t be emphasized enough—that misogyny can have severe mental health consequences. “Gender inequality can cause a cascading effect of negative emotional responses, defense mechanisms, and self-minimizing thought processes,” says Robinson. “It causes divisiveness, hatred, bitterness, and self-fulfilled boundaries. It’s a waste of energy and could potentially stunt individuals from reaching their fullest potential.”
Negative messaging and power imbalance can also lead to women feeling less agency over their lives and, at the same time, men becoming more manipulative, adds Y. Mimi Ryans, LCSW-C, RPT-S, CCPT, owner and lead therapist at Lighthouse Center for Therapy & Play. This horrible impact is true for people of all genders, whether an entire culture is misogynistic or a sole person around you acts this way. “These perspectives can be damaging as a young woman will grow up feeling less than and young men will grow up lacking empathy for women,” she continues.
Lee Phillips, EdD
Someone who preaches toxic masculinity needs control, and they will lure someone in by manipulating them.
While some men may perceive misogyny as a benefit to their gender, in the end, once again, it impacts everyone poorly. Robinson explains that honing in on this perspective can reduce free-thinking and self-discovery opportunities. “If a young man is emotionally immature and does not have the ability to process emotions that will allow him to gain new perspectives before reactions, they could be more prone to violent and abusive behaviors,” she adds. “Consequently, it’s due to the inability of being honest with oneself and the human ability to have the sustained energy to ‘act a part’ due to traditional social acceptance and a false perception of promised benefits.”
One part of combatting this narrative starts with parental intervention. As Phillips explains, the development of one’s self-esteem begins in childhood, and misogynistic cultures can leave boys feeling as if they can’t adequately express their emotions.
“Parents need to instill in their children that relationships are partnerships and not ownerships. Adults also need to stop toxic masculinity at a young age,” Ryans adds. “Don’t tell your daughter that the little boy who picks on her and pulls her pigtails does that because he likes her.”
What This Means For You
Whether you’re an avid social media user or your children are, it’s critical to introduce different perspectives and never accept any ideology at face value or assume if it doesn’t target you it’s fine to engage.
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