By Mia Bains
“The masculine perspective is you have to understand that life is war. It’s a war for the female you want. It’s a war for the car you want. It’s a war for the money you want. It’s a war for the status. Masculine life is war.Andrew Tate
Andrew Tate has sparked ideas of sexism and violence towards women in the minds of thousands of young men and his tirade has proved that sexism has not left the public rhetoric, even in the 21st century.
The internet can be a powerful tool for change and is often used as a vehicle through which activists increase outreach and promote their messages in a low-cost method. However, when people who intend to cause damage and possess racist, sexist or homophobic views, harness this platform their messages can gain equal potency and spread at an even more rapid rate. Given the current climate of uncertainty, in both our economic and political world, people are often drawn to messages of unchanged and concrete stability, and messages that scapegoat a group of people for society’s problems. Andrew Tate has harnessed both means to increase the susceptibility of his audience:
1)His messages are similar and repetitive meaning they gain a sense of familiarity for his followers, this constant drilling-in of misinformation can go unobserved on social media where everyone is free to make radical claims.
2)His messages centre around how new movements such as feminism are “destroying” the place of men in society, this shifts the blame away from the real causes of dissatisfaction in these people’s lives (e.g., unemployment, mental health, relationship issues) and instead decrees that the real problem is women’s autonomy in society.
“You can’t be responsible for something that doesn’t listen to you. You can’t be responsible for a dog if it doesn’t obey you, or a child if it doesn’t obey you, or a woman that doesn’t obey you.”Andrew Tate
Online and in the real world (around 50% of men in the UK believe feminism has gone too far as indicated by a recent survey) third-wave feminism often comes under attack, but Tate isn’t just critical of the issues surrounding the modern feminist movement; he’s critical of the fact that men and women are born with equal intellectual capability and thus they also deserve equal treatment, opportunities and education. Several times he refers to his “ownership” of the women in his life, claiming he has a right to this as women “desire” him because he is rich and “successful”
“Women are the ultimate status symbol”Andrew Tate
This abhorrent view not only justifies the patriarchal society but totally undermines the fortitude of women in the past, present and future who have fought, are fighting and will fight for equal rights, opportunity and education; only in 12 countries do men and women have exact equal, legal, rights, out of a total 194.
The history of this message however lies far deeper in our society, and is in fact rooted in our history. From the Victorian period, women and men were tasked with “separate spheres”; the man of the house would work and be expected to have an academic education, political values and control, contrary, the women were given the role “Angel of the Household” Skills such as needlework, music and dancing were developed but only to impress a future husband, these skills were not expected to be carried out of the “domestic sphere” and were not to be monetised as this would lead to an interchange of roles between men and women. Similarly Tate questions “why is a woman flying my plane?” exhibiting how he believes women should stay in the domestic sphere far, far away from well-paid, highly skilled jobs that would allow them to leave their so-called, archaic domestic spheres. In the Victorian era, men were also allowed sexual freedom and frequently exploited women, whilst their wives were expected to pay them absolute loyalty in spite of their criminal and repulsive behaviour. The Married Women’s Property Act of 1870 decreed that “Thus, a woman, on marrying, relinquished her personal property to her husband’s ownership;”. In this way, the Victorian husband has totalitarian control over his wife, offering her financial protection in a world where women were limited to the domestic sphere. Andrew Tate said in an interview that ““By extension, if I have responsibility over her, then I must have a degree of authority.” when discussing his thoughts on control over women. This view sounds scarily apocalyptic but when looking back on our past we can clearly see that his views are not revolutionary, inspired or modern, but archaic and a regression of the Victorian values that had stripped women of all autonomy.
Bringing the significance of this sexist movement into the modern perspective, his views are not only degrading but destructive. In our society we know that we all have potential for good and bad, and we also know this spectrum houses extremes, but I think that the most shocking fact about this movement is that across the country so many teenage boys agree with Tate’s views, leading to teachers having to launch “re-education” programs to prevent this brainwashing. Tactically, Tate brushes off all opposition by branding them as a part of the “Matrix” which leads these teenagers into believing fully in his conspiracy.
“’Uh, real men cry and women can cry and men can cry, too, there’s nothing wrong with it.’ And there absolutely is something wrong with it. Life as a man is far more difficult than life as a woman.”Andrew Tate
These young teenage boys will one day likely become husbands or fathers or partners, and these worrying beliefs surrounding the control of women will likely imprint onto their attitudes towards women in their relationships. This is why Tate’s messages come as a condemnation to all women. When a message is communicated from a single source it poses little threat but when a cult of personality spreads across whole communities it leads to widespread destruction. Currently around one in 20 adults have experienced some form of domestic violence, and this figure will surely rise when men like Tate are given a mouthpiece. Those who grow up listening, understanding and accepting Tate’s views will also carry this into the workplace where they will mistreat women and the gender divide in the workplace will be furthered; so clearly the impact of his message does not end at the liking of a tweet but it ends in the harassment, exploitation, control and mistreatment of all women in our society.
As Lise Eliot, a neuroscientist at the Rosalind Franklin University in Chicago said: “The laws are the first step, the internalised values come later.” Though women and men may have equal rights in the UK, the fight for equal treatment is not over. Until equality between races, sexes, and sexuality is enshrined and internalised in society we will be living in a world where men like Andrew Tate are free to erase the voices of a history of female campaigners, a world of persevering women and a future of young hope and potential.
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