I fear the misandrist material in AGENDA will drive a sense of aggrieved entitlement among girls, and boys will be pushed towards right wing commentators because that will be the first sympathetic voice they hear. Our best hope for a healthy future is that enough teachers see this document for the toxic and divisive tripe it is and quietly ignore it”The Welsh War on Boys – Toxic Feminism Sept 2022
The case of Andrew Tate is exercising any female journalists. I haven’t seen any of his social media output, but I will take it as true that the criticism is justified. Although he hasn’t been tried and found guilty, the circumstances surrounding his arrest in Romania sound, to say the least, highly disturbing. However, the reaction to Andrew Tate in the media has been interesting in that most of the comments in the daily newspapers and twitter have come from female journalists with feminist leanings. This is because he is useful to them and the case can be weaponised into an attack on men’s rights activism in general.
Here are some provisional thoughts on the case.
The words misogyny and rape-apologist have been devalued
The word misogynist has been flung at almost anybody who voices an opinion that conflicts with orthodox feminist liturgy. This entails a denial that there can any such thing as a good faith objection to any aspect of feminism. The intention is, I believe, to have a chilling affect on debate. Similarly, with term ‘rape apologist’ this accusation is made in aggressive and unfounded manner and the intention is to stifle debate.
The problem is that when a somebody like Andrew Tate, who is misogynist and an apologist for rape, comes along those words have lost their meaning through overuse. They have become little more than feminist snarl words.
Andrew Tate is not an incel and incels don’t even like him
For some reason Andrew Tate’s name often appears in the same sentence as the word incel. Again, this word is thrown around as a slur so you might as well chuck it at Andrew Tate. He is the exact opposite of an incel. Tate is bragging pick up artist whereas incels spend too much time online nursing their grievances about their lack of success in the dating market. However, feminist media types like to reduce all subcultures in the mens rights movement single negative stereotype and incel will do nicely.
Apparently, incels don’t even like Andrew Tate. I am certainly not somebody who would waste my life viewing incel forums. However, according to people who study their output, Andrew Tate is a chad, and incels dislike chads even more than they dislike women. For a more detailed account of the way incels view Andrew Tate see here.
Andrew Tate is not an MRA but a pick up artist
Andrew Tate in not a mens rights activist (MRA) and he shouldn’t be lumped together with them. He is a pick up artist and if half of what has written about him is true, he is a thorough going dirt-bag.
My impression is that in the legacy media and parts of twitter, feminists are much more interested in him than men. That is because he is useful to them. His output will be weaponised and used to discredit all men’s right activism. Here, once again, feminists display double standards. They would object to Andrea Dworkin, Valerie Solanis or Sally Miller Gearhardt being used to characterise all feminism. The latter, with no irony, advocated male genocide to reduce men to 10% of the population. That makes Andrew Tate’s output seem pretty tame.
Andrew Tate has 4 million followers
This may be true, but the assumption that they are schoolboys drawn to his ideology, like moths to light, is unfounded. I suspect we know very little about who his followers actually are. For example, what percentage of his followers are female? Here, nothing would surprise me. When DEMOS tried to track who was sending misogynist tweets to MPs they found that in about 50% of cases the perpetrators were female (see here). I am curious to know more about the backgrounds of his followers. I think there may be some surprises.
The fact the somebody follows AT on social media doesn’t necessarily mean that they buy into his ideology or that they have been radicalised. I sometimes look at Charlotte Proudman’s tweets but that isn’t because I buy into her radical ideology. There are anecdotal reports from teachers of boys quoting Andrew Tate and while this is disturbing, there is a possible explanation other than their radicalisation. The dominant culture in our schools is feminist and, at times, that culture is somewhat po-faced and censorious. For some boys citing an interest in Tate may be a good way of ‘cocking a snook’ at that culture. They simply do not buy into the view of masculinity being forced onto them and citing an interest in AT is the nearest available way of disrupting that narrative.
Feminists love to talk about power relationships and they assume there is pervasive unidirectional force pervading our society, like the earth’s magnetic field, that favours men. Of course, things are more granular than that and in many areas women hold more power than men. One group who have almost no power is boys. Their teachers are mostly female and the curriculum and assessment structure has been rigged to suit girls. Quoting or expressing and interest in AT is, for them, an effective though unproductive way of kicking back at the prevailing culture.
Andrew Tate is stepping in to fill a vacuum
I am not suggesting that Andrew Tate himself is the ‘bastard child’ of toxic feminism, but some boys may be turning to him in response to the negative portrayal men and boys in our media and parts of the school curriculum. For taste of the kind of material that may be alienating boys, look at the RSE curriculum for Wales developed by Professor Emma Renold. See The Welsh War on Boys and Professor Emma Renold.
The tone of the material is relentlessly feminist and I failed to identify a single boy friendly paragraph. Nobody should be surprised if the there is a backlash against this kind of material.
The problem may be that the first sympathetic voice that some boys encounter is someone like Andrew Tate. That means the best antidote to to the toxic ideology of Andrew Tate is a more boy-friendly environment in our schools. A good place to start would be more male teachers and, in Wales at least, scrap the current RSE curriculum.
The descent of the Guardian was confirmed
Responding to Andrew Tate’s and pictures of himself with flashy gas-guzzling cars, Greta Thunberg responded with ‘email at firstname.lastname@example.org‘. I don’t have a problem with this tweet it was the kind of playground taunt he deserved, but that is what it was, a playground taunt and nothing more. Except at the Guardian, where Rebecca Solnit (yet another English Lit graduate) thought it was one of the greatest tweets of history. Really?
Suppose a man had responded to Julia Hartley Brewer’s climate change scepticism with a tweet about smallf***yenergy or some other slur about her sexual anatomy. Would they have been applauded in the same way as Greta? I suspect not.
I have no time for Andrew Tate and his ilk, but perhaps some good may come from the moral panic in progress. Instead of concentrating on the forces attracting young men in his direction we should look at the forces driving them towards him.There have been some encouraging articles in the media arguing that the Andrew Tate phenomenon is symptom of a deeper malaise and I think they are right.
In the Lord of the Rings fantasy novel, Golum though an odious little creep achieved something useful in the end. Let’s hope that Andrew Tate who is also reprehensible in his own way, inadvertently opens the door to a better dialogue about what is happening with boys in our schools and society.
Returning to the opening quote of this blog, I would like to claim prescience in predicting the Andrew Tate phenomenon. However, none is due, it was blindingly obvious to anybody with an open mind.