If you want to understand how to become better allies to people with disabilities, then join us at Embracing All Abilities: Including People with Disabilities at Work.
Andrew Tate is the face of toxic masculinity and a corrosive influence on young boys and men who will become insecure, entitled toxic males.
Two days after Christmas, former Kickboxing World Champion and ‘manosphere’ influencer, Andrew Tate decided to take a random dig at environmental activist , Greta Thunberg on Twitter-
“Hello @GretaThunberg” he tweeted to his 3.4 million followers. “I have 33 cars. My Bugatti has a w16 8.0L quad turbo. My TWO Ferrari 812 competizione have 6.5L v12s. This is just the start. Please provide your email address so I can send a complete list of my car collection and their respective enormous emissions.”
Twenty four hours later, when the unprovoked post started going viral with over 182K likes and 23.8K retweets, Greta Thunberg gave a fitting reply –
“yes, please do enlighten me. email me at [email protected]”.
Though both posts had roughly the same number of views, Thunberg’s putdown garnered over 2.5M likes and 500 K retweets, with people calling it the greatest burn of all times.
An enraged Tate then went ballistic. He first responded with “How dare you”, then tried an extremely puerile–
“Thank you for confirming via your email address that you have a small penis. The world was curious. And I do agree you should get a life”, while also releasing a video of himself smoking a cigar and describing Thunberg as “a slave to the Matrix”.
Beyond the smooth comeback, Greta Thunberg maintained a dignified silence, but Tate continued interacting with his fans indicated that Thunberg needed to be f***ed by Tate, and he saying that she wasn’t ready for him yet.
All round it was a pathetic display of immature taunting, insecure boasting and gross male entitlement. That the unprovoked taunting and the subsequent meltdowns took place so publicly also opens up a debate on the corrosive influence that such ‘manosphere’ influencers might have on adolescents and young men who are struggling to find their place in the world and articulate their views on gender.
Tate is probably the best known voice in ‘manosphere’, a virtual space where men allegedly talk about “men’s issues” like fitness, dating, relationships, finance, and father’s rights. While all these are important topics and men certainly need a supportive ecosystem where they can discuss them, ‘manosphere’ doesn’t stop at offering guidance and support. The ‘manosphere’ actively promotes an anti-woman and anti-feminist ideology, where establishing the inherent superiority of men seems more important than helping young men negotiate a world which is striving towards gender equity.
Tate, for instance, describes himself as “absolutely a sexist” and “absolutely a misogynist,” and has gone on record saying that women “belong in the home” and that they are “given to the man and belong to the man.” He promotes a lifestyle that promotes the traditional form of masculinity which describes the male as protector, provider and patriarch, and restricts the role of woman to property which exists only to serve the man. He has, in the past, been removed from a reality show after a video surfaced of him hitting a woman, and he was recently de-platformed from many social media platforms for his extreme misogynistic views. Parents and educators are concerned about the growing popularity of ‘manosphere’ influencers like Andrew Tate, and have expressed their fear that by endorsing male superiority, they are radicalizing young men and challenging the struggle towards gender equity.
With more women asserting their right to greater gender parity at home and in the workplace, men are starting to feel that they are in danger of losing their social status and privilege.
The demand for equality challenges privilege, and instead of embracing a more equitable world, many young men are starting to believe that feminism is a part of a global assault on masculinity. ‘Manosphere’ influencers like Andrew Tate work on the insecurities of these men and convince them that feminism will ensure they are emasculated, disposable, disrespected, discarded or even forgotten. They then radicalise the men with their clarion call towards reclaiming their “lost” masculinity and reasserting masculine sexual, physical and emotional authority over women.
This is an extremely worrying phenomenon, because in the guise of empowering them, ‘manosphere’ influencers like Tate are actually radicalising young men. Young men are being taught that it is weak to express emotions, that they are failures unless they have a subservient girlfriend, and that ‘real men’ have the right to exercise coercive control and inflict sexual and physical abuse on women. These radicalised young men feel threatened when women (and men) speak of gender equity, and perceive women’s empowerment as an erosion of their ‘masculine superiority’. For them, feminists are the enemy and feminism is ideology to be fought. Their belief of male dominance and female subservience is at odds with the quest for gender parity.
Social media platforms should actively prevent the dissemination of problematic views expressed by Tate and other ‘manosphere’ influencers like him. While one can argue that censoring certain kind of content goes against the premise of free speech, it must be realised that freedom of expression cannot extend to hate speech, and extreme misogyny is a form of hate speech. Routine offenders like Tate should be de-platformed, and the reach of their old videos should be restricted.
In the long term, however, the only counter is through behaviour change communications. It is not sufficient that girls and women are empowered, it is equally important to enable boys and men to find their place in a society moving towards greater gender equity.
In a gender just world, men and women are the natural allies of each other. Young men should be empowered to understand that while it may appear that their privileges are being taken away, in reality, equity will enable people of all genders to be themselves instead of being forced to confirm to gender demarcated roles.
While Twitterati largely swooned over Greta Thunberg and the befitting response she gave Andrew Tate when he launched an unprovoked attack on her, his core group of followers still enjoyed how he “put her in her place”. This radicalisation of young men is not healthy, and needs to be recognised and countered.
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views. Individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times. If you have a complementary or differing point of view, sign up and start sharing your views too!
Natasha works in the development sector, where most of her experience has been in Education and Livelihoods. She is passionate about working towards gender equity, sustainability and positive climate action. And avid reader and occasional read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
Some time ago, Imtiaz Ali and Hansal Mehta respectively spoke of biopics of Madhubala and Meena Kumari. But do these biopics do justice to these women?
I recently came across a Reddit thread that discussed the fact that filmmaker Imtiaz Ali had announced making a biopic of Madhubala, and I wanted to explore this a little.
Of late, biopics based on the lives of beautiful but fatefully tragic women such as Lady Diana and Marilyn Monroe have created waves. Closer at home, we hear about the possibilities of biopics being made on the lives of Meena Kumari and Madhubala as well. These were hugely famous, stunningly beautiful women who were the heartthrobs of millions; who died tragically young.
A new Gallup poll reveals that up to 40% of Indian women are angry compared to 27% of men. This is a change from 29% angry women and 28% angry men 10 years ago, in 2012.
Indian women are praised as ‘susheel’, virtuous and to be emulated when they are obedient, ready to serve others and when they put the wishes of others before their own. However, Indian women no longer seem content to be in the constrictive mould that the patriarchy has fashioned for them. A Gallup poll looked at the issue of women’s anger, their worry, stress, sadness and found that women consistently feel these emotions more than men, particularly in India.
Please enter your email address