Andrew Tate was recently banned from popular social media platforms for hate speech.
At the dinner table one evening this summer, my 16 year-old brother pulled out his phone and showed me a video of a tattooed, muscular man who thought heart attacks were bogus and claimed that one should “grab a beer and walk it off.” We joked about this and my brother feigned agreement just to annoy me, but when the laughter died down we both dismissed the man who was very passionately ranting about the weakness of those who suffer heart attacks as delusional. A few nights later, I saw another video of this man, and learned his name was Andrew Tate. My brother and I knew that his videos didn’t hold any ground in reason, and therefore were entirely convinced everything he assertively spewed out was his attempt at a twisted joke. It never crossed my mind that people would actually accept his principles.
Arguably, his most dangerous tenets lie in his opinions on women and his blatant misogyny. He believes that women have an imparied sense of morality and “no responsibility or honor.” He once gave the example that if a woman crashed his car, she’d make excuses, while a man would simply apologize. Given his belief that women lack responsibility, it’s ironic that he claims women are partially to blame if they are victims of rape, which therefore means that women are only responsible for men’s violations of their autonomy. He also said if a woman accused him of cheating, he’d “bang out the machete, boom in her face, and grip her by the neck.” By illustrating these irrational responses, he’s implying that women don’t have valid feelings or thoughts that are worth listening to. In fact, he doesn’t even use the word “woman” but rather “bitch” or “hoe,” which is degrading in itself. His blatant refusal to acknowledge women as intellectually and emotionally competent lies in accordance with his belief that women shouldn’t be autonomous. In a past interview he claimed, “I’m not saying they’re property… I am saying they are given to the man and belong to the man.” If they’re not property, then who could have the power to give them away? And how can someone belong to you if they’re not your property? All of his values and the way that he speaks about women has contributed to a rhetoric that promotes violence, disrespect and misogyny. He was recently banned from all popular social media outlets including Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and Facebook because of hate speech.
I do not support censorship that aims to silence opposing views or even propaganda, because I don’t believe that an entity like social media should have the power to filter the news and decide what the truth is. However, if a user is promoting rhetoric that encourages abuse, violence and misogyny, then their presence on social platforms is entirely negative. If anyone is to take another person seriously, then they should make sure that person has a reputable and legitimate background; Tate moved to Romania because of their lax policies regarding sexual assualt and corruption. This is not a man who has the morals or even business practices to legitimize the things he says. The way he delivers his messages promotes his idea of masculinity by demeaning women. It’s unfortunate that some viewers associate Tate’s ideologies about women and violence with masculinity, because I think we can all agree that those values are nothing but destructive.