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The truth about Andrew Tate

Top G. Cobra. The Professor. The man born as Emory Andrew Tate has many names and many cars. And many supporters, too. In fact, Tate has become something of a messiah to one of the most misunderstood demographics of people in the world, many of whom are angry at the world for one reason or another. I’m not talking about fans of Michigan football (though they do have a lot to be angry about). I’m talking about young men who have been rejected by society.

In recent years, there have been many discussions about the hypocritical expectations that have been placed on women throughout human history (such as the pressure to live up to unrealistic standards of beauty, or to only pursue certain kinds of careers). An easy conclusion to come to then is that society has been structured to benefit men, but that’s not exactly true. While it’s true that 94% of CEOs are men, it’s also true that 93% of people in prison are men. Men are dramatically overrepresented at the top of society, but they’re also overrepresented at the bottom too. And these men at the bottom are perpetually haunted by their failure to be what the world expects a man should be. They’re told they should have everything together, even though their lives are a mess. They’re told they should be loved by the world, even though they don’t even love themselves.

In 2022, I doubt there was a single day that I scrolled through YouTube Shorts without seeing a video of Andrew Tate preaching his alpha male gospel. At first, I thought it was all an act and that he was just a character, like Big Shaq or The Substitute Teacher from the Key & Peele skits. But then, guys at my school began having very serious (and very intense) debates about Tate’s ideologies. It seemed then, that many people were taking him at face value, and over time I began to understand why. Young men often become products of their environment, but Tate was telling them that they could become so much more. He was empowering them with admonitions like “your mind must be stronger than your feelings,” and “the temporary satisfaction of quitting is outweighed by the eternal suffering of being a nobody.” The obvious reason for the success of Andrew Tate is that he proclaimed a message of self-accountability and rugged individualism to a world of young men desperate to take control of their own destinies. And while they took his advice, he took their money, promising them that if they enrolled in his questionable Hustler’s University course, they could change their lives.

And some of them have. There are many stories about Andrew Tate fans who improved their physical health and started working out because of him, or who quit their jobs to take a chance at starting their own business because they were inspired by him. Tate has reminded many men to believe in themselves and to be confident in their abilities. But the truth about Andrew Tate is that he’s not just seeking to empower men. If that were the case, then he wouldn’t be so controversial. The truth about Andrew Tate is that he preaches male empowerment at the expense of women

The most convincing kinds of lies are the ones based on the truth. Similarly, a figure like Andrew Tate is so dangerous because sometimes, he does make a good point. But so much more often, his words show that he subscribes to an archaic understanding of gender, much of which has been disproven by biology. I won’t dive into the allegations of human trafficking and sexual assault (and worse) against Tate, but in many of his “Tate Speeches,” he has made blatantly chauvinistic statements, such as declaring that a man’s girlfriend is “his property,” and that women in a relationship must be monogamous while a man should be able to sleep with whoever he wants. He speaks in absolutes and sweeping statements about what men “should be” and what women “should be,” ignoring nuance. It is noble for a man to be strong and capable, but he can be strong and capable without having a fleet of supercars and a girlfriend who does everything he says. It is noble for a woman to be a good mother, but she can be a good mother and still pursue a career.

Still, many young men who feel the agony of being rejected by society are taking Andrew Tate’s advice. They’re hitting the gym. They’re wearing nice clothes and taking care of their personal hygiene. On the outside, they’re projecting an image of strength. But on the inside, they’ve yet to let go of their pain, and because of that, it still defines them. Using pain to power your progress is noble (in fact, it’s part of our biology). The problem is, if you never address what caused you that pain, then eventually you become like Tate. On the outside you’re strong, but deep down you’re still broken. Still insecure. Still angry at the world. That’s the truth about Andrew Tate.

Contact Oluwatoni at oakintol@nd.edu.

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