Andrew Tate might be gone. But he's the symptom of a far bigger problem.

Humans have worshipped gods since time immemorial.

The gods of folklore. The Greek and Roman gods and goddesses. The Hindu gods and goddesses. The Muslim god. The Christian god. In every corner of the world, there is a god, a higher power. Some have faded from memory and been relegated to the history books, while others have only grown in strength.

In this modern world, the definition of "god" has evolved. Now, people worship at the altar of celebrity - be they actors, musicians, reality TV identities, TedX speakers, authors... or social media personalities.

One of these personalities is Andrew Tate, and he is a "god" amongst his followers. A mere month ago, I didn't know his name. Now I can hardly escape it.

Worshipped by countless young boys and men, Tate is what some would call a "professional misogynist." He is a British-American former kickboxer who appeared briefly on Big Brother UK in 2016. Tate then parlayed his minor celebrity status into content creation on social media, where videos espousing his extremely misogynistic and abusive views went viral

Watch Tate's commentary on women. Story continues below.

Video via TikTok.

There have been other misogynistic "gods" before Andrew Tate of course. Think Milo Yiannopoulos, Jordan Peterson, Steve Bannon, and Daryush Valizadeh. Heck, think Donald Trump (who Tate likes because of his "grab 'em by the pussy" comment).

But just how did Tate become the most googled person on earth, surpassing even his hero Donald Trump?

It comes down to his online subscription program. Named "Hustlers University", the program teaches people - mostly boys and men - about wealth creation through courses like copywriting and cryptocurrency. In order to go viral, Tate used a process called "affiliate marketing", where those who subscribed to the program were encouraged to share and promote his most controversial videos in order to get a cut of the $50 sign-up fee. That led to an explosion of his videos on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, with the hashtag #AndrewTate racking up 12 BILLION views.

That all came to a crashing halt over the past few days. Facebook and Instagram banned Tate, followed by TikTok, followed by YouTube. His account in gaming platform Twitch has been deleted.

While it is gratifying to see that he has been deplatformed, it unfortunately does not mean the end of toxic masculinity. You know the saying - cut off the head of the snake and another one grows in its place.

Instead of looking at the symptom, we need to look at the root cause: Just why do young boys and men worship Tate in the first place? 

Listen to Mamamia Out Loud's episode on Andrew Tate. Story continues below.


It's a question anti-domestic violence campaigner and writer Tarang Chawla is also asking.

As he wrote on Facebook, "We must address why so many young teens resonated with Tate in the first place.⁣ They wanted role models for masculinity. Good men, we can’t keep quiet while men like Andrew Tate walk among us. We must give young boys and men better role models to look up to."

Academic and television host Susan Carland also addressed the lack of good role models for young boys and men on a recent episode of Mamamia Out Loud. 

"My son is 15, and his friends are talking about Andrew Tate," Carland said. "... I googled 'Why is Andrew Tate so popular?' and I couldn't get a lot of answers. The only thing I could think of is that he is giving boys and young men an example of manhood or masculinity that they want to adopt or they think is ideal or attractive. And I wonder if it's because we are not giving boys a better alternative?

"Young boys and men are wanting to be men. Just like young girls and women want to know what it is to be a woman. And I think women and feminism has done a much better job of articulating that for women. Of course there are still kerfuffles and we debate things and whatever, but I think it is much more straightforward for women to understand what it means to a woman or acceptable "womanhood".

"Whereas I think there is a lot more confusion for men, and young men, about what does it mean to be a man, and what's okay to be a man. And so they're looking for examples, and this guy, for whatever reason, is really appealing to them. He's confident, and I think confidence is really attractive to people. He looks like he's very sure of himself and that's appealing to people. We like that. He's very certain of what he says and he's very clear about why it's great to be a man. So maybe for young men without a lot of alternatives, it's like, yes, this makes a lot of sense."


As psychologist and clinical psychotherapist Noosha Anzab tells Mamamia, "Gendered attitudes and behaviours by men can be damaging to both male and female others and to those who share the toxic and gendered constructs. When we look at someone like Tate, in this context, it means his stance is not only damaging to men and women – it also is damaging to men who are more inclined to be more stoic, competitive, dominant and aggressive due to their core beliefs, their environment or simply, their life’s journey.

"In men and women, gendered attitudes result in violence, transphobia, misogyny, homophobia, racist bullying, sexual assault or harassment. For those who already subscribe to gendered constructs, we see excessive drinking, risk of physical injury from fighting, steroid use, substance use, body dysmorphia and an inability to express emotions, all of which are evident in Tate’s tirades.

"It’s so important to know that there are about an average of nine deaths by suicide per day in Australia, with 75 per cent of those who take their own life, being male. This is a harrowing statistic and young Australian boys and men, are at great risk listening to Tate’s toxic rants, which negatively impacts men’s mental positivity. Considering we see men’s mental positivity increase with age, through their greater acceptance of traditional masculinity and through more education – it makes sense that his male audience is much younger – they simply don’t have the same resources as older counterparts.


"These are young men who are learning who they are, and feeding off each other who blindly follow Tate. They simply don’t have enough stores for mental positivity and are often under the guise that the rhetoric Tate shares will keep their dominant roles very much alive. When we look at research, it supports that by the age 10 the difference between the ability and tendency to exhibit empathy towards others plateaus for boys. This continues into adolescence and the pressure to conform to traditional stereotypes around gender increases. The males viewers who are flocking towards Tate are actually quite vulnerable or often have core beliefs that are in alignment.

"Tate’s online and social presence, through its shock factor, edgy feel and controversy means young men can be lead down the rabbit hole of toxic masculinity simply because they have a need to socially belong amongst their peers. If a cohort of young men engage in tate’s ideology, it’s simply more likely that others will blindly follow in order to feel masculine, to feel as though they belong and be socially relevant amongst their community."

"There definitely is more sensation seeking in adolescents and young male compared to an older audience and Tate speaks directly to that. Young men are also more prone to engaging in risk taking and risk taking really facilitates sensation seeking. They’re not following him because he is a great role model, they gravitate towards his sensationalised views, they are risk taking by echoing him and really driven by the thrill in his lavish lifestyle that he presents."


Dr Anzab, Chawla and Carland make a lot of sense. While there are a few good models to be found in the Australian sports and political landscape, there are also serious examples of toxic masculinity. There is not only the high-profile sexual assault case of Brittany Higgins in parliament, but just last week a review found that one in five people working in NSW politics have been sexually harassed. As for our sports "heroes", only a few days ago did one AFL player sledge another so badly that he started crying. And let's not forget that our number one tennis star, Nick Kyrios, has been accused of abuse and is due in court - and I'm not talking about a tennis court.


That's not even taking into account the numerous allegations of abuse and violence against a number of AFL and NRL players, some who have been charged and imprisoned. A lot of the time, these players are accepted back into the fold too, showing young boys and men that there are, in the end, no real consequences to their actions.

If you look further afield to our movie stars, there's a dearth of good role models. As Mamamia's Head of Content, Holly Wainwright, wrote in a piece on how Brad Pitt's "good guy" crown is wobbling, "perhaps there's a time to re-examine the stories we tell ourselves about who's "good" and who's "bad" in Hollywood."

In our Mamamia Out Loud Facebook group, members wrote down who they thought was a good role model in the acting industry. The only person they seemed to agree on was our very own Hugh Jackman.

"We have to keep in mind – the biggest part is the "hype" that is built around Tate who had almost five million followers on Instagram. That’s pretty famous, if you ask me, and that I think is the biggest contributor to why so many idolised him. His social media represents wealth, privelge and adoration and that’s what the followers respect and want to emulate – but that comes with baggage and the baggage is toxicity at its finest," Dr Anzab says.


"To be like Tate who appears rich, famous, assertive and confident – followers are echoing him, even if that means to become toxic in their masculinity. There is an incongruence there because behind the veil of social media, young men wouldn’t gravitate towards that toxicity if it were in a face-to-face social environment. If they got to a party and someone had the same stance as Tate, they’d leave or shut it down but through the distance of social media – they can be pretty incongruent with themselves. Their darker personality traits can be demonstrated through content interaction without the same repercussions possible in the real world – particularly when nearly five million others are doing the same.

"The truth of the matter is that Tate’s rhetoric discourages mental health treatment, it glorifies unhealthy habits and reduces helping behaviour – which is very incongruent to the theory of the "therapy generation", or being "woke". In this case, we are seeing the blind leading the blind and social media allows that as it acts a barrier to our real world."

What does this all mean? I guess it means we need to do better. It means we need to work on ourselves, and our communities. We need to consciously strive to be good role models for the young boys and men who need us.

Before the next "god" like Andrew Tate comes along.

Feature image: Instagram.

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