Meet the 'anti Andrew Tate'.

There are certain figures in society right now who appeal to (and have enormously profited from) the anger, confusion and feelings of disaffection among men, particularly young men and even boys

Case in point – Andrew Tate. He's an American kickboxer-turned-influencer who proudly describes himself as a misogynist. He boasted millions of followers (before being kicked off various social media platforms) and was the eighth most-Googled person in the world at one point. 

Among his controversial messages are that women "belong in the home", are "intrinsically lazy", and ought to "bear responsibility" for being sexually assaulted. (Side note: Tate is currently awaiting trial in Romania on charges of rape and sex trafficking.) 

Simply put, Tate's message about women isn't nice. But he certainly has a strong audience on side. 

Thankfully though, there are lots of male educators who are doing their bit to stand up against the Andrew Tate rhetoric, and show young men that being vulnerable is a really good thing. 

One of these educators is Richie Hardcore. The 'anti Andrew Tate' if you will.

Watch a snippet of Richie Hardcore's TedX Talk on teaching boys to be better men. Post continues below.

Video via TedX Talk.

Richie has always been a fighter.


First there was his competitive fighting career as a former Muay Thai champion that spanned more than 20 years, to now in the present day where he fights and advocates for social change. 

For the last decade though he has been a public speaker and educator working with top New Zealand boards and governing bodies such as the Ministry of Health, Rape Prevention Education, the Ministry of Social Development and White Ribbon.

He's always had a passion for stopping violence and harassment, particularly domestic violence. It comes from personal experiences; he notes. 

"My father used alcohol to cope for some of my childhood, and at times he was abusive towards my mum. Like a lot of families, addiction was a feature. It's not stuff kids should see. I know what it's like to be a scared little kid and an angry teenager," he tells Mamamia.

"If I can talk about my experiences growing up, then it creates an emotional resonance. People have to feel things to want to take action. Just throwing some beige facts, figures and jargon at teens isn't going to work."

One of the biggest issues behind family violence are the stereotypical ideas that society is taught about being a man, he says.

"There are so many young kids who don't have someone to look up to, or they're in fatherless homes or homes with abusive male figures. When there's no strong male figure, their only option it seems is to draw identity from sh*tty popular culture."

One survey conducted by masculinity research organisation The Man Cave looked at 1,300 Australian school boys and found that 92 per cent knew who Tate was – and 25 per cent looked up to him as a role model. Teachers in Australia, the UK and New Zealand have also reported that more students are referencing Tate in classrooms and employing the same sexist language the influencer uses.


Now the Australian government is stepping in to try to combat the influence of Tate and other similar internet personalities among young men, implementing a $3.5 million program to tackle harmful messages of extremist toxic masculinity on social media. 

The strategy, known as the 'Healthy Masculinities Project', will launch this year as a three-year trial. It will consist of face-to-face programs and presentations at schools, sporting clubs and other community organisations, to eradicate gender stereotypes perpetuated online and encourage respectful relationships.

At many of the schools Richie has spoken at, he's been asked to include segments on Tate specifically.

Ultimately, the danger with 'being quick to cancel' young men for embracing figures like Tate is the potential to push them further offside. Because there's a reason why Tate has had such a powerful yet terrifying influence. 

"My job is to critically discuss these figures, rather than just outright slam them when I'm speaking with young boys who are fans," says Richie.

"Initially, I started quite loudly saying these ideas from men like him are horrible. And that's true. But now I have to stand and listen to these young men – shame is an entirely ineffective vehicle of change for us humans. By providing an open dialogue, it's far easier to connect and then get through to them, giving them a broader, healthier, and happier idea of manhood."

It's when boys and men have a good understanding of what a healthy relationship is, that it might encourage them to challenge the sexist tropes they encounter. This can lead to a reduction in violence.


Men being open and vulnerable with other people gives other men the 'permission' to do the same, notes Richie.

It's something he feels deeply – his bio on Instagram saying it all.

"I describe myself in my bio as 'bold and nervous'. I'm a pretty anxious person. I grew up in a dysfunctional childhood environment and I didn't have a lot of self esteem. But I have two sons of my own now and I want them to grow up having healthy, respectful and loving relationships with their partners and the people around them. It's up to me to break the cycle."

After speaking with thousands of youth across his career in this space, Richie says it's fulfilling to see the response.

"When I'm out and about, I'll get some young dude that I spoke to like four years ago at his school come up and say thank you. Or I'll be working with men who have had particularly hard lives – gangs, drugs, incarceration – and they'll share with me how much their kids mean to them and get emotional about it. That vulnerability gives me hope," Richie explains.

"There are so many amazing women who have been leading the way with this conversation about ending violence, it's just time for relatable boys and men to amplify that message. There are so many incredible men out there – we just need more."

For more from Richie Hardcore you can visit his website here, and his Instagram here

Feature Image: Supplied/Instagram.