Is the wave of toxic masculinity mascots like Andrew Tate dangerous to society?

Is the wave of toxic masculinity mascots like Andrew Tate dangerous to society?
Radio presenter Abbie Chatfield says she gets abusive messages from Andrew Tate's ...

A new breed of influencer is polarising the social media world: the toxic masculinity mascot. Often fuelled by aggressive entitlement and cloaked in terrible suits, the self-professed alpha males are making rounds and want to teach you how to be 'alpha' too.

Toxic men are not a new concept by any stretch, but social media have paved the way for them to be more prominent than ever.

Take Andrew Tate, for instance.

His YouTube following is predominantly men (95 per cent), with the vast majority between 18-24. He spews his misogynistic views across platforms, calling women over 30 "unattractive" and crudely comparing them to "carousels" because of their previous partners.

He's also expressed his views on OnlyFans, and while he doesn't see anything "intrinsically wrong" with women being on the platform, he believes the man should "have influence and control over it."

"If you're my woman and you're doing OnlyFans, you're selling my product," he said, adding that he'd expect to receive around 75 per cent of her earnings."

We already see his influence spiralling into primary schools, forcing a teacher to issue a stark warning.

In the clip, she said boys as young as 11 have expressed their love for Tate and have even copied his behaviours, calling young girls "fat" and accusing them of "using men to get money".

Adorned by some and despised by others, the 'alpha' concept dates back to the '60s and '70s, when the wolf pack structure piqued the interest of scientists. The term soon became popularised among mainstream culture to describe a dominant, imposing man.

The research has since been called outdated – much like many views of today's toxic internet alphas.

David Mech, the very same researcher who coined the term, admitted recent developments made the concept a myth and is struggling to reverse the damage. His book The Wolf: Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species was a success in the '70s and is still being published today, despite Mech repeatedly asking the publisher to stop.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Monica Amorosi, licensed mental health counsellor and certified child and adolescent trauma provider, believes the social media algorithm is snowballing. Because some men have witnessed the "shock factor" success, they also want to venture into creating online content focusing on toxic masculinity.

Monica argues that "straight white men feel threatened" by some modernised displays of inclusion in the media. She said, "Violent subcultures create narratives that this loss of power will be detrimental and catastrophic to men, and thus it must be fought."

But aren't their fans simply a swarm of sad, lonely men?

Perhaps – but that doesn't mean it's not damaging.

Monica explains how these types of content may hold authentic beliefs about women, sex, and relationships hidden behind a false sense of humour and self-parody. However, "if only one person takes his views seriously, that person has the potential to enact serious gender-based harm on others in the real world."


Some have argued that the alpha male it boys are too outlandish to be real.

He has even acknowledged his ability to "emotionally affect" his critics.

"All I have to do is go on the internet and say something obvious like women can’t drive [...] And they have a mental breakdown, and they’ll do a twelve-part video series trying to disprove me, while I don’t even watch the videos," boasted Tate in one video.

In a viral TikTok, Hannah Chan claims Tate's persona is fake and uses weak men to make himself richer.

The marketing guru, with two successful businesses under her belt, was soon inundated with death threats. This "goes to show how powerful his influence has become - that people are going out of their way to defend him to that extent," she said.

She isn't alone either. Australian radio host Abbie Chatfield recently spoke about being targeted by Tate fans.

Speaking to Indy100, Hannah alleges Tate uses a master manipulation marketing tactic called One Sentence Persuasion (OSP) that "highlights failures" in life to "make [people] look up to you".

The method is characterised by "people [who] will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions, and help them throw rocks at their enemies."


Visit TikTok to discover videos!

Hannah said: "It's basically a copywriting principle which is designed to get mass buy-in from an audience. If you study cult psychology, it's the same principle that cults use to gain mass control."

"OSP is a fundamental concept in copywriting, and if you look inside his course, Tate teaches copywriting. So this is no coincidence and has been purposely done."

Tate's 'Hustlers University' holds a $50 monthly membership, said to have around 100,000 subscribers.

Hannah claims: "Inside his course, he teaches people to make money by cutting up and repurposing videos of him on TikTok – that's how he gets so much exposure,

"He tells his students to make a TikTok profile of him to repurpose content and encourage people to sign up as a means to get affiliate commission.

"So his students are incentivised to get more people to sign up to the membership because they can make money."

More mature people may be able to see that Tate's character is just that: an online persona, however, younger boys may take the satire at face value.

As for whether his supposed marketing model will be sustainable in the long run, Hannah thinks he "has a few years tops".

"At the current rate he will burn through the audience more than he can expand," she said. "My prediction is he will walk away with the money and move on to do something else."

Indy100 reached out to Andrew Tate for comment.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)