A toxic waste

Young people react to social media figure Andrew Tate. Source: Gabrielle Becerra Mellet.

Have kids, sit at home, be quiet, make coffee.

This is a sample of the provocative rhetoric you’ll hear directed at women, if you’re watching videos of Andrew Tate, the former professional kickboxer turned far-right social media agitator.

Tate’s inflammatory language and violent rhetoric are widely shared on social media. In an interview with podcast show, Your Mom’s House, he made the claim: “Women are absolutely happy serving a man. They’re far more happy with that than they are with a career.”

Young people are often the recipient’s of Tate’s messages, widely shared on Tik Tok and Reddit. Photo: Gabrielle Becerra Mellet.

Murdoch University social psychology lecturer Dr Brianne Hastie says this claim is a gross generalisation, with a lack of evidence.

Listen to more from Dr Hastie.

“The idea that women even stay at home to work is a very recent phenomenon because it’s always been poor women that have worked,” she says.

“It’s only ever been middle class and wealthy women who haven’t worked.”

The media personality boasts more than 4 million Instagram followers and countless shares of his content across different platforms.

Dr Hastie says outrage and anger are contributors to the widespread sharing of Tate’s content, rather than the blind support often associated with him.

“I’ve seen his content shared and commented on Twitter and Reddit,” she says.

“I haven’t seen it directly, because I guess the algorithm wouldn’t be showing me that, it’s where people have been responding to it.”

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Dr Hastie says when considering traction and ‘support’ of figures like Tate, we must take into account if his support and sharing is actually true.

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Curtin University researcher and sex and relationship advocate Giselle Woodley says in a post ‘Me-Too’ era, she was suprised at the overt sexism of Tate’s content.

Listen to more from Giselle Woodley.

“I would say [now] we have more and more positive messages and movements towards more comprehensive sexual education in the post ‘Me-Too’ era really calling out this behaviour,” she says.

Ms Woodley says she was really shocked but banning and blocking may not be the answer.

“I don’t necessarily believe in banning and blocking and limiting free speech,” she says.

“I think removing people when they do wrong isn’t necessarily helpful in the long run.”

Ms Woodley says she advocates for education to help young people understand the nuances of consent.

“Consent education should actually start in kindergarten, it starts with appropriate touch, appropriate names for body parts, and the concepts for yes or no at the very basic form,” she says.

She says early education towards attitudes of figures such as Andrew Tate can be “nipped in the bud”, and less influential to younger people.

Listen to more from the researcher.

Categories: Culture, Education, General

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