Is feminism ultimately to blame for the emergence of Andrew Tate, the self-identified misogynist and “trillionaire” guru who previously suggested women should “take responsibility” for being sexually attacked and who was arrested last week in Romania on accusations of people trafficking? Is it Western equality strides that have prompted young guys to join his 4 million internet followers? Many individuals believe this.
“His appeal should… be seen as a leading indicator of some of the genuine disorientation being felt by millions of boys and men,” writes the author Richard Reeves, a feeling, he says, which results from “the extraordinary successes of the women’s movement”. Boys are being overtaken by girls in education. Men longer know who they should be.
“You don’t like that young man flock to Andrew Tate?” read a popular tweet on this subject. “Inspire greatness in them rather than heaping constant shame and disappointment on their heads.”
Is sexist rage among western young men related to their increased economic and social status? Is Tate the offspring of equality? It’s only a theory.
There is only one issue. Take a look at the world’s more established patriarchies – nations where males still unambiguously wield the whip hand – and you’ll find just as many disgruntled young men flocking to sexist ideologues at the slightest hint of female advancement. Except they’ll be much more enraged. There will be more of these in the future.
Consider South Korea, where women are still paid one-third less than males, resulting in the world’s biggest gender pay gap, and where a culture of harassment includes hidden cameras in female restrooms. In the mid-2010s, ineffective government efforts to solve this sparked a massive anti-feminist movement among the country’s young males. In a 2019 poll, 60% of males in their twenties claimed discrimination against women was not a major issue, while two-thirds said it was. Yoon Suk-year, the country’s anti-feminist leader, was driven to victory last year by the support of young males. He had vowed to toughen up on “false charges” of sexual harassment and blamed feminism for low birth rates.
Take, for example, Slovakia. In terms of gender equality, it ranks 24th out of 27 EU nations. Women earn up to a fifth of what males do. Nonetheless, it is the EU country with the largest proportion of young males hostile to advancements in women’s rights. In comparison to the EU average, feminism has made glacial development in Slovakia. However, Slovak males are the angriest in the EU.
In India, there is a growing men’s rights movement, which arose in response to opposition to legislation that protected women from violence over dowry disputes in 2000. Since then, young men have flocked to the movement, spurred by what they regard as “gender-biased policies”. Female infanticide is still a serious issue in this country, and female literacy is far behind. Nonetheless, young guys feel mistreated.
Could it be that these young guys are furious because of perceived unfairness rather than genuine unfairness? Could this be why the anti-feminist reaction is stronger in more severe patriarchies? In a historical framework, that makes sense. When equality movements first begin, they face the most opposition. Tate is the final gasp of sexism. Not the offspring of feminism.
And are we truly experiencing a “masculinity crisis”? Historians have traced a “masculinity crisis” back to the 1880s when women’s responsibilities expanded. In the 1960s and 1970s, there were masculinity crises. The masculinity crisis was a significant theme in British movies in the 1980s and 1990s, and the Chinese government declared a “masculinity crisis” among boys and men.