Andrew Tate’s Carefully Constructed and Pathetic Patriarchy


Andrew Tate’s social media strategy promotes an international patriarchy. (Courtesy of Twitter)

The rise of Andrew Tate as an internet celebrity demonstrates the ways social media technologies are changing patriarchy and other ideological systems through the process of cultural internationalization.

Tate is a British-American businessman who has become infamous online because of his role as a mouthpiece for misogynistic values as well as the allegations of human trafficking that have him imprisoned. He permeates social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, so much so that he’s become a problem for teachers as a popular influence on young teenage students in America and Britain. When he was arrested on account of human trafficking allegations, dozens of young people protested in Athens. Out of seemingly nowhere, this man has developed an international base of misogynists.

Internet fame is difficult to quantify. He has roughly 4.5 million followers, but his transformation into a symbol of the digital right-wing likely makes that number an underestimation. Like many right-wing internet celebrities — Jordan Peterson might be the closest example — clips of Andrew Tate get reposted, translated, edited and go viral constantly. Of course, this was the plan. Tate instructed his fans to edit and repost his content to stir up controversy as a tactic to gain popularity in 2022, and it worked. In a system that demands constant discourse, Tate’s extreme misogynistic persona has transformed Tate into discourse itself. In the search for money and fame through the maximization of digital engagement, Tate developed his sexist persona into a cultural product that could be consumed and replicated internationally. 

While the process is not new, this developing international patriarchy has not been the norm. Various cultural schemas of gender roles have been interwoven into national identity since the nation-state emerged. The masculine ideal varies from country to country. These national ideals, gendered or otherwise, emerged from the weaving together of economically and linguistically disconnected cultures in the process of nation-state formation. As Benedict Anderson argued in his book “Imagined Communities,” the nation emerged as a material possibility alongside “print capitalism” during the 16th century. The development of the printing-press combined with an active mercantile society capable of distributing print media collapsed local cultural differences, shaping national cultures and value systems. 

Since then, media infrastructures have continued to be a key factor in shaping national identity. National newspapers and news television in America are dominated by national politics and “culture wars.” These channels help define what the average American is thinking about, what frameworks they approach these issues with and their general value systems. They help make a distinctly “American” political culture more coherent. Most countries have had their own version of this system throughout the 20th century.

However, the internet and social media have upturned national culture by creating an instantaneous and global network of communication than previously possible, causing identity and value systems to internationally metamorphize even further. In his 2019 critique of social media, “The Twittering Machine,” Richard Seymour posits that the broad coalition of internet users in their constant discourse and media consumption are constituting a new, international social structure. He then asks, “So, if a new type of country is being born, what sort of country is it?”

If we are looking to see what the future of patriarchy in a globalized world could look like, Tate might be the best example we have. Tate rose to prominence by putting himself in line with the manifestation of the digital globalized patriarchal value systems, creating a brand of internationalist patriarchy built on abstract domination. Tate’s patriarchy is best understood as the abstract worship of hierarchy based on individual strategic, economic and sexual domination.

Tate’s view on strategy is often expressed through his obsession with chess, probably because his father was a grandmaster. Tate has said that he values chess because it teaches you that every mistake you make is your own fault. Much of his content is about being able to “outsmart” and “trick” one’s enemies to get ahead in life. He posts photos of himself playing chess or pointing at a chess board surrounded by barely-dressed models to indicate how masculine and intelligent he is. This strategic dominance is what makes him “Top G.” His argument to young men all around the globe is that what is keeping them from what they truly desire are their strategic failures, which might be corrected by listening to him. Individual social dominance, in this view, is a direct reflection of intelligence. Inequality is always deserved, but only temporary for those masculine enough to take control. 

Through this narrative Tate’s international patriarchy works alongside the forces of global capitalism to entice alienated young men who believe they are exceptional. Tate insists on a narrative of escape from the “matrix,” the domination of everyday life and particularly wage-labor. His online programs like “Hustler’s University,” “The Real World” or “The War Room” promise the secrets of quick wealth — mostly just cryptocurrency nonsense. This idea that one can escape the pressures of global capitalism or working-class life through rational individualism is an essential pillar of international patriarchy.

The other essential pillar is built around the dehumanization and commodification of women. He (allegedly) trafficks young women across Europe into sex work; his commodification of women for their perceived sexual value is in no way metaphorical. Tate’s wealth and social dominance is built directly off of sexualized violence against women. 

Of course, these tendencies have already existed around the globe semi-independently from each other. Andrew Tate is not special or historically relevant. He has done nothing but tap into the underbelly of international misogyny in a way which reveals what globalization and technological interconnectedness will not erase on its own. 

Where has this mindset left Tate? He is an international fugitive, imprisoned, angry and alone. He’s not even a good boxer. He is pathetic. Patriarchy is a rotten system that produces isolated, pathetic men and exploited and abused women. Let us teach the next generation that there might be far better futures without it.

Alexei Gannon, FCRH ’25, is a biology and history major from Allentown, Penn.