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Why Are Kids Talking About Andrew Tate?

By Jessica Jackson
February 6, 2023
child watching ipad with icons indicating that he is watching content about money, expensive cars, cigars, and jewelry

Andrew Tate, mostly known for his misogynistic social media presence, was recently arrested in Romania on allegations of human trafficking. It’s a disturbing story, and Tate’s message has a lot of parents worried. So why are so many young kids talking about him? And as parents, how do you talk to your kids about some of the objectionable things Tate is known for? 

Here’s what parents need to know about Andrew Tate.

Who Is Andrew Tate?

Andrew Tate is a former competitive kickboxer, entrepreneur, and social media influencer, who had 4.6 million Instagram followers before he was banned for violating the platform’s Terms of Service. He was also banned on several other platforms including Facebook and TikTok. His Twitter account was later restored when Elon Musk bought the platform. 

The self-described “King of Toxic Masculinity,” Tate developed a reputation for his misogyny. Here are a few examples:

  • On the “BFFs” podcast, Tate said that a man  should protect and provide for his female partner. He then compared a partner relationship to a parent-child relationship, saying “by extension, if I have responsibility over her, then I must have a degree of authority [over her].” 
  • In the same episode, Tate referred to women as property. He said, “If a woman is going out with a man, she belongs to that man, that’s his woman. So if she wants to do Only Fans [an adult subscription platform] she owes him some money because she’s his.” The host challenged Tate, asking him if the reverse was also true, if a man using his body to make money owed his female partner part of the profit. Tate replied, “I don’t know, because I think the women belong to the men.”
  • He has also said that if he cheated on a woman, he would not see it as “nearly anywhere near 1% as disgusting as female infidelity, because female infidelity involves emotion. You will not sleep with a man you don’t like. I can sleep with women I don’t like.”
  • He is quoted as saying women should “bear the responsibility” of being sexually assaulted.

Do you know what your child is watching online? Here's how to see what they're seeing so you can talk about it.


Why Was Andrew Tate Arrested?

Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan were arrested in Romania on December 29, 2022 for suspected human trafficking, sexual assault, and involvement in organized crime. Although no charges have been filed by the Romanian government, the Washington Post recently reported that Tate is being investigated on two counts of sexual assault. 

Why Do Young Kids Know About Andrew Tate?

Andrew Tate’s popularity surged when his videos started circulating around TikTok, a platform whose users typically skew younger. Tate’s platform seems to be resonating with tween and teen boys, who want to emulate his image as a self-made millionaire. 

Tate frequently posts outward signals of success, often posing with a cigar in front of one of his several luxury cars. Without evidence, Tate claimed that he was the world’s first trillionaire. His brand is largely built around an image of fast living, easy money, and pliable women. Tate has said that men who read books are dull-witted. 

Tate has displayed a talent for “shock marketing,” taking controversial and deeply offensive positions in order to generate a response. As a result, many of his performances have gone viral. In one of his online courses, Tate advises students to aim for 40% “haters” and controversy. 

He sells the idea that he can teach young men how to make money, attract girls, and break societal molds to achieve personal fulfillment. 

Parents, caregivers, and teachers say they are seeing harmful comments, discussions, and behavior patterns becoming more and more common among boys and young men. Educators in the UK have grown increasingly concerned that Tate’s noxious brand of masculinity has infiltrated the British school system

How to Talk to Your Child About Andrew Tate

It’s best to first ask your child what they know about Andrew Tate. That way, you can get a sense of what they’ve heard, what they already know, and where you can clear up any misinformation.

Your child’s age and maturity level will determine how deep you dive into the topic. Here are some ideas to start a conversation with them about Tate and what he represents. 

Human trafficking

Human trafficking is a tough topic to tackle with a young child. Here are some ways to frame it. 

  • Human traffickers force someone to work, and keep most or all of their money. 
  • Most of the time, the worker feels trapped, like they don’t have a choice. The trafficker may trick them into thinking a job will pay, when in fact it won’t.  
  • Sometimes the traffickers make promises and do not keep them, or they pretend they are in love with the other person to try to get them to do what they want. 
  • Human trafficking is against the law. If you work for money, you should keep the proceeds of your labor. You should never be forced to do jobs that you do not want to do.

Sexual assault

You can talk about sexual assault more candidly with older children, but when children are young, this is a tricky topic to discuss in an age-appropriate manner. For young children, you can discuss body autonomy, personal space, and consent. 

  • Andrew Tate was accused of sexual assault, which means touching another person’s body without their permission. 
  • Let your child know that they are never required to allow any hugs, kisses, or touches that you don’t want from another person — even if it hurts that person’s feelings when you say no. They’ll get over it! 
  • Ask your child, what would you say if [relative] wanted a hug but you didn’t want to hug? (This is a chance to role-play so that the child is comfortable saying no, even if the adult is repeatedly asking or being pushy.)
  • Let your child know that you can always offer a high-five, fist-bump or a wave instead of hugs or kisses. 
  • You can teach young children this boundary song.

Misogyny

Tate has a reputation for mistreating women, so this may be a good time to remind your child to treat everyone with respect. Here are some questions to get the conversation going. 

  • Do you know what respect is? 
  • How can we make sure we treat everyone the same, even if they’re different from us?
  • Healthy friendships and relationships are equal where both people give and take. Sometimes you get your way, sometimes the other person gets their way. 
  • In a partnership, no one is the boss or the authority, and if one person tries to control the other person, it’s a big sign that something is wrong. 

Coercive Power

Depending on the child’s age, talking about coercive power over another person can be tricky. Always take your child’s maturity level into consideration when discussing heavy topics. Here are some things you can say: 

  • When someone tries to control another person or have power over them, it usually comes from fear. Andrew Tate seems like he might be afraid of something. Maybe he doesn’t want to be embarrassed if a girl says no to him? Maybe he didn’t have a lot of money growing up and he’s afraid of feeling that shame again? We don’t know, but the need to control someone else usually comes from fear. 
  • Remember, bad feelings are part of life but they always pass. Sometimes a grown-up can help you feel better when bad feelings arise or when bad situations happen. 

The Bottom Line 

These aren’t easy topics to broach with your child, but it’s important to start the conversation with them. That way, if they see something confusing or disturbing online, now or in the future, they’ll feel comfortable coming to you to ask the hard questions.