OPINION: Andrew Tate’s arrest proves the consequences of misogynistic rhetoric

As many already know, Andrew Tate is a very controversial figure. He is an English-American former kickboxer with a misogynist alpha-male persona online. The rise of Andrew Tate and his popularity is concerning at best. Numerous young men place him on a pedestal, claiming he gives good advice about finance, mental health and how to be “a man” (whatever that means). Tate is constantly bragging about his many women and how he uses them to make money online. He believes that women belong to men and need men to take them places because they can’t drive themselves. The cherry on top is that Tate also blames rape victims, claiming it is their fault. Lastly, he’s stated that he dates young women because they are more inexperienced and he can leave a “mark” on them. Tate’s influence on young boys is alarming, to the point that 10 out of 30 students in a school in South London claimed the victims are responsible in rape and sexual assault cases. 

In addition to his harmful, misogynistic rhetoric, Tate was arrested in December 2022. He has repeatedly said how free he feels living in Romania and how the law is not as harsh as in other countries. He moved from England because he could do whatever he wanted in Romania — or so he thought until someone told him he was on GRETA’s radar. Perhaps that’s why he tweeted Greta Thunberg bragging about his cars and the emissions they produce. The funny thing is that GRETA stands for The Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, not the activist Greta Thunberg. Guilty or not, Tate is a controversial figure who promotes homophobic and misogynist rhetoric negatively impacting how boys and young men see and treat women. But the question lies, does he deserve to go to jail independently of his troublesome content? 

Romanian authorities recently seized around $4 million of Tate’s assets. On the other hand, he and his brother Tristan are still under investigation for rape and human trafficking. They received warrants to detain the Tate brothers and two other Romanian suspects. DIICOT, or the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism, claims that the four suspects were part of a web of human trafficking that encompassed Romania, Britain and the United States. Authorities say the suspects convinced their victims that they wanted marriage or a relationship. The group trafficked and sexually exploited six victims. Knowing how Tate made his money was a red flag for authorities, as they began to wonder if he manipulated his victims and forced them to do online sex work. Another alarming factor are the tattoos the women have that read “Property of Tate,” which reinforces the idea that he saw them as property and probably took advantage of them in one way or another. 

For me, Tate is not innocent. Promising young women marriage or long-term commitment to coerce them into doing online sex work is disgusting. In my opinion, it is crucial to notice that most of the women who lived with Tate and his brother were under 25. What does that tell you? To me, his intentions are clear. He tries to find young women. They are easier to manipulate because they have less experience with relationships. Think for a second, what would an almost 40-year-old man want from a 19-year-old girl? I cannot claim that Tate is a human trafficker because he is still under investigation. However, I cannot say he is innocent until proven guilty when he makes money by taking advantage of young women and persuading young boys to think sexual abuse is acceptable and women are property.