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    es, Andrew Tate is a loathsome human being. But my 14-year-old isn’t taken in by this ‘king of toxic masculinity’ | Zoe Williams / TheGuardian · Monday, 29 August, 2022 - 15:53 · 1 minute

YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and Facebook have all banned the former kickboxer. That hasn’t stopped teachers worrying about his influence on teenage boys

Andrew Tate – or, to give him his full title, the king of toxic masculinity – is a total enigma to the digital latecomer. Originally a kickboxer from Luton, he arrived in the public eye by being expelled from Big Brother in 2016, after video footage emerged of him beating a woman with a belt. It was just a kink thing, they both said, totally consensual, but Tate then went very public with his view that women are scum. His online profile soared : he now has 12.7bn social media views, and more Google searches than Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian. He was banned from the core platforms – YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and Facebook – last week, and yet apparently this makes no odds, since his “soldiers” can still find his content if they just look hard enough, which they do. He is the poster boy of the manosphere, and, as much as you might wish to take the wasp approach – ignore him and eventually he’ll go away - this peacocking of unpleasantness is not without consequence. He is a key influencer of young teenage boys, and – apparently, according to worried teachers – they’re taking him quite literally.

“Talk to your sons,” people on Twitter say, so I casually asked my 14-year-old about Tate. These days I skirt quite carefully around the issue of culturally embedded misogyny, after I had such a tantrum about How I Met Your Mother, in which the female characters are bolted together like two halves of different cars, that he said he’d never watch TV with me again. So I didn’t say, “What do you make of Andrew Tate, loathed bringer of hatred?”. I just said, “What do you make of Andrew Tate?”, all innocent like.

Zoe Williams is a Guardian columnist

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