'Problematic' | 

Irish youth workers ‘concerned’ over Andrew Tate’s influence on young boys

Emory Andrew Tate III, known simply as Andrew Tate online, is a 36-year-old social media personality, businessman, and former kickboxer.

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

Youth workers are concerned that the “problematic” influence of people like Andrew Tate on Irish boys and men will set the fight for women’s rights back by decades.

Emory Andrew Tate III, known simply as Andrew Tate online, is a 36-year-old social media personality, businessman, and former kickboxer.

Tate, who has described himself as “absolutely a misogynist”, was arrested last month in Romania alongside his brother and two other women. All four were charged with human trafficking and forming and organised crime group.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Rialto Youth Project Manager Danielle McKenna warned that Tate still holds a great deal of influence over many of his viewers, with young boys as young as seven being “conditioned” by his sexist content.

“We are very concerned about the current state of masculinity that we see boys and young men facing at the moment,” she said.

Ms McKenna said that youth workers at Rialto try not to use the phrase “toxic masculinity” and instead discuss different aspects of masculinity with the children they work with.

“Actually, masculinity in itself is a very beautiful thing that people should embrace but there are themes within it that can hold issues for boys, young men and men,” she explained.

“When we’re thinking about that, the themes we really look at are around power, dominance, the suppression of vulnerability, and the suppression of anything feminine.

“When boys and young men are displaying those types of behaviours, that is when masculinity can become very problematic.

“When you have people like Andrew Tate and this idea of, you have to be strong, you cannot show weakness, you have to hold power and dominance, particularly over women and young women - and they have platforms of social media with they can have millions of viewers - we have really serious issues that bring equality back 70, 80 or 90 years.”

Ms McKenna said Andrew Tate’s videos are having an impact on all young people, whether they agree with his views or not.

“I suppose what is really important to think about is the conditioning that young men and men are facing in the world today,” she said.

“Even though they might say, ‘oh I shrug this off’, when they are hearing this day to day and it is becoming embedded into their learning and their role modelling, then it definitely always has an impact”.

She added that parents have a responsibility to monitor their children’s internet usage.

“There is another huge issue around phones and the idea of phones, not only in Ireland but across the whole world. We have been consumed by our phones and what’s on our phones.

“We have a saying in Rialto quite often that parents might ask you, ‘what age do you think I should get my child a phone?’ and, as hard as it sounds, the answer we give them is, as soon as you’re ready for them to see porn and ready for them to see anything else, then you are ready to give them a phone.”

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