This article discusses sexual violence and may be triggering for some readers. The Kingston Sexual Assault Centre’s 24-hour crisis and support phone line can be reached at 613-544-6424 / 1-800-544-6424.
Andrew Tate is the man of the hour, and not for the greatest reasons.
He’s easily been the most Googled man in recent weeks, most consistently spoken about and recently shunned from social media channels.
Tate’s name has spread throughout the internet for his misogynistic commentary including how women are a man’s property, can’t drive, and belong in the home. He’s dismissed sexual assault survivors’ experiences with statements about how rape victims must bear some responsibility for their rapists’ attacks.
Due to such comments, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok have taken down Tate’s official accounts in recent weeks. Here’s the question: is it ethical to give a man like Tate access to large global audiences? Who should be banned and who shouldn’t?
While Tate’s commentary is misogynistic, violent, and alarming, his censorship on social media seems hypocritical, considering the online behaviour of other celebrities.
I believe he shouldn’t have been banned.
Yes, there are incredible dangers to having him online: he purports violent, dangerous, misogynistic beliefs. However, social media comes with a million dangers we ignore. Other problematic celebrities have been allowed to keep with their online platforms, so why shouldn’t Tate?
Chris Brown has a history of domestic abuse, and he currently has 119 million followers on Instagram. Cardi B openly admitted to drugging and robbing men, and she has 140 million followers on Instagram. Neither lost their voices on social media.
I do not condone the actions of any of these celebrities. My argument lies in the hypocrisy of banning only one dangerous celebrity—either ban them all or ban none of them.
Andrew Tate is influential, but so are all celebrities. Rather than censoring these individuals, we should educate people on how to be better, more thoughtful consumers. We need to give people the tools to ignore and condemn violent commentary.
Importantly, this sort of education isn’t only crucial for the online world—there are a lot of people like Tate hiding in plain sight, in classrooms and workplaces.
Young men, especially those seeking a father-figure to guide them, are impressionable. When Tate says that women are property, boys who idolize him for his success will think it’s okay to objectify and possess women.
We need to educate young men about these issues. If a man with equal or more success than Tate used his platform as tool to advocate for women’s rights, I think a generation of boys grow into the sort of men we need to eliminate gender inequalities and misogyny.
Our brains soak up our surroundings. Who we are is shaped by the content we consume. That’s why it’s so important to give people the tools to pick the right content. We need to foster a safe environment for people to make mistakes, to ask questions, and to learn.
As a woman, it’s my responsibility to educate men on what equality and equity truly mean, and it’s my responsibility as a human and to foster these conversations in a safe environment, in hopes of a positive change.
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