Alpha-males are men at the pinnacle of the socio-sexual pyramid who view themselves as natural leaders. They strive to be successful, confident, intelligent, and can be aggressive. People want to either be them or be with them.
With the growing popularity of social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok comes the proliferation of toxic influencers that embrace this “alpha-male lifestyle.” Casually scrolling through TikTok, I am bombarded with videos of brazen men and their bulging muscles who often objectify women and preach about what an ideal male is supposed to be: dominant, psychically strong, and wealthy.
Andrew Tate is the epitome of a toxic alpha-male influencer. Tate spreads misogynistic messages to vulnerable Gen Z males on social media. With his videos reportedly garnering a whopping 11.4 billion views, and his name having more Google searches than Donald Trump or Kim Kardashian in July, Tate has made a lasting negative impact on men across the world with his toxic remarks about male superiority and his complete disregard for gender equality.
Beyond just openly declaring that victims of sexual assault must “bear responsibility for their attacks,” Tate spreads extremely dangerous ideals about the treatment of women. To him, women are objects that must be chased and controlled. As if that isn’t bad enough, his sickening homophobic remarks and anti-feminist ramblings have gained much traction on social media.
Unfortunately, his ban from posting on social media platforms has done little to stop the circulation of his controversial messages, as many accounts continue to post clips of him spewing hateful words about women to achieve maximum views. I also see Tate appearing on numerous podcasts, which allow his misogynistic views to have a wider reach. How can we allow such reprehensible behaviour to be to be given a platform that could shape the attitudes of young social media users?
Clearly, posts from influencers such as Tate have dangerous implications on young male social media users. Not only do I think that these posts encourage boys to objectify young women, but they also condone violence against women. I believe that young male social media users in particular may find Tate’s arrogance alluring and mirror his beliefs and actions in order to fit in and be viewed as “cool” or “more masculine.”
I also think that alpha-male influencers are fostering insecurity in men who may feel that they sorely lack the qualities of these social media personalities. To make up for it, they try their best to emulate these toxic traits.
Of course, a copious number of other alpha-male influencers exist, such as the duo FreshandFit, who have amassed more than one million YouTube subscribers, despite being banned from TikTok. This influencer pair flagrantly display their sexist views through their podcast, even having a day called “Womanizer Wednesday” on their channel. They also denounce values such as fidelity, declaring that, “monogamy goes against a man’s natural state, sexual fidelity is a woman’s natural state.” How vile!
What can we do to control the dissemination of this negative portrayal of men? To me, it is imperative that social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok make a more concerted effort to reduce or ban altogether the circulation of posts from men who push their misogynistic ideals. Podcasts need to stop inviting influencers like Tate as guests on their shows. Thankfully, some progress has been made as a spokesperson of TikTok has recently revealed that the app will be removing all controversial clips of Andrew Tate circulating on its platform.
It is clear to me that the sexist views of alpha-male influencers, as well as those who follow them, are an obvious red flag. If you happen to encounter these types of sexist influencers on your TikTok or YouTube feeds, spare your brain cells and keep scrolling for healthier content.
Staff Writer (Volume 49) — Angelina Jaya Siew is currently in her first year at UTM, seeking to specialize in Criminology, Law and Society and minor in French. After completing her secondary education in Trinidad and recently moving to Canada, she started writing for The Medium as a way to to highlight important global issues and encourage debate on controversial topics. When Angelina is not writing or studying, she is reading the latest mystery novel, travelling to different countries, or getting her almond milk vanilla latte at Starbucks.