Tate has shown the emperor to have no clothes. There is no considered guide to healthy masculinity. There is nothing to replace his message. Masculinity is simply attacked by elite writers
A prominent principal has warned schools are contending with a “tsunami” of misogynistic digital trends and revealed they are tackling the problem with in-house education programs to specifically address the rise of so-called ”mega misogynist” Andrew Tate.
Tate, the former professional kickboxer turned king of “toxic masculinity’’ has amassed a huge global following on social media sprouting his extreme anti-feminist, alpha male views.
Youth workers say Tate, currently in a Romanian jail under investigation for human trafficking, rape and forming an organised crime group, has emerged as a key influencer of 11-17 year old boys.
St Joseph’s Nudgee College principal Peter Fullagar, 62, said Tate had been on the school’s radar for the past 12 to 18 months and discussions about him had been incorporated into its educational programs.
“There is a tsunami working against us to be fair. It is relentless,’’ Fullagar said.
“We do talk to boys about Andrew Tate and rather than say, ‘Don’t go there’ and try to shut it down, we want to learn why boys are attracted to his message.
“As schools, as educators, we are working really hard to give boys an opposite message.
“We are dealing with young boys‘ behaviour all the time through mistakes they make in and around misogynistic behaviour, homophobic language, racial comments, bullying and harassment. It is part of young people’s landscape today.
“The power of social media has come at us in a rush over the past 10 years so schools are continually responding and refining responses. If it’s Andrew Tate currently, it will be a bigger name in a couple of years time.’’
Fullagar said his school’s established Student Formation Program covered a range of issues including respectful relationships, the definition of masculinity, mental health and wellbeing, risk taking, drugs, issues of consent, social media and being safe in the online environment. Andrew Tate was discussed in the context of social media and what it means to be a young man in today’s world.
St Paul’s School, a coeducational private school north of Brisbane, is also aware of Tate’s influence. Headmaster Dr Paul Browning said young people were bombarded with negative social media messages.
“The temptations are right there in their face, in their bedroom at night time. Unfortunately, undesirable influences follow them into that space,’’ Browning said.
“You can’t ignore it and we have strong programs at the school to help with social and emotional development of young people and the development of their character. We’re not just interested in a child’s academic achievement but also the type of people they are becoming.’’
St Paul’s executive director of Faith and Community Nigel Grant said he first became aware of Tate about a year ago when year nine boys “tried to shock me’’ during a school wellbeing program called The Rite Journey. “We are trying to be on the front foot on this,’’ he said.
“We were having a conversation with year nine boys about what it means to be a man, asking who they respected and who were their heroes. It was in that context that Andrew Tate’s name came up.
“The boys had heard all about him and were aware of the power to shock adults. Some had been impressed by some of the stuff he was saying.
“I was suitably naive but quickly became well informed and, as a group of teachers, we addressed the issue directly and tried to produce a suitable counter message.
“We are regularly shocked but rarely surprised at the content young people see. The internet is like the wild, wild west. Even the best filters can be worked around and children are particularly vulnerable.’’
QUT Professor of sociology Michael Flood, an expert in engaging men in violence prevention, men and masculinities, said schools must be proactive in dealing with toxic social media influencers.
“Schools have an absolutely central role to play particularly through respectful relationships education in inoculating young people against the sexism and the misogyny that Tate and others preach,’’ Flood said.
“Conversations about influencers like Tate should be going on in schools and certainly growing numbers of teachers are forced to have those conversations whether they want to or not because boys and young men are repeating some of the things that Tate claims.’’
A Department of Education Queensland spokesperson said the Respectful Relationships Education Program has been available in Queensland schools since 2017.
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