- Debbie Dougherty
Andrew Tate Does not Care About Your Politics.
Updated: Jan 27
A friend of mine told me she loved my blog, but could not share it because she lived in a conservative community. I was surprised, explaining that my blog was not written to support any political party. After all, sexual predators do not care about your politics. They really don’t.
Take Andrew Tate for example. This person describes himself as both "absolutely a sexist" and "absolutely a misogynist." He is famous on TikTok and YouTube for his misogynistic, women hating posts. Worse, he racked up between 11 and 13 billion views on TikTok, had millions of Instagram followers, and made millions of dollars in ad revenue from his YouTube videos before he was banned. Is anyone really surprised that Tate, his brother, and four other predators were arrested in Romania this past week for the human trafficking of women? Do you really think Andrew Tate cares about your politics? If you are a woman, nonbinary, transgender, or co-sexual, Andrew Tate wants to hurt you. If you are feminized and conservative, liberal, religious, or atheist, Andrew Tate wants to hurt you.
You might be rolling your eyes, thinking that Andrew Tate is uniquely awful. Oh, my dearest friend, no. Andrew Tate has millions of followers, people who cheer him on and amplify his message. He is known and recognized by young children (my middle school child heard about him from a friend who watched TikTok videos). What makes Andrew Tate particularly disturbing is that lots of people follow him because they agree with him. Women are to be “given to the man and belong to the man.” There are, in fact, many Andrew Tates in the world, although they go by names like John, Mike, Robert, and well, Marjorie (because not all misogynists are men). They might not be loud. They might not be public figures. But they do exist. And they do not like us.
Somehow, Politics Still Matter
In my blog posts I have highlighted gender violence toward women in both major USA political parties, including Nancy Pelosi (a Democrat) and Lauren Boebert (a Republican). I have liberal friends, conservative friends, nonpolitical friends, religious friends, atheist friends, and friends of unknown affiliation across the globe who have been targeted. Yet, despite the equal opportunity targeting of women and other feminized people, many still seem to believe that there is a political difference in who is targeted and how they respond.
Take for example, Megan Lively, a conservative Southern Baptist who was raped while she was a seminary student. Her attack was covered up by Southern Baptist Convention leaders. After she went public with the allegations, investigations revealed a widespread culture supporting sexual predation of women members. As described in the Washington Post, despite the fact that she had the courage to speak publicly about her experience, and although her experience clearly aligns with the #MeToo movement, Lively she does not support #MeToo. Why? Because “I’m a mom, a wife, a Christian, I love Jesus, and the second I got lumped into #MeToo it was like: ‘Okay, she came forward because of #MeToo, which means she’s liberal, which means she’s a Democrat, which means she is going straight to hell.” This is not an uncommon sentiment, with conservative women far less likely to support the #MeToo movement than liberal women.
Sadly, politics matter when it comes to rejecting rape culture and supporting targets. In one experiment, Eyad J. Naseralla and colleagues discovered that we tend to believe that sexual assault allegations are politically motivated when the alleged perpetrator’s political orientation matches our own. In other words, we are more likely to believe the target is lying if we think the perpetrator agrees with our politics. I think we can all agree that this type of bias is ridiculous. Do we really want to support sexual predators because they might be politically similar? After all, most men are not predators. Can't we support them instead?
We need to stop politicizing sexual violence. It is not a about our politics. It is about our lives and well being. Until we recognize our common ground, predators are going to prey. Sexual predators do not care about our politics. Although women are different in lots of beautiful and brilliant ways, although women don’t always like each other and can bitterly disagree, most women can agree that sexual violence is a problem that must be addressed. Perhaps we can find common ground in at least this one thing.
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