As his beliefs have seeped into homes and classrooms, children as young as 11 think Andrew Tate is their 'god'

As his beliefs have seeped into homes and classrooms, children as young as 11 think Andrew Tate is their 'god'
Andrew Tate leaves the HQ of Romania's Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism after being questioned on January 25.MIHAI BARBU/Getty Images
  • Andrew Tate's influence is spreading into homes and classrooms.
  • Boys as young as 11 are quoting Tate and praising him as their god.

If you aren't a frequent user of TikTok, you likely hadn't heard of Andrew Tate, a misogynistic influencer and former boxing champion, until his arrest in December 2022.

He's been accused by authorities of being involved in a sex-trafficking ring and is currently in pretrial detainment in Romania. Tate rose to fame through controversial social-media posts where he's said, among other things, that women who have been raped should "bear responsibility" and that women are not allowed out of his house.

Tate's primary audience is impressionable teenage boys, many of whom have started picking up on his sexist statements and views. Tate's influence affects how preteen boys see the world — particularly how they perceive women.

And these views have not stayed confined to a TikTok audience; they've been steadily seeping into homes and classrooms.

Insider spoke with seven teachers who said Tate's words and beliefs have significantly impacted their students — some as young as 11 years old. "They talk about alphas in sixth grade now," one teacher said.


As his beliefs have seeped into homes and classrooms, children as young as 11 think Andrew Tate is their 'god'
Andrew Tate and his brother, Tristan Tate, being escorted by police in Bucharest, Romania, on December 29, 2022.Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea via REUTERS

Classrooms are now full of 'blatant misogyny'

Cassidy Pope, a high-school biology teacher who asked that her location remain private, said she has started experiencing "blatant misogyny" from the boys in her class, hearing them say that girls belong in the kitchen and only exist for reproduction.

"They used to be able to kind of just hide behind, like, 'Oh, it's just what my dad thinks,'" Pope told Insider, who added that situation is easier to deal with than "this is what this major influencer has to say, who a lot of people are rallying behind, making it more normalized and more OK to be so vile."

Allie Chmielewski, a human-trafficking survivor and educator in Kentucky, told Insider she sees teen and preteen boys at schools all over the US "idolizing" Tate.

She said she's heard boys talk about how they want the world to go back to how it was in the 1950s, when "women make zero decisions."

"We're gonna just smash them down to the ground, destroy all of their confidence," Chmielewski recalled a teen boy saying. "We're the men, so you're gonna cook and you're gonna clean and you're gonna do this. It's the same mindset my grandpa had — that women take care of us, but we're gonna control you."


Brittany Blackwell, a teacher in South Carolina who hosts a podcast that helps overwhelmed educators deal with burnout, told Insider that students see Tate as "the epitome of masculine energy" and talk about him as if he's a god.

"Because I'm a female, they often don't respect what I have to say when I ask questions or ask them to be responsible," Blackwell said. "It's just disrespectful."

In contrast, Blackwell sees boys maintain their respect for male teachers and administrators. She said that misogyny has always been something female teachers have had to deal with, but it's gotten worse.

"I feel like my students, maybe five years ago or six years ago, had more open minds," she said. "More recently, it just seems as if the students are seeing more of Andrew Tate or other influencers that have these very polarizing points of view about gender roles."

Tate's influence is a slippery slope to increasingly dangerous ideas

Tate discusses a range of topics — from the relatively harmless, like asking "what color is your Bugatti," to more extreme and dangerous views that can lead kids down some dark paths.


One teacher, who asked to be referred to as Jane to protect her privacy, told Insider she has a handful of students this year who openly talk about how much they worship Tate. Still, the behavior of one student who yells out the influencer's name when he leaves the classroom is profoundly worrying.

This boy, who is just 11 years old, will use any opportunity to "talk about how Andrew Tate is God's gift to men" and spends hours watching his content, she said.

"He directs a lot of negativity toward his peers, making fun of peers he perceives to be weaker than him," Jane said.

This boy also spends as much time as he can researching fascist governments.

"He has particular affinities for Russia and Nazi Germany," Jane said. "And I've caught him a couple of times in my classroom targeting students that he perceives to potentially be Jewish and showing them Nazi memorabilia."


Based on what his mother has told her, the boy has become reclusive at home, Jane said. He has started to ignore and dismiss his mother, while he will still speak to his father, she said. He has figured out how to "operate under the radar," Jane said, by keeping his laptop screen partially closed and quietly poking at other students' triggers to try and get them to react. He recently picked on a student who had a stutter.

"These people who prey on our young children, they are teaching them to hold the cards close to your chest," Jane said. "It's very manipulative, and it's very deliberate."

Jane hopes that one day she'll say something that will make her student question his idol's teachings, but it feels like an uphill battle. Recently, a student walked back to class from lunch, "giving the Nazi salute behind my back."

"A lot of things right now feel very impossible," Jane said. "Students are being mystified by people like Andrew Tate to believe that the majority of their teachers are useless because they're female."

As his beliefs have seeped into homes and classrooms, children as young as 11 think Andrew Tate is their 'god'
Part of Tate's appeal is his wealth and success.Screenshot/YouTube - TateSpeech

Stasia Lanpheare, who is from New York, recently left teaching for a number of reasons, including a spike in students' misogynistic views and teachers' inability to combat it.


"It's tolerated at schools because teachers, we are not allowed to have influence," she told Insider. "So they're limiting the good influence we can have. It's like our hands are so tied — but we can't let them be tied anymore."

Chmielewski said one way to tackle Tate's influence in classrooms is to teach girls to be more self-reliant and independent. She said she's heard girls accepting this misogyny, acquiescing to boys who say they can't do certain things or aren't as smart.

"We have so many Andrew Tates out here that are taking advantage of these girls," Chmielewski said. "We need to start building the self-confidence of these girls because they have none."

Blackwell said she tries to fight his influence with logic and critical thinking, by asking students to consider why Tate is seen as a reliable source of information.

"I've seen a little bit of change just kind of driving it in that direction," she said. "But I can't say that it's combating the plague."


Boys get sucked in by more benign lessons on self-improvement

Many young boys are reeled in by Tate's self-proclaimed success: He says he can teach people how to have a better life, offering exercise tips and paths to financial success.

Many young boys are drawn in by this promise of personal development. Mary McCarthy, a mother of four from Dublin, told Insider that Tate seems to have an "intoxicating" effect on her 14-year-old son.

Tate sells himself as a man who has overcome hardship to become wildly successful, and whose guidance is indispensable: "I am a mixed race man raised by a single mother. I suffered all of the disadvantages of the old world. I am a fantastic role model for all people, both male, and female," he said when he was banned from TikTok in August 2022 accused of misogyny.

Tate had been watched on TikTok 11.6 billion times before the platform kicked him off shortly after he acted out his response to a woman cheating in one video. He said: "Bang out the machete, boom in her face, and grip her by the neck. 'Shut up, bitch.'"

Knowing that Tate peddles these violent and misogynistic views, McCarthy was shocked when she heard her son repeat Tate's catchphrase, "Well, what color is your Bugatti?"


"Andrew Tate is playing on insecurities, male and female," McCarthy said, adding that this isn't just a problem with Tate.

"There are a lot of YouTubers out there, and their content is really questionable," she said, referring to a boom in content creators making videos in which women are often the butt of the joke — being called a bitch, being ranked against their friends based on looks, or being told their place is in the kitchen, to name just a few examples.

"But the problem is," McCarthy, a journalist, said, "they're all laughing at us going, 'Oh, she doesn't get it, she doesn't get it's a joke, they've got you, too.'"

Tate and other content creators like him "almost makes it OK to call women a 'bitch,' to say awful things, just because you can say it's a joke," McCarthy said. "But it's just not OK. There are impressionable young minds watching your videos."

Speaking to the BBC, Nia Williams, a psychologist and academic, addressed why so many young boys get "sucked in" by Tate's image.


"During your teenage years, you are finding yourself, developing who you are, your morals, and what you stand for," she said.

"He is on the social-media sites that appeal to these young people," Williams added. "However, the messages he's giving out are having a detrimental impact on the youth today. That can have a lifelong impact on the type of person you will become."