The Rise of “Alpha Male” Creators Contributes to Internet Toxicity

Through creators like Andrew Tate, “Alpha Male” culture has fostered online controversy


Sidra Daker

Some women are forced to ignore harassment from so-called “Alpha Male’s.”

TW: This article mentions instances of sexual abuse, violent speech, and derogatory language. 

In September  2022, Andrew Tate amassed over 3.5 million followers on Instagram. The ex-kickboxer and former reality-tv contestant rose to fame through his appearance on podcasts, TikToks, and through Hustler’s University, an online service that offers advice on how to make money. 

By posting videos about misogynistic ideas and offering advice on how men can increase their social status, Tate became an online emblem of an “Alpha Male.”

Described formally by the Oxford Dictionary, an Alpha male is a “man who tends to take control of social and professional situations.” However, the modern definition of an Alpha male has evolved into something much more complex. 

Now, Alpha males are more akin to those who are “at the top of the social status hierarchy” with the greatest access to “power, money, and mates, which they gain through physical prowess” (Greater Good Science Center). The difference between these two definitions is that the latter, most recent definition, emphasizes the “power” that the Alpha males gain.

Tate is seen by many as an embodiment of the latter, and his rise to fame has come with widespread controversy, due to the violent and misogynistic messages he promotes on his platforms. 

In a reposted video on Tiktok, a viewer asked why a woman he was seeing didn’t appreciate him seeing other women. To this, Tate responded with, “Who cares what she likes? She’s not allowed to like things. Her opinions are invalid.” 

While this type of extremism seems universally looked down upon, the reposted video received over 10,000 likes on Tiktok. 

Tate’s videos may give the impression that treating women poorly is acceptable, especially to young viewers. This sort of rhetoric normalizes misogynistic ideas. 

In another interview with “FULL SEND PODCAST”, Tate stated how he is attracted to younger women, specifically 18 and 19-year-olds because they are more “impressionable” and that they are easier to “leave an imprint on.”

Considering that women are already susceptible to violence in relationships— “About 41% of women and 26% of men experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner and reported an intimate partner violence-related impact during their lifetime” (CDC) — this rhetoric could be harmful.  

Unfortunately, Tate is just one of the many “Alpha male” influencers who have taken over the internet. 

Other influencers, like Myron Gaines, have online podcasts that have sparked controversy. In a clip circulating Tiktok, Gaines explained his views towards women in relationships who own Instagram accounts,

“I think a woman having an Instagram is 100% cheating, especially if she has scantily clad photos of herself on the internet,” Gaines said.

By linking a woman’s clothing choice to infidelity, Gaines overgeneralizes the behaviors of women.    

But ultimately, this isn’t an issue that only affects women. 

Even men, the target audience of “Alpha male” creators, can be affected by the toxic masculinity that these accounts promote. 

Whether it’s something as simple as the kind of water a “real man” drinks—”If he’s afraid of a…carbonated bubble…he’s not your friend”— or blatantly denying the existence of mental illness, Alpha male culture promotes toxic masculinity.  

This rhetoric could be dangerous as  the CDC states how “The suicide rate among males in 2020 was 4 times higher than the rate among females. Males make up 49% of the population but nearly 80% of suicides.”

But why are “Alpha male” creators so popular despite their problematic statements? 

While the exact reason is unclear, it can be speculated that many viewers use “Alpha male” culture as a basis for self-improvement.

While there’s nothing wrong with consuming self-improvement content, some Woodbridge students agree that it should not come at the cost of hateful rhetoric. 

“You should empower yourself but it shouldn’t be to the point where you’re putting other people down,” senior Ishana Das said.   

Additionally, it’s important to note that those who consume this content may do so without knowing the negative implications 

“I think instead of bashing [Alpha males] and giving the same energy back, I think we should actually explain why it’s bad,” Das said.

By providing explanations about the problematic messages that “Alpha male” creators send, we can all make strides towards more productive conversations.