Internet misogyny isn’t new, but with the rise of influencer Andrew Tate and other creators of the “manosphere,” it’s reached terrifying yet idiotic new heights. While these men brag about their success with women, the reality is that the “alpha male” is a facade.
Those of the manosphere(opens in a new tab), that is, interconnected misogynistic and anti-feminist communities, claim that men should dominate women. “Alpha males” and “tradwives,” who seek to return to an era when women were restricted to the home, are opposite sides of the same coin. The former and its reverse, the “beta male” (among others, such as the “omega male”) are derived from descriptions of animal behavior, particularly dominance hierarchies(opens in a new tab) between social groups. alpha animals(opens in a new tab) are the most dominant, and at the top of the hierarchy, while betas are lower. For humans, however, “alpha” and “beta” are a myth(opens in a new tab). Studies have shown that people are more attracted to men who have a combination(opens in a new tab) of traditionally “masculine” characteristics, such as assertiveness, with qualities such as kindness and empathy.
Not just manosphere influencers like Tate and podcasters Fresh&Fit(opens in a new tab) they believe in archaic gender norms, but also claim to have an amazing game with women(opens in a new tab) and I’ve slept with many of them(opens in a new tab)“Alpha male” influencers sell their supposed expertise to an audience of teenagers and young men (usually)(opens in a new tab), who sign up for online courses, buy products, and pay for access to private online communities, all in the service of trying to become an “alpha male” as well. Branding can often feel like a hypermasculine version of self-actualization. But the real lessons learned in these spaces can jeopardize the safety of the women these men learn to address.
In Tate’s case, he is allegedly abusive towards women. Three women have come forward in the UK(opens in a new tab) say he raped them and hurt them psychologically. Earlier this year, Tate and his brother Tristan were arrested in Romania(opens in a new tab) for rape and human trafficking to six other women(opens in a new tab); were released from prison(opens in a new tab) and placed under house arrest in April. They are still under house arrest as of publication. In late April, Romanian prosecutors said they were investigating Tristan Tate(opens in a new tab) with an additional charge of inciting others to violence.
Although Tate’s case is extreme, it goes a long way toward proving that the concept of an “alpha male”—who is hateful to women but somehow loved by them—is a lie. Men who claim to be alpha and flaunt their prowess with women online often use tactics that are deceptive at best, and nefarious at worst, to gain followers.
The influence of the alpha male influencer is easy to copy, meaning that figures like Tate have inspired other potential alpha males to become misogynist micro-influencers, repeating variations of the same techniques and myths in order to create your own followers.
Takes @shadesofgame(opens in a new tab) an account with about 4,500 followers and run by an aspiring alpha male influencer who identifies as a 40-year-old named Ben. On Twitter, @shadesofgame recently went viral for saying that he doesn’t date women over the age of 18-24. This is common in the manosphere; Tate has said that 18- to 19-year-olds are better than women over 25(opens in a new tab) because “they have gone through less dick”. In @shadesofgame’s case, he said women have “too much mileage and baggage when they’re over” 24, and they trust him because he’s been “extensively tested.”
The tweet may have been deleted
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@shadesofgame posted this shot along with photos and videos of him with younger women at a club. Some Twitter users say these photos are generated by AI, citing the HuggingFace AI image detector(opens in a new tab) — but even if they’re real, they’re part of an illusion @shadesofgame is running for “high status” man(opens in a new tab) a key component of how micro-influencers like him gain attention and followers. himself he tweeted his outline(opens in a new tab): Get a VIP table at a club, invite women and a photographer to document everything to post on social media. “Your reputation will soar [sic] after a few times,” he said.
Not talking about @shadesofgame though (opens in a new tab)specifically, Twitch streamer and stripper Ivy Wylder cited her tweet and shared his thoughts on the “alpha male” archetype.(opens in a new tab): “The guys behind these accounts hire us (sex workers) to hang out with them and take pictures.” Wylder recounted an experience in which she and other women were paid to go on a boat with men, one of whom posted on his “alpha male” account that these women were “going to him.” The truth was he paid them to be there. Mashable has reached out to Wylder for comment.
When Mashable asked about Wylder’s tweets, @shadesofgame responded with one link to a tweet(opens in a new tab) saying “fake news” and that he has not met Wylder. “See how it says ‘these accounts’ but doesn’t mention me. [N]to me,” he said.
Baits and switches are not unusual with “alpha males”. A woman who appeared on the Fresh&Fit After Hours podcast(opens in a new tab) (in a clip from a now-deleted TikTok account) said host Myron Gaines found her on Seeking Arrangement, a dating site for sugar daddies and babies, but never paid her. Instead, he told her to come on the podcast. Gaines denied those claims in the clip. Sex workers(opens in a new tab) have appeared on After Hours(opens in a new tab) podcast, but none seem to make similar claims about the host who finds them on Seeking Arrangement.
Men like Tate and Gaines peddle the myth of the alpha male to sell their own products. With Tate, it was his Hustler University online course; with Gaines, it’s the Fresh&Fit brand(opens in a new tab) of merchandise and a Patreon. On Twitter, @shadesofgame claims to “teach the game” and links to his Telegram for people to subscribe; it currently has around 750 subscribers.
There has been an alarming rise of a particular subset of men, often referred to as ‘alpha males’, who are trying to sell businesses and internet followings a particular philosophy. This philosophy focuses on a particular brand of masculinity rooted in control, dominance and power, which is commonly referred to as the ‘manosphere’. Unfortunately, many of these ‘alpha males’ are nothing more than scammers, seeking to take advantage of those who wish to identify with a sense of power and authority. As such, we at Ikaroa strongly urge people to stop listening to these scammers.
The manosphere promotes things like traditional gender roles and patriarchal systems of power. It also teaches that men should use their physical strength, and in some cases even violence, to assert their dominance over others. Sadly, this warped view of masculinity often involves exploiting vulnerable people, such as women and children. There is no place for this kind of thinking in today’s society.
The proponents of the manosphere also make numerous other claims, such as that men are naturally better leaders, smarter, and more competent than women. Such claims are, quite frankly, false and serve only to further alienate and marginalize women from power and influence.
Additionally, the so-called ‘experts’ that present these views and philosophies are often frauds. They often lack any kind of real-world expertise or qualifications and are simply trying to make a buck by selling their wares. There is no need to fall for their scams, as these views are not only outdated, but dangerous.
At Ikaroa, we strongly urge people to reject the lies peddled by the manosphere. Instead, we promote a vision of an equal and respectful society where everyone has the right to express their opinions without fear of discrimination or exploitation. Let’s all work together to create a better world for everyone.