A new generation of men in the UK is showing signs of growing frustration with the concept of feminism, possibly spurred on by the influence of popular social media personalities who preach unconventional ideas about masculinity.
According to recent research conducted by King’s College London, one in four males aged 16 to 29 believes it is harder to be a man than a woman, and one-fifth of those who have heard of social media influencer Andrew Tate now look favorably upon him. Tate, who currently faces human trafficking and sexual exploitation charges in Romania, has gained a substantial following for his outspoken views on masculinity and his unapologetic embrace of traditional gender roles.
Tate is not the only controversial figure to have gained a following among young men in the UK. Jordan Peterson, a bestselling author and academic known for his outspoken views on politics and culture, has also gained significant support among younger men. In fact, recent polling found that Peterson is viewed favorably by 32% of men aged 16 to 29, compared to just 12% of women in the same age group. Peterson, like Tate, has become known for his criticisms of feminism and for his efforts to defend traditional notions of masculinity.
The fact that these figures are gaining traction among younger generations is seen as a cause for concern by experts. According to Professor Bobby Duffy, director of the King’s College London Policy Institute, this generational trend is highly unusual.
Typically, younger generations are more accepting of emerging social norms, but in this case, it seems that a significant minority of young men are rejecting these changing norms and embracing more traditional ideas about gender. This, he says, could lead to division and conflict among future generations.
The research also found that a sizeable minority of young men are uncomfortable with the concept of “toxic masculinity.” Around 37% of men aged 16 to 29 expressed opposition to this term, which has gained popularity in recent years for its focus on negative and harmful forms of masculinity.
This is roughly double the number of young women who found the phrase unhelpful. According to Professor Rosie Campbell, director of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London, this may be partly due to the fact that young women are more likely to embrace the idea of feminist identity and are thus more accepting of terms like “toxic masculinity.”
The research also revealed notable differences in views among different ethnic groups. For example, a greater proportion of minority men are followers of Andrew Tate, with over a third expressing agreement with his ideas about gender roles and male identity.
This is in stark contrast to the 12% of white men who share this view. According to Colin, a youth worker in London, this could be due to the fact that men from minority communities are more drawn to Tate’s message of taking control of their own lives and breaking out of the cycle of disadvantage and discrimination.
It’s not just a matter of race, however, as there are other factors that could be contributing to the appeal of figures like Tate and Peterson among certain groups of young men. Some experts believe that this may be a result of a lack of understanding and awareness of the inequalities and discrimination that still exist today.
This may partly explain why Tate’s message resonates with younger men, who are struggling to see how traditional forms of masculinity are being eroded in modern society. Ultimately, as Professor Campbell suggests, the rise of social media and the proliferation of radical and controversial voices have created a fertile breeding ground for individuals like Tate and Peterson to attract followers and spread their ideas.