Misogyny & Misogynoir: Now with LED Lights and WIFI
Andrew Tate isn’t new. Being wealthy, famous, and celebrated, despite the allegations against him, is also not a new thing. He is endemic to something far bigger and older. The late Kevin Samuels, Fresh&Fit, Jordan Peterson, and the entire so-called Manosphere is nothing more than old misogyny and misogynoir, but now tricked out with LEDs and a lift-kit. However, a fresh coat of paint does not make an old thing new.
Social media is the only new component that now makes it far easier to share, bask, and revel in toxic behaviors that have always been here with us. Because much of society has always celebrated, rewarded, protected, and revered men who behave similar to Andrew Tate. Hell, a guy with many acquaintances, supporters, and admirers in the Manosphere was just the 45th president of the U.S.A.
The reality is people love plausible deniability more than difficult truths. Diehard stans would rather shoot the messengers, and attack victims, than ever hold their favorite comedy-man, sports-man, or actor-man accountable for reprehensible actions.
The mutual bonding over dehumanizing and othering women is an age-old, much-loved tradition. What really changes is what variety and degrees of misogynoir and/or misogyny is considered more palpable.
I am going to skip all the academic jargon. Instead, I want to briefly demonstrate what I mean when stating Andrew Tate isn’t new. Anecdotally, I grew up around a lot of guys who were a lot like the manosphere before such a thing existed. Many of these young guys looked up to and emulated the misogynist idols of our days. When turned down, disappointed, or angered by girls, and women, they would quote parts of NWA’s “A Bitch iz a Bitch”. They would blast 2LiveCrew from their cars and wanted to be like them.
Yet, there were two figures, from the 80’s and 90’s, who if they had podcasts in their prime, would have easily been terrifyingly more popular.
The first, Todd Anthony Shaw, better known by his stage name Too $hort, became wealthy, famous, and celebrated through a career mostly built on explicit misogynoir. He’s so celebrated in fact, that a street was named after him in our mutual hometown of Oakland, CA. Several rappers have named Too $hort as a prime inspiration and influence on their music careers, including Wiz Khalifa, the late 2pac, Ice Cube, and many others.
He’s remembered for such uplifting classics as Freaky Tales, Pimp the Hoe, and Blow Job Betty. But perhaps it’s unfair to just judge with a cursory glance of his titles, and instead a deeper, more nuanced look is required.
For instance, here’s a little bit of his 1987’s ‘Little Girls’, “Little girls of the world, you’re all so sprung. 15, 16 and all so young. I thought about you just last night. Grabbed my pen then I started to write. A rap that’ll cap like a true blue rap. Not a washed-up almost MC sap. Little girls so fresh and I know you are. Wanna take a little ride in my new car,”
But thankfully Too Short evolved, as demonstrated by 1996’s ‘Take My Bitch’, “Now take my bitch, she won’t complain about shit. Cause I taught her well, she got game for a trick. It ain’t hard to tell she belongs to me. I pimped her 15 years in this industry. Now her pussy so big I don’t want no mo’.”
In very short review of his music, perhaps this should have been enough of an indicator in 2012, for XXL magazine to maybe not ask Too Short to share ‘fatherly advice’ with their young male viewers, wherein the East Bay rapper advised them on how to “turn girls out”. This “advice” was tantamount to sexual assault and emotional manipulation.
Through the late 80s and early 90s, Andrew Dice Clay was one of the biggest comedy acts on stage. In February of 1990, he would become the first comedian to ever sell out Madison Square Garden, two consecutive nights in a row. Born Andrew Clay Silverstein, he stated his onstage persona was “intentionally offensive” in his rampant homophobia, racism, and misogyny. This, of course, always makes it much better. What was everyone so eager to see? What could possibly draw historic crowds to Andrew Dice Clay?
“Just tonight this chick is sucking my dick. And she’s like, “Don’t come in my mouth.” I go, “Honey, I don’t want to fuck up your hair. We’re in a nice restaurant.”
That was pretty much his entire schtick.
“Don’t most men actually think that the more money they spend on a date, the more fingers they get to stick in your pussy before they kiss you goodnight?”
The Diceman, as he was also referred to, became a wildly popular rockstar comedian for little more than the above.
At least, both Too $hort and Andrew Dice Clay, were never involved or charged with anything near as heinous as Andrew Tate has been allegedly accused of. However, not even causing grievous harm to women or girls is a disqualifier for “great men”. John Lennon, Jimmy Page, James Brown, Elvis Presley, R. Kelly, and far too many others.
Tate is endemic to something much bigger and far older. He is simply saying the quiet part much louder, without a nice beat, or any punchlines.
Further reading and sources
1. Beyond Racism and Misogyny — Boston Review
2. The Problem With Too Short, XXL and Young Girls (theroot.com)
3. Adams, Terri M., and Douglas B. Fuller. “The Words Have Changed But the Ideology Remains the Same: Misogynistic Lyrics in Rap Music.” Journal of Black Studies, vol. 36, no. 6, 2006, pp. 938–57. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/40034353. Accessed 31 Dec. 2022.
6. How angry men’s rights activists online helped propel Trump to victory | openDemocracy
7. Jordan Peterson is sad the patriarchy is dying (smh.com.au)
8. Too $hort, Hip-Hop Mag Apologize For Controversial Love Advice — AllHipHop