Parents: Don’t Start With Andrew Tate!
8 Tips to Address Misogynistic Rhetoric With Your Teens
So many teen parents have been in touch wondering how to discuss Andrew Tate and the rise of misogynistic rhetoric appearing all over their teen's Tik Tok, Discord, Reddit, Twitter etc...
➡️ 1. Start These Conversations As Soon As Possible
The Children’s Commissioner states that out of all those surveyed, 10% of nine years old had seen porn along with half of those aged thirteen. By the time they’re mid-teens they’ll have seen *anything and everything* online, so get comfortable having conversations and always use open-ended questions, engage with curiosity, discuss how sex in porn often glamorising power play and violent interactions and finally, be open if you feel awkward too.
➡️ 2. Calm and Non-Judgemental Discussions
As much as possible whenever bringing up these heavy topics, use a calm demeanour and non-judgemental approach otherwise it’ll simply turn your child further away from you and deeper into this online community.
➡️ 3. Counteract through teaching which supports inclusion and belonging
During these discussions talk about what your and their understanding of respect, equality, diversity, inclusion and belonging mean and talk through celebrating people’s similarities and differences.
➡️ 4. Masculinity Discussions
Discuss what being 'a man' can look like in order to support them to learn that amassing wealth, having control and power and having access to women doesn't 'make you more of a man'. What is being taught online is that male success if about agency, so ask them to see videos they may have watched and engage neutrally rather than with extreme reactions. Talk about the impact of viewing harmful content and also about masculinity meaning that all emotions are allowed to be expressed and shared. Being vulnerable is powerful. Discuss why anger seems to be the 'acceptable' emotional response from men throughout history.
➡️ 5. Digital Literacy – A Discerning Consumer of Information
Discuss sources, bias, agenda and discuss real statistics. Teens need to have digital literacy skills to identify trusted sources, false info and negative influence. To become discerning consumers of information online, discussions need to branch out into ranking/selected/targeted search engines or targeted advertising and information.
➡️ 6. Speak to School
Speak to your school about proactive approaches that can be done. PSHE content will be covering consent, peer relationships and respect but perhaps there could be some talks or workshops like booking Everyone’s Invited or Beyond Equality into your school – this should be for both primary and secondary as access to online material becomes younger and younger. Finally, ask your school about their whole school approach around online and real-life sexual harassment.
➡️ 7. Dads – You’ve Got This...
Societal misogyny might be rooted in discussions around the role of dads. Dads having regular discussions around consent, respect, sitting and exploring the work of Laura Bates, Everyone’s Invited etc and looking at alternative male role models matters! Why not try also discuss strategies to support their financial well-being in the future and challenging economic misinformation presented by influencers around acquiring wealth, and material possessions, so often aimed at those in unemployment or financial difficulties. Don’t leave this for women to tackle on their own otherwise, the cycle continues.
➡️ 8. Online Influencers and Their Content
This is not just about Andrew Tate and making it just about him ignores the wider problem. The rise and rise of influencers spouting misogynistic rhetoric can mean your teen ends up down a harmful social media algorithm content permissive of discriminatory attitudes, victim-blaming narratives and sexual harassment.
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