On the face of things, there is little in common between Prince Harry and Andrew Tate. Yet look closer and you see two sides of the same coin: a narcissistic version of modern masculinity that warps what’s actually important about manhood for the demands of an addicted audience.
Tate is a juvenile accused sex trafficker, who believes his right as an HGH-fueled muscle man entitles him to a Conan the Barbarian Romanian fantasy of Bugattis, baby oil and bitches. Harry is a pussy-whipped blue blood who wields his grief gestalt as a weapon against all comers — be they media or monarchy.
Tate’s narcissism is more aggressive. He has cultivated an image designed to appeal to the constantly horny thirteen-year-old boy, with visions of flashy cars, willing whores and stacks of cash that will open up the whole world to their fantasies. The pathetic nature of this dream only reveals itself in time as a fiction and a construct: the cars are rented, the furniture is IKEA, the women hate you even as they cash their occasional check — or in Tate’s case, get ripped off and plead to the media.
Harry’s narcissism is less aggressive, but arguably a worse indictment of masculinity. He betrays the ideal of the stiff upper lip. No sin is too minor, no offense too small, to be recorded like a high school co-ed in a burn book and later shared with the media under the guise of a plea for sympathy. The camera lights were too bright, the penetrating gossip too heavy — so now Harry must share with us the terrible tale of Frozen, the frostbitten member that he brought from the South Pole to Westminster Abbey wedding festivities. Ernest Shackleton wept.
Part of the Tate travesty is that his media defenders have been more than happy to ignore the massive signs — some from his own streams — of possible criminal activity in order to feature him as a commentator. GB News’s Dan Wootton and TalkTV’s Piers Morgan recently had him on air to talk Harry and Meghan. Has the well of masculine commentary run so dry that you must invite on this chinless rapey camgirl pimp to spin you a yarn about what manliness looks like?
No, both men sacrifice ancient masculine honor to the era of modern overexposure: Harry hides behind woke virtue, Tate hides behind indulgent vice. They are more alike than different, two men who have created fantasies where they are heroes instead of the villains they obviously are — one a liar and an exploiter of the vulnerable, the other a double-dealer and a violator of the deepest trust.
“In our preoccupation with words, we have lost sight of the tough realities that cannot be softened simply by flattering people’s self-image,” Christopher Lasch wrote. That lesson is left unlearned by either man; the flattery is what they run on. It’s the fuel for their book sales and their indulgences, for Harry’s BetterUp and Tate’s Hustlers U. The false promise of these visions of woke masculinity and misogynist vice will never measure up to, say, a blue-collar Mexican construction worker who heads home with hands worn raw and stays up to care for his sick daughter in the night.
There are the men who build. Harry and Tate are the men who whine. Know their works. Understand their failure. Take the other path.