Andrew Tate has turned five months of Romanian detention into a rallying cry. I went to a bootcamp for “alpha males” to find out why.
It is day one of the “high status” course in Los Angeles, and our host, a middle-aged former member of the United States Navy (white T-shirt, blue jeans, black Converse) is perched on a chair at the front of the room, detailing the wrongs of feminism. “The world is shaming men for being masculine,” he says. “The opposite of masculinity is not femininity. The opposite of masculinity is anti-masculinity. Feminism is not feminine. Feminism is anti-masculine.”
Sitting alongside me are 12 other men, most of whom work in finance or as internet entrepreneurs: think affiliate marketing schemes and property flipping. All are single. This week-long course, costing $10,000, promises to teach us how to forge an “elite social network” that will lead to a life of material and sexual abundance. One participant has flown in from Australia, another from Vancouver. The students are mostly in their twenties and thirties, with one or two in their mid-forties – but the lifestyle they aspire to is pure adolescent fantasy: a cartoonish world of supercars, luxury mansions and bikini-clad women.
As well as attending seminars, students are taken out three nights a week to Los Angeles’s more exclusive nightclubs by “in-field” coaches. Here, they are taught how to start conversations with women, as well as how to network with “high status” men. The latter involves identifying what motivates them (this might be women, or access to celebrity parties), “offering value” (by suggesting introductions or having local status) and exchanging contact information. The rest of the week is filled with photo shoots (to build a more aspirational social media profile), post-nightclub debriefs, and further seminars on improving your Instagram game.