Sigma supremacy sweeps MVHS

Examining the negative impact of sigma male culture on the MVHS community

Yash Thapliyal and Alex Zhang

Andrew Tate discusses his views on his podcast | Youtube

The word “sigma” has only come into prevalence within the past year, usually referring to social media culture and an extension of the concept “alpha male.” Most commonly, a sigma male can be characterized by certain traits, including being admired, successful, highly-independent and often a loner. Recently, this term has seen a spike in popularity, in large part due to leading social media influencers like Andrew Tate and Sneako. Popular figures like these have become the face of the sigma male movement, garnering hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of views per video

Part of their appeal lies heavily in the controversial statements they make. Notably, Andrew Tate has been well documented in calling upon his followers to adhere to his values of objectifying women, rejecting liberal ideas and claiming superiority. Additionally, his repeated false statements like, “If you use Siri you’re a sexual predator” and “Don’t trust people with smartwatches” all have the effect of promoting sigma male notoriety across the internet.  These sorts of firebrand comments are particularly receptive among the teenage demographic. Ranging from children of elementary school age who are easily impressionable to older teens who may seek life lessons from internet creators, sigma male culture feeds directly into these demands. 

Like at so many high schools across the country, the MVHS community has not remained immune to the spread of sigma male culture. Through mediums like shared clips, meme culture and reposts, people like Andrew Tate have become household names in student circles. Unfortunately, the polarizing aspect of sigma male culture has created one of the largest divides in perspective between male and female students. Many male students view clips of Tate as a joke or as simply meme humor. On the other hand, female students highlight the more pernicious effect of Tate’s rhetoric and ideology. They have also highlighted the dangers of people actually believing sigma male rhetoric and treating women in a derogatory way. This sharp contrast in the level of seriousness in the way sigma male culture is treated reveals existing tensions brought to the surface with this polarizing topic.

But part of what makes sigma male culture infectious within the MVHS student body is the fact that so much of sigma male culture is intertwined with meme culture, making it easy to write this ideology off as a non-threat. This is a particularly dangerous misconception, as the treatment of sigma male culture as a meme is used primarily to defend key figures like Andrew Tate from the scrutiny of critics. Within days after being banned from the vast majority of social media platforms for hate speech, Andrew Tate stated that he was merely adopting a “character” and that much of his more extreme sentiment was a “joke.” In reality, Tate and others like him hide dangerous messages under a comical banner. Within MVHS, this same defense is frequently used by those that consume sigma male culture content. Students say they don’t share the culture’s more extreme views, but instead only watch clips as a joke. 

The solution to this problem falls upon systematic change as well as individual action. Platforms like TikTok have taken to banning Andrew Tate and minimizing the spread of his content. Since mainstream platforms like YouTube, Tik Tok and Instagram were where most students found out about Tate in the first place, the corporate decision to remove him and similar influencers proved effective in mitigating sigma male culture.  Students need to follow these actions and avoid reposting similar content as well, even as a joke. 

Beyond just technology companies, we as students share a similar responsibility to take charge of our own content and keep each other accountable. Especially at a time when our friends’ opinions and perspectives are highly valued, it is time we place emphasis on the right kinds of beliefs and ideas. The next time someone jokes about sigma male culture and the negative implications it carries, it is up to every individual person to stand up, and collectively, we can work towards a better, more constructive society.