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TikTok’s Accountability Queen
Drew Afualo is the catharsis we need
There are few things that bring me as much joy as seeing Drew Afualo’s face pop up when I’m scrolling through TikTok. The 26-year old doesn’t do anything flashy in her TikToks—no dancing, special effects or filters. She rarely participates in a meme or trend. Instead, Afualo has built her following of 4.8 million people (and growing) with simple, straightforward videos where she eviscerates sexist men.
It’s a delight.
A man makes a fat joke? “I’d be a hater too if I looked like the Boss Baby all grownup.” A podcast bro goes off on how he’d leave his wife if she ‘let herself go’ after having a baby? “Ban all men from being able to buy microphones.” When haters call her an ugly bitch? “Close your eyes and picture the girl of your dreams...The girl that’s on Instagram, that if you had her the world would make sense. Yeah, she follows me. I’m collecting them all. Clean sweep, bitch.”
What makes Afualo so brilliant, and so watchable, isn’t just that she’s responding to the misogyny we all know is rife on social media. It’s that in a time when everything feels a bit depressing, she’s bringing viewers much-needed joy and catharsis. She’s having fun, and refuses to pull punches.
When I spoke to the California-native over Zoom, she told me, “I don’t waste time trying to be nice to you, or trying to convince you why you shouldn’t hate women.”
In a moment when there’s so much misogyny to contend with—from everyday harassment to the threat against Roe—it’s an attitude that resonates with those of us who feel fed up and exhausted.
“The biggest reason women gravitate towards my content, especially now,” Afualo said, “is that I don’t do the educating bullshit.”
Instead, she’s making sexist men wish they never joined TikTok to begin with.
Afualo, who call herself a proud intersectional feminist and credits her family and Samoan culture with influencing her thinking on feminism, told me the ultimate goal is to get misogynists off of the app.
“I have no interest in changing them because I’m not your fucking mom. I know you’re going to go back to being awful in your real life, but it’s gotten to a point where people are afraid to put shit like that on TikTok because they know I exist.”
Indeed, it’s hard to find a sexist video on TikTok that doesn’t have Afualo’s fans tagging her in the comments, begging her to do a more-than-justified take-down.
And while she has plenty of sexist videos to choose from when deciding which to tear apart, Afualo draws a firm line on what she won’t respond to: Videos about sexual assault or violence against women. Replying to those accounts, she said, would just give them more oxygen. Instead, she encourages her followers to report the users and have them removed from the app.
“People like that don’t need a good ribbing online, they need real life consequences,” she said.
When she does respond to a video—whether it’s a fat joke or slut shaming, a sexist dating coach or lecherous middle-aged man—it’s glorious. There’s a cathartic release in watching Afualo laugh hysterically, mocking not just these men’s opinions, but their clothes, their hairline—anything goes.
To the people who say she’s just stooping to their level? “You made this video, you put it on this platform, you invited a public discourse. You made that choice as a sentient human. So in return, I’ve made the choice to rip it to shreds.”
Besides, Afualo asked, why are people more focused on her responses than the original sexist video itself? “Women are expected to give patience, kindness and grace—to men, especially,” she said.
To the women who watch her videos—over 96% of her followers identify as female—seeing Afualo be merciless with sexists online inspires them to do the same in their own lives. She gets messages every day from viewers who have left abusive husbands, or stood up to harassing bosses.
For those who aren’t able to say the things they want to to the sexists in their life, her videos provide an outlet—not just by watching, but through the comments section (one of the funniest I’ve ever seen).
I asked Afualo if she ever gets discouraged; watching all of these misogynist videos can’t be easy, and seeing the ubiquity of online sexism has to take a toll. It does, she told me, but she doesn’t think that the problem is necessarily worse—just more visible.
Afualo said she believes misogynists online are emboldened in part because of how easy phones and anonymity have made it to spread hate, but also because men now rely on the excuse that they’re just being ‘funny’.
“It’s never been funny,” she said. “But now we’re in a position in society where people are empowered to stand up to that kind of stuff.”
Besides, Afualo pointed out, the idea that she can’t just ‘take a joke’ doesn’t really hold up when you see how many of the men she calls out end up deleting their videos or leaving TikTok.
“I made a video and they deleted their account—so one of us can’t take a joke. Are we not laughing anymore?”
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