- Drew Afualo has amassed 3.6 million followers on TikTok by criticizing misogynistic content.
- Afulo said she has become the “women’s crusade” on the app, a role she is happy with.
- Afulo said she hopes to help empower women with her videos.
Drew Afualo never intended to become TikTok’s “women’s crusade,” but it’s a title she says she’s happy to carry.
Afulo, who has built 3.6 million TikTok followers Criticizing sexist content on the app, she began her TikTok journey by telling stories of her own negative experiences with men.
That “blew up” until he became the app’s unofficial watchdog for misogyny and sexism, combating sexist comments from men with jokes about hairline and height, he told Insider. Now, these videos regularly rack up millions of views.
Afualo’s original dream was to be a sports journalist. But after landing an NFL job in 2019, she was fired after about 10 months. afulo recalled Brittany Krystle in a recent podcast which while devastating at the time, coincidentally led her to spend more time on TikTok in early 2020. Then, a few weeks later, the coronavirus pandemic hit, and content creation became Afualo’s full-time job.
Now, she’s so well known that women will flood comments on TikToks they deem sexist to try to win her over, and her signature laugh has become a popular sound on the app, with women using it to means girl power.
In a popular post, Afualo, who is 26 and lives in California, responded to a TikTok video in which a man criticized a woman who was receiving hundreds of thousands of likes for “showing off” her figure.
“Are we telling women that we don’t want to see them hot?” Afulo said in his response that received more than 3 million views. “I bet you watched that video a million times you pervert.”
On another occasion, a male creator went viral with a video calling on women to “run a calorie deficit,” referring to the diet technique.
Afulo said she was tagged in the comments on the original post so many times that the creator blocked her before she had a chance to reply.
When Afualo started responding to this type of content, she said she was “in disbelief” about how common it was on TikTok. Sometimes, she said, she feels like her boat is sinking, and she’s “constantly pulling up water.”
“It doesn’t matter how much I take out, more goes in,” Afualo said. “I’ll never be out of a job, that’s for sure.”
TikTok Community Guidelines ban “hateful” content, including anything that dehumanizes an individual or group based on protected attributes, including sex and gender.
“TikTok is deeply committed to fostering a welcoming, inclusive and safe place for people to share their creativity,” a spokesperson for the platform told Insider. “We do not tolerate hateful behavior directed at individuals or groups based on their sex or gender identity, and we take action against such content or behavior, including by removing videos, comments, and accounts.”
Afulo’s viral takedowns often insult the physical features of the men he criticizes.
Afualo’s videos include some creative insults about the men he criticizes. In response to a man who said that women sometimes forget to “suck” his stomach, Afulo said he had the build of a “palm tree” and resembled the cartoon character “Roddy from ‘Flushed Away'”.
There’s a misconception that women always have to take “the high road,” she said, and lean toward the assumption that men just don’t know better and need to be brought up fine.
Afulo doesn’t do that, he fights fire with fire.
“I don’t do the education shit because it’s not my job, frankly,” he said. “It’s not my job to educate you on why you shouldn’t hate women.”
She gets some pushback, mostly from men, she said, who say she’s sinking to the same level as those she criticizes. But before this, Afualo stressed that her comments are always of a “silly” nature.
“I said you look like The Good Dinosaur and all of a sudden I’m the baddest girl alive,” she told Insider. “You made a joke and I made a joke, but somehow mine is bad and yours isn’t? It’s okay.”
Some criticize Afualo for making fun of men for being “bald” or “short,” but she says these features, and the idea that men are less attractive for having them, are “patriarchal beliefs” stemming from toxic masculinity. : “so that depends on all of you”, he said.
“It’s up to you that you feel like you have to be bigger and stronger to be manly, or whatever they think.”
Afulo said she hopes to empower women
Afulo believes he’s so popular with women because he’s brutal and doesn’t waste time trying to educate men who should already know not to broadcast how “misogynistic and bigoted” they seem.
Afulo said she grew up with several strong feminist figures in her life, particularly her mother, who taught her to never let anyone else determine her worth. Now, when she gets hate comments and trolls telling her she’s “fat” or “ugly,” she doesn’t penetrate her brain “not even 1%.”
She said she hopes to help empower “women of color, black women, fat women, trans women and everyone else” to feel the same way and give them the confidence to stand up for themselves and others.
“And then loving themselves enough to hope for the best version of a relationship that they want,” she said. “Raise your standards and keep them high. It may take a bit of time, but someone will definitely catch up.”