The ads I watch help pay people to fight bigots? Sign me up
Jayde Atchison (She/Her) // Opinions Editor
Natasha Lee // Illustrator
When you get home from a long day of work and can finally use the bathroom with complete comfort, you may be tempted to scroll through a handful of videos on TikTok to help make the time go by and reduce the risk of being alone with just your thoughts to occupy you. Depending on your algorithm, you will see a mix of funny filters, cool dances and people voicing their opinions.
The nature of the internet means that there are going to be people from across the political spectrum voicing their thoughts about the world around them. However, based on the videos we are actively engaging with, we typically are only exposed to the creators that align with our beliefs. Sometimes we hear little rumours about something bigoted that happened online, but we have to hit up Google to get the full story because we didn’t witness the event firsthand.
What once started off as a playful platform known for the dancing videos has now become a massive source of revenue for bigger creators. Their feeds are filled with their typical content with some sponsored posts sprinkled in between. While some creators have become known for their funny characters (Adrian Bliss), some are known for being sleepwalkers (Celinaspookyboo) and others are known for breaking down bigotry one small-minded man at a time (Drew Afualo).
What starts off as a video that gives off the ick factor and makes you think you are on the wrong side of the algorithm turns out to be a stitched video from one of the hilarious women that took one for the team and started calling men out on their crap. Far too many men are showcasing their sheer audacity to the world without shame. They are slut-shaming, body-shaming and defining “the value of a woman” — whatever that means. I can’t speak for these people, nor do I want to, but it feels like the purpose of their videos is to show dominance and their “alpha” status.
Everyone loves a bad boy who is opinionated, right? RIGHT?? No, Robert, we actually do not like your videos that expose your mindset that is so antiquated that even your grandparents don’t remember that being the popular frame of mind.
The way women and non-binary folks are fighting these men behaving like toddlers is truly inspiring. They think of the wittiest comebacks that are educational in the response while also roasting the men alive — without being bigoted in the process. The importance of these videos is to showcase that there are people not willing to sit back and let a generation of younger, much more impressionable kids only be exposed to the extremely outdated modes of beliefs about how to treat women. It is especially important for male creators like Dominique Gabriel to become more vocal against this treatment, as it demonstrates an allyship that is more “lead by example”.
Younger people need positive examples from the big creators because, unfortunately, people are still not taking women seriously. When women ask to stop being treated like lesser beings, many people still have selective hearing and refuse to learn the lesson — unless it’s coming from another man. If there are men out there that are willing to show that you can still be a true “man” AND show support for women, then it gives viewers an opportunity to see the other side of the coin, and hopefully learn something.
Calling out rude people of any gender is crucial, and the fact that creators are making enough money to have social media as their only income because of it is what I love to see. Call shitty people out for their shitty behaviour, because life is far too short to let it slide anymore. We have to accept that some people will remain stuck in their ways, but there is hope that even a few people will see their actions, or the actions around them, and begin to reflect on a need for change. And if not, well, at least we get a laugh from a comedic response.