This TikToker Is Blowing Up For Obliterating Toxic Masculinity Online And Forcing Misogynists To Eat Their Words

    "If I'm a bully, then what exactly would you use to describe the men that I stitch?"

    Warning: This post has a very brief mention of sexual assault.

    Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear incredible highlighter, and instead of crime, they fight misogyny online.

    Drew Afualo is that hero. The 26-year-old Los Angeles–based content creator is in a very specific business...the business of calling out misogynistic men on TikTok.

    Drew's popularity comes from her confidence and no-nonsense approach to tackling some of the worst forms of prejudice against women that she finds online. Her account is dedicated to "stitching" — TikTok lingo for replying to a video with a video — posts from men who use misogynistic "humor" in their TikToks. For example, men saying things like women are "too emotional" to make decisions.

    Drew's account has grown from around 1.5 million followers to 4 million followers in just two months. Her DMs are constantly flooded with thousands of people sending her tips or videos of toxic men making sexist comments and asking Drew to essentially humble them.

    BuzzFeed reached out to Drew to find out what it's like working as a "crusader" for women (and making problematic men tremble behind their screens). Drew said she had always planned to go into sports journalism, but when the pandemic hit, she was feeling very "lost."

    With so many people sending her suggestions, Drew said she has to really pick and choose which men she wants to respond to. "I try to avoid the ones that I've already done something similar to, because they just recycle and regurgitate the same bad jokes," she explained. "Now I pick them based off of jokes in my head. I just kind of wing it and then as I film it, sometimes I think of funnier things to say."

    "Shit talking" is one way to describe what Drew does. It's more like complete and utter obliteration. Unfortunately, though, calling out misogynists means opening the flood gates to them acting misogynistic toward Drew herself. She is constantly called "fat," "ugly," a "bully," a "toad" and any other plethora of horrible names from (mostly) men. "Now that I've experienced such extreme growth in a short amount of time, they're doing it [hate comments] more and more prevalently," she explained. "I did [a video] a few weeks ago about this guy who was like, 'You think I'm afraid of the toad queen,' and it's funny because he's had me blocked for months."

    Somehow, Drew is still unfazed by all the hate. "I truly do not care when men call me ugly and fat, or make fun of my appearance," she said. "I can't explain why, but it doesn't really affect me."

    "'All you do is attack men,' 'You're a bully,' blah, blah, blah," she went on. "If I'm a bully, then what exactly would you use to describe the men that I stitch? If I was a cis, straight man, would you feel differently about what I said? If I was a white woman, would you feel differently? If I was a THIN white woman, would you feel this strongly about what I said? So, there's always so many facets of bigotry playing into why men don't like me. It's always racism too, and fat phobia."

    For as many people who hate her, there's twice as many who adore her. Drew's online presence has inspired tons of people to stand up for themselves in their own lives. "I get thousands of messages a day from women that tell me that they made these huge changes or shifts in their lives because of my content," she said.

    You can follow Drew on TikTok (@drewafualo) or check out her podcast, Two Idiot Girls.