There are a lot of funny people on TikTok, but not a lot of them can make jokes while taking down bigots, one stitch at a time.
Well, 26-year-old TikToker Drew Afualo can. And as she said herself, “I’m not just any bitch, I’m that bitch.”
Who Is Drew Afualo?
With over 2.5 million followers on TikTok, Afualo makes videos called “stitches” in response to men that make jokes degrading women, making fun of marginalized communities and other deeply offensive comments against women.
She also makes videos that talk about certain topics relating to feminism and internalized misogyny.
Right after you see an offensive “joke” video by a guy, Afualo’s face pops up with a hysterical cackle that could only mean one thing — she’s about to drag this man to filth.
“I am very capable of being funny without being offensive,” Afualo says. “I think that’s the biggest thing people like about me.”
Taking Down Misogynists with a Single Stitch
When Afualo dishes jokes back toward these men, she often is met with some unkind words from their followers. These comments have included them calling Afualo fat, ugly and single. But those words don’t hurt her a bit. Afualo thinks misogynists often believe that women are less than them, and that they only care about their looks.
“They believe that saying you are fat and ugly is the meanest thing they can say to you,” Afualo says, “when it’s not.”
In some of her TikToks, Afualo makes jokes about men’s hairlines and their height, all while mocking the typical viewpoint of the “alpha male.”
“I just make jokes about what you look like because you made jokes about what other people look like,” Afualo says. “I thought you were cool with it?”
While Afualo’s videos call out men and hold them accountable for their words, not a single man has made an apology to Afualo. She says that she is often blocked or even antagonized by male TikTokers that want her to react to their videos in order to boost their viewership.
To Afualo, her videos are not for views but for a larger purpose. She doesn’t want to change these men’s opinions because to her, bigots will always be bigots. But she does want them to shut up.
“It’s so important that you address jokes because they can have real-life impacts,” Afualo says.
Afualo says bullying online has definitely escalated, especially since today’s bullies are often not held accountable for their words. Comments and “jokes” about women’s sexualities or appearances can be extremely harmful, and Afualo hopes her videos can showcase that.
“If we are talking about fatphobia, for example, fat people are socially and legally discriminated against,” Afualo says. “Trying to align things like fat jokes and short jokes — they’re not the same thing. They are not in the same park.”
Her videos are not meant to harm the person making the original offensive jokes, but to get them to stop, and to show her audience that these comments are offensive and shouldn’t just be laughed off.
“Nothing is funny about real-life implications,” Afualo says. She explained that giving a platform to jokes like the ones she reacts to is giving younger generations the permission to oppress and continue making offensive comments.
Her videos aim to make these men less confident in posting misogynist content. She believes their videos are a form of bullying, and although Afualo doesn’t take offensive comments personally, she knows that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect other people.
Life Before the “Clock App”
Afualo’s warm and outgoing personality was the reason she started making TikToks in the first place. She wasn’t even on the app until her boyfriend, Pili Tanuvasa, suggested she start making videos.
“He knew how much content creation made me happy, and I was so lost at the time,” Afualo says.
Prior to TikTok, Afualo received her degree in communications in sports and journalism from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and went on to work for the National Football League for around 11 months. Content creation is her full-time job right now, but her goal isn’t just money-oriented.
Becoming A Protector and Voice for Women
“I think my main goal is to be a voice for women in other marginalized groups and who are harassed by these kinds of dudes,” Afualo says. “Women will comment things like ‘I wish you were my sister when my boyfriend was abusing me.'”
Afualo makes people smile with her witty jokes and high-pitched giggle, but she also aims to serve as a protector of all women on TikTok.
“Sometimes people see my videos first — as opposed to the shit ones that I stitch — and they will tell me that they are really glad they saw mine first because if they saw the other video, it would’ve really hurt them,” Afualo says. “My only goal is to be there for [women] and to uplift them and be their protector.”
Afualo holds bigots accountable and shows the internet that “jokes” made online can have real-life implications every day. She does it so well that when her viewers hear her laugh, they know exactly what is about to happen.
After all, like Afualo says, “If you’re incapable of being funny without being offensive, you’re not funny.”