TikTok, an app made for entertainment, could easily become toxic and controversial too. It is not just a platform full of baffling and funny videos, but it is also a representation of real life. A lot of videos on the platform are of people with actual, regressive thought processes.
The content on the app ranges from plain crass to full charged mimicry. It shows problematic content in the name of entertainment which is often disgusting, disgraceful and humiliating, especially for women. Even in this age of pink capitalism or tokenistic feminism, surprisingly most of the content on TikTok still revolves around hatred against women. The glorification of the domestic violence, stereotyping women through gender roles, convincing women to retain the ‘sanskaars’ and other innovative forms of misogyny are all a part of the latest trends on the app.
Why TikTok is a Representation of the Mass
TikTok which was formerly known as musical.ly gained a lot of popularity especially in India in a very short period. Through the app, lots of people, especially the young audience, became TikTok stars overnight. They gained millions of views on their videos and many followers in some cases on their various social media accounts.
This is because it has easy to access features and a wide reach which has been very instrumental in helping people voice themselves through social media. Through the app people from rich, average, poor, urban and rural backgrounds all participate in expressing themselves. TikTok gives a platform to people with a rural background, which many other social media apps have not managed. It highlights the lack of representation on social media platforms. But because of its lack of censorship, there is a lot of disturbing content being generated on the app too, which needs to be examined and controlled.
The ‘Sanskari Naari’ on TikTok
Most of the videos on TikTok have a background sound along with a storyline. The problem in some of the videos is how the women are portrayed. In the particular video above, the guy covers the girl’s face because she was getting too much ‘attention’ from other guys. Women are often seen as products for complete ownership by men. Such a behaviour can be seen around us too, when husbands often become obsessively possessive, thereby controlling the woman to have friendships, especially with other men.
If that’s not enough, the ‘Sanskari Naari’ is also shown as the salwaar kameez-clad woman with a dupatta over her head. Most of the women in such videos are shown as weak who need a man to stand for them. The videos mostly focus on the man’s heroism in rescuing the lady because after all a Sanskari Naari just can’t stand for herself. All of this content is given to the viewers in the name of ‘entertainment’ with very little realisation that it is seriously problematic too.
Normalisation of Violence against Women
If women on the app are shown weak then it can’t be done without men trying to exercise their control on them. So hitting women is normalised on the app too! Videos of men slapping women and getting physically violent with them are quite common and viral, almost like a disease. Although there are many laws and legislation against violence against women in India, such pop cultural influence still normalises such patriarchal brutalities and is heroised for the man in the videos.
One more striking fact here is that most of these videos are also available on other platforms like too YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. There too, without any censorship. Hitting a woman is not derogatory for Instagram, but somehow a nipple needs to be censored, because it is obscene! Absurd isn’t it? The hypocrisy of some of these social media apps is becoming too obvious day by day.
It’s High Time to Call Out the Misogyny on TikTok
TikTok as a platform is a way to express one’s thoughts. So when young men come up with such sexist and violent videos, it shows how they think. Just like movies such as Kabir Singh glorify toxic mentality, such videos on TikTok do that too. There are a plethora of videos where men are hitting women and other men are protecting them. And no one is calling any of that out loud!
Such videos on TikTok are prove that men think that they have the right to just hit women for no reason. Also, here a woman’s role is that of an object who validates male ego and makes him feel strong by acting ‘weak’ and ‘timid’. As much as it is prevalent on the app, sadly this mentality is also prevalent among a huge mass in our country, outside the virtual world.
The very existence of the huge number of such videos depicting toxic masculinity is proof of the regressive mentality. The desire to control them and oppress them is scary. Hence, now it’s high time that we call out the toxic misogyny on TikTok.
Featured Image Source: IDiva