This is why the new ’24 hours with me’ TikTok trend is so problematic
Yet another TikTok trend normalising rape culture
CW: rape and sexual assault
Since its beginning, TikTok has become the place for the latest trends, resulting in new clothes, music, and makeup products going viral as a result. TikTok’s popularity means that users are normalising a lot of what they see on the app. However, the “24 hours with me” trend is one that seems to promote sexual assault and rape culture. While the TikTokers may not have intended their videos to be taken in this way, this is how they have been received by many.
So, what is the trend?
@princess.amira.bNo wrong answers #fyp #fy #foryoupage #foryou #trending #whatwouldwedo♬ original sound – Jay B
The trend starts by conventionally attractive men and women posing suggestively in revealing clothing, while lip-syncing: “If you had 24 hours with me, and I couldn’t say no, what would we do?”
Other users then duet the original posts, with their intentions and others simply comment below.
Men are also doing the trend, with women also replying with some degrading comments.
@hotwheelz1993#24hourswithme #whatwouldwedo #tattoolover #fyp #uk #bearded #flirting #flanter #getcreative #positivevibes #inkaddict #react #hotty♬ original sound – Tik Toker
One user replied with: “Well if I put my ideas in writing, I could be arrested, I’m not sure my ideas are legal in all 50 states or even some countries”. Others replied saying what they wanted to do would get them banned from TikTok.
Some other replies on videos from men and women include: “You’d be behind me for most of the night.”
Why is it so problematic?
These videos, even if unintentionally, are romanticising sexual assault and are disrespectful to survivors of sexual assault who had no choice to say no.
The videos are encouraging rape culture. These women and men are actively giving away their consent, something that nobody should ever have to do. The comments also show that people would act on their most explicit fantasies, things they know the person would not consent to if they could say no.
It’s easy to dismiss these claims and think that this is just an online trend. The issue is that everything from the poses, suggestive or lack of clothing and comments combine to make young and impressionable users of TikTok to think this is okay.
TikTok permits users as young as 13 to use the app, but we all know many children younger than that have accounts when they’re n0t allowed.
The fact TikTok censors healthy and sex positive content for this exact reason means it’s deeply concerning that they’re allowing this kind content to run free on their platform.
@c4rm3n11Tell me #foryoupage #foryou #whatwouldwedo #fyp♬ If you could have me for 24hrs – 😈 𝑻𝑰𝑩𝑬𝑹𝑰𝑶𝑼𝑺 😈
All the work that charities, protests, and petitions do to minimise sexual assault both online and offline seems suddenly minimised when a video using the #whatwouldyoudo gets nearly 500,000 likes and over 40,000 comments.
Sexual assault and rape are vile, and can happen to anyone, no matter of what clothes they’re wearing. However, it is not helping all the work that charities do and that sexual assault survivors have been through when videos of topless men and women in tight dresses, short skirts and plunging necklines are seemingly encouraging sexual responses (and assault) in their comments.
For those who are looking at it in that way, the clothes these creators are wearing are what is making them respond in this fashion. “Asking for it”, seems to be one of the most commonly said phrases after someone is assaulted, on the basis that they’re deliberately wearing a provocative and sexual outfit. This should never be the case as it does not matter what you are wearing but these video trends are doing a lot of harm in perpetuating this idea.
@jay_minator_Throwback Thursday: Reposting old videos #24hours #whatwouldwedo #me #you #us #together #suggestion #activity #no #gay♬ If you could have me for 24hrs – 😈 𝑻𝑰𝑩𝑬𝑹𝑰𝑶𝑼𝑺 😈
On top of this, the option for anonymity when setting up an account on TikTok means that people can respond with awful sexual acts they want to do to the creator without any fear of any consequences. In instances of harassment both online and in-person, if people knew there were consequences for their actions, then they might think twice before posting such a response. But anonymity gives those commenting a shield to hide behind.
This trend is active alluding to sexual assault with the phrasing of “couldn’t say no.” It really feels like it’s there to make the viewer fantasise about things the creator would usually say no to. People get assaulted (and worse) every day despite them saying no. The last thing we need is for more people to become desensitised to the importance of consent.
A spokesperson from TikTok said: “The safety and wellbeing of our community is a top priority. Our Community Guidelines make clear that we do not tolerate content depicting or supporting non-consensual sexual acts, the sharing of non-consensual intimate imagery, and adult sexual solicitation.