Sarah Biggers-Stewart started a viral TikTok challenge that displays just how male privilege works.
Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault/Harassment
If you've been up to date with the trends and viral challenges on TikTok lately, you've probably seen the "Never Have I Ever" game. It's when you put up 10 fingers and put each one down as you receive prompts. Most recently, the "race" edition of the Never Have I Ever game went viral, with Black folks displaying just how different their lives were from their white counterparts'. Now, there's a new edition just for women. In this challenge, created by Atlanta-based TikTok user Sarah Biggers-Stewart, who goes by Thebiggersthebetter on Instagram, she points out how much more difficult it is to be a woman in comparison to life as a man.
In her edition of the game, she asks women to put a finger down if they have been drugged, if they have been sexually touched inappropriately, and if something bad happened to them and the men who were around that they thought would protect them didn't. These are just a few of the incredibly traumatic and frustrating things that Sarah pointed out about being a woman and well, simply existing. Again, her version of the game makes tangible the otherwise invisible ways that women are discriminated against, oppressed, and subjugated. It also showed that men do in fact have male privilege even if they can't see it.
TRIGGER WARNING. I only had two fingers up at the end. This is too common. https://t.co/btBI4m0Ax4— Cassie (@spacecadet28) June 13, 2020
The TikTok user shared in an interview, "My content is all about life as a woman, and an unfortunate reality is that many of us have dealt with sexual and safety-related trauma." She encouraged other women to play the game and upload their videos as well. For many, it was a challenging game to play as it evoked memories of traumatic experiences. Nonetheless, Sarah hoped that all the videos would help women support each other and feel less alone. "I posted it and immediately a few duets popped up," she said. "I figured it would end there. But the next day I saw it had been duetted over a thousand times and I was shocked." The game has since been played by over 10,000 women.
"I was happy to provide other women with an outlet to share their experiences because that in and of itself can be therapeutic, but I was shocked by the magnitude. It was — and is — surreal and a little bit haunting," Sarah continued. "We all have to step up to protect each other more because this kind of trauma is way too common, and it can happen to anyone. There’s this idea that women who deal with these issues look or behave a certain way, like 'she was asking for it,' but that simply isn’t true. If you look at the videos, we all look very different from each other, and yet we’ve had these shared experiences."
In addition to this, she noticed that several men also completed the challenge. Though many men reached out to her claiming that she had simply made the problems up - or was somehow personally responsible for the incidents she experienced ("you were probably asking for it") - Sarah did recognize that some men, too, had struggled with their pasts. She said, "My content is made for women, and I feel I can only speak for myself as a woman, but lots of men were frustrated because they are often teased for opening up about their own traumas. Their pain and frustration really underscored the need for reform on how we talk about male trauma and support male victims." Have you played the game yet? If not, try it yourself and see how many fingers you have left standing by the end of it.