Good people are drowning out TikTok's horrifying murder fantasy trend

The trend happened at a time when violence against women is on the rise.

Maxine McCrann

Most content on TikTok is either clever and fun or stupid and pretty harmless. But if you’ve been on the app recently, you may have stumbled upon a deeply disturbing trend that involves using a high-pitched clip of the Frank Ocean song “Lost.” The videos under this sound clip features a bunch of cis, straight-presenting men staring into the camera with superimposed text in which they imagine ways they’d kill a woman on a date. Yes, you read that correctly.

“Imagine I take you to the Grand Canyon for our first date and I push you off the cliff and you fxcking die,” one of them reads.

Now I know Gen-Z humor is supposed to be off-kilter and edgy, but this is not even a little funny. Female TikTok users have reacted to the original videos and some have linked to news stories of real-life murders that coincide with the men’s murder fantasies. One user rightly pointed out that the only thing this trend is really doing is validating women’s fear of cis men.

Now, terrible men have felt the need to voice violent thoughts (and put them into action) since the beginning of time, but this TikTok trend is happening at a time when violence against women is on the rise. Before the pandemic, 1 in 3 women reported being the victim of physical or sexual violence, a number that the UN estimates grew during the pannie.

In cities such as like New York, the recent murders of Asian women — including Christina Yuna Lee, who was followed into her apartment by a stranger and stabbed — have contributed to an increasingly uneasy atmosphere. These are not isolated incidents and are likely to continue with the rise of incels, or “involuntary celibates,” a subculture of men who openly seek revenge on women for not wanting to have sex with them.

More than anything, this trend is proof that any man who says “not all men” is simply not paying attention. TikTok users seriously need to put this little game to rest and every single one us, not just women, have a responsibility to recognize a violent act and call it out. And it looks like exactly that is beginning to happen — TikTok users are using the same sound clip to try and drown out the violent posts with positive images that celebrate women.

Honestly, we shouldn’t have to figure out how to put out a fire like this but here we are. The positive videos are flooding in and it’s hard to even find the originals anymore which does provide some hope that there are more of us than them out there.