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Why “Booktok” is Unpleasant

Why Booktok is Unpleasant

For those who do not go on TikTok, “Booktok” refers to the side of the app that, one would assume, discusses books like normal, civil people. That, unfortunately, would be far from the truth. Booktok, at this moment in time, is more of an excuse for mostly middle-aged white women to read books that romanticize serious topics such as sexual assault, rape, stalking, and more. These topics should not be romanticized; they can be in books, but they should be treated with care and be used to spread awareness. Most of these creators are also trying to pass their chronic vulgar content addiction off as a hobby. A book should not contain inappropriate content every other chapter with little to no world-building or plot. These books are not terrible, but they should not be all that a person reads; it is the physical copy equivalent of someone being on not-safe-for-work websites 24/7.

Most videos about these types of books talk about the mafia or the main character being straight-up kidnapped, which are also things that should not be romanticized. Some people have said that “Fifty Shades of Grey” started this, and that may be true, but the author, Colleen Hoover, has only encouraged this type of writing. Inappropriate content is okay in books, but it should not be the only thing that happens. It is better done as a side dish in the “peace before the storm” moment of the story, and even then, it should not be too detailed. This opinion may be biased, yes, but inappropriate content is not a plot point. It is not a strong one and should never be one. Yes, people have desires, and yes, it is a natural thing, but being a natural occurrence does not excuse having detailed vulgar content in every single chapter of a story. The aforementioned middle-aged white women are not the whole of the people who read these types of books; they just happen to be the majority, and people focus on the majority most of the time when it comes to groups.

People make jokes about this side of the app, but it is still absolutely inappropriate. These stories border on, or are, pedophilic in nature. There is the fact that women talking about these books are indirectly giving terrible people, such as rapists, the idea that if women like these types of books, then they must secretly like being assaulted sexually. And nobody wants that trauma at all, so this is a genuine problem considering women have been fighting against their rights being taken and rape in general for decades, possibly centuries.

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About the Contributor
Leo Atwell
Leo Atwell, Staff Reporter
My name is Leo Atwell, I am 14 and a freshman taking journalism for the first time. My plans after high school are for me to go to college for at least two years upon my parents' request and to move to Canada. I used to live in Newport News before moving to Gloucester right at the end of my 2nd grade year. I’m taking this class as a way to make my writing better and more descriptive. Being in the newspaper doesn’t mean as much to me as it’s just something I have to do as part of the class, although that won’t stop me from enjoying writing the articles. I hope to make a difference, if not in school than in the world, by sharing my own stories, I write in my free time and the edits I make for fun.

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