More and more people are approaching the world of streaming looking for direct, sincere and innovative content. Gone is the time when video game broadcasts were the sole domain of the platforms. Currently, this type of video is triumphant along with others as diverse as model building or ASMR.
Within this complicated world, some creators stand out for their transgressive character. With its own narrative, Ibai has been one of the pioneers of this new way of understanding communication, anticipating an increasingly present future. Although all that glitters is not gold. He streaming It is a world dominated by men, both among its professionals and in the audience. A hostile profession in which women are not welcome and where misogyny runs rampant among a brotherhood of creators who do not want to share “their space”.
The truth is that women have always been there. Whether playing video games or commenting on sporting events, the streamers They have amply demonstrated their capabilities. However, access is still difficult from the platforms, promotion is avoided and their work is systematically despised because, in the eyes of the industry, they only serve to be objects of consumption.
The streamers they didn’t love women
Reversing this situation is complicated, although the first step is to know it. To do this, in hypertextual We have spoken with the digital feminist disseminator Laura Almenara, creator of the account @feminismoen8bits. This expert points out that the problems that female creators face have to do mainly with two issues: the glass ceiling and bullying.
Almenara affirms that the greatest difficulty in women’s access to streaming It is also characteristic of other masculinized professional sectors and that “results in invisibility and fewer remuneration opportunities.” Something that is confirmed when we take a look at the figures. A analysis of the 100 streamers most relevant Spanish-speaking on Twitch, conducted in 2022 by Everriculum, reveals that only 8% of them are women. And that, in addition, they only have 5.34% of the total audience of the platform.
Together with the obstacles to access, we also find harassment based on sex. On this occasion, Almenara references a study from Indiana University (USA) in which the behavior of the audience is analyzed. Among the comments of the streamers Men read words like “winner”, “level”, “monster” or “battle”. However, the streamers Women receive terms such as “whore”, “tits”, “cunt”, “mona” or “marry”.
But the harassment does not end there. Almenara also talks about insults – or directly expulsion – in online games, intentional blocking of avatars, sexual harassment and invasion of privacy. Situations that endanger streamers and that, on many occasions, force them to leave the platforms. All of this, the expert points out, “is not by chance, it is misogyny in virtual spaces.”
To no one’s surprise, Twitch washes its hands of
Given such a future, it is not surprising that women are a minority on the platforms of streaming. Who would want to walk into a place where humiliation, belittlement and bullying await? The presence of women on Twitch is still low – 35% in 2021 – but it is increasing daily with thousands of streamers making their way in an environment that never tires of reminding them that they do not want them there.
In fact, the Amazon-owned platform has been embroiled in several scandals for its inaction against toxic speech. In October 2021, he was the victim of a security breach which revealed, among thousands of other confidential data, its source code. The perpetrators of the leak released a statement accusing Twitch of being a “disgusting and toxic cesspool” and calling for “more competition.”
The incident occurred just one month after the boycott day called by streamers from around the world to claim their defense against the practices —common on the platform— known as raid of hate, mobilizations of harassment against specific users.
Laura Almenara denounces that there is a lot to change. “Mainly, that anti-harassment tools are effective,” she demands. “Because they are never enough and they end up fooling them, which makes us feel insecure in the enormous virtual space.” Furthermore, she points out, it is necessary to “encourage the work of the streamers”. Something that can only be achieved through “50% quotas”. In this sense, it highlights the fundamental role of representation for the future of women in the streaming. “And, of course, education,” concludes the expert.
the women of the streaming counterattack
Despite everything that remains to be done, every day there are more brave women fighting against digital machismo. Hundreds of creators who make their way in the world of streaming so that girls who want to dedicate themselves to it can do so without putting themselves in danger or being ignored.
In hypertextualin order to better understand the scope of the challenges and problems that companies are currently facing. streamerswe have spoken with @Cristinini, one of the most important creators in our country, followed by 3.2 million people on his Twitch account alone. This is what he has told us.
How would you define what you do?
My job is to create content on social networks, entertaining thousands of people from all over the world. I also host events of all kinds, not just related to content creators, from boxing nights to awards ceremonies to cooking shows and events for companies like Amazon and/or HBO. She also collaborated as a reporter with traditional sports along with DAZN.
Is it difficult to be a woman in the world of streaming? What do you notice?
It’s hard being a woman in general, not just in the world of streaming. But, as far as streaming As far as I’m concerned, I’ve always thought that we have a glass ceiling where we can’t go any further, no matter how hard we work or how hard we try. Because although you need to be good and stand out with your personality to earn a living in the streamingIt is also important to participate in projects and be in the word of mouth on a day-to-day basis streamers that they are up
Although I have always been invited to all the series, events and I have always felt great and welcomed by all my colleagues, it is a fact that there are things that only reserve for them, either by affinity or because they feel more comfortable… Even different types of jokes. Everything adds up and in the end it means that we cannot grow more. It is also true that I believe that all this is changing little by little and I am confident that there will be some creator who will break that ceiling and this question will stop making sense in a few years.
Have you ever felt that your professional colleagues have disrespected you or have belittled your work?
Yes. Constantly. Not from the people I interact with on a daily basis, but from the people I don’t interact with that much, who reduce my work to: “they only see you as jerks” and/or “they give you everything for being a woman” . I have also been accused of approaching guys out of interest. It’s like you can’t have friends on the platform because they immediately accuse you of using them to climb.
Have you had an awkward situation with a follower? Have you received hate messages?
No. I’m really comfortable with my followers. Yes, I have had situations that are difficult to classify, but those are not followers. They are simply people who are not well and have some kind of obsession. AND yes, I have received hate messagesof death, people wishing me cancer and that I die, among other things.
What is the hardest part of being a woman in the world of sports for you? streaming?
Having to constantly prove that I deserve to be where I am and that I don’t have what I have for being a woman, I have it because I’m worth it.
What do you think should change to improve the experience for women streamers and that their work is recognized?
Society in general should change and in that… we are still very green.