“Camwhores” – The Double Standard for Women Streamers

twitch-tv-bot

We’re girls, and we’re pretty. I’d even like to say that we all like our boobs as much as you do, so stop judging us for it. A new generation of “camwhores” is upon us, and causing more uproar than ever. “Camwhores” are defined as girls who stream, often times using Twitch, and use their bodies as a way to get donations. It’s already tough enough to be a woman in a predominately male field, but these girls are also the target of a lot of misogynistic backlash. It’s a frequent topic of discussion on many streams run by women.

This whole topic had me interested, so I began to browse female League of Legends streamers, and I came across Raihnbowkidz with a stream entitled “My Boobs are the Only Reason you’re Here.” As I began to watch, I saw a user comment saying, “Because you make money while on cam, does that make you a cam girl?” As she read all the commentary aloud, Raihnbowkidz carefully responded, “Does that make male streamers cam guys?!”

You have to stop and think about what it’s like to be the host of a stream. Anyone who is on camera is putting their entire self out there to be judged, and for girls that just happens to be our assets. Twitch.tv attempted to control this back in October 2014 by adding a line to their Rules of Conduct saying to

Dress…appropriately. Nerds are sexy, and you’re all magnificent, beautiful creatures, but let’s try and keep this about the games, shall we? Wearing no clothing or sexually suggestive clothing – including lingerie, swimsuits, pasties, and undergarments — is prohibited, as well as any full nude torsos, which applies to both male and female broadcasters.”

While it seems as though Twitch may have initially been targeting women with their revised Rules of Conduct, they do mention in the statement that it applies to both genders. In my opinion, there’s a heavy underlying inference that this rule applies predominately to women, especially with the use of words like “lingerie and pasties.” As of right now, the Rules of Conduct say nothing against excessive amounts of cleavage.

Being on camera is hard; you’re performing for an audience and everyone will judge you on some level no matter what. After all, it’s pretty normal to care about your appearance. And although the money is nice, the truth is that many of the streamers are streaming out of their love for games, and no other reason. The money that streamers make from donations is often not enough to support a lifestyle, and the money goes right back into the stream, for giveaways or for tournaments.

What’s your opinion on “Camwhores,” the girls who are called them, and the word itself? If you ask me, the word “whore” is offensive in any context and shouldn’t be used to describe women streamers who are just trying to do what they love, no matter how low-cut their top might be.

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11 thoughts on ““Camwhores” – The Double Standard for Women Streamers

  1. Addendum – I looked up what AAA games are, and yup…the last of those I played was Diablo on the PS1, so I am decidedly unqualified to talk about those at all. I do enjoy a newish port (reimaginations? Darned if I know what it would be) of the Mario Brothers game “starring” old NES characters with all the powers thereto, so looking them over might be fun.

  2. Sadly, i have not (I am not even sure what AAA games are, to be honest)….I generally read the comics/movies and TV that comes through on my feed. I thought this was an interesting subject and so I chimed in.

    I think most people do,and if it were solely here (or a similar site) that would be the case. In a larger pool (like youtube or 4chan or whatever else the kids are watching these days) things go the lowest common denominator. But, that’s where the people/traffic is….so that’s where you have to go for an audience.

    ANY video there is going to get trolled to hell and back, no matter what the subject matter, presenter, apparel of said presenter…it certainly can’t be made easier with video games (a subject on which people are confusingly passionate – I am generally peaceful, but if someone starts some noise about Phantasie, Dark Heart of Uukrul or Rogue/MAG? I’m ready to [verbally] throw down) and being a woman (*I* don’t care if women are into it, but please don’t be unkind about my lack of ability) can’t make things easier.

    I guess the “best” “solution” is to just maybe wear a game appropriate shirt/outfit and call it a day? Can’t make everyone happy (and frankly, not everyone is WORTH making happy) so don’t give yourself an ulcer thinking about.

  3. Well, I tend to have a very sex-positive outlook in which I’d argue that no one should be called a “whore.” Probably not even women who do sex work, at least those who do so by choice. But, by the strict definition of “whoring oneself out on camera,” I still find this to be a rather sexist assumption. At the end of the day, though, yes, there are people (male or female, but on average I’d say female) who do use their bodies and such to gain followers, yet I’d say this is truly a minority. The reason this gets talked about so much is because people keep bringing them up, and because the few cases where this is the case, this gets focused on and used as the example over and over. It’s like anything else, really. Honestly, I don’t think most women are “camwhores,” and I think that ultimately they are there, like any guy, to show off their love (or skill!) at/for video games. If they look “super hot” while streaming – great. But what does that really matter? Will there always be guys who follow you because you are hot, have a “cute voice,” or whatever else, because in their mind you are girl who they will pretend is single? Yep. But you are right – most are doing this for fun, and whatever funds gained tend to get re-invested in the stream/site.

    For me, any donations received anywhere (including my personal site, YouTube, etc.) tend to get invested back by paying hosting fees, paying for equipment upgrades (new parts/monitors/etc), and the like, so I certainly don’t turn any real profit.

    Anyway, this is just another one of those things like the “fake geek girl” thing – it just needs to die away and people need to quit talking about it 🙂 (Not you thought, I like this post!!)

    • Thanks- This is my first opinion post on NerdyButFlirty! It took a lot of work for me to arrive at this conclusion. There’s definitely people out there looking for the attention, but there’s something keeping them looking for more, because lets be honest there’s only so many boobs you can look at before you get bored.

    • @allahweh— I don’t think I ever answered your question as to what my opinion was on this topic. For the most part, I agree that we love the games. For example, a lot of people could never tell from my profile that I game. With that being said, I am working to melt the stereotype between “pretty girls” and “Gamer girls.” I do have to say there are definitely girls who do not help prove my point. I urge you to check out the streamer “KristiPlays,” which you can pretty much find by Googling or Youtubing. Her boobs are so large and fake, I don’t even know how she lives her daily life. Not to mention, in some of the videos I watched she was playing the tutorial for some games, that doesn’t really make me want to watch more.

      • Yes, the idea of the “fake geek girl” certainly needs to die away too. I think though that really there should be no difference between a girl gamer and a guy gamer. We are all just gamers. That should be enough.

  4. For me it’s kind of a toss up – I enjoy bosoms, but have zero interest in most modern games (I’m old, so my tastes lean to the old DOS RPGs) so I don’t watch the streams about games. To use the word “whore” in the “sex worker” meaning is both incorrect and offensive. But using it to describe someone (of either gender) who exploits physical attributes (emphasis on *exploits* – wearing a cleavage-y top is one thing and fine if that’s what you’re into. Wearing a push-up bra, a low cut top AND leaning forward? THAT kind of *exploits*) to get more hits? Sort of like “fame whore”, but with a webcam and a stream.

    I guess if it’s a “love of the game primarily and looking foxy as a side” dress like you normally would (maybe a little further, if so inclined)….if it’s a “being sexy and talking video games as a side”? Dress however you want to get the hits, but that’s the audience you’d get (general you’s….not talking anyone in particular)

    But the big takeaway for me is that people DO judge others on how they look/dress. Would a stream about high-end restaurants be taken as seriously if the presenter was in a stained t-shirt? Or water parks if they were in a tuxedo? Or (to put the shoe on the other foot) a video game stream by a guy in a speedo?

    Like I say though, I’m old – modesty works for me.

    • Again, you make some really good point. It is part of the costume. I can’t tell you how much I hate low tops or sexually explicit dress, but there’s something that makes you feel sexy about it. So are you not expected to dress up if you are putting yourself out there? Thanks for the thought 🙂

    • I agree, John. In fact, I don’t know if you’ve seen some of my stuff lately, but I tend to do a mixture of AAA, retro, and indie games, but lately the quality of a lot of AAA games has made me lean more towards retro/indie. I think this is admittedly a vibrant, but niche market. I used to stream a lot more when I had time, but found that for classic gaming, it was a bit hit and miss at times with Steam, though YouTube has a nice, vibrant community for it. In any case, though, I think it’s as you said. Like anything else, you should dress for your potential job/audience/whatever. If you want people to think of you only for looks, you can dress a way that attracts that. If you are wanting to get people to take you seriously, then that’s another style perhaps. I think though people know all of this already, though, and yet we are still here having to discuss it anyway =P

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