Top Twitch streamer slams double standard for women gamers: 'You know what the truth is?'

Twitch streamer Imane Anys, professionally known as Pokimane, shared her disappointment surrounding the struggles female streamers face when voicing their opinions — especially when they clash with what fans think.

Pokimane, the most-followed female streamer on Twitch with over 9 million followers, discussed the topic during a recent stream after she received backlash for her criticism of the platform Kick. Launched in December as a competitor to Twitch, is backed by the crypto casino company Stake.

Pokimane has been open about her criticism against the platform and said she’d never sign, even for $10 million, because it would “compromise my morals and ethics for more money.” That should come as no surprise to fans, as Pokimane was one of the leaders the 2022 Twitch movement to eliminate gambling from the platform, often referred to as “gambling dramageddon.” She also shared a similar sentiment when followers begged her to make an OnlyFans account in January.

The $10 million amount came after another popular Twitch streamer xQc announced he signed a two-year, $100-million contract with Kick.

In a stream on June 26, Pokimane discussed how her dismissal of Kick led to attacks from social media users and fellow streamers and expanded on how this experience is unfortunately common for female streamers.

“You know what the truth is?” she said. “The way that people treat me deters any other woman in the space from genuinely talking about their honest opinions or behaving how they probably really want to because they recognize the treatment that they can expect.”

She shared an anecdote of meeting a smaller female streamer who told her that she was “way too scared to stream without makeup” because of a 2018 incident where fans made fun of Pokimane for not wearing makeup.

“That’s so f***** sad,” Pokimane said about the other streamer’s concerns.

While the gaming community is improving in its diversity and equality — 45% of video game players in a 2022 survey identified as female — there’s still the issue of harassment. The same survey found that 76% of interviewees who identified as female admitted they try to hide their gender while playing games online, the majority of whom said they did it because they wanted to avoid harassment.

The anonymous aspect of digital platforms like Twitch and Kick also allows viewers to write whatever they want to the streamer.

“Female streamers experience disproportionate levels of harassment online, whether on Twitch or on other platforms, which is unacceptable,” a Twitch spokesperson told Campaign Asia-Pacific, an online news publisher. “While we can’t singlehandedly tackle sexism and harassment across the gaming and broader internet, we take our responsibility as a service seriously and are fighting against all harassment in our community.”

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