The prevalence of sexism in the U.S. is never a shock, but how it plays out might be to some.
A Q2 report by Stream Hatchet claims that 99% of the top gaming streamers on YouTube, Facebook Gaming and Twitch are men. Out of the top 100 streamers across the three platforms during Q2, only one was female, identified as Kaitlyn “Amouranth” Siragusa.
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Amouranth amassed 8.2 million watch hours but still only ranked at No. 56 out of 100. Three of the top 10 female streamers (Sakura Miko, Usada Pekora and Ironmouse) were VTubers, meaning they only appear as virtual avatars or cartoons of female characters — and men could very well be behind them.
Sexism has been a popular theme on Twitch this year, as fans delighted in watching the defamation trial about Amber Heard’s domestic abuse allegations against Johnny Depp. The Guardian dubbed the response to the trial “an orgy of misogyny” while experts warned the public’s reaction to the trial would negatively impact female victims of abuse.
According to Games Press the report found, “Fans amassed over 26.7M hours watching the trial unfold, 310 unique channels live-streamed the trial on their channel, and users sent over 231K chat messages related to the event. The trial boosted Twitch’s ‘Just Chatting’ by over 7.3% for April and May.”
About six years after Gamergate, a 2014 scandal women in gaming came forward about the hostile sexism and death threats they received in the community, over 70 people in the gaming industry, largely women, discussed the very same issues.
The group came forward in 2020 to share stories of sexual assault, harassment and gender-based discrimination experienced while gaming. It’s pretty clear that esports has a long way to go when it comes to addressing the gender gap.
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