Twitch streamers are being vilified because they have tits and know how to use them

Twitch streamers are being vilified because they have tits and know how to use them

CultureApril 10, 2018 By Lindsey Kline

The gaming site Twitch was once a sanctuary for nerdy men. It allowed geeks to live-stream video games to millions of viewers, earn donations from supporters and pursue their dreams of becoming professional gamers. Until ...

“Girls started taking over Twitch with their boobies,” Saoirse Murphy, a 20-year-old female Twitch streamer, says mockingly. Murphy mostly plays PUBG, a multiplayer battle royale game, and looks adorable doing it. 

The male-dominated community is beginning to see a flood of attractive young women like Murphy become streamers on the site — and it’s not happy with the newcomers. These hotties generally suck at League of Legends, but can still attract tons of attention flaunting their knockers. 

The community calls them “titty streamers,” and “they’re stealing viewers and donations from hard-working male streamers,” Murphy says, mimicking the complaints of her male counterparts.

[Kaceytron, an oft-labeled "titty streamer"]

The Twitch gender war is mostly unfolding on the site’s “In Real Life (IRL)” section, created so streamers could cook, create art, give advice or do anything outside the realm of gaming. Many women immediately embraced the chance to stream without getting pwned in World of Warcraft, opting instead to showcase shamelessly sexual content. 

Soon enough, IRL could easily be mistaken for a cam site. Women weren’t playing Runescape topless, but they provided enough erotic content to inspire “Twitch Gone Wild,” a Reddit community that curates screenshots of streamers’ flashings and nip slips. 

High-profile streamers began demanding a crackdown on female users and abuse against women on the site began to rise. 

“Twitch has a really toxic mob mentality,” says Mary J. Lee, a beautiful female streamer who’s been on Twitch for five years. “It just takes one big male streamer to degrade one female streamer and it spreads throughout the entire community like wildfire.”

One prominent male streamer poured gasoline on that fire after his incendiary rant against women streamers went viral. He claimed that IRL streaming made Twitch the domain of “the same sluts that rejected us, the same sluts that chose the god damn cool kids over us.”

His rant resonated with other men who have grown resentful of the opposite sex. 

“Five years ago, there were some girl streamers, but not nearly as many as there are now,” Lee says. “Once women started becoming more prominent on the platform, they really started to get objectified. Now every single woman who streams on Twitch receives an enormous amount of abuse.”

No matter what they wear, they’re accused of taking advantage of men, Murphy and Lee say. They’re called  “fake gamers” and “camwhores.” They’re told they only get subscribers because they have breasts.

Naturally, women on Twitch start to get demoralized. Lee wonders, “If I’m just there to be someone’s eye-candy or punching bag, what’s the point?”

In February, Twitch finally answered demands to censor its site, announcing new policies to govern sexual content. The new rules placed harsher restrictions on what women can wear while they stream. Ladies who exposed too much cleavage were warned to cover up. Many were immediately suspended or banned. 

[bbypandaface, another oft-labeled "titty streamer" on Twitch]

Murphy and Lee aren’t titty streamers. However, there’s something troubling about trying to draw a line between “good” and “bad” women streamers. At some point, any woman streaming on Twitch will eventually be accused of selling sex, even if she’s dressed like an Amish farmhand.

Who should they blame for their abuse? The handful of their fellow ladies, who exploited the drawing power of their sex appeal and traded credibility for clicks and cash? Or the wider community of men, who have fed off one another’s toxic behavior to foster an environment of sexism, harassment and hate?

[cover photo tarababcock, one of the more controversial "titty streamers" on Twitch]