Some people may say, “Oh, it’s great that someone has finally acknowledged the lack of female visibility on YouTube.”
Straight white guy Benjamin Cook shouldn’t be this person.
It would have been fine and dandy if a female-identifying vlogger did a call to arms for her fellow female-identifying…
‘It’s great that someone has finally acknowledged the lack of female visibility on YouTube’. It has always been a rather glaring and embarrassing flaw. I think the fact that it the person discussing it is a ‘straight white guy’ (Benjamin Cook) is slightly irrelevant.
Firstly, females have a very different way of dealing with problems to men. It is quite unusual for a woman to stand up and say this is wrong like Cook has. It would have been, not just ‘fine and dandy’, but fantastic if a female vlogger had performed a call to arms, but would anyone have noticed given the clear problems of lack of audience and the fact that many of their audience (both male AND female) may have dismissed the problems as just another woman moaning about how hard it is to be female. Cook has a high profile position and is reaching a huge number of viewers, probably more than the average female blogger, and has used this position to give an articulate investigation into the problem and a selection of his opinions.
I don’t think his opinions are invalid because he’s a ‘straight white guy’. Gender politics is an issue for everyone and his gender, race and sexual orientation doesn’t make his opinions any less valid, or disqualify him from giving them. ‘Female-generated content’ is not content made FOR females it is made BY females, so just because he is ‘male-identifying’ doesn’t exclude him from giving his opinion on what he thinks is good, it is true not everyone makes art to please him but the art that stays with us and is recognised as good is the art that appeals to all ranges of the gender spectrum.
I don’t think he is applying ‘heteronormative, male-biased guidelines’ to female YouTuber’s ( side note - if anything, the YouTube community is very far from heteronormativity) he is giving suggestions as to why female vloggers content may be seen as different to the more popular male vloggers. It has been noted before and will be for some time that men and women behave differently, and that is reflected in the styles of vloggers.
I have no problem with ‘great content made by girls for girls’. Frankly I would love if more of it was out there; there are a few female bloggers who are producing great content, for girls and not for girls. But we need more girls to step out and in Cooks own words “Be a girl and be funny. Be musical; be smart and intelligent and forthright. Have opinions and change the world. [and] Don’t play it safe”. If wanting female vloggers who are some or maybe all of these things makes me heteronormative… then I don’t know what to say.
Remember YouTube is entertainment and entertainment is a very male heavy industry, but this is not a problem with youtube, this is a problem with life.
‘single quotes’ taken from original post
“Double quotes” taken from becoming YouTube video women and YouTube