Alif Shahed

The Women of Youtube


Ever since Benjamin Cook, a male, felt as though he as the perfect candidate to try and answer the question ‘Why aren’t there more girls on YouTube’ on his webseries Becoming YouTube, it’s sparked quite a bit of a controversy. Many agreed with the views expressed in the video, many disagreed. The video got responses – both positive and negative – in all forms of social media and has received huge amounts of dislikes – to date it is one of the most disliked video on YouTube.

Many found that the episode involved people who were too immersed in the patriarchy to be able to step away from it and really look at the situation – albeit, Hank Green tried his level best to express the fact that there are more complex things playing at hand. However the episode was still extremely offensive to women, as a lot of un-classy things were said about them (and that’s me trying to be as polite as I can). Several YouTubers have already made fantastic video responses to the episode, iterating everything I could ever say much better than I would be able to so I’m not going to get too much into the actual episode here (I will, however leave links to all the videos at the bottom).

But Alif, why are you bringing this back up? It was months ago. Well, that is a very good question. A few weeks ago at VidCon Benjamin Cook himself spoke at a panel regarding Becoming YouTube and a large portion of the questions received regarded the sexist shitstorm that was their episode entitled ‘Girls on YouTube.’ From what I hear the actual panel went quite well, it was what took place on Twitter after the panel that got me angry. Benjamin Cook, being the great feminist that he is, attacked those who expressed on Twitter that they did not agree with the things said, expressed that they were insulted or even expressed that they were patronized at one point during the panel. Including this:


Excuse me? Kayley Hyde doesn’t inspire people? That’s kind of like Taylor Swift saying Tina Fey and Amy Poehler don’t help women. It’s especially funny because it was people like Kayley, Kristina Horner, Hayley G. Hoover, Marina Watanabe and Amanda McLoughlin that inspired me to put myself on YouTube in the first place. I would say I hav a witty response to what Cook said, but I think Lex did it best:


Benjamin Cook felt he was the sole person to make this issue prominent because he, a male, clearly knows more about the struggles the women on YouTube face better than the women themselves. But this isn’t what I’m here to talk about today (he says after talking about it for 4 paragraphs). If you’d like to read the full conversation, I’ll leave the link at the bottom. What I am here to do is celebrate the many women of YouTube with this, the launch of a series entitled ‘The Women of YouTube’. So let’s start with one of my all-time favourites, and one that inspired me to start making videos: MarinaShutUp.


Marina Watanabe (YouTube Name: ‘MarinaShutUp’ because ‘sometimes [she] talks and the internet tells her not to’) began making videos a few years ago, and since then she has gained a large following. She’s sarcastic (‘to the point where it’s sickening’ she’d like to say) and witty in ways that a lot of people fail to be. She has amazing comedic timing and isn’t afraid to make a few borderline offensive jokes here and there, or turn her Biology professor into a recurring love story in her videos. But she’s not all fun and games: in several videos she expresses her views on the Beauty Industry, Slut Shaming, being an Introvert, having social axniety, etc. Marina’s a huge geek when it comes to Literature and even has her own line of Literary Tee Shirts! She puts out amazing content on YouTube and encourages other people to do the same. (If I were to get personal, Marina is the type of person who I would want to be my best friend).


Marina’s also extremely kind and loves her viewers. She tries to reply to as many comments as she can, she always replies to my tweets (because let’s face it, I think ninety percent of my tweets are me bothering her) and Tumblr FanMail (I’m sorry Marina) and she encourages discussions taking place in the comment section of her videos.

So, go on! Check her out!


Read the full Twitter conversation here:

Becoming YouTube \\  Girls on YouTube:

Sanne’s video response:

Morgan’s video response:

Leslie’s video response:

One thought on “The Women of Youtube

  1. I just stumbled upon this whilst tumbling around and love it – not wanting to bring up the women of youtube debaccle again, but just wanted to say great blog post 🙂 x

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