This Is Why ALL Adult Women Need To Be More Active On YouTube

Let me start by saying it is no secret I adore Emily Graslie. I fell in love with her after she led Hank Green on a tour for one of HIS videos and I supported the resounding masses in saying, “GIVE HER A CHANNEL!” I’ve written about her and other Geeky female YouTubers here. I link their videos on Facebook and Twitter regularly. I show them to my kids. I am very supportive of the STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) Women on YouTube yet…YET…I never comment. Because to me? YouTube comments are full of A) Teenagers and B) Creepy Men. And I am neither of those.

Then I watched her most recent video. And I became ASHAMED. Here is the woman who I adore. I make my daughter watch a LOT of her videos to give her a good role model and yet…YET…I’ve never (rarely?) commented on one of your videos. Instead…she’s getting THIS TOTAL BULLSHIT. I mean, the environment is so sketchy to me that I don’t even comment…how must if feel to the people in the videos themselves? Awful…obviously.

My daughter is growing up under the influence of YouTube. And if Nikki wants to do AMAZING videos like Emily does? Or like Vi Hart? I want the support in the comments to be overwhelming and the creepy sexist/bullying/weirdo comments to be rare and isolated and not something that deters her from doing these amazing things. So, I’m going to join the masses. I’m going to start commenting on YouTube. I’m sorry to all of the women I’ve watched but never supported. I’m sorry I didn’t add my positive voice to all of the negatives. I have been blogging for 10 years, I know how one negative comment can carry more weight than 10 positive ones. But for me? Over here on this small blog? The positive ones are resoundingly the majority. On YouTube it’s not always that way, and I now accept some of the blame.

So…Women on the Internet. Go! Watch Emily’s videos and leave supportive comments so that our daughters, nieces, and granddaughters will have a safer and more supportive place to work if they choose to make amazing videos on the interwebs. Let’s make our voices heard. Let’s leave resounding support for these STEM Women so that we drown out the creepy comments from the sexist jerkfaces.


6 thoughts on “This Is Why ALL Adult Women Need To Be More Active On YouTube”

  1. Yes, ma’am… I’m with you! One of my very best friends, Mindae, is the Director of Advancement and Marketing at Salpointe Catholic High School. Her biggest effort is raising the money needed to build a STEM High School. She works many hours at this and then goes home to her amazing twin babies, who just turned 9 months. She has both a successful career and successful home – neither of which have come without sacrifice. I know that all that hard work would suck without positive reinforcement. So although she doesn’t have her own channel, she’s working hard to help others have those awesome opportunities.

  2. I agree with where you are coming from. And creating (and safe guarding) safe spaces is an important aspect of fostering community. BUT, from a feminist standpoint, I think we need to take even one step further back. Why should it be up to women to do that (real, time consuming) work of commenting to drown out the sexist creeps? Instead, women should be free to comment or not comment as they like and sexist creeps should not be default environment on You Tube.

    So yes, leave comments, support the artists you love. BUT, also push back at You Tube. Write them. Complain about the lack of proper moderation in comments. Tell them it’s losing them good content and viewers. Tell them that people won’t check out the site because it’s nasty.

    Working within the status quo makes today better. Changing the status quo makes tomorrow better. We can do both. : )

  3. I started watching Emily when you mentioned her (and have since acquired a YouTube Habit, but that’s okay… :)) and when I saw this episode yesterday, I was appalled as well. Of COURSE, I never comment, so I’m a part of the problem, but it sickened me to know she gets these kinds of comments – not that I was shocked. We need more Emilys in this world!

  4. I wasn’t trying to make a “How to change YouTube” type of stance…otherwise this post was lacking in a lot of ways. I was just basically venting my own guilt and trying to rectify that. Just acknowledging that I’m a supportive fan but she never hears my voice. Just trying to speak from that point of view.

    If I were wanting to write about How To Improve YouTube it would take probably 14 entries 🙂 Starting with “Do not force integration with Google+” which is something they’ve done and SEVERAL YouTubers have noticed a degradation of comment quality since.

  5. I’d never heard of her until NPR linked to this particular video of hers. Although I’ve read posts of yours about various YouTube channels, I pretty much never look at YouTube or any video clips or websites because I’d rather read something than take the time to watch and listen (it’s easier to leave a written article tab open and come back to it, some videos are awkward to pause/stream). But in all likelihood, the skeeviness of the comments was probably turning me off without my even realizing it.

    Female politicians and female news broadcasters endure the same kind of comments, as did the female professors, female scientists, and other women who dared venture into other formerly-male-only professions and avocations.

  6. I know that’s not the point you were trying to make, but I’m saying it’s just as important. Anytime we have a problem like this, it takes a two pronged approach to solve it. The first is “what can I do, today, within the current system to make things suck less?” That’s where leaving positive comments helps. The second is “what can I do, today, that will change the current system so that it doesn’t suck?”. That’s where being active, reaching out to you tube, organizing protests, etc helps. Both are necessary. : )

    One other comment, I would broaden your request–men can leave positive comments too. : ) I get what you are saying, and it’s an important point to bring up (not to sit silently by while others heap abuse and vitriol on a third party). I just cringe a little bit every time I see issues that affect women labeled as something women must overcome. It’s a lot of extra emotional work and anxiety that men aren’t being asked to shoulder. All those little tasks add up to a much greater burden on women. Men need to do this too.

    I apologize for climbing up on my soapbox, I’ll get off now. : )

Leave a Reply