Twitch streamer Pokimane is no stranger to controversy, whether it’s manufactured, ridiculous, or quite serious. It seems that as soon as one controversy ends for Pokimane, another takes its place.
This week is no different, with Pokimane responding to some of her Twitch followers regarding a joke she made on her stream. Following what Pokimane calls a joke in which she said “all women belong in the kitchen,” Pokimane, dripping sarcasm, told the aggressive instigators in her chat “my one kitchen joke for sure means I’m sexist.”
Pokimane was having none of the criticism of her joke as part of a recent Twitch stream. “Why did I say ‘All women belong in the kitchen,” she started, deciding to first have some fun with those trying to catch her in some misbegotten trap. “For starters, I really like food, so I’m in the kitchen a lot,” she explains. “Second, I don’t make the rules, I just repeat them sometimes,” is her next derisive cut. Then lastly, she adds, “Lastly, I think girls look really cute in aprons. So then really, why wouldn’t we want them to be in the kitchen?” If it wasn’t obvious up to this point that Pokimane was joking, this is the point she’s unable to hold back her laughter.
“I’m ****ing joking, dude,” Pokimane then lays out clearly. At this point, Pokimane’s chat is endlessly filled with laughing emoji, as they understand exactly what she was going for with the joke and know her sense of humor and character. Exaggerating, Pokimane tells her viewers that “the worst thing in life is having to explain that a joke is a joke,” but she says that as a Twitch streamer that sometimes “you have to do that” if only to make it painfully obvious that they’re not, as in this case, sexist.
Hilariously, as an aside, Pokimane is raising her hand and pledging to her audience that she’s not sexist while she’s also petting her cat Mimi and making cute noises of love toward her. The life of a Twitch stream summed up in one moment, perhaps, or otherwise an example of how Twitch streamers cope with the ridiculousness of it all.
The mere implication that she might be sexist because of the joke is obviously quite insulting to Pokimane. It’s at this point that, while still petting her cat, Pokimane mentions many of the feminist endeavors she’s involved in, her efforts to support other women who stream, and the conversations about sexism she has with her audience frequently.
While Pokimane’s mocking reaction to the response to her joke seems more than justified, there’s also worthwhile point made in the criticism. Regardless of Pokimane’s views on the joke, it’s true that there are those among her viewers who are sexist and do embrace jokes like Pokimane made in a sexist manner. Intentional or not, even a mocking joke can reinforce these ideas, but Pokimane can hardly be responsible for every belief her thousands of diverse Twitch viewers might hold.