A gamer says she makes sandwiches and works out during her Twitch stream to call out the misogynistic demands made by 'fragile men' in the gaming community
Stephanie Evans, 25, began Twitch streaming in 2019 but lost interest due to harassment.
In October 2022, Evans started again when "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II" was released.
Evans began highlighting "fragile men" in the gaming community and was met with praise.
As a seasoned female gamer, Stephanie Evans, 25, is used to trash-talking her opponents, but when other gamers take it too far, Evans fights back in a comedic way.
The "Call of Duty" gamer who has over 570,000 followers on TikTok wants to empower other gamers to do the same in the face of harassment.
"I feel like if I can laugh about it, and not take it to heart then you can too, right? So me laughing in their face and coming up with stupid comebacks kind of encourages other people to match that energy with me," Evans, who works as a social media marketer, told Insider.
The San Antonio-based gamer has become known for her "fragile men" videos on TikTok, where she highlights the misogynistic comments her male "Call of Duty" opponents make during her Twitch streams.
In one TikTok, posted in February, Evans jokingly went to the kitchen to make a sandwich every time someone on her stream told her to "get back in the kitchen." The video has 8 million views as of Wednesday.
@steffyevans Today I’m listening to what the COD boys tell me😩 #callofduty #sandwich #kitchen #steffyevans #snd #mw2 #fragilemen ♬ original sound - SteffyEvans
In another TikTok that month, Evans filmed herself working out every time one of her opponents made a comment about her weight. The TikTok has over 690,000 views as of Wednesday and supporters in the comments section thanked Evans for drawing attention to this type of online harassment.
@steffyevans I’m finally listening to what they say on COD🤦♀️👀 #callofduty #steffyevans #workout #snd #fragilemen #mw2 ♬ original sound - SteffyEvans
When she started Twitch streaming, Evans says she initially took the hate to heart
Evans, who is originally from Norway, played video games as a child, but didn't pick it up again full-time until "Fortnite" was released in 2019.
In 2019, Evans began posting about all the "fragile men" commenting on her videos and in 2020, she began sharing her Twitch clips on TikTok.
Instead of praise, Evans said she was at first met with harassment and death threats that drove her away from streaming and posting TikToks. "Oh my Lord, the hate I got, wow. Like it was bad, it was really bad," Evans said. "It did get to me mentally and ended up in me actually quitting a majority of my content creation."
During her hiatus, Evans continued to play "Call of Duty" and share minimal clips on TikTok. When the October 2022 release of "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II" was announced, Evans returned to posting her TikTok videos full-time.
"I was like, 'You know what, I'm gonna do the content that I love,' which is sticking up for women in this space," Evans said. "Like if I get the hate again, please give me the hate. I'll take advantage of it, like I will use that traction to blow up again."
@steffyevans This is going to be fun😂 #fragile #mw2 #snd #callofduty #modernwarfare2 #steffyevans ♬ Love You So - The King Khan & BBQ Show
Evans gave her "fragile men" videos another try and to her surprise, she was met with positive reception. In November 2022, Evans shared a TikTok where she was "pissing the fragile men off" by beating them in "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II."
"You are my hero," one user commented, while another TikTok user wrote, "My daughters do this too. It's fantastic."
The success inspired Evans to create a safe space for marginalized gamers
In addition to highlighting harassment in the gaming community, Evans also wants to create safe spaces. Evans currently uses Discord, a social messaging app that is popular in the gaming community, to connect with her audience. Evans' Discord channel currently has over 3,800 members as of Wednesday.
Every Wednesday and Friday Evans hosts a game night where users from her Discord channel can join and play together. On Wednesdays, Evans hosts women-only game nights.
@steffyevans Would love to have you🥰 anyone is welcome! #fragilemen #cod #steffyevans #mw2 #snd #dyod ♬ Inspiring Emotional Piano - Metrow Ar
"So obviously what I want to create within my community is whoever you are, whatever you do, you're welcome," Evans said. "It's literally like, if you're a piece of shit, stay out of my community."
According to Evans, people who were initially too afraid to play "Call of Duty" play every day now with other Discord members.
Evans' community is growing and supportive, which has helped her take the hate in stride. "It really, really is heavily on who you have behind you, and who's supporting you through all of this," Evans said.
Evans believes more can be done to combat harassment and wants to be a voice for women in the gaming community
Evans told Insider that in January she came in contact with a "Call of Duty" employee via Twitter who helped facilitate banning a particularly aggressive gamer. During a live Twitch stream, the anonymous user told Evans he would "rape her" repeatedly after mistaking Evans for a "little girl."
A "Call of Duty" employee responded to the tweet saying that he shared the video with his team who "handled it."
According to Evans, "Call of Duty" started a voice chat ban that prohibits you from speaking if you've been reported multiple times. Evans added that in her experience, users can also abuse the tool to report gamers they have a problem with to get them automatically banned.
Activision, the company that publishes "Call of Duty," is working with AI-powered content moderation and filtering platforms to strengthen its current systems, a representative for the company told Insider. The gaming company has "zero tolerance for hate or discrimination in our online communities," Activision's statement continues.
"I wish there was actual consequences to some of the stuff they were saying, that would be amazing. But I mean there's only so much you can do," Evans said.
"We should be able to sit down after a hard day at work and be able to enjoy a video game and not jump on and be yelled at," Evans said.
Read the original article on Insider