Breaking gender stereotypes through content
With over 560 million internet users, India is the second-largest online market in the world. This means that India is also witnessing a colossal rise in the number of digital content creators. Not just limited to Google’s video streaming platform, YouTube, Indian women are stepping into the world of content creation through other platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. Women are taking the lead while talking about cars, technology, gaming, and farming, topics that were traditionally discussed amongst men.
YouTube, too, noticed this exponential growth and to support it had launched its first-ever #WomenToWatch campaign that hosted over 700 creators to discuss best practices and growth-related marketing techniques for their channels. But the content out there today is not just about breaking stereotypes. It is about doing what you like and making it a viable career option. It is about being good at something and showing it off to the world. What’s more, it is also about inspiring others who relate to you, to do the same.
Why is this trend important?
Women in content are being recognised as role models for others, and online platforms are able to provide them with a space that is equal, and that’s run on the simple algorithm of “if you’re good, you’ll be discovered”. This is a space where women can showcase their talent without the inhibition of feeling judged, ridiculed or trolled. From content creators like Lilly Singh who gained immense popularity through her “how my parents would react” videos, to Prajakta Koli who also did an Indian spin-off of similar topics, the audience is able to relate to the stereotypes that these creators portray, whether it is about a typical Indian family growing up in the US, or an Indian household based in India.
But there’s more
This trend has seen a rise amongst stand up comedians and this is an important milestone in the progress of gender stereotypes. Content creators are no longer shying away from speaking about taboo subjects like demanding wage equality, discussing traditionally unspoken topics about the female body and calling out undesirable elements in society that need to change. They are doing this through humour that not just grabs the attention of society on the whole, but the interest of other women who need just a little confidence to get their lives straight.
What does this mean for women financially?
Content creators are able to step out of the shadows they earlier hid behind. I read a powerful quote from Virginia Woolf - “For most of history, anonymous was a woman”.
The online world has given women a chance to pursue financial independence through their talents. They no longer have to worry about travelling long distances for work, about safely returning home, or about dealing with casual sexism at the workplace. They no longer have to fit in a mould, a mould to meet the ‘norms’ of society, and that is important.
While online platforms might not revolutionise the world towards becoming equal, it is a small step towards equality itself. It is about someone like you and me doing what they love, showcasing it to the world without any inhibitions, calling out haters while respecting opinion givers. A space where we can find freedom, of all kinds.