Imane "Pokimane" has always had a contentious relationship with simps. Over the years, Imane has had to deal with creeps flooding her chat with bad vibes, but it is also true that some fans take things too far. However, the definition of what comprises a simp has changed over the years, so how does Imane feel about the phenomenon now?
While doing one of her classic un-ban bits, Pokimane went on a proper rant and talked about the usage of the word simp to shame men who show any ounce of love for a woman. She called the practice misogynistic and questioned the toxic masculine behavior that is condoned by society:
"Isn't it weird that young boys are being told simping is so terrible? If you are doting on a woman, that is so terrible. But, it's like, not. And you know what's crazy? You can simp for guys and girls. You can simp for your homies. But we have made it this crazy, sexist thing where it's like, 'Oh, my god. You're a guy who is doing anything nice towards a girl? Ha, f*cking loser.' And we've made that a terrible thing. And what we don't realize is it reinforces so much low-key misogyny."
While denying an unban request, Pokimane discusses why simping isn't as bad as people make it out to be
While taking a look at her unban requests, the streamer came across a request from a user who was banned for repeatedly calling people simps in the chat.
With raised eyebrows, Pokimane straight away denied the request before typing out a long explanation which was indicative of her views on the subject:
"I want you to know that's really weird and low-key misogynistic because why do you even care if someone were hypothetically simping? Huh? You sad they love someone that ain't you? And that it's a woman?"
Pokimane then mentioned spouses simping for each other in a marriage, specifically talking about the requester's parents:
"If your parents are together, your dad probably simps for your mom. And so what? That's a normal part of loving other human beings."
In fact, she ran out of space to type her thoughts and then talked to her chat about the issue, saying that she could vent about it forever. Imane then talked about how toxic masculinity had demonized the word simp.
It is important to note that the definition of simp has changed over the years. According to the OED, simp is a shortened form of 'simpleton,' meaning simpleminded. Wikipedia notes that the word came to be associated with being "overly sympathetic" by rappers in the 80s. Urban Dictionary defines it as "someone who does way too much for a person they like."
Now the problem with internet slang is that definitions change way too fast, and people pick and choose which definition they want to use at what time. A person calling themselves a "BTS simp" is not the same as someone simping over a streamer.
The problem then is with the degree of simping. Men's Health magazine in 2020 called out people who use the word pejoratively, pointing it out as a symptom of toxic masculinity because some people will call you a simp if you even compliment a woman. So, when Pokimane talks about simping, she is not referring to the mentality of "buying an e-girl six grand worth of jewelry."
Pokimane went on to talk about her personal experiences too:
"I can tell you throughout my entire career as a female streamer, I have sensed on numerous occasions my male counterparts, my male friends being afraid to stand up for me because they will be labeled simps. How else can you describe that without some weird internalized misogyny? Like, that's sad. That's f*cking sad.
Fans react to Pokimane's take on simping
Pokimane's chat was mostly supportive of her views:
Reddit, however, had a different take. Some thought she was a hypocrite because most of her money, according to them, was made from simps.
This is questionable considering that most of Pokimane's earnings, as per the Twitch leak, don't come from donations (which she has capped at 5$) but from sponsorships.
Some had no problem with IRL simping, but drew the line at simping online. Some even pointed out that the word had lost its meaning.
Now, Pokimane is one of the most simped-over streamers, which is to be expected because she is literally the biggest female Twitch star out there. So her words do have some credibility.
The usage of the word simp has been co-opted by feminists too, and therefore its meaning depends both on the context and the user's intention. So tread carefully before calling someone a simp, lest you become a misogynist.