Firstly, the word ‘camgirl’ is a synonym for ‘cam-whore’ (and this blog believes that no woman should be called a ‘whore’,) and it refers to women who earn their money through the distribution of sexually explicit material primarily via live streaming.
The major drawback of it? It’s a digital peepshow – which is still based around the male gaze and the sexual exploitation of girls and women. The only difference between digital peepshows and prostitution is the lack of physical contact between the prostituted woman and the john. It’s hard to separate “genuine” amateur from content produced by big corporations that’s merely designed to mimic amateur content. Consider for example the models of kink dot com; like most ‘amateur’ pornographic models they are in fact professionally funded i.e through an agency or specialist website and through the fiscal transactions themselves.
Secondly, you have no way of knowing the circumstances under which the video was made and uploaded.
You have know way of knowing if there was a gun to her head just off to the side of the screen or if they were under the influence of illicit substances and/or alcohol (which would remove an individual’s capacity to consent, sexual content or not,) or if it was done in the context of an abusive relationship or if the female on screen is forced or not.
Not only that, but has that person given their explicit permission for this content to be shared?
Look at the huge market for “revenge porn” – material posted mostly by males who feel that their girlfriends/wives/partners “deserve” to have their reputations and well being disregarded and their trust betrayed.
You don’t and can’t know that. Not only that but the very nature of the internet makes it impossible for them to withdraw that consent, there’s no way to get the material entirely off the internet. So while the ability to ‘choose’ to be a cam-girl is still a choice, what happens to the material she streams is entirely out of her control.
Given the viral nature of digital content, and a society still hooked on the virgin/whore dichotomy, it is easy for women’s lives to be ruined due to participation within cam-girl pornography. Similarly, it is just as it is easy for men’s expectations of their partner to change through the use of cam-girl porn.
And as far as the decision on the part of women who become cam girls, this is not an attempt to ‘judge’, ‘shame’ or ‘erase your agency’. Through the devaluation of women’s labour (the pink collar worker,) engaging in various sexual acts for digital transaction is a viable way of making ends meet. The judgement, shame and questioning of choices is in fact directed at the men who choose to participate and pay for this type of content. The power (the money) remains in the hands of the man, regardless of how much the woman receiving it gets.
Cam-girls also help to serve the pornographic myth that there are two different castes of women – one who are acceptable targets for sexual aggression and/or explicit sexual attraction and one who are not. It also turns the cam-girls themselves into commodities which is pure objectification.