Lauren Mayberry is mad as hell, and she's not going to take it anymore. The lead singer of Scottish band Chvrches has received one too many aggressively graphic Facebook messages from male "fans" and issued a blistering, perfectly salient op-ed criticizing casual online sexism. The singer's blog post for The Guardian ran after she posted a screengrab of one of these offending messages up on the band's Facebook wall (this one asked the "cute singer" to dinner and predicted they'd make "superior love" — ew). "Please stop sending us emails like this," the post read. "This is one of the more polite ones. Other recent classics include 'I'm going to give her anal' and 'I'd fuck the accent right out of her and she'd love it.'" Predictably, her plea actually prompted an avalanche of even more inappropriate messages, such as: "This isn't rape culture. You'll know rape culture when I'm raping you, bitch."
"...Why should women deal with this?" Mayberry wrote. She is careful to note that she is of course grateful for Chvrches' huge Internet fanbase, and accepts that criticism is part and parcel to her job as "rock star." What she doesn't accept is that online misogyny and half-teasing rape commentary is "normal," and something she should just learn to endure quietly, especially in a more progressive scene that prides itself on being conscientious. She asks: "Is the casual objectification of women so commonplace that we should all just suck it up, roll over and accept defeat? I hope not. Objectification, whatever its form, is not something anyone should have to 'just deal with'."
She flips the table on her trolls: "'Would you condone this behaviour if it was directed at your mother/sister/daughter/wife/girlfriend?" ...Maybe going back to basics is what the trolls or 4chan addicts need. To learn a little empathy. To have a little respect for other people. To think before they speak.'"
Other heated discussions regarding gender politics and sexism have circulated throughout the music blogosphere this year, with artists like Grimes, Solange, and Nina Kraviz addressing their personal experiences with sexism in the industry. Also, we love that Chvrches is one of the recent, female-led electronic acts who make a point to put substance before overt sexuality. "We have thus far been lucky enough to do things our own way and make a pretty decent job of our band without conforming to the 'push the girl to the front' blueprint," Mayberry concluded. "...For us, this has always been — and hopefully will always be — about the music, and that is what we will be getting back to now." Preach it, girl — and let's hope this is the start of a much-needed change. (Jezebel / The Guardian)