Recently, CHVRCHES posted a screen capture of a message they had received to their Facebook. Asking for the correspondence to be forwarded to the “cute singer,” the sender wanted to let Lauren Mayberry know that they’d “make superior love together,” to which Mayberry responded, “No. That’s disgusting.” The purpose of CHVRCHES posting this to Facebook was to inform their fans that they do not appreciate messages like these, yet the comments that this Facebook post garnered were not all in support of the band’s opinion. So, Mayberry wrote an editorial to address the matter over at The Guardian.
“But why should women ‘deal’ with this?” Mayberry asks, in response to one of the comments left under the original post (“It’s just one of those things you’ll need to learn to deal with. If you’re easily offended, then maybe the music industry isn’t for you”). Mayberry goes on and explains that embedded in this industry is “comment and criticism,” and that “there will always be bad reviews.” But she doesn’t believe that objectification is something that she should “just deal with.” It’s an insightful and thoughtful read from the lead singer, and a true look into what she has been grappling with since the birth of the band. Below are some highlights from Lauren Mayberry’s editorial, which you can read in its entirety here:
On where to draw the line
What I do not accept, however, is that it is all right for people to make comments ranging from “a bit sexist but generally harmless” to openly sexually aggressive. That it is something that “just happens”. 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”.
On reading every single comment and message on their Facebook page
Perhaps people assume we have a team of fancy PAs who deal with our social networks for us. Maybe the men – and I’m sorry, but they are all men – sending the notifications of impending unsolicited “anal” bothering don’t realise it will actually be me who reads the emails – or maybe they don’t care either way. But in order to get to the messages from people who genuinely wish to share something with the band, I must filter through every condescending and offensive message we receive.
On the internet trolls
But maybe it’s the personal side to online interaction that these men fail to grasp. It seems almost too obvious to ask, “Would you condone this behaviour if it was directed at your mother/sister/daughter/wife/girlfriend?” but 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.