Chvrches 2013

Lauren Mayberry, the lead singer of Chvrches (one our 40 Best New Bands of 2013) released a lengthy op-ed today in the Guardian about the rampant misogyny and sexually aggressive comments she has had to endure online. It was partially sparked by a Facebook photo the band posted last week of a harassing email they were sent, and a note asking for this to stop. That post in turn caused many comments which range from supportive to extremely awful. Her article is thoughtful and very much worth your time. She concludes with the quote below:

My hopes are that if anything good comes out of this, it will start a conversation, or continue the conversation which is already happening, encouraging others to reject an acceptance of the status quo, and that our band can continue to do what we are doing in our own way and on our own terms. 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.

Read the entire article here.

Comments (24)
  1. (No mention how last week’s Album of the Week piece here on Stereogum spent a majority of the time focusing in how Mayberry was CHVRCHES meal ticket to success because she was the pretty female up front, and someone called the writer out on it for this exact reason.)

    • (And then someone replied to that comment saying that Mayberry was gushing like a teenage girl over Ryan Gosling at a recent show, thus kinda making her look less feminist-y and more like someone who is just as objectifying as a crude dude male.)

      • (…which was a point I made last week in the Kanye vs. Kimmel beef post after a guy said he was more attracted to Sarah Silverman than Kim K. but didn’t want to be perceived as a chauvanist, and I was like, “My man, no need to apologize for simply thinking one female is more attractive than the other! Girls do the same thing to guys, too!)

        • (…and then someone replied to that comment saying I didn’t understand nor could I define misogyny because I am a male, and males never experience anything close to it.)

          • (…but then I was like, “Uhhh, yeah, actually, speaking from personal experience, women who I’ve not interest in oggle me for the wrong reasons while hipster chicks assume my body type equates to not being as ‘deep’ and ‘interesting’ as their skinny, fashion-obsessed boyfriends.” And then I pointed out the definition of when females do it to dudes is called “misandry.”)

          • So yes, the Mayberry threats and messages are deplorable and disgusting because they’re clearly demeaning, but it would be cool if things like having celeb crushes or respectfully pointing out the obvious that a person is a looker (male or female — and NOT for shallow reasons because of their bust size or their height — Looking at you HAIM sister from the earlier Q&A!) didn’t have to be perceived as demeaning assaults on the opposite sex. What — Are we going to do away with the Indie Crush and Hottie awards at the Gummys now, too, out of fear of pissing off some over-sensitive politically correct self-righteous fun-killers?

            This exonerates last week’s AOTW article, btw.

          • Good call about the Indie Crush feature….Cuz Mayberry would be sitting at the top of that list. But like you said in regards to Sarah Silverman etc., I don’t think it’s mysogony to recognize the beauty of, and an universal attraction to, the personality, charisma, and yes “looks” of a very beautiful young lead singer. I hope the PC Police can at least recognize that line. I’m so tired of walking on egg shells around everyone, because I may be irreverent, but I consider myself deeply respectful as well and it chaffes my hide to be called out as otherwise.

            Anyway, neanderthal pigs and over-sensitive hippies aside, Mayberry is wonderfully intelligent and it’s good to see her use her limelight to address these issues.

          • Ohhhh boy. Stumbling across a comment chain in which “misandry” is discussed like it was, you know, REAL… I get that same squirmy, “must-get-out-of-here-at-all-costs” feeling I get in enclosed spaces where people who aren’t black are using the n word. Don’t mind if I show myself the door.

      • “Gushing like a teenage girl” isn’t the same as someone sending someone an unsolicited message saying that you are going to anally rape someone.

        Mayberry is their meal ticket partially because of her beauty, but also (primarily) she is pretty talented. The record is really good, and frankly, I didn’t even know what she looked like until after I had heard their music.

        • Keep reading, hunny bun, I ain’t hating on Mayberry nor standing up for the messages she received and I ain’t hating on what ‘Gum wrote either. I’m just pointing out how extremely black and white the entire issue has become…

          • I am confused as to what was your overall plan. Mayberry wrote about the online messages she gets and you saw this as an opportunity to “point how how extremely black and white the entire issue has become”? As if someone in this post was telling you to stop saying a girl is attractive and that made you feel bad?

          • This is a topic we’ve been talking about in several other posts over the past few weeks and obviously my conversation from those posts spilled over into here. In retrospect, I now know to either stay on topic especially with this topic or — better yet — stay away from this topic altogether. As a male, I am stupid and nothing I do or say is acceptable. That’s what I’ve taken away from this discussion at least, and there’s no sense trying to clarify my point anymore. The only person who understood what I was saying was KiDCHAIR, and his comment is glowing upvotes for some reason.

        • No, see, if we can’t make rape threats, then where will it end? Feminist musicians are trying to stop our natural expression of the male libido with their blogs and girl music. This is why I only listen to Metallica.

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      • You obviously did not bother reading every one of my comments. If you did, you would have read that I think rape threats are disgusting and deplorable, etc. etc. and how I know that there’s a clear difference between that and saying someone attractive. MY FUCKING POINT IS THAT SOME PEOPLE DO NOT AND THEY THROW HARMLESS COMPLIMENTS LIKE “WOW, SHE IS BEAUTIFUL!” INTO THE SAME CATEGORY AS THOSE RAPE THREATS. As KiDCHAIR said, that type of mindset gets people walking on egg shells.

        But please continue reading what you want and disregarding the other finer points so you can sit atop your pedestal of self-righteousness and make yourself feel like you’re the moral compass of the world.

      • So basically, YOU’RE part of the problem because you’re coming on here wanting to lynch people for opening the discussion up about what is and isn’t misogyny beyond what Lauren Mayberry only brazed upon. This is a discussion we’ve been having on Stereogum beyond just her messages terrible rape threats. (I said TERRIBLE. Did you read that word? TERRIBLE! Which is to say it’s “not acceptible. I’ll say that again because you an idiot: IT’S NOT ACCEPTABLE — NOT YESTERDAY, NOT NOW, NOT TOMORROW!) This goes into the discussion of Dead Girlfriends. This goes into Claire’s “mansplaining” editorial about Dead Girlfriends. This goes into the many think pieces about Grimes, Kathleen Hannah and feminism. It doesn’t sound like you’ve been keeping abreast with those. You obviously don’t get it. You’re just here trying to make yourself look great and paint everyone else who has a dick who doesn’t say “Men shouldn’t talk about women in any shape of form unless it’s in regards to complimenting their intelligence and their talents” as the scum of the earth.

        Honestly, I’m sick and tired of being made to feel like a piece of shit by people like you. You know what would be a great job for you? Run for a seat in Congress. Those idiots are great at seeing everything in black and white. No progress will be made as long as we have people like you around.

      • I don’t even want a response from you. I’m just heated right now of being accused of not understanding misogyny. I understand it and what is “objectifying” just fucking fine, “bro.” Don’t ever make such an evil and inaccurate assumption about that or my life, my personality and behavior again. You’re comment is probably the rudest and meaning thing anyone has ever directed at me in my entire time of commenting on Stereogum.

        • At the end of the day, I don’t care. I’m going to fucking kill myself in a few months anyway so none of this matters when you are a corpse.

          • Breathe, Underscore…breathe. He obviously didn’t read ahead or completely misunderstood your point, but don’t let it get to you that much. There is a bit of history linked to what you laid out there that not everyone will catch. To be honest, there was a time I couldn’t stand your comments. I hated the whole leaving and coming back debacle. But you’ve gained my respect in recent months by speaking smartly and confidently, whether I agree completely or not. Don’t let some misunderstanding by a hater get you down though.

            I certainly hope the killing yourself quip was not serious. Not exactly a subject to be thrown around in jest, I’m sure you would agree. I’d hate to think you were serious, but I’d also hate to think you weren’t because that’s not cool. Just breathe, buddy.

          • Thanks, man. I’m not interested in going down the routes I’ve gone down in the past, but life has been more annoying lately and it’s in those instances where comments like those above are difficult to disassociate from “comment section assery” and adding stress to pinched nerves IRL. I also don’t throw around trollisms for reaction with anything I say here, so take that to mean what you will.


          • I can’t get over the fact that you’re this intense about commenting on Sterogum, but you haven’t even taken the time to upload an avatar to your profile. Dude, if this site makes you feel suicidal, you should have an avatar.

  2. I lose faith in society every time idolization turns into fanaticism and outlets for inward (not to mention sexually frustrated) mental health issues.

    Like Earl said in a video, looking at Twitter and some of the replies celebrities get, literally wants to make me kill myself. It’s a horrible place. The anonymity of communication these days reveals an unimaginably sad reality.

  3. I think the contrast of CHVRCHES, the overtly bloggable band that is being exposed to the same evil sphere of mainstream-following mental fuck ups (the ones that reply to every celebrity tweets with extremely explicit and neurotic messages, for example) versus CHVRCHES, the local band with humble beginnings that seem to have their feet and business grounded in reality and homespun relations, is what really gets to me.

  4. This is just like the Grimes blog editorial. I mean, yes, casual misogyny is bad. But so is casual racism, and casual religious bigotry and casual letting banks manipulate wealth and casual we are all fucking raping the earth and casual we are going to war for chemical weapons or something I don’t really know the gist of it (that’s how casual it is). Basically this entire earth and all the Human parasites on it are destroying everything and making music is the best way to make things “casual” cause it takes our minds off of what we were put on this earth to do which is to eat every animal, destroy the oceans, and consume consume consume. You want to do something about this? DON’T HAVE BABIES! NON-BIRTH will save the planet.

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